Sub Pop is certainly more eclectic than its formative years with acts like Beach House, Father John Misty and Shabazz Palaces currently on its roster. But one of the first things that pops into your head when you hear the legendary indie label’s name is Nirvana’s seminal, pre-world domination debut, Bleached.
One of Sub Pop’s more recent signees, Olympia’s Strange Wilds, immediately strike as a band that would have thrived in that late 80’s/early 90’s North-West rock boon, but there are elements incorporated into their sound that breed something fresh and relevant.
“We’re very aware of that sound, and when you grow up in the Northwest, the whole Olympia/Seattle/Sub Pop sound is everywhere,” says drummer Allen. “People still love it, it’s in your face all the time; that’s the sound that is very integral to the way people play and what they are a part of. I don’t think we want to carry the torch or emulate that stuff; this is where that music didn’t stop, it’s been going on through all these different punk and hardcore bands and alternative and weird rock bands and this is kind of where it is right now. Northwest hardcore is very different; because it’s so isolated, it’s easy for that petri dish to stay there. You still have that grunge influence in that petri dish, but there’s just a lot more stuff in it now. And I guess we’re in there now, too.”
Strange Wilds’ debut on Sub Pop, Subjective Concepts, is an exciting, complete thought with an emotional arc that just flat out fucking rocks. Lead single “Pronoia” brings a confluence of soft-speak, loud-scream structure that jumps up and grabs you by the throat and disappears into the shadows only to return for more moments later.
Give the video for Strange Wilds’ “Pronoia” a view and catch them, if you happen to live in Washington, at one of their upcoming dates below.
SUN, Aug 9 Old School Pizzeria, Olympia, , WA. (LATE SHOW!!! w/ Vexx, CCTV, Big Zit)
SUN, Aug 9 Chop Suey, Seattle, WA (w/ Screaming Females, Vacation, Big Crux)
MON, Aug 10 New Frontier Lounge, Tacoma, WA (w/ Fell to Low)