steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Submarines

"Honeysuckle Weeks" CD

Nettwerk Records

Genres: pop, indie pop

June 23 2008

Married duo John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard comprise The Submarines, a cheery Nettwerk act that specializes in crisp, picture perfect pop music. On their sophomore album, Honeysuckle Weeks, they've assembled a sunny if inconsistent medley of melodic music with a few real standouts. What is interesting about this record is that on it, The Submarines pick at several disparate sounds and influences and assimilate them to their own style. This comes out on the trip-hop sound of "1940," the country blues guitar and dub bassline on "Fern Beard," and even the numbers station sample on opener "Submarine Symphonika." This adds some nice variety to this record, but as an album, this still turns out surprisingly singular.

While the rest of the album is not without its moments, the majority of the enjoyment to be derived from Honeysuckle Weeks seems to have been horded by only four of its ten songs. Delectable pop nugget "The Wake Up Song" is the first of the four; its tight instrumentation and instantly memorable melody gives it the same sort of oomph as recent efforts by labelmates Ivy and The Perishers. The other three highlights happen to be the last three tracks on this record (talk about starting off strong...), kicking off with Pixies-influenced "Xavia," then unconventionally pretty "Fern Beard," and finally wistful closer "Brightest Hour," which recalls slower Feist and Caroline material. Some of the other tracks have plenty going for them - "1940" and "You Me and the Bourgeoisie" particularly - but it is the aforementioned four that you will keep coming back to. Still, with melodies like these, Honeysuckle Weeks makes for a very satisfying sophomore release, and ranks among the best of Nettwerk's recent crop.

the submarines' myspace


youuuuuuuutube!: submarines tour movie (set to "xavia"), "the wake up song" live

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the label, released May 13, 2008]