New Music: Friday Roll Out! With Object As Subject, Claw Marks

We all pretty much equate the end of summer with the beginning of the new school year. One does that when they have children, and others do that even if they don’t. Either you have to begin your day getting kids ready to set them off their way or you find a surge in traffic, whether you’re driving or taking public transportation. You feel it regardless. So with the end of summer comes change in attitude as we ready for fall weather. While everyone in the eastern part of the country still has a couple of weeks left for summer break, the southwest has already begun the funeral procession with crossing guards and the like. It’s also the time when artists are quick to find inspiration in varying ways. I find more and more, people are satisfied with being out of the heat rather than enjoying it. That’s something I’ll never understand.
Object As Subject is something that’s been classified as “art-rock.” That’s just one of the sub-genres it’s listed as but rarely do I pay attention to what anyone suggests a project can or cannot be and in this case the works comprised here on Permission (Lost Future) is the brainchild of classical violinist turned energetic punk singer Paris Hurley. There seems to be so much going on with this album but we’ll get to that in a moment. Hurley had an assortment of musicians assist with the recordings but most notably found here is Patty Schemel (Hole)  as well as Megan Fowler-Hurst (Tales Between Our Legs), Emilia Richeson, and Gina Young (Sorority). Musically it seems Object As Subject pulls no punches, force-feeding everyone with a declarative throbbing monstrosity of songs pieced together here. I’m constantly referring back to “Construction Man,” the opening number filled with tribalistic drum patterns, a rumbling bass, scrathy guitars and Hurley’s stormy vocals. Past the song’s midway point Hurley matches the feedbacked note with her voice tone for tone, which is an amazing feat all its own but the way she incorporates it…stunning. Her single, “Pom Pom Moves” rocks with punk enthusiasm, holding true to Hurley’s roots. There’s also a sense of industrial movements being made here. “Weaponry” moves mechanically yet organically as her voice echoes through valleys and canyons of sound. The slower pace of “Sinner,” this one right here is what anyone and fucking everyone can find a meeting point on. Equal parts unrelenting melody, powerful bass delivery with haunting vocals. Hell yes! The is the track Humphrey Bogart would want to play again and again. There’s no pause for Paris Hurley and her Object As Subject. Sure there are breaks in between tracks but that doesn’t mean she’s taking much of a breather. Permission is a pretty album, and by “pretty’ I mean: dark, heavy, brooding, and simply fantastic!

I’ve been dragging my feet on this one because logistically, it doesn’t make sense. Then I wonder if I should even consider the idea that a group with a sound like Claw Marks hails is based in London. But the group, which began with three members, uprooted from dusty Texan streets and heading overseas before establishing itself as a sextet. I’m sure you’re probably wondering, “What does that have to do with the band or their new album?” and I’m glad you asked that question. Answer: not one motherfucking thing. It was a point I figured I’d make to open this. The band’s new release, He He (PNKSLM Recordings), takes listeners on a journey through time, when men refrained from timidity, dug their heels in the ground, and put in serious work on their instruments. The band doesn’t stray from pointing out direct influences from Nick Cave’s old The Birthday Party to Steven Bernstein but it seems there’s so much more to the band than just that. The band’s noisy dirges, push and pull through dirty tenement streets that are reminiscent of a pre-gentrified N.Y. lower east side than grassy ranch houses on cold and rainy countrysides. The gruff vocals of Jack Lantern probably even surpass his own expectation, expounding poetic, not unlike Tom Waits while the band plays on. The deep bass feel of “The Rain” sucks all the light around it, allowing the darkness to consume everything around it. It’s one of those songs not easily forgotten. The feedback-laden “King Of Love” is quite the conundrum as it oozes with a blackened sense of hate, musically that is, while “Horrible Mess” takes a different approach, almost spaghetti westerning itself out into the sunset. The band closes out the album with “Swallow U,” which harks back to P.W. Long’s early punk Detroit days. Fuck if this isn’t all I wanted from a band. For a debut album that seems to have taken half a decade to drop, I’d say the wait was pretty much well worth it.  I’m drawn into the band and its aesthetic, one can only hope everyone else is too.