SubstandardFormed as an instrumental guitar and drums duo for a one-off performance to help out some friends who needed a support band Substandard's chemistry was ripe for more musical adventures and gained momentum with the addition of a bassist.

The usual collection of support slots ensued leading up to headline performances and swelling audiences as word spread.

Substandard play open graceful soundscapes punctuated with focused bursts of density, hook-laden and often beautifully.

The band enjoyed the freedom of working without a frontman or singer, leaving more opportunity to get lost in the music without those distracting vocals. Style wise the band mines similar musical territory to bands like Mogwai, Bailterspace, HDU, the Subliminals and Sonic Youth, with just a whiff of darker Cure and Joy Division in the rhythm section. Space-rock, postrock, sonic-rock whatever...!!! Combining the basic elements of drums, bass and guitar, and weaving them into a blend of melodic, chaotic music. Dark at times but never nasty.

The Band consist of Danny Bare - Guitar and FX, Andrew Robins - Drums, and Gareth Heta - Bass Guitar.

Substandard subscribe to an independent ethos, having self-released and hand made their first self tilted EP, and their second "Low Electric City Pulse" release.

For their debut full-length album the band have worked with Failsafe Records to push their sound in new directions, focusing and widening it. The album reveals a side of the band that is more orchestral in scope, almost hypnotic in effect.

Since their formation they have made numerous appearances around the Christchurch alternative music scene, playing at the Dux, Wunderbar, U.C.S.A., Teacher's College, Provincial Hotel, Jetset Lounge, Media Club, Creation and even a slot at The Gathering, playing alongside many well-known and not-so-well-known bands such as: Trans Am, David Kilgour, Degrees K, Clowndog, Hooster, Slipstream,and Stereogram. The two EP's have also graced the airwaves with RDU playlisting the song The Reactionary off the 2nd EP.

Press Reviews
From the school of HDU and the Subliminals Substandard have now graduated with full honours. This Christchurch band's debut album, "Global Research Systems", is another 2003 release from Failsafe and their 'big country' sonic instrumentals are as stunning and compulsive as the finest single malt. This trio take the guitar and drum ethic to un-naturally impressive heights, and after two self-released EPs this album is their masterwork to date. The music of Substandard summons up swirling tones and tunes, wrapped around space(d)-rock rhythms and the sound of guitars well past 11. At once complex accessible and inspiring, "Global Research Systems" is a collection of powerful compositions. Substandard are anything but that.
Brent Cardy - June 2003. Real Groove magazine

SUBSTANDARD "Global Research Systems" (Failsafe) * * * *
This album is a cracker if you like guitars, drums, and tonal soundscapes. The band mine similar territory to the likes of Bailter Space, HDU, Subliminals etc - it's all about textures. But the young Christchurch three-piece have their own take on the sonic soundscape, and, strangely, while they don't have any lyrics, their songs seem more emotional than the likes of HDU. Well recorded and stylishly packaged this is a great disc, and captures a band that knows exactly what it's doing.
Nick Gormack - Christchurch Press

"Global Research Systems" album  


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