Seattle, the city that brought you grunge, and one of the only emo bands that every really mattered (Sunny Day Real Estate), is not the first place you think of for witty, melodic warp speed pop punk. But The Subjunctives just might change that.
On Sunshine And Rainbows, the trio reel through 15 blistering tracks in just over 30 minutes, leaving you both spent and wanting more. The band spans a couple of separate generations including Ean Hernandez on vocals/guitar (Sicko, Date Night With Brian), Jeff Mangalin on vocals/bass (Four Lights) and drummer Matt Coleman. They namecheck bands like Stiff Little Fingers and Husker Du, both which are spot on giving their knack for writing loud, fast leads with whip smart lyrics, but they also bring to mind a number of Lookout bands in the label’s heyday, as well an American version of The Damned and The Buzzcocks.
Even at more than a dozen tracks, you’d be hard pressed to find a single song that could have been sacrificed (even a track like “One More Year,” with a so-so start, pulls it out soon after with a brilliant singalong chorus that stays with you long after the last chord stops ringing). There are a handful of standout tracks including the self-explanatory “The Fastbacks Are The Greatest Band In History, So FUCK YOU.” A mighty bold declaration that’s hard to ignore given this brilliant pop punk rally cry.
Sunshine And Rainbows, the band’s first proper LP, is a pretty bold clarion call for a revival of classic pop punk – an era before Soundcloud musicians and Hot Topic punk rockers – and a hopefully promise of what’s to come.
The Subjunctives – Sunshine And Rainbows/Top Drawer Records/15 tracks/2019