Uncompromisingly original and completely accessible at the same time, SUBSET are the role model for 2000's contemporary artists. As the Presidents of The United States of America, they worked the MTV/radio power block brilliantly and sold a shitload of records. Then, they did something completely unique: They quit! Here is a band who decided that it's better not to tour yourself to death, or to make record after record in order to keep highly-paid label executives in new Rolexes and Beemers. Rather, they saved a few bucks and thought better of selling their souls to the Gods of Commerce.
The Presidents of the United States of America are laid to rest in the cemetery of fallen soldiers, but the warrior spirit is alive and well in SUBSET. Reinforced by additional firepower in the form of Sir-Mix-A-Lot, the three original members of the Presidents have re-invented themselves with this new track (which says much more than you think it does on first listen). This is more than just a song -- it's a news report from the front lines of a war on musical artists. The body count is high. It's a lethal conflict. The songwriters are reporting as battle-scarred veterans of the highest levels of music business confrontation and the good news is they have survived intact. More than that, they are still engaging the enemy and kicking its big butt.
Forgoing the later stage career crisis of super model divorce and celebrity rehab, the Presidents said, "no thanks" to ending up on VH-1's "Behind the Music." Instead, the band did what they love doing the most: starting a band, writing songs, and ultimately, creating music they love. The fun part of being a musician. They played the game and won through the massive double-platinum success of their first album on Columbia. Now they’ve snuck back into the game like the SAS on a covert operation. You gotta love these guys.
And, in their usual progressive form, they've chosen to release their new music on www.MusicBlitz.com. SUBSET has deftly sidestepped the complications and delays of the traditional record business and have brought new music directly and immediately to their fans.
"Addicted to the Fame" is a wicked 4:04 indictment of their time served in the pop-star miasma, with Full Metal Jacketed guitar/bass figures wrapped around street beats that hit like an AK on full auto. But we're not talking Thug Life here bro', we're talking brain-power-to-the-max. Sir-Mix-a-Lot runs down a hard-edge lyric that speaks to the trick bag that is fame. Full of dips and doodles, left turns and phat beats, the song reminds me why I liked music in the first place. What's not to like? Hard-funk beats and cool guitars and a message that doesn't talk down to the listener.
As SUBSET say in the song, fame kills -- and you know that it does. This is wellspring music and it's fun too. What's not to like? Hard-funk beats and cool guitars and a message that doesn't talk down to the listener.
These men have been there, done that, and had that done to them, too. Fame kills, sho' 'nuff.
-- Wayne Kramer
Wayne Kramer has been a musician, revolutionary and all around thorn-in-the-side of uptight white America for over 30 years. From his days as a young upstart in the seminal MC5 to his current status as punk rock godfather, Brother Wayne defines "keeping it real."