Strange Wilds and Sub Pop are the equivalent of a grunge speed date: one, a label steeped in hardcore history; the other, a burgeoning band just down the road in Olympia. Some things are just meant to be. The result is a full-length debut inspired by a proud, tenacious dose of Pacific tradition. Loud, sneering, and heavy-set, ‘Subjective Concepts’ could come wrapped in a rain-soaked plaid shirt.

Opener ‘Pronoia’ is a pugnacious blast of the Northwest doom-and-gloom Nine Black Alps strived for, ‘Lost and Found’ – with its phlegm-laden wail, tom-tom-heavy beat and punchy power chords – rolls and lurches with authority, and ‘Starved For’ is a happy reminder of sluggish, younger days sprawled in front of MTV2. But although there’s a huge sense of deference, this isn’t an album chained to straight revivalism. Sure, the influence of some of Seattle’s heaviest hitters surface on tracks like the crawling ‘Don’t Have To’, but the bratty hardcore blast of ‘Disdain’, and the hefty lurch of closer ‘Outercourse’, makes this more than just another exclamation point on a gritty golden age.


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