Spotlight | Subject - Impressions
Subject's Impressions finds the newly-renamed band wrestling with grief on a set of nine tightly-wound, deceptively bright post-pop songs. Lead track “Industry” lurches with a jittery post-punk energy while singer Bren Davidson lashes out at an unnamed sickness; one the band hones in on as the record progresses. As their anguish gets more specific they stray further from their post-punk roots that characterized their earlier work as Pretty Woman. While Impressions features a handful of songs performed under that moniker, here a better balance is struck between their chiming duo-guitar approach and churning bass, leaving space for new member David Perry's (of Jons) twangedly stretched and blurred arpeggios. This new sense of balance and sonic clarity gives the record a refreshing confidence that spans its duration.
Impressions offers a musical steadfastness and a pervasive sense of fun in the face of loss. Subject's brand of constrictive, Wire-y post-punk occasionally makes way for more breathable pastures, as on the Jons-esque “Betty”; or on the piano-vamp of “Indecision”. The latter features perhaps the most hopeful lyric on the record: “I'm getting used to having you around”, repeated until the point the listener actually believes it. There's genuine hope at work here. "Come In My Kitchen" is a another departure, with its quaintly British musings on Triscuits and tea authentic to a Victoria band. On the rollicking 'Cancer', Davidson laments artistic un-inspiration in the face of the titular illness, before collecting themselves and railing against it anthemically. If grief itself is never poetic, then Impressions is the sound of a band invested in the work of turning that grief into something pure, hopeful, and deeply sympathetic.