'Theory for Evolution'


MARK: 80/100


Not only are these guys a bit twisted and reluctant to the compromises of society's ties, their spirit also has a healthy safety valve in a concoction of cynicism and sarcasm. This transpares from their lyrics and attitude and I agree with them about this is the only manner to mankind's evolution.

That said, the musical aspect concerning the Australian quartet's first digital episode on the long run is undoubtely positive and rife with effective tracks, although it denotes a songwriting that appears to be a bit too similar even if concealed by different styles in each song.
The strength points that make us bet on this band are the professionality of the singer (often alternating with the guitarist's second vocals) and the catchy lines found in the textures of this Alternative metal, generally aggressive, like in "Attack", chosen for a cool clip, or the twisted follower, "This Is Your Life", winding up through American Head Charge and a bit of Soundgarden; similarly goes "One Last Word", though the latter is far more personal.
Some songs are slow, gentle and melancholic Rock in the vein of Placebo ("Invisible"), yet a bit harder than the English trio; this one is difficult to sing and proves the vocalist is able to sing and not only scream and shout. Other tracks are constituted by strange passages, such as "Enjoy the Ride", astride of Down and the Inbreds, containing a stop 'n' go with convulsed vocals alà Naked City or Mr. Bungle.
The good aspect of this album is that there are no fillers, even if some compositions are superior to others; it's the case of the lazy and drunk "The Drinker", simple but genial and hypnotizing, a track I never get tired of playing, whereas "We Are Not Here" symbolizes the destabilizing days we're living its way; imagine sonic paintings made of sudden outbursts contrasting relaxing parts, vocals that can be whispered and threatening and a few instants later as heavy as a bag full of donkey's balls! Another piece belonging to the highlights is "You Are Your Family". If you're into the Queens of the Stone Age, this song will make you drool, but keep in mind that there are also structures differing and showing Subnormal's more original side; as far as me, I also found it irresistible owing to its lyrics, the best I have read so far this year.
A further example of the band's main characteristics (great vocals of different genres and harmonies abundant of highs and lows born from a perverted mind) is "Sensitive New Age Barbarian", as well as the conclusive "Sick in the Head" and "Highs and Lows".

It is very important to stress out the guitarist's work, never kitsch, nor boring and not in the background. He knows what to do and how to match the rhythmic section without sounding foreseeable; he also owns a remarkable taste for effects but doesn't have the egocentricity of certain guitarists, and that's why you will find zero solos in this record.
Still not completely ripe and independent from other act's schemes, but we can't complain at all. Were all debuts so significative and rife with contents!
This record has to be discovered without hurry, better if drunk or hyped up, alone or with a woman but decidedly not with your friends, otherwise you'll lose all the magic in it. It can be entertaining at times, but most of the time it is just depressive and angry stuff. "Theory for Evolution" is NOT party music, so if you're looking for that, erase this monicker from your shopping list and search for something more suitable.

MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 20th February 2007

Line-up on this record:
Craig Moxey, g.
Phil Alexander, v.
Bart Kowalski, d.
Andrew Sidwell, b.

45 Evrah Drive, Hoppers Crossing, Victoria 3029 - Australia
E-mail: theband@subnormal.com.au
Official sites: www.subnormal.com.au

Subnormal (EP - 2004)
Theory for Evolution (Full-length, 2006)