Subhumans / The Casualties / Lower Class Brats

Subhumans / The Casualties / Lower Class Brats: live in Baltimorelive in Baltimore (2004)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 4.5

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

Election Day, 2004. Just about 30 miles from the White House, away from pundits, pollsters, and political pricks, the Ottobar, the partriarchal head of Baltimores punk rock family, is alive and vibrant, and not because Kerry won Maryland moments ago. Tonight a four-banger of pure punk glory revs i.

Election Day, 2004. Just about 30 miles from the White House, away from pundits, pollsters, and political pricks, the Ottobar, the partriarchal head of Baltimores punk rock family, is alive and vibrant, and not because Kerry won Maryland moments ago. Tonight a four-banger of pure punk glory revs its engine and emits a thick black toxin that takes over hundreds of kids. The Subhumans, Casualties, Lower Class Brats, and Monster Squad may be from different times and different parts of the world, but not one of them stifles the meaning of punk rock.

First up was Monster Squad, from California. I'd never heard or seen them before, but their banner and most of their merch said "Unity and Brotherhood", so i knew i wouldn't be disappointed. These four guys started the night up right, with a chaotic blend of the styles of the Virus and A Global Threat that the Baltimore crowd loved. The downside of their set was not their fault. For whatever reason, the bassist was using a house amp, and the sound frequently cut in and out, which is unfortunate because he was really REALLY good (take it from a fellow 4-string slinger).

Next up was the Lower Class Brats out of Austin, TX. I've been listening to these guys for quite a while, but have never caught them live. After Tuesday night, though...LCB ARMY for LIFE! These Southern boys blew the lid off the place. My one qualm is that the guitarist played a Flying-V, and I hate those things. But his tall stature and long, tall hair reminded me of Joey, so he's ok in my book. Speaking of the Ramones, the Brats included an excellent cover of a Ramones classic (come on. GUESS which one!). And Bones, the lead singer, is the type of frontman you just can't keep your eyes off of. He's that fun, that charismatic. Skinny as a toothpick, donned in skintight pinstripe pants, a cutoff shirt that read "I Eat Snot" in about a dozen languages, and Clockwork Orange bowler hat, Bones' sense of fashion is rivaled only by his sneer. He has one of the greatest sneers since Johnny Rotten, and way better than Dick Cheney. I thought about it and can narrow its description to the phrase "thoughtfully mischevious." At the same time he appears to be scoping the crowd and having fun, something in that boyishly evil face appears to be thinking "I wonder how many ways there are to kill all of them?"

Third in line was the Casualties, one of my favorites. I've seen them probably about ten times, and they never fail to put on a great show. Although I thought the pre-set darkening of the club, fog machines, and police lights were a little melodramatic, the kings of NYC gutter punk still put on a blistering set. They danced around the span of their entire 15-year career, from old-school cuts like "Ugly Bastard" and "Punk Rock Love" to tracks from their newest album On The Front Line like "Sound From The Streets" and "Media Control." There wasn't a smooth throat in the house. And I must point out that, as I said before, I've seen the Casualties many times, but this is the first time that I've ever noticed Jorje, the singer, appear, well...happy. Sure, the content of his songs is generally pissed off, and he lets the observer know that he is perfectly. But this time, between songs, I saw the man SMILE for the first time ever. He joked around with Jake (guitar) when he was having problems with his amp, he made fun of the fact that their drummer used to be a stripper, and even shared a few beers with the audience (impressively, even checking their hands to make sure they were legal).

Last but not least, UK punk legends the Subhumans. Again, longtime fan, first time show. This is when all hell broke loose. Though its members are a lot older than those in the other bands of the evening (though Jorje comes close, in his late 30s) they played with just as much energy and bone-grinding power, proving once again that punks are the Peter Pan's of music. The singer had a tendency to ramble between songs, and it was sometimes hard to decipher what that mile-a-minute, beer soaked Cockney mouth was saying, but no one cared. They covered all their bases, from classic albums and EPs like The Day The Country Died, Time Flies, Unfinished Business and Rats. Subhumans made all of us proud to be punk, while also seeing to it that we knew where we came from, our roots.

All in all, an $11 very well spent. Hell, I woulda paid three times that much and it would've been worth it.


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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.
Anonymous (February 2, 2005)

holy fuckin shit. i wasnt even at this show but have seen all these bands a couple times. heres my suggestion, why dont all the old bastards that think that punk is "stale" or "unoriginal" just be happy that the genre even still exists. and if "real" punk is about not giving a fuck while being politically charged and shit then why are you so damn concerned about what kids today look like or for that matter give you "dirty looks" maybe theyre gay and want to hook up...who knows. besides the point. anywho, and for all you leathered and mohawked kids (myself included) fuck man pay attention to the show not the people in the crowd. i would have killed to be at this show and you fuckers arent even saying "man that was a badass show" all you talk about is punk politics and bullshit around with the idea of unity when someone whos next you isnt decked out is studs and the like but thinks the same way. doesnt that sound like a fuckin nazi. all you bastards need to shut your holes, find some common ground and listen to some Ramones because whether you like it or not you have something in common with the guy who walked into the show with blue jeans and generic shirt on.hmmm...
Erik Treason

Anonymous (November 10, 2004)


'Nuff said.

Anonymous (November 10, 2004)

LCB, Monster Squad, Casualties, what a show. I don't know what you pissers are cry'n about, I caught the show in Minneapolis, it was one of the best shows I've seen, next to the Subhumanz. People bitchn about this and that, why don't you walk away from this way of life- Punks Unite tour will go down as one of the greatest. Monster Squad showed the Sioux Falls crew a great time after the show, a bunch of kick ass guys. UP THE PUNX! UP THE DRUNX.
the punks didnt ruin shit, it's all of you leaches out there suckn off the scenes with all your insightful bullshit, piss off! SPIKEY Punk 4 life, 3 chord gangsters!

Anonymous (November 9, 2004)

ok this ones a while back, but whats with the guy knocking the comment about the bass player? dont be a snob just because you took music theory...

Anonymous (November 9, 2004)

the greatest era of punk was mid to late 70's New York. none of those bands/artists looked or sounded anything alike, yet they were all punk. ramones, blondie, television, suicide, patti smith, lydia lunch and the whole no wave scene, richard hell and the voidoids, the new york dolls, the talking heads etc. johnny rotten was right, punk died the day it was made an institution rather than an artistic mindset.

by the way, second edition > never mind the bollocks.

Anonymous (November 8, 2004)

i dont have a mohawk or leather jacket and have been to hundreds of punk shows. not a single strange look. Its not about what you look like, its about why you're there.

Anonymous (November 8, 2004)

wearing clothing styles that originated in the 70s isnt copying, in a way its paying homage. what better way to show respect to someone than to carry on a tradition that they began?....and youre right, the pistols were shit.

Anonymous (November 8, 2004)

Hardcore punk has become all about show and no substance. That's all I'm complaining about. There's no scinerity left in the music, and it makes me sad. That's why I prefer the old stuff as most punks do. There's bits of the soul in each song, now its just the unwanted dregs. Punks are just so easily amused by flash and schock that music comes in second. There's hardly any originality left, and when there is, its not considered true punk rock and discarded. That's why so many punks don't like Leftover Crack and Against Me!. They inject something fresh in a stale genre. Punk has become so same, that if its different, its no good.

And seriously, why has hygiene become so punk? Its not anti-establishment, its just common sense.

Anonymous (November 8, 2004)

you people are far too obnxious. this entire bill kicked ass, how do u call the casualties fashion punks when youre the one paying more attention to what they're wearing then what they're singing. if u think the music is crap then that's that. but its stupid and out right egotistical to act like you need to police these punks for making a uniform, are u not creating your own uniform for yourself in the process? let people be who they are, youre not gonna stop all the assholes who dont like u at shows coz u don't fit they're fashion mold but youre no better for doing the same thing to them! if u don't want to listen then dont go to the show. end of story.

Anonymous (November 8, 2004)

" And if your thing is spiking your hair and patching up your jacket, you the fuck are you to judge? This is a well written review and obviously alot of kids enjoyed the show. Thats what it SHOULD come down to."

That's not your thing if you're under 35 years old... Who invented the look you assholes all copy? The Sex Pistols. And who else looked like that in 1975/76? Richard Hell... That's all. You're copying old shit. The way you assume that you have the mindset of the original punk rockers just because you try to look like them offends me. In England, dressing differently got you into street fights.

And if fashion punks didn't get on such a pedestal about tradition ("punk tradition"? Talk about your irony...), I probably wouldn't mind so much.

And about the Pistols... Were they fashion punks? Well, besides Richard Hell, you tell me how many other bands looked like them in the first wave of punk rock... They criticsized their copiers, but aside from that, they couldn't do much. You can't help it if your (or your manager's) look catches on. In the 70's, a lot of rock bands didn't wear their street clothes on stage. Singling out the Sex Pistols is pretty unfair.


joeg (November 8, 2004)

i agree. its all about the fashion nowadays. you can walk into a punk show and get strange looks if you don't have a mohawk or wear a leather jacket.

Anonymous (November 8, 2004)

When you put up your hair, patch up your clothing, and harrass a rudie for being at an Agent Orange show, that's not being a punk, that's being an asshole. That's what's happening to punk, punks care what you look like rather than who you are.

Anonymous (November 7, 2004)

BSD- you dumbass. if you ever get off that nice little pedestal youve built for yourself youll realize that MAYBE the reason Subhumans attracted the street-punks and fashioncore kids is that, just because youre not one of them doesnt make them any less punk, or you or the subhumans any more punk. Maybe Johnny was right, and it IS about doing your own thing. And if your thing is spiking your hair and patching up your jacket, you the fuck are you to judge? This is a well written review and obviously alot of kids enjoyed the show. Thats what it SHOULD come down to.

Anonymous (November 7, 2004)

all you 'punk police' that keep ripping the casualties, get a life. You sit on the internet and do nothing but talk shit about bands just because you dont like them. You think the casualties are sitting on punknews reading what you have to say about them, or if they did would they care? NO. Thats what makes them punk. they play what they play because they like it and fuck what everyone else thinks. thats punk rock. Not every band has to be the most politically minded, most revolutionary band in the world. Some people are in punk bands because ::gasp:: they LIKE it and theyre having FUN. thats what your precious Ramones were doing, and does anyone rip on them?.....ps- dont go by what Johnny Rotten says. He hated the pistols when he was in it, then became a bitter old man when other bands did it better. Sex Pistols were the backstreet boys of punk...hand-assembled by a money-grubbin manager and forced to play stuff that would sell, simply because it was the "thing" at the time.

Anonymous (November 7, 2004)

BSD sucks a big fatty and obviously knows nothing about the mc5

Anonymous (November 7, 2004)

Does anyone know what BSD actually likes? I bet it reads like a Spin top 50 of all time list.

-asshole dave

Anonymous (November 7, 2004)

I would've loved to have seen the Subhumans/Tossers show awhile back.

Anonymous (November 7, 2004)


Anonymous (November 6, 2004)

I just think it's weird that Subhumans attracted street-punks and fashioncore kids... I mean, sure their music is fast, but it's also harder to play and more intelligent than street-punk. None of their songs are dumb enough to say something like "proud to be punk". I hope this review was a joke. "Subhumans made us feel proud to be punk"? It's a funny thing, I was just watching "The Filth and the Fury", and Johnny Rotten said something that really struck me, amounting (somewhat) to this:

"The punks ruined it. They made it all about about a uniform and being "punk", when it was really about doing your own thing."

How true.


Anonymous (November 6, 2004)

I just got back from the subhumans/caustic christ/7 crowns show, i'm sure it was so much better than this crappy bill!

Anonymous (November 6, 2004)

subhumans are the only decent band on the bill and you hardly mentioned their set. shame.

Anchors (November 6, 2004)

For the first time that I can remember, Jesse couldn't be more right.

The Casualties only contribution is to the pockets of the CEO's of various hair gel companies.


Anonymous (November 6, 2004)

The Casualties suck because of their shitty music... The MC5 knew nothing about anarchy, either. John Sinclair just bossed them around.

And the Subhumans aren't anything like the other two bands on this bill.


Jesse (November 6, 2004)

I think you meant to say "kings of NYC fashion punk." These guys care more about their hair than actually political activism. Shit man, go listen to the MC5s "Kick Out the Jams." That record will be better than anything any of these clowns will ever put out. Fuck this over-produced studio shit.

Anonymous (November 6, 2004)

haha kerry lost

Anonymous (November 6, 2004)

"oi oi up the punxxxx" - Wow man, I admire you for being so 'non-conformist' and 'different' to the rest of the punk scene. Typing in that sarcastic phrase for the 2,567,334th makes you such a trend-setter. I bet you had a right old chuckle about it too.

How come the paragraph about the Subhumans was so much shorter than the paragraph about the Casualties? Surely that's some sort of terrible mistake? Good review anyway, though.

Anonymous (November 6, 2004)

Subhumans baby!

Anonymous (November 5, 2004)

oi oi up the punxxxx

gladimnotemo (November 5, 2004)

I wish every show had a lineup this good.

Anonymous (November 5, 2004)

Woo Hoo Subhumans/Caustic Christ 21 more hours!!!

TheOneTrueBill (November 5, 2004)

Anyone who saw this tour can kiss my ass because I'm so insanely jealous.

Anonymous (November 5, 2004)

"...which is unfortunate because he was really REALLY good (take it from a fellow 4-string slinger). "

yeah... he probably owned those I-IV-V chord progressions, playing roots and all. I can only imagine how dreadfuly neat his single note riffs and use of pentatonics were...

TheNightProwler (November 5, 2004)

I hope the Subhumans make-up those missed tour dates soon.

Anonymous (November 5, 2004)

Oooh, oooh, "Beat on the Brat"? Didn't you feel a little bit silly at a Casualties show? Score is for hXc.

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