The Casualties are back with their sixth full length album. The Casualties are a band that really seem as if they want to bring back Old Skool Punk
. All the elements are present. Visually: the coloured mohawks, the leather jackets with studs and patches. But of course also musically : think the Ramones, slightly sped up and combined with harsher vocals. They are also heavily influenced by The Exploited with the typical drum patterns and the chanted one-liner choruses. Obviously these guys are pissed off about living in the present time and they show it.
Jorge's Vocals perfectly reflect their attitude and lyrics. He avoids clean vocals completely and snarls throughout the album. Nomen est omen, because he has a fairly heavy Spanish accent, but it fits the music quite well. In "Casualties Army"
the album begins with the sounds of a marching army that introduces a nice, fast bass line. The bass is accompanied by the aforementioned drum patterns and followed by the guitar. The guitar plays fast power chords and will do so through most of the album.
"Leaders of today"
is one of the best songs on the album, the snarly vocals emphasise the biting sarcasm in the lyrics and the chorus is one of those scream-along choruses in which all the band members yell one line. It's old, but it works. The bonus of this song is a nice little solo, which brings refreshment after all the power chords."Criminal Class"
and "Tomorrow Belongs to us"
are two prime examples of what this band is all about, socialist ideas in the lyrics and chant along melodies. The lyrics aren't exactly very good, but these guys have an ideal. After a succession of good songs, we arrive at the highlight of the album. "Unknown Soldier"
(not a 'The Doors'
cover') starts with slow melodic guitar and bass, supported by military marching drums. 'Two, Three, four' speeds up the song and thus the start of a real punk anthem à la Bro Hymn. 'Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh!' This song is obviously about the front line and war. Jorge's vocals are like a Master Chief in the army yelling viciously and abruptly at his soldiers. Content and form are united here and it sounds fabulous. The chorus is then simply 'oh oh oh' and then later in the song Jorge grunts underneath the 'ohs'. The song has a lot of melody whilst keeping its military beat. Awesome song. "Scarred for life"
, not spelled with a 4, contrary to popular belief, has a chorus that contains a literal transcription of this album's idea :"You don't give a damn, so fuc
k you too" and "Tragedy"
is a tribute to Johnny Ramone whilst the music is kept slightly more old skool
, fitting the subject.
A lot of people dislike the Casualties and accuse them of being too trendy and trying too hard to be punk, but I enjoyed this album, it has some great songs, and whilst it's not highly original and it's not an album of great variety, it's solid and I'd recommend it to punk fans. (although the album begins better than it ends)