Posted on Monday, October 16th, 2006 | 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