If you were a pop-punk rock in the mid 90’s and didn’t know who Sicko was you weren’t enough of a punk nerd. Their songs were brilliant in their earnest, hopelessly catchy simplicity, and if you were from the Pacific Northwest they were your endearing hometown heroes regretfully overshadowed by their Californian “Epifat” kin. For those of you paying attention lately, you may be aware that the band has resurfaced for a few shows and even put out a sort of “greatest hits” release through Red Scare Industries. Anybody excited by this news quickly asked the obvious follow-up question: Does this mean a new Sicko album??? Sadly, so far, the answer is “no,” but we’ve got the next best thing – The Subjunctives.
Fronted by former Sicko singer/guitar player Ean Hernandez The Subjunctives pick up where Sicko left off, playing infectious pop-punk anthems that the the pissed off 15 year old punk-wallflower I was, as well as the 40 year old jaded punk fan and father I’ve recently become, can relate to. Perhaps nowhere do both those versions of myself come together better than on the track, “The Fastbacks are the Greatest Band in History, so FUCK YOU!” featured on the band’s upcoming full-length “Sunshine And Rainbows.” Ean elaborates on the track’s inspiration:
“This song is basically a tribute to my favorite band, The Fastbacks. For the uninitiated, The Fastbacks are Seattle’s original pop punk band. Forming in 1979, by 1990 they had become Seattle’s defacto godfathers of the genre. Fast drums, beautiful female vocal harmonies, virtuoso guitar, a healthy appreciation for 70s hardrock/punk/powerpop as well as 80’s hardcore, frenetic live shows, and delivering hooks hooks hooks… The Fastbacks were simply incredible and perfect. Their albums are available mostly through Discogs today, but remain highly recommended listening for anyone seeking a refreshing yet excellent take on our little corner of punk. Ask me about this subject at a bar, and I will go on and on! With regard to the specifics of the song: my roommate Scott really did bring home a copy of The Fastbacks’ 1990 album Very Very Powerful Motor and recommend it to me. This disc promptly blew my mind, altered my notion of what music could be, and gave me permission to play the kind of music that was in my heart, but I had no idea anyone else in the world would ever accept. Nonetheless there it was – reaching out to me, melting the turntable in my 1990 college apartment. This was my Gabba Gabba Hey moment. A few years later, I was fortunate enough to book a show for the Fastbacks and another favorite band, Beat Happening. This show, besides being totally awesome, confirmed my growing suspicion that the Fastbacks were in fact, none other than the greatest band in history. Later still, Kurt Bloch of the Fastbacks became the (nearly) exclusive engineer for Sicko’s recorded output, and even did some work for the Subjunctives. In the song, I list off the members of the band in the chorus, and change the drummer out each time I sing the chorus… since they had something like 19 different drummers (including a young Duff McKagen), but otherwise the same 3 other permanent members on guitars/bass/vox. The expletive nature of the title is a nod to Kurt’s sense of humor, and to some extent the only advice I have for dissenting opinions on this subject. Get with the program!”
Now, before you go track The Fastbacks down on Spotify, Give the new Subjunctives tune a listen below.
“Sunshine And Rainbows” is due out via Top Drawer Records on November 22nd.