Subtle, the new recording project from Drew Sweet, is forcing Saint John to relive the parts of it’s youth that were maybe a little too real with their debut EP Procrastinator. Many of the bands in the city have their own unique ways of pulling at your heart strings but few get slapped with the oft misunderstood and sometimes unwanted label of being emo. While bands like My Chemical Romance that make middle schoolers dye their hair blue and rock an “emover” belong in the past, the genre itself is much more than that. For those who want to discover what emo really has to offer, Procrastinator could serve as a perfect introduction to the genre.
At only three tracks, Procrastinator is short and sweet. While definitely an EP, it feels a lot more like an entire emo album was boiled down to its essentials. It kicks off with ‘Boy Wonder’, which has a lone droning guitar for its first two minutes. With a cymbal roll, the riff starts to build and goes from cold and empty, to rich and full. The title track digs in deeper with introspective lyrics about, well, being a procrastinator, coupled with throttling guitars. Then there’s the closer, ‘Lateral Movements,’ which is my personal favourite on the album. The guitars here sound more ethereal than any other song on the album and the refrains at the end are chilling—they midwemay even leave a tear in your eye.
Procrastinator has become one of my favourite local releases of the year so far. It combines the sparkly guitars of midwest emo with a certain kind of grittiness only found in Saint John. At around fourteen minutes, it isn’t exactly an epic, but it is significant; each track is not only personal, but vulnerable. In a time where it is easy to believe that nothing makes sense, Subtle is sure to pull you in and make you feel something real.