The Submarines

The Shoelaces EP

by AJ Ramirez

14 March 2012

 
cover art

The Submarines

The Shoelaces EP

(Nettwerk)
US: 20 Dec 2011
UK: 20 Dec 2011

Under the Submarines name, married couple John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard sprinkle twee-ish melodies all over the sort of neatly-polished indie pop that makes it onto the soundtracks of television dramas like Grey’s Anatomy (which it has). If the thick veneer of gloss could be peeled back a tad, the duo’s songs might be more inviting, instead of feeling like elaborate store displays customers aren’t allowed to touch.

For the Shoelaces EP, the Submarines indeed attempt to strip down some selections from their Love Notes/Letter Bombs album (the EP’s title track—also included in the release—and “Fire”) in informatively-titled “Folked Up 4-Track Versions”. Anyone imagining stark performances bathed in cassette tape hiss should know that the recordings are as slick as ever, except presented with less instrumentation and sans those winsome synth chirps and blurts that glide about in the background of the original renditions. Unfortunate, as it’s arguably those intricate arrangements that are the Submarines’ real strong suit, something which the included New Order and the Jesus and Mary Chain covers bolster the case for. The clear standout from the whole affair, the EP’s take on New Order’s “Your Silent Face” demonstrates how the Submarines’ penchant for fastidiously coating even bitter melancholy in comforting prettiness can augment a tune, instead of overly gussying it up for presentation’s sake.

The Shoelaces EP

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times. Thanks everyone.

//comments
//related
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Violin Virtuoso L. Subramaniam Mesmerizes in Rare New York Performance (Photos)

// Notes from the Road

"Co-presented by the World Music Institute, the 92Y hosted a rare and mesmerizing performance from India's violin virtuoso L. Subramaniam.

READ the article