Review: Riot 77

Posted on October 29th, 2007 by Gerry

This, of course, is the Canadian Subhumans and not to be confused with the primary vehicle of Dick Lucas. I’ve always had an interest in Canada’s long lost Punk veterans and here they are today with an all-new LP for us, New Dark Age Parade! Artcore fanzine ran a very informative piece on their legacy a few years back—a good place to start if you’re interested in the group’s history, but we’re here to talk about the Subhumans as they stand today.

Though they were often seen to be part of the early Hardcore movement which encompassed the likes of Black Flag and DOA, the Subhumans, in truth, had far more of a ’77 edge to them and their songs were generally mid-paced, as they remain today. Brian Goble’s vocals sound especially good here and contain a soothing and inviting tone not often heard in this genre. G7 Welcoming Committee will conduct the honours for this record’s release in Canada, but long time fan Jello Biafra has nicely clinched the deal presumably for the rest of the world.

The lyrics, of course, are a reflection on the grim state the modern world finds itself in and apparently the band members themselves never opted out of their original ideologies, with bassist Gerry Hannah in particular becoming involved with Direct Action’s protests of the late ’80s. “Shut Your Eyes” and “Clash Of The Intransigents” display some strong song writing and catches the band working at their best, but on the whole, there’s a great flow to this record and each tune sounds the perfect accompaniment to the last. Not sure what the touring prospects are for the band these days, but as far as their studio efforts are concerned, this is one hefty slab of genius.

Cian (Issue 11)

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