Subversive Blues may seem, to some, a return to the musical forms that established Marcus Singletary's career, early on. But those in the know are aware of the irony of such expectations as, here, Singletary - the crime fighting leader of the Starfighter United Front special forces unit - is pitted directly against agents of cultural subversion in an effort to save the universe from destruction. He wards off a large gang of Mexican illegals in 'Stand Your Ground,' sings of freedom in the a cappella 'My Slave Life,' and wages war versus fascists in 'Dead Cops and Starfighters' - a five-part epic inspired by the works of indie film director Will Zens (the album marks the very first instance of a parental advisory warning sticker being affixed to a Singletary recording.)
Musically, Subversive Blues contains tight grooves and many expansions of roots music's usual boundaries. 'Sex Blues' represents unprecedented carnality for the genre, ‘That’s the Way it Is' provides a confident blast off (or kiss off, depending upon your interpretation) and, elsewhere, the blues is utilized as a launching pad for orbital adventures that include the buzzing, electronic drone of 'Astronaut's Daughter' and the majestic, orchestral grace of 'White Rose Morningside.' The bass tenor of 'Blessing of the Guru' questions religion, and 'The Hero Returns Home' concludes the affair with an orgasmic jolt.
Its cover image depicts the Bird of Subversion - a mythical character rumored to have frantically circled the skies of Washington, D.C. just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War as a sign of impending doom. 'It appears during times of great division and strife, as it did in the late Sixties as well,' Singletary recalls. Is there any wonder why the animal has reappeared today?