Monday, March 8, 2010

THE CASUALTIES (20 years strong), The Unseen and more on March 28

THE CASUALTIES (celebrating their 20th year) with The Unseen, Violent Society and Guilt Trip
Sunday, March 28th 6pm ALL AGES

In 1990 there were a lot of reasons to worry about the future of street punk, as much of the attention it once enjoyed was at that point directed to warmer, friendlier areas of underground rock. Ecuadorian immigrant Jorge Herrera, however, had a taste for the gritty, subversive and community-oriented punk that identified with New York City’s underground though it was all but gone from the mainstream since the mid 80’s. He formed The Casualties who, like their forerunners The Exploited and Discharge, sought to combine old school oi punk from across the pond with the hardcore/thrash crossover sounds being explored by the Cro-Mags and Agnostic Front.

The Casualties’ first self-released EP 40 oz Casualty became an underground hit, with tornado-like basslines and chainsaw guitars defying the limits of lo-fi audio. Though their first years limited their profound notoriety within local confines, the loss of Herrera’s day-job meant the transformation of the band into a full-time, internationally acclaimed punk entity, appearing at the Holidays in the Sun Festival in London and putting out their first full-length in 1997. Their trademark sound is breakneck fast, saturated with meaty riffs, battlecry vocals and punishing drums all neatly packaged into 1-3 minute anthems, with elements of ska and reggae strewn about. In 2004, with the Iraq conflagration in its earliest stages, they release On The Front Line, shifting the primary theme of their lyrics from squatters’ meditations to world politics.

The Casualties’ uncompromisingly street sound in the face of changing trends has set them apart, making them a treasure within the punk scene. They have played alongside Leftover Crack, Youth Brigade and Municipal Waste. Their ascension to the Warped Tour ranks and even the occasional MTV2 play speaks more to the purity of their sound than their adherence to the ironically fickle standards of punk credibility. Their 2009 LP We Are All We Have has been praised by Sputnik Music as a “a ballsy, working man punk album.” At Santos Party House on March 28th, they will be celebrating 20 years of perseverance and the use of hard music to channel the essence of New York City.

Few can boast the ability to mesh catchy hooks with the brashest of hardcore sounds as well as The Unseen. For 17 years, they have dominated Boston’s punk scene with their invincible sound and incendiary socio-political commentary. They have played alongside Sick Of it All, Rancid, The Bouncing Souls and Hatebreed on stages throughout the world, and have releases on the A-F, Fat Wreck, Epitaph and Hellcat imprints.

Two decades of pillaging the punk scene has made Violent Society a well-oiled chaos machine. While they have mastered hardcore, street punk and pop punk textures, their guitars stand out, classified by clever riffs and wall-of-sound production. They have played alongside nearly legendary street punk act including GBH, Exploited, The Subhumans, Anti-Flag, The Dropkick Murphys and DOA.

The unadulterated sound of Guilt Trip is fuelled by beer-addled debauchery and a soaring, dual-guitar approach to street punk riffs. Their notoriously energetic shows are the cathartic manifestation of gutter-style chaos.

No comments: