SubCity Dwellers
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SubCity Dwellers

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | INDIE

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | INDIE
Band Rock Reggae


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"REVIEW - Where's the Noise"

Album Review: SubCity

This eight-piece reggae-rock band has found the noise, bringing it to listeners

Where’s all the reggae at? Regardless of the genre’s long-standing success, it has never enjoyed a lengthy stay in the mainstream music scene. Perhaps it’s due to its laid-back attitude. Bucking that stereotype, allow me to introduce the College News visitors to SubCity, a reggae group with a rock edge.

Formerly know as SubCity Dwellers, this Winnipeg-based group combines elements of the ska, reggae, punk rock and blues genres into a lively musical medley. Where’s the Noise?, their second release, hit shelves on September fifteenth, trailing 2004’s When the Beat Starts to Pound.

This eight member band has the typical front of a rhythm guitar, lead guitar, bass, and percussion provided by Ian, Matty, Darwin and Alain. Add in Kmac’s keyboards (or organ) and a three piece horn section comprised of Darryl on saxophone, Allison on trumpet and Rob on trombone and you’ve got yourself a raucous reggae assembly.

Lead singer Ian takes his gritty voice and sets it against the band’s smooth fusion background. Imagine a reggae act fronted by a metal singer. Their dichotomy is sometimes detrimental, but it should work enough for fans of the ska or punk rock genres.

“Too Loud For This City,” the album’s first entry, will bring back Sublime memories with its distinctive electric reggae-rock riffs, fast-moving bass line and rebellious lyrics.

“Silence” is worth a listen for its scattered horn segments, which are anything but quiet. Still, they don’t appear enough on the album for my taste. The track eventually is overwhelmed by Ian’s screaming, keeping it more on the rockier side of the tracks.

“Sweet Misery” is reggae gold, with SubCity’s horns on full display. Reminiscent of the hits of Bob Marley, the track mixes the group’s strengths together for a light, enjoyable but still edgy melody.

“The End Of The Bottle” closes out the disc with six minutes of Mexican trumpeted drunken advice. It’s a fitting end to an hour-long journey. It doesn’t differentiate itself from prior tunes on Where’s The Noise?, but that doesn’t make it bad either.

While not particularly ground-breaking, SubCity has found a successful formula that pleases fans of multiple music genres. If you’re looking for a different addition to your playlist, check them out.

Subcity is currently on tour in western Canada, with performances in Edmonton, Lethbridge and Winnipeg occurring throughout the month of October. They’ll hit Canada’s eastern territories in early 2010.

Follow them on Twitter @subcitydwellers or on their MySpace page. Their albums are available on iTunes for your downloading pleasure. - Joe Anello - College News Magazine

"REVIEW - Where's the Noise"

Where’s the Noise?
By Sheena Lyonnais

SubCity are back with another instalment of their sexy reggae/punk/ska fusion. If the Winnipeg, MB eight-piece know one thing it's how to make fun, original music. Similar to 2007's When The Beat Starts To Pound, SubCity cast a shadow over their music that's best exemplified by tracks like the Tim Armstrong-influenced "Silence" and the smoother "Soft Hands." In regards to everything, it's better: the songs, the construction, the attention to detail. "Drag Me Down" is Where's the Noise?'s answer to previous album's standout "After My Heart." Despite sounding a little bit like that creepy Hexxus dude from Ferngully, the rough, raspy vocals are the most vital part of this record, sounding welcomingly different. With every record SubCity sound more polished. Add roaring saxophone solos from "The Hounds" and lyrics like "I know you're trouble but hey, who's not? If you ain't got trouble then what do you got?" and you know you're in for another good time. (Transistor 66) - Exclaim!

"REVIEW - Where's the Noise"

The CD Pile: Paps, SubCity & more

No, we didn't forget half the band's name; the erstwhile SubCity Dwellers' knockout of a fourth CD refers to them only as SubCity. Not sure why -- though it does reflect their refusal to sit still. Like their last outing, this 11-tracker finds the horn-fuelled octet pushing their boundaries beyond the comfort zone of ska and reggae, venturing boldly into everything from Rancid-style post-punk to Tom Waits boho-blues. Frontman Ian Lodewyks, for his part, continues to sound like he exists on a steady diet of Gitanes, kerosene, razors and red-hot gravel. All in all, a most glorious noise. - Winnipeg Sun - 13th August 2009

"REVIEW - Where's the Noise"


Where’s the Noise?

SubCity has changed a lot since the days of Let’s Get This Shit Started! and it’s not just the dropping of the word Dwellers from their name. Although they’ve often been mislabeled as simply a ska band, this genre-bending album almost completely sheds that notion, combining elements of rock, reggae, punk, grunge, jazz, soul, psych and more to come up with a sound entirely the band’s own. As the newest member of the Transistor 66 family, the multi-talented cast of eight eclipse their previous efforts with a series of unique tracks. From the immensely chaotic rock number “Gasoline” to the trippy tones of “Soft Hands” to the triumphant finishing cut “The End of a Bottle,” it’s hard not to love the new Subcity sound. (Transistor 66,
Kent Davies - Stylus Magazine

"REVIEW - Where's the Noise"


Where's the Noise? (Transistor 66)

No more playing in sewers for SubCity. The local octet has dropped the Dwellers from their name, along with the ska that characterized them early on in their seven-year career. Where's the Noise? is an expertly crafted album of horn-fuelled rock 'n' roll with nods to reggae, punk, soul and garage rock.

Gravelly-voiced vocalist Ian Lodewyks sounds terrifyingly sinister, especially on Drag Me Down, which brings to mind the Cramps, and The Hounds, with the frontman channeling his inner Tom Waits. Too Loud for This City is a balls-out rocker with horns; Silence is anything but, with a raging, fist-pumping chorus; and Gasoline is a gritty spoken-word street anthem. The band is at its best when it keeps things under six minutes -- the two lengthy songs in the middle help slow down the album's momentum.

With a calling card like Where's the Noise? and a killer live show, SubCity shouldn't have any trouble making new fans as they work their way across the country. ***1/2

- Winnipeg Free Press

"REVIEW - Where's the Noise"

Canada is known for a few things like maple syrup, hockey, and friendly people. The one thing most people don’t associate our neighbor to the north is reggae music. However Canada has a rich history of Jamaican music dating back to Jackie Mittoo. So, it should come as no surprise that the SubCity Dwellers have released a solid album entitled Where’s The Noise?
“Too Loud For This City” opens with the hi hats of the drummer, the bass kicks in after four measures and I think alright this is going to either be real cheesy or real good. Then Pow! the organ kicks in and hell yes it’s good. It has a gritty dirty feel that combines elements of punk, soul, and ska to create a truly original sound. The second track “Drag Me Down” continues with a dirty sound with vocals similar to psychobilly with a feel of old garage rock with the horns. The vocals though are what stand out on this track as they scream with soul that can’t be denied.

“Silence” opens with a soulul horn intro, then kicks into a punky tune, that combines off beat guitar work, and heavy tom work on the drums. Honestly it kinds of let me down as the horns are solid throughout the track but the track itself doesn’t really stand out to me. “Sweet Misery” slows it down a bit, the organ sticks out with a guitar solo that just relaxes the listener. The vocal harmonies are something to listen for as they really help bring the track together.

“Temper” reminds me of a 2 tone song, that’s a cover of a Prince Buster song, you should figure it out. ” Gasoline” is a fast paced song led by the guitar that is one of the heavier songs on the album. A heavy punk influence can be heard throughout.

The two part track “the Hounds” are probably the best songs on the album. It opens with a horn lick similar to “Summertime” by George Gershwin, and go into the the gravely lyrics that are accented by the guitar. Then pick up into a soulful sound that stretch out for more than five minutes.

“Soft Hands” is a roots reggae type of tune that is too laid back for the sound that has been established for the album. While the organ stands out, the song is too laid back for what’s presented already. If it was placed earlier it might work, but the album is too high energy to have six minute dub influenced song near the end. “St. David” picks it up with a skinhead reggae track that gets the sound back into high gear, led by some sick organ work that is influenced by the Aggrolites cover of “Don’t Let Me Down.”

The album closes out with “The End Of The Bottle” and is a soulful 2 tone track complete with punchy horns and gritty lyrics. This albums is definitely a step in the right direction for the Canadian eight piece band. The album includes a plethora of sounds ranging from Punk, Reggae, R&B, and rockabilly influences. It is something that alot of Canadian bands have done, which is to mash up sounds and SubCity has found a way to make it sound authentic.
- Andrew Barker

"REVIEW - When the Beat Starts to Pound"

4 and 1/2 stars out 5.

Sub City Dwellers

When the Beat Starts To Pound (Longshot)

Just when you thought the ska-punk genre had heaved its final breath, along comes a 'Peg City band to set the rickety train back on track. The seven-headed monster that is Sub City Dwellers approaches this music with a vigour that is refreshing, righteous and rocking -- sometimes all at once.

Of course, they mostly style themselves after the reliable U.K., two-tone ska-revival sound, but leap off into a blistering sonic stew of their own design that truly kicks butt. Kudos must be given to the dazzling brass section as they find a way to sneak in a trombone or trumpet solo when you least expect it, shooting their credibility as a tasteful band through the roof.

There's definitely a beat for everyone in these 15 superb tracks. HHHH1/2

-- Jeff Monk - Winnipeg Free Press, Oct 13 2007

"REVIEW - Where's the Noise"

Where's the Noise?
James Stewart /

Thankfully more akin to the around-the-world stylings of Joe Strummer's Mescaleros than the ear-raping third-wave ska acts we've come to know and loathe, SubCity also tackles some heavily Waits-influenced Orleans howl, though the group's occasionally guilty of leaning a little too heavily on its influences. Known for a well-honed live attack, the band notes with some pride that Where's the Noise? was recorded (mostly) live-off-the-floor. It's a smart choice, as the songs sound alive—crucial with most musical styles, but especially essential with the ramshackle barroom stomp of SubCity.

Where's the Noise?
(Transistor 66)
4 stars out of 5 - Vue Weekly

"REVIEW - Where's the Noise"

Where's the Noise?
(Transistor 66/ Outside Music)


SubCity has dropped the 'Dwellers' from its name, tightened up its sound and made its defining album. Blaring horns, throbbing bass, slashing guitars, swirling keys and throaty vocals (mostly courtesy of Ian Lodewyks) create a joyful, reggae-rooted, ska-inflected, soul-polished and punk-infused brew that moves the band firmly into the world of fully realized, Clash-inspired rock 'n' roll. Producer Jon Paul Peters takes the-less-is-more approach and lets this outfit do its job more-or-less live off the floor. The answer to the titular question is thus quite simple - the noise is here, and it's a joyful sound.
— John Kendle - Uptown Magazine


Where's the Noise - Fall 2009
Gastown 7" - May 2009
When the Beat Starts to Pound - 2007
Out On the Streets EP - 2005
Let's Get This Started EP - 2003 (Out of print).



Thrown together in the summer of 2002, Winnipeg’s SubCity have kicked through the lines of genres, fusing a brazen alchemy of ska, reggae, punk rock and blues. Citing influences from Ray Charles and the Clash to Studio One reggae and rocksteady, the band’s panoramic musicianship and peerless sound are accompanied with vigourous, passionate performance. The SubCity stage transforms into a rock n’ roll circus floor, pulling patrons with a range of palates into the music’s inescapable lure.

The octet’s 2004 outing, “When the Beat Starts to Pound,” won encouraging reviews both locally and internationally, with Adrian Mack of NERVE magazine noting the band’s ability to “reveal uncommon depth and skill, not to mention a clear sense of history.” After selling out the biggest rooms at home, SubCity took their show on the proverbial road, earning throngs of fans from Victoria to Montreal.

SubCity’s latest volume, “Where’s the Noise?,” breaks, blows and burns atop the shoulders of their previous release, signaling a leap-and-bound progression in confidence and inspiration. “We’ve really pushed back what we’re comfortable with in this record,” says Darryl, saxophonist/vocalist. “We’re getting more experimental, and have merged the bulk of our influences into one cohesive sound.”

Featuring a blasting horn section; a brazen rhythm section that seamlessly rolls from calypso to four-on-floor; cascades of guitar and gutsy vocals, “Where’s the Noise?” packs the crunch of a tank and force of a riptide. This is not a record to listen to in reverential silence, but a party-in-your-back-pocket, sweaty deluge of sound best set to the stripe of night on the town that doesn’t end until the streetlights burn out.