The Casualties - We Are All We Have (Cover Artwork)

The Casualties

We Are All We Have (2009)


The Casualties are one of the few bands of the ‘street punk' genre to have enjoyed relative success since their inception in the early nineties. Most bands over the course of two decades either evolve into something more complex, dissolve into other projects or simply wither away into obscurity; the Casualties have done none of these things -- today still churning out the same cringe-worthy and embarrassing parody-laden shout-alongs as they always have, as latest album We Are All We Have is here to testify.

There is no hesitation when it comes to embracing cliché after cliché, as opener "Carry on the Flag" illustrates with some archetypal lyricism straight from the Roger Miret handbook: "We carry on the flag / we're still going strong / when others are gone / we're here to unite / that is the reason we're here tonight." All the staples are there: the "whoa-oh"s, the gang-vocal shout-alongs, all alongside the same confused sense of disillusion as is pre-requisite of any Casualties release.

But it's not all bad. There are some good riffs here and there (see "We Are All We Have" and "Looking Through Bloodshot Eyes") and no one can dispute that the Casualties are good at what they do -- it's just that what they do is tired and long since worn out.

Album closer "Rockers Reggae (Working Man's Dub)" reveals perhaps why the Casualties have never strayed too far from their comfort zone of hardcore/street punk -- their harsh, screamed vocals transposes into dub style as easily as a lead balloon floats on water; the song itself drags on and on, over and over almost as if it is on some kind of never-ending loop -- a bit like the Casualties themselves, who have with this latest album proven yet again that their minds remain trapped in some tragically perceived golden age of UK-'82, where nothing ever changes, where the music stays the same.