Monday 13 March 2017


GenresPunk / Post-Hardcore / Emo / Emotive Hardcore / Screamo / Skramz / Post-Metal / Ambient / Experimental
Related artistsCease Upon The Capitol, Dolcim and Altar Of Complaints.
CountryNashville, Tennessee USA
Years Active2014-2015
Song: "Don't Let the Cat Out of the Box"
Album: "Subjects//Rulers"
Year: 2016
For fans ofCease Upon The Capitol, Altar Of Complaints, Gillian Carter, Monte Ida, Portraits Of Past and Dolcim aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Zegema Beach Records / IFB Records
This post's artist is from the March 2017 Mix. This is track #8.
You can download: the March 2017 Mix#3 right here or get the new April 2017 Mix#4 here.

SUBJECTS/RULERS fulfilled something I never thought I'd be able to do, and that's be involved in something related in some way to Cease Upon The Capitol, a band I've been in love with ever since hearing their song from the almighty 'Emo Apocalypse' 12" compilation. Cease Upon The Capitol was screamo. Dolcim was dark post-screamo and SUBJECTS/RULERS is an extension of the two with the incorporation of longer, dreamy ambient bits and dreamy post-rock, which could probably be assumed come thanks to their Altar Of Complaints bloodline. In the Best Of 2015 Year End List I slammed this down as #15 and stated that the band's "scathing US screamo intertwines with spacey/shoegaze riffs but always stays rooted in hardcore." I've personally found the band enigmatic in their sound, as one listen doesn't allow the listener to uncover all of the layers that are happening. Even the second and third time I hadn't grasped the wonderfully constructed beast that is 'Subjects//Rulers', but goddammit I got there, and it was more than rewarding. Unfortunately at around that same time SUBJECTS/RULERS were forced to call it a day as guitarist/vocalist Matt needed to move away for life sustaining reasons (aka job). Thank the almighty, gender neutral god of science that they managed to collect 8 beautiful and brutal songs that made up the self titled cassette, which may or may not be titled 'Subjects//Rulers' as that's what is on the tape. Regardless, every song is a banger so I'll quickly do a song-by-song overview.

Opener "Of Milk and Wine" boasts the obvious and unique guitars of Matt Strickland, who also tackled those shredding screams and played in both Cease Upon The Capitol and Dolcim. The song chills out a bit at 1:20 but returns to screamy/dreamy form just after the two-minute mark. "Surely You Must Be Joking" sounds much different than its predecessor but does follow a similar route of aggressive, serene and then aggressive again but the juxtaposition of beauty and destruction is even more prevalent, with the final 30 seconds sounding like the tearing of the space-time continuum. "Godel, Escher, Bach" begins with some light and jammy instrumentals that bounce around in some dim light before someone throws the switch at 57 seconds and shit gets raw and fuckin' noisy, and also includes some of the best drums on the record. My personal favourite and the most sonically direct (despite its five minute length) is "Nice Death Ray, Buddy" so I put this epic track on the Zampler #8 'I'm Doing My Part' compilation cd. Probably the most Dolcim of any of the songs, it's very heavy but seamlessly blends the spacey and experimental drive from Cease Upon The Capitol that hits perfection at 1:11 with monstrous and otherworldly post-hardcore riffs that collide with Matt's wrenching screams at two minutes, only to explode and completely deconstruct itself. The second build begins around three minutes and gets all supernova again around 4:30. Holy moly, I love that song. The B-side is corked with "Don't Let the Cat Out of the Box", a cool song with both Matt and Roy tackling vocal sections, with Matt laying down the heavy shit first and Roy yellin' to close it out. I find the opening to be extremely engaging and probably my favourite instrumental section on the record, which shifts to the lighter and looser half at about 1:20. The guitar tone, yet again, speaks to me and reminds me of the amazingness that was Cease Upon The Capitol, but just like the entirety of the 'Subjects//Rulers' album, their sound is one of maturity, growth and introspection barely touched upon with those 2000s Cease Upon The Capitol releases. "The Uncertainty Principle (on the nose)" is probably the most positive and uplifting sounding tracks, but that's not to say it's not a screamo song...wait, that's a double, there, that's better. The track has a very powerful and deliberate last half that is easily one of the highlights of the record. "Your Number is Up" echoes and reverberates in a slow spin that continually picks up speed until 1:05 and then detaches from gravity at 1:40 with some space-nightmare screamo. Wowza, let's call this "space-nightmare screamo", what a genre! Hmmm, maybe not. Closer "Famous Last Words" begins pretty proggy, with isolated bass upon which twinkly notes and subdued drumming are slowly layered. By 1:26 everything is jolted to life and the jam continues albeit much heavier, only to change course again and again throughout the remaining three minutes.

After disbanding the members were still active in talking about the band, so they did a big interview over at IDIOTEQ (linked here) and also answered seven questions in the mega 24-band Zampler #8 interview, also conducted by IDIOTEQ (linked here). As one of the two people who loved this enough to put it out, I feel like it's in my best interest to now post a link to purchase the tape via Zegema Beach Records here and IFB Records here. <3



2015/2016 - Subjects//Rulers cassetteLP (stream/buy here) [buy cassette here]


(2016) SUBJECTS/RULERS - "Nice Death Ray, Buddy" (from 'Subjects//Rulers')

(2016) SUBJECTS/RULERS - "You Surely Must Be Joking" (from 'Subjects//Rulers')

(2016) SUBJECTS/RULERS - "Don't Let the Cat Out of the Box" (from 'Subjects//Rulers')

(2016) SUBJECTS/RULERS - "Your Number is Up" (from 'Subjects//Rulers')


SUBJECTS/RULERS additional links


Buy cassette from ZBR / IFB

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