Yell & Ice
(10.2007, Lex Records)
Subtle’s For Hero: For Fool was one of Sassigrass and my favourite releases of 2006. I am positive that it was in the top ten of each of our year end lists; top five come to think of it. A blazing rampage through every avenue of hip hop, pop and indie rock that you could feasibly imagine, the album marked the continued evolution of one of our favourite bands. In proper form Subtle have taken on the task of completely remixing, rewriting and rearranging the whole of the record in similar fashion to what Wishingbone was for their debut full length, New White. The result, as with its predecessor, is a conglomerate effort filled with friends who assist in the contortion of a terrific album into something completely unique in its own skin. Yell & Ice actually has a possibly more difficult task of reinvention. Where Wishingbone could rely on much of the hip hop remix trickery present in the more formally (by Subtle standards of course) hip hop songs of New White, Yell and Ice has to fumble with the structurally progressive genius of For Hero: For Fool. Despite never being able to match its original, Yell & Ice is a must for Subtle fans. The most prominent and successful collaboration on the album come from Dan Boeckner (of Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs fame) on the crown jewel of Yell & Ice: “Middle Class Haunt.” However, Subtle surround themselves with plenty of wonderful friends including Chris Adams of Bracken, Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio, Markus Acher from the Notwist, Yoni Wolf of Why?. Each adds their own unique voice and artistry to the album. While not perfect, there is nothing that could allow this much creatively driven talent to fall flat. Another great experiment to hold us over till the third full length installment of Subtle’s majesty is revealed.
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And as a bonus goodie, enjoy this awesome video from For Hero: For Fool animated by SSSR