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Subtle 

Exiting ARM(Lex)

Wednesday, May 7 2008
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Subtle has built a steady reputation for crafting progressive style-melds. Under that moniker, masterminds Adam "Doseone" Drucker and Jeffrey "Jel" Logan aim to satisfy their hip-hop jones throughout Subtle's amalgamation of indie rock, industrial, and electronic sounds. They've miraculously pulled off that sonic combo twice already, artfully avoiding a genre-jammed train wreck.

Although it isn't a bold forward movement, the new Exiting ARM is a logical next step for Subtle. The Oakland six-piece's third offering maintains an even keel with its prior works, A New White and For Hero: For Fool, which makes sense given this is the final installment of a trilogy of sorts. The indie-rock to hip-hop ratio has been slightly tipped toward indie's side here, however. The majority of the disc has TV on the Radio's influence written all over it, with songs like "Day Dangerous" and "The No" exhibiting interesting drum rhythms caked with fat, distorted synths and guitars. Dope rhymes courtesy of Doseone are sparse, but those peppered throughout the album are worth the wait. The rapper busts fun, old-school flows not unlike Whodini or Big Daddy Kane — if they rhymed over some beefed-up Postal Service drum programming. Exiting ARM finds Subtle living up to its name, taking no drastic risks while avoiding a repetitive disappointment.

About The Author

Oscar Pascal

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