A SUBTLE PLAGUE — 1986 demo tape
A SUBTLE PLAGUE was formed in 1984 in the Hudson Valley area of New York, where four of its five members were attending Bard College. They gigged mainly in the Hudson Valley, opening up often for a Poughkeepsie band called AGITPOP. In 1985, the band took a hiatus while its singer studied in England. They re-formed in January, 1986, recording a tape and opening up for FIREHOSE and SONIC YOUTH at Bard and for THE FEELIES at Vassar College. A.S.P., now situated in Philadelphia, has once again taken a hiatus, as two members deal with immigration and say goodbye to relatives (one is from West Germany, the other from West Africa). They will continue in September, playing as often as possible.
A.S.P. is a band that has a sound all their own, far from punk or hardcore, But in no way, judging by the four songs on this demo, mainstream. It has a definite BUTTHOLE SURFERS/FLIPPER feel, in that A.S.P. is very experimental, with excellent use of a saxophone and various percussion devices. But make no mistake – these five are true musicians, with sounds ranging from funk, to blues, to reggae, to punk. It’s also a sound that MUST be heard. Four totally diverse songs come together to make this tape a must for anyone who enjoys a little adventure in their music. Interesting lyrics, too. Check it out. [MICKEY]
[Originally published: Issue #4, circa 1987]