The Submarine Bells
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The Submarine Bells

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Submarine Bells"

You'd be hard pressed to find some straight up alternative rock, so in that sense, bands like The Submarine Bells are a rare find. Smooth, simple electric guitar. Gentle drumming to steady the beat. Intentionally hollow vocals. It's the closest thing I've heard to early 90's Seattle grunge in 2010 Brooklyn, mixed with a little bit of Coldplay/U2-esque alterna-pop. The combination of the two forces gives the music a psychedelic air - it flows gently with an intentional dissonance. - Knocks from the Underground

"Submarine Bells at Pete’s Candy Store, Brooklyn, NY, 4.19.09"

I was in Siren’s Isles today and I have sunk my boat for the Submarine Bells. Owen McCarthy’s arresting voice descends my mind into the alpha waves, I think it’s a dream where I’m snapped together by the bass, the underlying drums fishing for my heartbeat.

These are songs of love lost, found while in motion, to be Miss Waltz who mistook a dance for feeling, death as a paronym for action, love regained again.

Later on in the set, perhaps there were too many similarities to the Walkmen, partly submerging the full effervescent effect that these guys will have on venues around the world.

Their first album is in recording and I unswervingly hope that the lyrics and photographs are bundled along with it. This trio (Owen McCarthy, Scott Irvine-guitars, John Mellvile-drums) comprise the genius that comes out with work and an editorial razor that does justice to their audience.–Tim Nestor - Sentimentalist Magazine

"Submarine Bells Find Their Element"

Submarine Bells just solved your crime, made you a donut and cleaned out your consciousness: I feel strongly enough about this band that even though we have covered them before, that’s rarely a crime, I want to bring them up to your attention again. I’ve seen about six shows and with each one something important had been been added, cue the numbers. No, actually, play the song first. Just hit play on the button that is next to these words. A little tender play. Not doing any auto-erotic asphixiplaying here. This is really* the first time this track makes it out into the public realm.

1. Voice of one Owen McCarthy quivers up and down lyrically; women tend to throw their bodies at the stage.

2. The second guitar of Scott Irvine** was added and we have the tumbling, dark-tinged melodies to quiver alongside.

3. A drummer, John Melville, is added. Buddah! This is a band.

4. A bassist adds hooks, inflections and personality in the poetry that silences everyone who kept saying “oh they are just like the Walkmen”. This is Eric Odness, who did a few duets with Owen in near perfect harmony expanding on the Siren comparison we’ve already noted earlier. Particularly pertinent since he himself is a crab and seems as much of a front as those women who sung to ensnare any rabid sailor into servitude.

5. They make skinny jeans cool again; and their song is played at a marriage of a couple rubbing their backs against the window panes.

6. Played six songs last Sunday at Mercury Lounge to an uproarious audience.

What is next?

I’m not necessarily saying that there is something inherently new here, this isn’t a performance by Squarepusher in 1991, but there is every bit of unique in them to make me get an ecstatic smile and to want to hear more and more of their songs. Up next for them are just bigger stages, perhaps a couple of dancers who personify the style of music when the musicians feel comfortable enough to share the spotlight and a hell of a lot more fans. Hopefully a couple of real money gigs, TV things, the stuff that people used to, fucking sell outs, rant against but these are the things I’d love to happen. I too sometimes watch the telly and there’s the good and the bad and I’d much prefer to hear top talent get play.

Also, they are going to get a lot of play.

No set calendar for the upcoming dates yet, but I will update and do the same ring, ding thing when some dates are announced.

*The band has a myspace, where this track can also be heard, I think the one we have is better mastered, and also since this is an actual publication I think it’s still the first time that this track is being made public. Whatever. Fall in love.

**Full disclosure: Scott takes great photographs that we often use in this magazine. If his band sucked I would mention that he should stick to photography instead, so I don’t see any conflict.

–Zabatay, - Sentimentalist Magazine


The Submarine Bells (LP - 2010)



The Submarine Bells are a Williamsburg, Brooklyn Band with a meta-Manchester sound (circa-1982; circa-now), a sound that expands and remakes categories of indie rock, a sound that at once travels and is a stay against the prosaic – musical and experiential.

With two guitars, bass, and drums, the encounter is pure and dirty, atmospheric and raw. This is the Submarine Bells.

Front man Owen McCarthy, previously of The Cheese and The Everyothers, is a hypnotist: His vivid lyrics evoke daydreams and nightmares, and his voice is a seduction, creating, as he puts it, “soaking wet melodies stretched over a hangover.” Scott Irvine, lead guitarist who's played with bands as diverse as The X-Possibles and Moto:Rosa, amplifies those melodies, stretches and strains them. Relying on a bold ambient effect, his Telecaster ensures the group’s fine edge and its epic depths. Eric Odness, formerly of Foreign Islands and a founding member of Chariots (voted among the best of the Minneapolis scene), is the Submarine Bells’ polymath on bass and backing vocal. His rich playing style compliments the collaboration with a tone that grounds and colors the sonic landscape while giving it movement that is both stealth and pulsing. Finally, John Melville on drums drives the tracks with expression that is in turns musical and explosive. The percussive backbone of bands including NY Loose, The Childballads, and The Everyothers, he colludes in the submerged alchemy of the performance and improvises unexpectedly, alternating between attack and caress, hard and soft.

Collectively, they make music that courts ecstasy and here and there tempts surreality. They are the Submarine Bells: skilled, defiant, and wildly innovative.