Joy Subtraction

The Essential Joy Subtraction
LGL Records

It's not often that bass lines stand out as the featured instrumentation on an album, but here you'd swear the bass was recorded during a 9.0 earthquake in a concrete bunker with a shard of glass for a pick. Songs like "Kill the Blue Dogs" and "The Process of Ripping Off" reveal the weight and mastery of an instrument typically buried in the mix. Titles like "Investment Bankers Unite!" and "Welcome to the Upper Lower Class," meanwhile, illustrate the band's thinly veiled stance on our current economic divide, while the upbeat, accessible sounds of "The Victims Family" and "Kiss! Kill!" prove the act isn't wallowing in idealistic angst. Musically, you can hear the eclecticism of each member's sensibilities, from the Led Zeppelin blues rock of "Manic Oppression" to the Gang of Four-style vocals and crunchy guitar in "Dignity Is a Luxury." This album feels like the work of three seasoned musicians who knew exactly what they wanted to do and exactly how to go about doing it.

 
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