Amid the abysmal mire of gloom, doom, and nihilism that marks our current era of crusty hardcore comes a light, once again not from the coming epoch, but from the previous one. Among other things, nineties political bands still had some fight left in them, and no shortage of hope. I love revisiting these bands, not just for nostalgia, but under the pretext that we might come full circle again in the near future, that the collapse we are anticipating will be a transformation, not a terminus. All of this is encompassed beautifully in Subsistencia's only release, the "Nuestra Tierra Anahuac" CD. Much like their Scottish contemporaries, Sedition, Subsistencia draw their vision from an atavistic connection to the land of their/our ancestors, in this case, to Meso-America (Aztecs, mainly). Musically they're not far off from the last comparison, although their aggressive tracks remind me more of Disaffect (along with the spirit and occasional ska/reggae tendency of Sin Dios). In between the pounding and thrashing there are softer passages with undistorted guitars and flute, which add an individual character to the band, and make for an epic listening experience. I also appreciate how the dual vocals are shouted loudly and clearly, making it forgivable that no lyrics are provided in the insert. Grounded in the past as they might seem, the band is very much about their present (mid/late nineties) and our future (present?), showing a strong concern for the place occupied by developing nations in the global era, and their ensuing struggle. Passe as this all may seem to the cynics among us, I anticipate that bands like Subsistencia will one day again be considered visionary, a feeling I'm already inclined toward.
"Dear bicycle, I shall not call you bike, you were green, like so many of your generation, I don't know why. It is a pleasure to meet it again. To describe it at length would be a pleasure. It had a little red horn instead of the bell fashionable in your days. To blow this horn was a real pleasure, almost a vice... What a rest to speak of bicycles and horns."