The Casualties

OK, so The Casualties have a new LP out and our only “Punk Correspondent” (i.e. me) is despatched with the task of writing something positive on the subject! Well I won’t lie, I’m no expert on this strain of Punk, but at the same time not immune to it. The Casualties have been around some 30 years now and yet they have missed my radar almost throughout. Time to change that maybe then?!

Well here goes… LP opener “1312” might as well have been titled ACAB, but that would’ve been too obvious. The crunchy guitar intro gives way to a harsh, anthemic vocal and anti-police lyrics. Ferocious drum hitting, chunky chords and angry, aggressive vocals are the order of the day here and throughout this collection of songs. With nothing to go by I won’t make uninformed comparisons to David Rodriguez’s predecessor – I will, however, say it’s as Street Punk as they come. It’s a brutal opener that paves the way for most of what follows.

“Fucking Hate You” is even faster with a full pelt delivery of angry strained vocals. The noodly bridge lightens the song only slightly and I wonder if it’s written with a female in mind? ‘Ashes’ brings proceedings down somewhat with a more radio friendly guitar sound, however the vocal is still delivered with no less gusto and anger. “Its subject matter I’m guessing is observational of one’s circle of friends?”

“Demolition” evokes memories (to me) of early Exploited, but with a stronger more anthemic vocal. The “We Are the Future” line towards the end is clearly a message to any doubters. “Guard Dogs” stays true to the earlier songs – fast, furious, angry and in-yer-face! “Written in Blood”, the title track is blunt and to the point. “We Will Not Give In” is pretty obvious in the chorus, kind of says it all!

“Feed Off Fear” has that rare Punk staple, a piano intro. Quite a departure for this record but it quickly explodes into life once more. The lyrical content confuses me, but frankly, the delivery is so fast it makes no sense. “Feed off the Country, Feed off the People, Feed off the Fear”….. You the listener decide?! And on “Final Expense” I’m no more knowledgeable – an even faster delivery with no let-up.

“So Much Hate” is probably the most audible track on here, observational and brutally honest – heartfelt to the core with a race discrimination undercurrent running through it. “Ya Basta” has a bass-heavy intro and an unintelligible vocal which again comes across as angry. And as this album just gets faster “All Out War” with its leanings towards UK82 is a loud a furious, raging song. The fury continues in “Smash”, a fast-paced political number with a ferocious delivery.

“Lost” has a slower, more melodic intro that doesn’t wait long before exploding into life. Again that potent yet audible vocal shines through. Allied to the power hitting and “woah’s” in the background the vocal becomes anthemic, while the chiming bridge and noodling set it up for the big finish. The “Lost, lost, lost’s” take it anthemically to a firm conclusion.

“What I want” remains in a similar vein, with the heavy bass in the background. Anthemic with yet more noodling in the bridge and the album closes with “Borders”. Exploding into life its political lyrics reflect the current climate. It pulls no punches and is a great way to finish.

As I said at the start, with no reference points I reviewed this LP as a Casualties “virgin”. If I’m honest I feel I would need to see the band live before passing a true judgement. But on the strength of these 15-songs there is clearly still fire in the belly of this quartet. Loud, harsh, angry, political – all the ingredients one would expect from a Street Punk band.

The Casualties

Band Members
David Rodriguez- Vocals
Rick Lopez – Bass
Meggers- Drums
Jake Kolatis – Guitar

Track listing
Fucking Hate You
Guard Dogs
Written in Blood
Feed off Fear
Final Expense
So Much Hate
Ya Basta
All Out War
What I Want


Review by Ross A. Ferrone.

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