Subtle, 'ExitingARM' (Lex)

7
ExitingARM
Critical Mass
Label: Lex

by Mosi Reeves

What in the hell does ExitingARM mean? According to eccentric crooner/speed rapper Dose One, it's "the pit and alabaster ascension," a cryptic image of an immortal appendage attached to a dying body. It also could work as a metaphor for Subtle's densely colorful wall of sound. The six-member band reaches for melodic bliss with a dazzling, at times exhausting display -- synth rhythms, chiming guitar, rushing percussion crescendos -- that's like a crash course in indie-rock calculus. However, a few moments of uncomplicated clarity (a stirringly memorable hook or clarion-call chorus) would elevate ExitingARM from brilliant mess to true pop genius.

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