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coverpic flag US - California - Full Moon 145 - 07/18/08

Subtle
ExitingARM
Lex Records

ExitingARM is Subtle's 4th (?) album proper (not counting minis and remix records). Formed by Anticon-heads Jeffrey 'Jel' Logan (percussion, rhythms) and Adam 'Doseone' Drucker (vocals) - a twosome also known as Themselves - Subtle play hip-hop and electronica mixed with experimental rock, resulting in something somewhat dizzying and disturbing, yet fascinating stuff.

The band formed in 2001 when the Themselves [and also employees at the awesome Californian Amoeba Music record store] joined forces with one Dax Pierson (keyboards, autoharp, plus plus). Other players who joined in were Marty Dowers (woodwind), Jordan Dalrymple (guitar), and Alexander Kort (cello). In early 2005 an accident struck while touring (when their van crashed on an icy road) leaving Pierson paralysed from the chest down. The band kept on, putting out the massive For Hero: For Fool album, as well as its "sequel", Yell & Ice. This year its time for another heavy load, entitled ExitingARM.

As always with Lex Records the artwork is appealing and teasing. However, the music is leaving me thoughtful after the first few spins. This is complex and intense material which I guess need some time before getting to the core of. You're met by though riffs and powerful melody lines punching your chest and chin. Of course, here's plenty of variations with twists and turns, circles and loops making this record everything else but boring. Yet, even though ExitingARM is entertaining I suspect Subtle to have made better albums.

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