Last weekend when we left at 6am on our way to the French border, Filip was in charge of the iPod and decided to provide an appropriately themed playlist. Among many others, records and songs by the following bands were played: Cold Front, Frostbite, The Icemen, SubZero, Trapped Under Ice,… Little did we know how appropriate this theme would later turn out to be. On a sidenote I talked to an outdoors specialist today and he stated that we literally could have died and that we would have needed professional alpinist material to go hiking under these weather conditions. This kind of sweetened the bitter taste of defeat that our premature return had left in my mouth.
Anyway, when Filip played the Ice Age EP in my car I realised that SubZero is a band that I listen to way too little. Whenever I hear SubZero I think they are one of the best bands ever, yet I hardly ever listen to them. Maybe it’s because I only really dig their earliest work: I like several songs on the first full-length Happiness Without Peace, but most of the ones I like are actually re-recorded old songs. I don’t want to sound like all those posers that claim about every band that they liked the demo better, but uhm… I just like the demo and first EP better. I can’t help it: SubZero’ s earliest recordings capture a darkness and negativity that they later on lost to the better recording quality and more melodic and straight up catchy songs.
I do like to think of myself as a positive person nowadays: I gave up on hating a long time ago and I believe in, and try to live by, a Positive Mental Attitude. However there was a time when I let hate, discontent, anger and general negativity get the best of me. I guess these feelings will forever be instilled in me, but I’ve become strong and smart enough not to let them surface as much as I used to. Looking back I’m glad I’ve wised up(*) to a certain extent, but I still can relate to negative lyrics – it’s just that they don’t consume me anymore. So this week’s quote is not something that I live by – and neither should you – but are just words to one of the hardest Harcore songs to ever come out of New York: ‘boxed in’ by SubZero. I have five different versions of this song: a promo recording from 1990; the version that appeared on the Ice Age EP in 1991; a demo recording that dates back to 1993 and features some ill keyboards under the chorus; the most common version that was included on the Happiness Without Peace full-length in 1996; and the reanimated version that they did for 2004's Necropolis: City Of The Damned. I have always preferred the version SubZero recorded for the very first promo tape, I don’t care if it sounds sloppy and is of poor sound quality: to me this is the rawest and ugliest version of ‘boxed in’ and this is definitely a song that needs to sound fucking raw and ugly! Right here and right now I will take an oath and swear to god that if I ever see SubZero play at CBGB’s I will kill a man during 'boxed in'. Or die trying.
(*) accidentally mentioning two Bold song-titles in half a sentence should suffice as proof of my positivity I guess...