Submarine Races

Submarine Races at the Empty Bottle, Chicago 2006   photo by Canderson
Submarine Races at the Empty Bottle, Chicago 2006 photo by Canderson
posted Wednesday May 17th, 2006

A man spends his lifetime anchored to the Earth, it is only in the sea where he can be free, buoyant and able to move in any direction he chooses. Our oceans are the life source for virtually every living thing. They occupy nearly half the planet and yet much of the sub aquatic world is as mysterious to us as the outer reaches of our universe. Exploring our planet's oceans is an important way to developing an understanding not only for the aquatic world, but an understanding of ourselves. Whenever I come across something dealing with the aquatic world my interest is peaked. When I first became aware that I’d be writing about Submarine Races for VoT, I became very excited. As I said, the aquatic world is one in which I've spent most of my life studying. But when it was brought to my attention that Submarine Races had nothing to do with the oceanic world, and further was not even a race—People don’t actually race submarines—I have to say I was a bit thrown off.

The Submarine Races are a new musical act from Chicago. Ian Adams formerly of the PONYS, and HAPPY SUPPLY, takes another dive into the deep blue this time with Brit-pop inspired nautical rock music. Together with first mate Steve Denekas, who is also in THE COUNTDOWNS , they send us into a pop anoxia. Ian’s wispy and aloof vocal style and stringy guitar submerge into a resilient journey of introspection. In the open track of their recently released LP on IN THE RED, ambitiously an instrumental, we hear the echo of the unremitting eerie sound of sonar. A sound I have come to know very well throughout my career and one I’ve always equated with the overwhelming sense of loneliness one feels in the quiet depths of the sea. And from song to song they pull us to the depth of clean sentimental song writing that’s freshly indifferent. They take from the likes of ENGLAND’S GLORY and MODERN LOVERS then twist it into an updated swagger with a wink. At their show this past March at the Empty Bottle they covered THE SWELL MAPS’ "Vertical Slum" as a tribute to Nikki Sudden who has just recently passed away.
They have an LP/ CD on IN THE RED out now and a single due out on Shit Sandwich Records in the near future.
And check out Submarine RacesHERE