After 25+ years on the Memphis music landscape, The Subteens (Mark Akin, John Bonds, and Jay Hines) are regarded by many as underground local legends. Forming in the fall of 1995, the group quickly evolved into a unit who could consistently write irresistible “trash-pop” nuggets, performing them at raucous, frenzied live shows. During a time when many bands took themselves way too seriously, The Subteens arrived on the scene to have fun.
Word spread fast in local reviews, and the accolades quickly followed from the likes of Billboard magazine and CMJ New Music Monthly. For three years running, Da Teens were selected to perform at Crossroads (a three-day event featuring unsigned bands from across the US), chosen as one of five groups to perform at the prestigious Producers’ Showcase their final year. A little later, they were picked to play the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City. And for several years, they were voted by fans and critics alike among the best groups in The Memphis Flyer’s annual Music issue, one year tying with the Oscar-winning Three 6 Mafia!
But after extensive touring and the release of two rock-solid albums (Burn Your Cardigan, So That’s What the Kids Are Calling It …), the band imploded for various reasons in 2004. Only a handful of reunion shows have followed, including a 20-year anniversary performance at The Levitt (Overton Park) Shell in 2015.
Now The Subteens are back with their long anticipated follow-up. Produced by J.D. Reager for Back to the Light Records, Vol. 4: Dashed Hopes and Good Intentions is the band’s first new collection of songs in 18 years. It’s 11 more two-and-a-half-minute blasts of sonic candy, just the way you like it: loud, fast and catchy as hell.