The Subjects - The Subjects (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Subjects

The Subjects (2005)


Everyday I am sure a new band forms during the homeroom period at high schools across America and for the majority of them, they are deceased before the bell for the lunch ladies to earn their keep is sounded. The Subjects put a new twist on a band forming between the educated halls. David Sheinkopf and Joseph Smith, teachers at a Manhattan high school, created a musical outlet originally crafting songs about classes they oversaw. While two-man bands are all the rage now, the professors enrolled the aid of two students to help perform at a school carnival. Each department of the band had their own songs that they performed together, shedding light on a common interest. One year hence, finally considering themselves a group played the carnival and later recorded a couple of songs that caught the attention of Spin magazine.

Perhaps instead of paying attention to the ins and outs of American democracy and dishing out detentions, the Subjects were busy with their complete attention in the school of rock. This formal self-titled debut is launched by "Lonely You," a song readied in a format that pays homage to the Velvet Underground, while "Hounds Of War" would flow smoothly leading into contemporaries the Strokes. Based on the initial two tracks, the Subjects easily align themselves to attack the garage rock revival behemoth and with a weapon like "The Best Of Us" at their disposal it would be a valiant effort. As they escape any comparisons to previous work recorded by the Walkmen or the Hives and formulate a sound that is truly unique in their own spirit, relying heavily on the vocal talent as opposed to distorted guitars. Despite times when they do fit the cookie-cutter mold ("Seems To Me"), the band maintains their sincerity by showing that they took notes in the margins but can stand up confidently with their own spine. This EP is a notable effort, but at a petite four songs it is impossible to tell if they truly have the talent to expand in a genre that is rapidly overpopulating itself.