Underground music has the unfortunate displeasure of existing in the post world. We now have post-punk, post-hardcore, we even have post-emo even though that “genre” of music just gained some publicity last year in the big-wig industry rags. What I propose is post-genre. This idiot word play will exist to describe music that is flat out good and transcends the sources of ignorant and lazy lumping of art.
Submission Hold is definitely one band in a long line that would enter this category. The orchestrated and beautifully crafted music that this underground band brings to a post-punk field reaches beyond the footholds of formula that has plagued music both in the underground and throughout the mainstream for years.
Instrumentation is very important to the social attack brought on by this quartet from Canada. The use of violins and pan flutes are just as important as the wandering bass lines. The combination of punk rock power with the subtle sweeping of classical instruments creates a harmonious cacophony perfect for the political message that the band brings forth.
Having learned as much from Fugazi and Sonic Youth, Submission Hold takes the experimental one step further. The addition of voice and poetry play is the final key that escalates this band beyond the post-punk scene they operate in. “Deadpan” is reminiscent of days in the gym singing patriotic songs where one half of the room started first and then the second half started singing. The vocals flow with ease over the soft slapping of the snare and the slow moving and terribly haunting bass line. Sounding off against the dissemination of cultural propaganda, the message is clear and well heard. This is revolutionary in a post-anything world where message and vocals are nothing but filler for the already boring and repetitious song.
It’s unfortunate that bands get pinned with in a certain scene or genre. I mean the name Submission Hold screams bad, formulaic hardcore. But the surprise they bring to the music field is amazing in comparison to what any one in any formulaic based art is doing. Welcome kids to the post-genre age.