Subhumans - Live In A Dive (Cover Artwork)


Subhumans: Live In A DiveLive In A Dive (2004)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: HeinHein
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I got beaten and slaughtered at this very site for having the guts to review the new Descendents EP on Fat Wreck without really being into the band's 80's material. Well let me tell you that The Descendents didn't mean a lot to me and my friends in our younger years (they do now though), while The S.
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I got beaten and slaughtered at this very site for having the guts to review the new Descendents EP on Fat Wreck without really being into the band's 80's material. Well let me tell you that The Descendents didn't mean a lot to me and my friends in our younger years (they do now though), while The Subhumans were already huge in 1983 and the years after that because their first LP "The Country Died" was an instant classic. They sold over 100,000 copies of it, which I'm sure didn't happen with The Descendents until more recently. Actually, when I think of my adolescence there's only bands like 7 Seconds, Youth Brigade, J.F.A., Crass, Conflict, Dead Kennedy's and Discharge that I can think of right now that meant as much to me as Subhumans did. That LP really was one of the reasons that I fell for punkrock in my younger years.

I wasn't into singer Dick's new band Citizen Fish too much actually, although there's nothing bad about them either, but I'm pretty sure they too would have been phenomenal if they existed 15 years earlier. Which leaves me concluding that I thoroughly enjoyed the various songs from this debut 1983 album on this live CD that was recorded in 2003 somwehere in California. The other songs, while baring an equal sound, just didn't do the same to me, except maybe for "Rain" and the final 2 songs on here. It obviously has got a lot to do with that thing I often refer to as "personal involvement". In a sense that nostalgia, although it sounds like a lame word, can really make you love certain songs. I don't really own any of their later work, but I do remember listening to it on cassette and it never was instant love like that first LP to be honest.

For those not aware of what Subhumans is all about, they are a political UK band that in my recollection were one of the first to actually have great catchy sing-along songs without sounding really messy. I doubt if they would want to admit this themselves, but maybe they had the same accessiblity to their music as the Sex Pistols had, because you can shout along with all these songs' anthemic choruses and the often "instrumentless" vocal inbetweens. Also there's some pre-historic ska-ish sound in some of these songs, I think I make that connection because of the contra-timed guitars. Additionally they use original metaphores ("Mickey Mouse Is Dead"), self-invented worlds ("Subvert City") and grabbing reality-situations ("This Year's War", a new song about the war in Iraq and maybe the best song besides those of the debut) to sing about our in many ways fucked-up world, the a-social behavior of its inhabitants, animal mistreatments, anti-capitalism, anti-religious matters... Yes, the usual bunch of trouble that we live in. These aren't Anti-Flag lyrics though: they are pretty well thought-over and in no way sloganesque, although the choruses after a while might sound as if they are. Don't let it fool you. Dick is a clever guy and his voice could be one of the most unique out there. It sounds just like it did 20 years ago and I can't think of any similarities here, maybe also due to the fact that we don't hear a lot of UK singers anymore lately.

I'm really happy that Fat Wreck took care of these terrific live recordings for their Live In A Dive series, because they are really very sharp, put an emphasize on the amazing vocals and have just the right dosis of audience-sounds to give you a good impression on the energetic atmosphere a show by this band might provoke. I'm yet to witness it, but you can be damn sure I'll be there when I have the opportunity. The comic that comes with this CD is just some illustrations for the lyrics of "Subvert City". The video-interview by Fat Mike that comes with it also has Dick Lucas explaining this song, along with a short one-song live performance.

I'm not sure younger kids out there will have the same impression when they listen to this, for my nostalgic involvement with this band is really not allowing me to review this unbiased, but maybe you should try out songs like "No" and "Mickey Mouse Is Dead", cause they are truly classics for a band that has meant a lot to me.


People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundJawbreaker - UnfunNOFX - Wolves in Wolves' ClothingHot Water Music - Fuel For The Hate GameDescendents - Milo Goes To College7 Seconds - Take It Back, Take It On, Take It Over!Defiance, Ohio - The Great DepressionThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!New Mexican Disaster Squad / Western Addiction - SplitBanner Pilot - Heart Beats Pacific

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
kingofpain (May 17, 2006)

These guys are so fucking British.

Anonymous (February 3, 2005)

I love how ANY review's comments are quuickly reduced to mindless babble and moronic arguements.

This CD shows that the Subhumans have only sharpened their edge after over 20 years of playing and recording; it's intense, biting, hard, and their new track, ''This Year's War,'' is bloody brilliant.

May their witty and intelligent anarcho-punk rock my ears for years to come.


Anonymous (October 1, 2004)

"a) Hatebreed fucking own
c) your mother gives good head"
That comment pretty much sums up the general Hatebreed fan mentality.
This album is one of the best things Fat Wreck has ever put out. And I'm not a crusty punk either, I'm a 17-year old NOFX fan, newly converted to the Subhumans.

Hein (September 17, 2004)

Well, as stated in the review, I would go see them live if they were around and that's what I did a few days ago.... amazing show, and for once I wasn't the oldest person in the audience. I think they enjoyed themselves too, as they had 2 rounds of encores. Nice to hear "Mickey Mouse..." and "Subvert City" live after 20 years. This was and still is damn good punkrock.

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

"If your come backs were a penis, they would have ED"

Hahahahaha fucking great line!


Anonymous (March 8, 2004)

i for one, am a younger guy (20) however, this cd rocks, i saw them live a week after this cd came out, dick was wearing the same damn shirt as on the picture inside the cd... and they sounded exactly like this cd, i dunno if this is good or bad, but im definately gonna see these guys again

captaincrackhead (March 1, 2004)

Has anyone ever noticed, whenever something bad is said about good punk albums it's usually a Hatebreed fan?

Anonymous (February 28, 2004)

Saw them live last night in San Diego. Bloody Amazing!

mikeinflames (February 27, 2004)

Oh no!
Internet people don't like me
I'm crushed
Especially crusty old internet punks
This is horrid!
I should just go jump off a bridge right now

Anonymous (February 27, 2004)

Keep jacking off your manliness, Mike. You're a joke to everyone else, might as well...


mikeinflames (February 26, 2004)

If your come backs were a penis, they would have ED

Anonymous (February 26, 2004)

No, you like Hatebreed.

Hatebreed= homophobic jock-ape people. Fuck them and their trucker hats, too.

The Subhumans are a hardcore band worth listening to.


Anonymous (February 26, 2004)


mikeinflames (February 25, 2004)

a) Hatebreed fucking own
b) I like Bracket
c) your mother gives good head
d) I'm not a poser for not liking this album
e) I'd be a poser if I pretended I liked this album
f) If I was satan I would eat your babies
g) I think I'll eat your babies anyways
h) You're an asshat because my opinion is just as valid as the next person

captaincrackhead (February 25, 2004)

Ok, who is the dumbass who said this is the first disappointing Live in a Dive. Obviously you didn't listen to Bracket Live in a Dive, unless you have it sitting next to your Good Charlotte and Simple Plan CDs. This is probably the only good punk to have come out in the past few years. Stupid posers.

Anonymous (February 24, 2004)

"First disappointing cd in the Dive series"

Only a Hatebreed fan could think such a thing...


hein (February 24, 2004)

What are you talking about fuckhead, I'm a big fan of Descendents. The only thing I wanted to explain is that Descendents didn't make that lot of a rumour with their first releases for ME PERSONALLY.

And yes, I think I have the right to feel proud sometimes for keeping myself busy with punk music for something like 20 years now. Sorry if it makes you feel like I'm a poseur.

Anonymous (February 24, 2004)

Anybody else notice that the reviewer spent his entire first paragraph trying to redeem himself after getting slammed for his Descendents review? The whole paragraph he's talking about how punk he is, in fact, he's SO punk that he doesn't even like Descendents.

t-rav (February 24, 2004)

Ok kids, you need to learn bands like the casualties are nothing...to even compare them to the subhumans..uggh just don't.

I regretably saw them live about a year ago...cocky bastards...

mikeinflames (February 24, 2004)

If Ninjas liked punk rock I don't think they would like this album
First disappointing cd in the Dive series

Anonymous (February 24, 2004)

mmm... okay... what? Are you trying to compare the Casualties and The Subhumans? umm...Sorry little bro! Nice try, but Dick writes lyrics. The Casualties seem to paste them together out of other crappy songs. Fuckin' boring!

Anonymous (February 23, 2004)

i picked random songs.

"Media Control"

Their ink - is the blood they inject
on my brain - spreading lies on us
i'm next victim in line

No more - no more - no more
media control

Reports - feeds off the war of man
Dishonest - they're part of a system
controlled by the man
The Press - For the blinded mice
Controls - what you eat or wear
what's in and what is out

No more - no more - no more
media control

Devil in disguise - is the ABC
Fuck The CNN - Lying NBC
Fox and CBC - UPI and BBC
USA TODAY - The real 666

mickey mouse is dead
Mickey Mouse is dead
Got kicked in the head
Cos people got too serious
They planned out what they said
They couldn‚??t take the fantasy
They tried to accept reality
Analyzed the laughs
Cos pleasure comes in halves
The purity of comedy
They had to take it seriously
Changed the words around
Tried to make it look profound
The comedian is on stage
Pisstaking for a wage
The critics think he‚??s great
But the laughter turns to hate
Mickey Mouse is on T.V.
And the kids stare at the screen
But the pictures are all black and white
And the words don‚??t mean a thing
Cos Mummy‚??s got no money
And Daddy is in jail
He couldn‚??t afford the license
She couldn‚??t afford the bail
The kids out in the road
Their minds have all gone cold
Cos Mickey Mouse is dead
They shot him through the head
With ignorance and scorn
They believed in something new
They read the papers watched the films
And they thought they new the truth
But reality deceives
Whatever you believe
There‚??s always another idea
And theirs is based on fear
The fear of being sussed
For what you really are
The fear of being laughed at
When you go too far
They call it paranoia
You can laugh it away
Until you come to realize
That everyone‚??s the same
People hide their problems
Under faces of contempt
They hide them ‚??til it kills them
And no one is exempt
Not even you
Look what you done to Mickey Mouse

who's dumb?
this is the best tho
Riots in our cities
Riots at your schools
Riots in this country
WE fucking riot just for you

Riot, riot, riot, riot
Riots in your cities
Fucking riots in your schools

Riots for the punx
Fucking riots everywhere
Riot on the streets
Fucking riots of today

guess who's it is.

dazed (February 23, 2004)

I had some mp3s of their older stuff, this is a better recording quality. I'd fucking love to be able to see the Subhumans live. Classic.

Anonymous (February 23, 2004)

Subhumans identical to the casualties? Okay, subhumas top priority: music, casualties top priority: hair gel and letting people know they play punk music by inserting the word punk into every fucking song!
I agree with that, cause shit, in the enhanced portion of this CD they even talk about in the interview how they really never had an image while all the other punk bands at that time had that leather jackets and mowhawks image.

Anonymous (February 23, 2004)

5 little mokies jumping on the bed

notfeelingcreative (February 22, 2004)

Subhumans identical to the casualties? Okay, subhumas top priority: music, casualties top priority: hair gel and letting people know they play punk music by inserting the word punk into every fucking song!

Anonymous (February 22, 2004)

Can't say I'm a subhumans fan, but i'd rather see Fatwreck releasing this than the next Lagwagon or No Use record...

Hey you UK kids out there, what are the good local bands in your scene? Haven't been hearing much outta your little isle lately, seems like sweden and Finland are putting out the baddest punk and hardcore releases lately.

joeg (February 22, 2004)

good charlotte is closer to the casualties than the subhumans are.

Anonymous (February 22, 2004)

The Subhumans are nothing like the fucking Casualties, you little piece of shit... Their music is unique, their lyrics are fantastic, and they never sink to the tribal sloganeering of bands like Anti-Flag and the Casualties. Let's see Jorge ever write a song like "No" or "Subvert City".


Anonymous (February 22, 2004)

The Canadian Subhumans started in the 70's...


Anonymous (February 22, 2004)

Didn't the Casualties start in the 80's? And the Subhumans start in the 70's? I could be wrong....


Anonymous (February 22, 2004)

i agree. there's a bunch of morons that don't even listen to the music or are totally close minded. both bands are very similar, yet one get's praised and one doesn't. it really shows how little these teenyboppers know about music

Anonymous (February 22, 2004)

How can you hate the casualties so much, but like this band??? Fuck, just because this band's releasing an album on Fat, the attitudes change. What a fuckin joke. I love the Subhumans and love the Casualties and they are pretty much identical except for 2 things. 1. The subhumans started in the 80's 2. They're releasing an album on Fat

So many idiots on this board....

soulbleed (February 21, 2004)

yay for subhumans, yay for this reviewer for actually being intelligent. i find it extremely funny that people badmouth intelligent reviews while the people that go 'omfg this album is t3h rox!!! lol&**' get praised to high hell. go figure.

Anonymous (February 21, 2004)

thats the problem with mostly fans reviewing albums, mostly the only negitive reviews come from the staff or the rare occasion when a person's band puts out a genine shitty record. I still think that this is the best just for the wide variety of reivews done here by different people

stratmanx (February 21, 2004)

I tend to find that I don't actually read pitchfork reviews, rather I just look at the scores and move on because in the end they all come out sounding absolutely ridiculous and full of attempted metaphors that half of the readers don't understand the point they are trying to get across. The only problem I have with reviews on this site is that it is so incredibly rare to see an album get under 4 stars (only one in the new batch).

greg6711 (February 21, 2004)

your right it would hurt the readership, and I suppose it makes this place unique. I guess I can't have it both ways.

anyway thanks for that delusion of adequacy site. It is really good.

dignin (February 21, 2004)

BSD, did you just call Radiohead a joy division rip off? If so, your a dumbass.

FortyMinutesWest (February 21, 2004)

Pitchfork media reviewers are more concerned with trying to sound intelligent, hip, and oh so indie than they are with writing reviews. Each one is full of so much wordiness and bullshit that they make my high school english papers look short and to the point. Fuck that site. If you quality writing without pretention go to Delusions of Adequacy instead.

And if only some of us were allowed to write reviews, my Casualties review would still be up. Tough luck. Limiting reviews to only staff members would hurt this site's readership. People care about what the staff has to say, but they also care about what their fellow readers think, this can't always be limited to comments section. The amount of control the readers have over this site's content is what makes it the most diverse punk site on the web.

cactussac (February 21, 2004)

great recording, great set. horrible review. kill yourself.

Anonymous (February 21, 2004)

Yeah, but Radiohead is part of the mass media that controls us, so that's just bullshit. If you want to open up your mind to odder music than the good old 3 chords, pick up a PiL album. If you are angry about a lot of politically-related things and don't want some Joy Division prog rip off's annoying voice, hunt down an old DK album or just order this from your local indy...


greg6711 (February 21, 2004)

This is the place for comments right?

Look, I don't want some 13 year old newbie to get confused with rhtetoric and art.

Subhumans fine. Maybe it's good music to play. Maybe it serves a purpose. Hell, maybe their right about a lot, and it's a solid political cd.

I am just encouraging people to listen to other types of music. Trust me Dead Kennedys are not the kings of political rock. There are so many other great bands out there who are doing political stuff, and I do not think this band is the cream of the crop.

I am suggesting that Radiohead's OK Computer sends a very intersting message about the way mass media controls us, and OK COmputer itself is a critique of this cold-fast paced society characterized by an individual now in isolation.

If you want a review check it out at Pitchforkmedia.com....

Also, after reading some reviews at this place, i think like at pitchforkmedia.com, only some people should be allowed to write reviews. Some of these reviews are terrible. Especially the Casualities one.

Anonymous (February 21, 2004)

unrelated this is, but did the Unseen do a song called Acceptance? I looked at their site and everything, cant see the song, anyone know who the hell its by? Some lyrics: Acceptance that we may never know....or the last chance that i had to set things right, my thoughts wander off into the night...

Its got a really nice intro...Anyone know who the hell did it?

Anonymous (February 21, 2004)

greg, you're a crappy person. nowhere in your comment was there any hint of a redeeming quality to your personality.

Anonymous (February 21, 2004)

Radiohead over Subhumans? Fuck you, Greg.


Anonymous (February 21, 2004)

"Sick of It All - not into metal, but I bought this, and it's good"
Metal? Do you know what metal is and sounds like? Do you know what hard core is and what it sounds like?
No, I don't think so.

Anonymous (February 20, 2004)

yeah, i thought he said "words" at first too, but upon further review, he did in fact say worlds.

greg6711 (February 20, 2004)

I don't listen to crap like metal.

And as far as i'm concerned SOIA is the closest thing I own to it.

By the way if you want a political cd, check out Radiohead's "OK Computer" not this nonsense.

Edgie (February 20, 2004)

Haha, SOIA is about as metal as NFG is punk.

mobalishus (February 20, 2004)

yeah, i'm fucking stupid alright.

Anonymous (February 20, 2004)

did someone just say something about not being into metal when listening to a SOIA record?

skankin_in_the_pit (February 20, 2004)

Oh, and I'm seeing them in 3 days!!!!! With New Mexican Disaster Squad. It doesn't get much better.

skankin_in_the_pit (February 20, 2004)

Good review from a completely different perspective from me.
Just about every song I would want them to play is on this. The audience participation on songs like "Subvert City" "No" and "Work-Rest-Play-Die" gives you an energetic feeling. The new song "This Year's War" is really good. And Dick's voice still sounds great. Fat Mike gets major props from me for putting this out. Its barely left my cd player since I got it.
The only live record that comes close to this is 7 Seconds "Scream Real Loud."

Anonymous (February 20, 2004)

What the fucking shit? What the fuck happened to news i submitted? Fuckers.


Anonymous (February 20, 2004)

"Silly me, thinking all along that the word "subvert" had its roots in the Latin phrase subvertere (meaning 'turn from beneath'). Luckily, before I could publicly embarass myself by exposing this mistaken belief, Hein came along to let me know that the Subhmans invented the word."

Odd, I think Hein said worlds, not words...

mobalishus (February 20, 2004)

Boy was I surprized by this review! I came into it expecting a mere description of the record, and I got not only that, but a lesson in etymology as well.

Silly me, thinking all along that the word "subvert" had its roots in the Latin phrase subvertere (meaning 'turn from beneath'). Luckily, before I could publicly embarass myself by exposing this mistaken belief, Hein came along to let me know that the Subhmans invented the word.

Is my face ever red!

greg6711 (February 20, 2004)

Saw these guys live in Chicago because I the Bad Religion show was too expensive. And the Causaulties were there to, it wouldn't of been worth it.

I enjoyed seeing the Tossers before the Subhumans, but then the Subhumans came out.

I didnt know many of these guy's material, but I did like songs like Peroxide and Mickey Mouse is dead.

But I kept thinking, this all sounds so similar. So I don't think i'll buy this cd.

I've heard a lot of good things about The Day the Country Died, but after reading the cd's lyrical content, it is so dreary, and it sounds like he just finished a George Orwell book.

Also, the guy was talking out of his ass about the Iraq war in Chicago.
It just sounded like Anti-Flag from the 80s

i'll hold out and save my money, and I do like this Fat Wreck series. The only thing is that they haven't done many Great bands yet.
I was suckered into the No Use for a Name cd....lame
Bracket cd - looks so bad
Sick of It All - not into metal, but I bought this, and it's good.
Strung Out - Bought this, it's alright, well it was really good.
This cd - Why bother

I can't wait for the Swingin Utters one. But I think the Lagwagon one is next.

Also does anyone know what their planning for the 10th?
I hope it's some amazing reunion live cd, Dead Kennedys, I can only hope.

joeg (February 20, 2004)

the subhumans are great. and they're going on tour!

Anonymous (February 20, 2004)

guy below me is awesome. This CD gets a fucking 10 because it's an amazing live recording of a band that has some of my favorite songs. "Society," "Work-Rest-Play-Die," and "Religious Wars" make this worth checking out.

Anonymous (February 20, 2004)

the subhumans fuckin suck. they are 10x suckier than the subhumans from Van.

if i saw the subhumans in a back alley. i'd fist fight them. but there punx so they could probably kick my ass. i don't really fight, cuz i listen to peaceful bands like get up kids, and brand new. those bands are fo real. they could kick the subhuimans asses anyday.

ilikebandssuchasopivy (February 20, 2004)

Good review. But I'm sure someone will find a glaring fault in it.

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