Subliminal Criminal plays originals and covers popular alternative, rock, and punk tunes from the early 90s to now. While the band plays many of their songs identically to the original recordings, they specialize in original arrangements, like their rocked-out version of Mariah Carey's “We Belong Together,” and creative mash-ups like their combination of Depeche Mode's “Enjoy the Silence” and U2's “Ultraviolet.” This allows the band to showcase not only their impeccable musicianship, but also their fiery creativity—all while providing a vibrant, interactive stage-show.
Subliminal Criminal is the product of a collaboration between two cousins, Jamie Bondar and Tim Abbott. Before moving to Boston, Bondar was an artist in development with Columbia Records, along with his Philadelphia-based band Ruby Zoo. Ruby Zoo released one full-length album, Disenchanted Monk, and a four song EP, Soma Holiday, and played a huge number of shows all over the east coast between 1999 and 2002, including many appearances at legendary clubs like the 8x10 Club in Baltimore, Grape Street Pub in Philadelphia, and even a televised label showcase at CBGB's in Manhattan. When the band broke up in 2002, Bondar moved to the Boston area to pursue his Ph.D. in English at Tufts University, and after a couple of years he met his cousin Tim Abbott for the first time as an adult. Abbott had studied guitar and music production and engineering at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and after the two discovered their common musical interests, they started jamming together. After a month or two, they added Abbott's long time friend Jonathan Ruppert on Bass and started Subliminal Criminal. Ruppert brought even more gig experience to the band, since he had anchored the rhythm section in several bands, including the cover band Hit Squad, progressive rock band Kraven, and hip hop group Best When Chilled. After playing with two drummers who didn't quite work out, the band added another Berklee educated musician, J.D. Murphy, on Drums. Murphy formerly played drums in Boston-based Second Audio Program, Life:In:Seconds, and The Glamorous Stuntcocks, appearing at venues such as Bill's Bar on Lansdowne St., Pufferbellies on Cape Cod, and the Hard Rock Café in Boston.