Review Round Up #70

Subhumans' own record label, Blurrg Records, has re-released the band's back catalogue. Each of the six releases ("EP-LP," "The Day The Country Died," "From The Cradle To The Grave," "Time Flies/Rats," "Worlds Apart," and "29:29 Split Vision") has been remastered with all original artwork and including a poster of each album's cover and presented in a deluxe digipack.

EP-LP

Subhumans
“EP-LP”
(Bluurg Records 2009)

Although originally released in 1986, “EP-LP” is a collection of the Subhumans’ EPs (“Demolition War,” “Reason For Existence,” “Religious Wars,” and “Evolution”) that were each individually released prior to their first album. The feelings of chaos and frenzy are simply electric but the EPs are only a hint at what’s to come from the Subhumans in the future.

Key Tracks: “Reason For Existence” “Religious Wars,” “Not Me”

C+
buy it!
The Day The Country Died

Subhumans
“The Day The Country Died”
(Bluurg Records 2009)

“The Day The Country Died” leaves those EPs in its dust. On their first album the Subhumans sound great with a much better mix and balanced levels. And that’s before you even get to tracks like “Mickey Mouse Is Dead” and “No.” “The Day The Country Died” is full of anthems: depressing, anarchist anthems that speak the truth and to hell with you if you can’t take it or don’t want to hear it. This is a clear punk classic.

Key Tracks: “Mickey Mouse Is Dead,” “No”

A
buy it!
Time Flies/Rats

Subhumans
“Time Flies/Rats”
(Bluurg Records 2009)

The Subhumans energy returns on their EPs “Time Flies” and “Rats” but it see-saws wildly throughout the combined record. Vocalist Dick Lucas shows with “Time Flies” that he clearly can hold his own from the rough punk of “I Don’t Wanna Die” to the more solemn “Susan” and “Work.Rest.Play.Die,” which only sounds jovial. The “Rats” portion is anything but shy as it comes out swinging with tough messages, informative blurbs in the accompanying booklet and raucous punk rock.

Key Tracks: “Susan,” “Work.Rest.Play.Die,” “Rats”

B-
buy it!
Worlds Apart

Subhumans
“Worlds Apart”
(Bluurg Records 2009)

Anyone who believes that old stereotype that punk isn’t up to par instrumentally obviously hasn’t heard Subhumans’ “Worlds Apart.” With tight guitar riffs and a solid rhythm section, “Worlds Apart” hits hard as it picks up where “The Day The Country Died” left off. Reinvigorated, Subhumans effectively deliver their message and do it memorably with tracks like “British Disease,” “Businessmen” and “Ex-Teenage Rebel.”

Key Tracks: “British Disease,” “Businessmen,” “Ex-Teenage Rebel”

B+
buy it!
29:29 Split Vision

Subhumans
“29:29 Split Vision”
(Bluurg Records 2009)

For comparison, the Subhumans’ first album, “The Day The Country Died,” was released in 1983. “29:29 Split Vision” was released only three years later. While not nearly as consistently heavy-handed, thematically speaking, as some of their previous work, “29:29 Split Vision” gets in and gets out quickly. The band only sticks around for as long as they need to although the exception to this is rule is the nearly eight minute long ska/reggae-flavored “Worlds Apart.”

Key Tracks: “Think For Yourself,” “Heroes”

B
buy it!