Reviews

Review: The Nerve

Posted on Monday, October 16th, 2006 by The Subhumans | Comments Off on Review: The Nerve

I am no longer surprised to see punk bands that I listened to in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s reunite and release new albums. I am surprised when the band in question has almost all the original members and makes a record that sounds just years, not decades, apart from the last album. Indeed, this record sounds so much like their earlier work that it is hard to believe that 26 years have passed since the Subhumans released Incorrect Thoughts. Jon Card kicks off New Dark Age Parade with a percussive blast and the pace never lets up once. Jon is the only non-original member here, but as the powerhouse behind the legendary Personality Crisis, he is uniquely qualified for the job.

One of the advantages of having so many original members is that the new songs sound very much like the old ones and are every bit as angry. All three principals pen songs here and, unsurprisingly, the subject matter is largely political. I’ve always liked how the Subhumans can make political statements without preaching, and the fact that the lyrics are easy to hear. Brian (Wimpy Roy) Gobles has many dark observations of the world we live in, and it’s easy to see how working as an outreach worker on the Downtown Eastside has affected his song writing. Let’s just say that it’s extremely unlikely that he voted for Gordon Campbell in the last BC election. But enough talk of politics lest we scare the kids away. If you choose not to listen to the message, there is enough adrenaline and supercharged guitar to keep even the most brain-dead punk happy.

Welcome back, boys. Please don’t make us wait another 26 years for the next album.
– Chris Walter

Review: Monday Magazine

Posted on Thursday, October 12th, 2006 by The Subhumans | Comments Off on Review: Monday Magazine

Leave it to Winnipeg’s political punk miscreants over at G7 Welcoming Committee Records to fund the comeback album from Vancouver’s Subhumans. Best known for their early ‘80s touching anthems “Slave to My Dick” and “Fuck You,” as well as the direct action misadventures of band leader Gerry “Useless” Hannah (Hannah spent 10 years behind bars for his part in bombing a cruise missile factory outside Toronto), Subhumans cranked out some of the best anti-government anthems alongside DOA during the glory years of Vancouver punk. So now they’re back with New Dark Age Parade and sounding as raw and angry as ever. Hannah’s vocals are right in your face (and still very similar to Joey Shithead, sorry) and the band is rounded out by Vancouver punk pedigree Brian Goble, Mike Graham, and drummer Jon Card (SNFU, DOA). Not ones to slack on the genius song titles, this one features perhaps their best, “Life Sure Can Suck.” This is punk rock at its best, none of that newfangled pop/fashion shit. Thanks to G7, we’ve now got a retro revival that won’t have us running to the nearest toilet bowl.

Jason Schruers
Monday Magazine
September

Interview: The Nerve

Posted on Thursday, October 12th, 2006 by The Subhumans | 1 comment

When I saw a handbill announcing a Subhumans show at the Marion Hotel in Winnipeg, 1981, I could scarcely believe it. After all, Vancouver was the Mecca of Punk Rock, and along with DOA, the Subhumans were at the very top of the garbage heap. We didn’t get many touring punk bands, and it seemed unthinkable that a group as great as the Subhumans would deign to visit. Because star worship is decidedly un-punk, we were careful not to act too excited, but none of us spiky tops would have missed this show for the world. As the date approached, it became increasingly difficult to remain calm. This was an occasion on par with the resurrection of Sid Vicious, who had died of rock related foolishness just two years earlier.

Read the interview by Chris Walter here …

Interview: Culture Bully

Posted on Thursday, October 12th, 2006 by The Subhumans | Comments Off on Interview: Culture Bully

Punk. It has changed from a term labeling a condensed segment of society’s outcasts to that which labels pop culture accessories and commercial music. Heralded Vancouver first wave punk icons, The Subhumans, reignite its reputation with the recent release on Alternative Tentacles New Dark Age Parade. The album serves as the reuniting element to a band that has been at the forefront of history, a band that had lost a member to imprisonment, and a band that eventually collapsed due to internal pressures and disbanded. New Dark Age Parade sees original members Brian Goble, Mike Graham and Gerry Hannah with drummer Jon Card (ex-Personality Crisis/SNFU/DOA/Stretch Marks) in what marks itself as one of the most crucially outspoken anti-apathetic exertions that recalls sincere punk ethics and aesthetics. In this interview the band’s original members all take time to discuss modern day celebrity, modern punk bastardization and Gerry Hannah sets the record straight on America’s War on Terror©.

Read the whole interview here …

Review: The Imprint

Posted on Thursday, October 12th, 2006 by The Subhumans | Comments Off on Review: The Imprint

My first impression of the Subhumans was based on their interesting instrumentals. They are clearly a punk band with balls.

Gerry Hannah, the bassist, known as ‘Nature Punk,’ has been linked to a political group known as “Direct Action.” They blew up an environmentally unfriendly power plant. Hannah was sentenced to prison for 10 years. Now that’s what I call punk. A band that actually believes in what they write about.

This CD makes me pay attention to the lyrics instead of dismissing them and just jumping around to the punk sounds. I like the political nature of the album. Yes, this has been done many times before, however it’s far from boring and repetitive this time: “The experts all agree on what we shouldn’t see / Don’t look at the bloody mess that’s under the debris.”

The Subhumans have been an established band since 1978 and have their roots well and truly planted in the early days of punk. Subhumans are no bandwagon jumpers or sellouts; they just give a realistic commentary on society today.

New Dark Age Parade is a CD that I would use to welcome someone who has been living in a black hole for the past 30 years. A voice of truth and reason, Subhumans haven’t sugar-coated the corrupt spoon-fed society we live in. I would expect people to whom I handed the CD to turn around and run back.

Brian Gobles’ vocals are rough and gritty with a piercing tone of understanding and awareness. I would encourage you to invest in this CD, not only because it’s an impressive piece of work, but also because it’s a record that says a lot about the way we live and accept certain “truths.”

If you do purchase the album and like what you hear, Subhumans are playing in Toronto on October 21 at Lee’s Palace.

Amy Brooks
The Imprint (University of Waterloo)
September 15th, 2006

New Dark Age Parade