EP Review: Sub Dio - Self-Titled
Underground Communique Records
Side With Us Records
San Francisco’s East Bay scene has been prevalent since the mid-90’s when radio picked up bands such as Green Day and Rancid. But tucked underneath all that, has always been a tight knit scene that blended the best attributes of punk and hardcore together to deliver songs that had something topical and relevant to say; something that post-hardcore/post-punk group Sub Dio has done with their self-titled debut EP. Sub Dio, which features former members of Great Apes, The Ghost, and Reunions, sees Brian Moss, a prevalent member of the East Bay scene for the past 2 decades (SF middle school teacher by day), combine his spitfire vocals with those of Danica Von Hartwig (a social justice lawyer by day) to give this the angst fueled energy the aggressive nature of the lyrics call for. Opening tracks “Takies” and “Skeeters” see the two dueling against each other, and almost challenging one another, to be louder and angrier than the other. However, Von Hartwig proves to be the hidden gem of the album as she gives them what becomes their signature touches when her lead vocals teeter between screaming and clearly holding her own on “Credible Fear” and “Peachy Keen,” that latter which carries that cleaner feel of mid-90’s punk rock which makes it nearly radio friendly, before dipping into just enough of a noise area to prevent it from fully happening. They close the EP with “Pardon Me,” bringing the EP full circle as they punch back forth on vocals as they did on the opener. This is 5-songs/15 minutes of pure punk rock fury that gives you just the right amounts of time to get angry with them as they unapologetically touch on some of today’s most sensitive issues, while also giving you room to pump your fist with the anthem like qualities when they drop them in. Since mainstream rock radio has mostly gone to shit and the scenes like those that we grew up with have died (or at the very at least, are hanging on by a thread), there will be bands that need to rise up to carry local scenes to a new tomorrow and Sub Dio answers that call for the East Bay scene.