Government under attack!
New York punkers, The Casualties are the epitome of punk rock. Spiked hair, studs, ripped t-shirts and a bucket full of attitude, the quartet live and breathe punk and this comes through in their music.
New release 'Under Attack' shows once again that The Casualties play rock that borders on hardcore, that isn't made up of cross-over tracks, or more rock'n'roll influenced commercial tracks like Rancid, Time Again or Last Action Zeros. Title track 'Under Attack' is a two-minute blast of quick fast-paced punk that like the true roots of punk is politically based, firmly pointing a finger at the President, Jorge's deep gravely vocals spitting, "Send us off to war // send us off to die! // We know the truth // We won't buy your lies now // We're fed up // we don't want to wait // This war is a farce // you send us to die now!", this is followed by the environmental ranting of 'Without Warning' which raises the questions of whilst we are using all of our natural resources, what the hell are we doing to rectify this? It's these sort of questions that are over looked by parents that can't see passed the 'offensive' image of the band. Shame, this is the true education for you kids, not the schools that are government run, and dictate what is taught to our children...
There is a catchy-ness to 'The System Failed Us Again' which involves gang shouting, but there are messages still there regarding factory lay-offs, with little to no compensation, as well as the destruction left by Hurricane Katrina. This leads us to the great 'Social Outcast' which starts off as chanted lyrics and then turns into a brutal punk song. It's easy to compare The Casualties to bands like GHB, or The Exploited, but it is worth mentioning that although they are not at the Rancid, or Dead Pets catchy-punk area, they still have some great hooks and lines that will get into your head, whilst not being such a mass of pounding drums, merging riffs and incomprehensible lyrics. 'V.I.P.' this time has a go at the rich and famous, whilst the marching drums kick in on 'Down And Out', which tells the true story of a woman begging for food for her kids in NYC, who was neither drunk nor a junkie but was still overlooked by virtually the whole of the pedestrian rush-hour traffic.
There is more social finger pointing, this time at the music industry in 'Fallen Heroes', whilst there is some great thumping music in 'Great American Progress'. Final song 'Stand And Fight' is a hard-rocking instrumental which borders on thrash, but packs a punch and as the title suggests waves the flag for one cause that no matter what type of lyrics your punk band favours, the universal message has always been to stand and fight. Most bands probably take this literally, but The Casualties aren't just about bar room fisty-cuffs, no, they have a social conscience, and Mr Bush, the kids are ready to take their country back!
'Under Attack' follows on nicely from 2004's 'On The Frontline', and although my favourite track is still 'Made In NYC' from 2001's 'Die Hards', The Casualties have an album here full of good God-honest-straight-up-punk, that you can proudly rumble with knuckle-dusters and switchblades too, as well as having one of the most mature and socially aware albums of the year. Lyrically as thought provoking and educational as any college lecture. Parents and politicians will still hate them, but fuck it, this is about the future of our kids, and try telling me that their welfare doesn't count?