When I heard “Heartstring” by Subcon, I couldn’t tell if I was in love or not. There was something familiar about the sound but something almost a little too “youthful” for me. I was intrigued nontheless so I was super excited when I got a copy of their full length ‘Suburban Gutterpunk’. Let’s dive into this and see what I really think about this band.

“Selfdestructin5” wastes no time jumping into that sound that I honestly can’t tell if I love it or not. The beat is infectious but the vocals err on the side of juvenile for me at least for the verses but then my nostalgic-seeking heart found peace in the chorus. There’s something very 3oh!3 about the chorus of this track that gave me hope that Subcon could be one of those bands that, although not everything about them is for me, overall it’s exactly what my heard is constantly looking for– a little nostalgia and a little new.

There’s a wicked bassline that kicks off “Cyanide (feat Sigleif)” before the track shifts into a good ol’ fashioned rap-metal track. I heard a little rap-metal in “Selfdestructin5” but it really comes to the spotlight during this second track. Again, the vocals just sounded a little juvenile to me but, if I wasn’t an old fuddy-duddy thirty-something, I would be all over this track. I was so lost trying to put myself back into my angsty teenage years that the track was over before I knew it and “Pandora’s Box” took over. Although I was still absolutely getting rap-metal vibes, there’s something in this track that feels a little closer to cloud hop. I’m really trying to fall in love with the cloud hop scene but it always just feels a little too youthful for my day job self. 

“Destination Desolation” shows an emotional side of Subcon that I instantly fell head over heels in love with. Although the beat is still very intense, the vocals just seem to have more of an emotional vibe to them. Even as the powerful chorus comes in, there’s no denying how drenched in emotion each word is making this a favorite track of mine. That emotion continues into “Wax Wings” but this song definitely shifts back closer to the cloud hop scene. Like I’ve said before about this genre, I love the emo-styled vocals and love the more hip-hop-inspired beats. My issue here is just getting used to the two being together but “Wax Wings” blends them perfectly.

The album continues to show this more sensitive side of Subcon with “Secondhand Serotonin” at least that’s how it starts. I love the way this track quickly goes from soft and sensitive to angsty and edged. You can hear frustration building not only in the words but also in the presentation of the words. Although I wasn’t able to catch all of the lyrics, what I did catch was hitting me right in the gut in the best ways. I could hear the rap-metal influence creeping back in as “Secondhand Serotonin” started to close so I was expecting “Everybody Hates Me” to jump back into that powerful sound. Instead, “Everybody Hates Me” continues with the emotionally charged cloud hop sound that Subcon does so well. I was lost trying to catch all of the words and before I knew it “Everybody Hates Me” was done.

The intro of “Rainy Days M8” drew me in with ease. There’s something about the tone of the guitar that kicks this off that I just absolutely loved. Honestly, I loved everything about this track from the beginning to the end. This felt like a “cloud hop for beginners” type track which I found super accessible. Sadly, this was one of the shorter tracks on the album and just when I was starting to follow the storyline, “Heartstring” had started playing. This was the track that made me hesitant when I first heard it but now, upon hearing it in the context of ‘Suburban Gutterpunk’, it makes sense. I’m so glad I didn’t write this album off because, as part of the album, “Heartstring” fits so perfectly and really adds to the journey that is this album. I really love the driving drumbeat in this one and wish it was an element I had heard previously throughout this release but I also like how it makes this track stand out.

This album closes out with the beautiful track “Heaven’s Sake”. Again, the emotional side of Subcon comes out to shine during this track making it the perfect closing song for me to take it all in while reflecting back on this album. I’ll be honest, I struggled at the beginning of this album but, had this been about fifteen years ago, I would have been all over it. Clearly, I’ve calmed down with my old age which is such a bummer but, even with that, I found things throughout this album that I truly loved including how emotionally charged all of the tracks were. I’m still trying to get into this cloud hop scene and I feel like I’m in one day, and out the next but acts like Subcon are definitely helping me get a bit more into that scene.

My Favorite Track(s): “Destination Desolation”; “Rainy Days M8”

For Fans Of: Nostalgia with a modern twist; Cloud hop; Angsty and youthful vocals

Mosh-ability: 5 out of 10

What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie laid right next to my desk; Autumn stared out the window

How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 6.4 out of 10

My Overall Rating: 6 out of 10

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