Last night the Subjects played the Bowery Ballroom, opening the set as part of their ongoing February tour with MPLS’ Tapes ‘n Tapes.
Here we have a band that practices a lot, a band that has respect enough for their audience to put on a flawless set, and a band whose members are endowed with enough virtuosity to effortlessly exchange duties on guitar, keys, and vox. Seriously- they even all sing in the same voice. It’s like watching that movie where Denzel Washington is chasing a disembodied killer who jumps from body to body possessing new people in order to commit his crimes, except these guys aren’t all that dangerous. Therein lies the crime.
They bring an energy and a subtle flair and imagination into those interstitial places in the music where an unexpected flair is most important (a higher note here when you expected a lower, an extra keening Isley to the vocals there when the lyric could have been dropped), but this we’ve heard, and it is still, right this very instant, in fact, called The Walkmen. OK, so these guys sing better.
The terrific set was comprised in large part by new songs from their as yet unreleased, recently finished record. It was punctuated by moments of brilliance like when the bassline and the Strokes- strum opened up “Hounds of War”, a track from their 2007 record With the Ease Grace Precision and Cleverness of Human Beings.