Subseven Rides Own Rails on Refreshing "Free to Conquer"

Artist:  Subseven
Title:  "Free to Conquer"
Label:  Flicker

It’s hard to put a stylistic label on what the band Subseven is all about. Just when you think you’ve pegged it as yet another assembly line, emo/pop-punk combo, the noteworthy track “Family Secrets” comes along to stir up the pot. Introduced by a wiry, almost new wave-ish electric lead guitar intro, vocalist Wesley Fite sings it with a sarcastic snarl worthy of the garage band renderings of The Hives. It’s obvious that Subseven has no intentions of getting stuck on any assembly line.

In his role of vocalist, Fite also has his share of vocal screaming fits here. They all do, it seems, these days. But he also sings melodically in places, too, which reveals how Subseven is daring enough to experiment with a few basic formulas now and again. Although the group is unabashedly Christian, these tracks don’t always fit into nice, neat, spiritual lyrical categories. “Mayday” is a desperate cry for God’s help, whereas “Free to Conquer” offers big guitars and big encouragement. The quiet “Breathe,” which speaks about God’s assuring love, is also a standout. But “Game of Love” is something much more difficult to pigeonhole. It alternates between being a fast screamer and a fast smoothie, and seemingly addresses the oftentimes cruel game of love.

Being hard to categorize can sometimes be a good thing. As so many new bands are obviously jumping the latest stylistic musical trains these days, it’s always refreshing to find a group with the guts to ride its own unique rails. These musicians have created a CD that will speak to both believers and non-believers alike and in a manner that demands listeners be just as adventurous as the band that created it.

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