It’s been a bit since I listened to The Casualties and today I was reminded why I dig them so much thanks to a new video of “We Are All We Have” that posted on MySpace. Having been a huge fan of theirs for years I really have no solid reason why I have not been keeping tabs on their releases. 2004’s On The Front Line has been and will be one of my favorite punk albums to listen to probably for the rest of my life as it just stuck to me.
The NYC street punk band had always stood out over other bands to me primarily due to their dedication to keeping their musical style more like the 80’s punk. I seriously could listen to this band all day.
Street punk, gutter punk, punk punk – call it what you want. These boys know how to dish it out.
Their new album We Are All We Have dropped in stores late summer (and apparently is available at Target???) and sadly I still have yet to check it out but after seeing the video below I want to check it out more than ever now. Looks like I am off to Target.
Street punk shows it has a nicer side thanks to Left Alone, a Wilmington, CA act on their latest self-titled album Left Alone released through Hellcat Records. On the band’s third release they continue to play street punk material but incorporate elements of pop punk, reggae, and ska making for a real fun listen.
Opening track “Spiked With Pain” was a full punk rock track with sing along abilities and guitar and bass riffs suggestive of Rancid. There is a reason why this band was signed to Hellcat and perhaps Tim Armstrong enjoyed the similarities of Left Alone and the band he fronts.
“Branded” follows with the same energy as the first track with front man Elvis Cortez’s raspy voice just appealing to my ears. As if that was not good enough, the bass lines were sick throughout and overall the song is just screaming to be released as a single.
Almost sounding like the Madness meets Operation Ivy was the brisk “Sad Story” with a more ska approach that is easily likable and surly makes you want to skank away. The song was easily one of my favorites on the entire CD. See below for the music video of the song. Good stuff.
The catchy “3 Bottles Of Wine” and “Porcelain” both seem more pop punk tracks. They seem to escape the street punk image held by the band but still are enjoyable for what they are worth.
“Bombs Away” sounding a lot like The Clash’s “Police And Thieves” carries on just fine as the song is not a direct rip off but more so a compliment to the UK grandfathers of punk. “Brindle” starts off with a strong bass line that strays right into a fast paced track sure to be a hit at one of their live shows as it makes you want to swing your arms and dance around carelessly.
I loved “Self Made” with the more so 90s punk feel and an organ playing in the background. “Wishing Well” continued that feeling with a simple yet catchy punk track with some group vocals. These are the kinds of songs that turned me into a punk rock fan in the first place.
It’s nice to see a band like Left Alone not label themselves as one specific genre of music and experiment with their talent. This album is full of tracks with sing along qualities that span back to their previous releases but add a more fine tuned effort making for a good listen if you find yourself a fan of punk rock.
Left Alone is far from a commercial pop punk act and thanks to their recent release they should be grabbing some attention. Perhaps it is a good thing they stay away from the mainstream though as they have too much talent to be considered just another pop-punk act out there. Having already been fans of their previous releases Lonely Starts and Broken Hearts and Dead American Radio I can honestly say this CD is just as good of a listen if not better.
Looks like The Casualties are back. Granted they have pretty much been touring non-stop since 2006’s Under Attack, there has not been any new material recorded. The street punkers are stated to be in the studio this morning to push out a new release still to be named under SideOneDummy Records. The band has also announced a summer tour.
I have always liked these guys. They remind me of the harder punk rock of the eighties like The Exploited and The Subhumans as well as hardcore punkers Discharge. Having only seen them a couple of times live I have enjoyed their material since I first heard 2001’s Die Hards. From there I checked out their entire catalog and have been a fan since.
THE CASUALTIES ARE PLANNING A NEW RECORD FOR LATE SUMMER AND WILL HIT THE ROAD IN JUNE AND JULY
Los Angeles, April 8, 2009 – The Casualties are headed back to the Blasting Room in Fort Collins this month to record a new album with producer Bill Stevenson. The album is yet to be titled and will be the follow up to Under Attack (2006). The release date is tentatively set for August 4, 2009 on SideOneDummy. The band will also be doing a short run of shows in June and July. Here are the dates.
Thur. June 11 Baltimore, MD – The Ottobar
Fri. June 12 Richmond, VA – Canal Club
Sat. June 13 Norfolk, VA – The Norva
Sun June 14 Charlotte, NC – Tremont Music Hall
Tue. June 16 Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
Wed. June 17 Jacksonville, FL – Plush
Thur. June 18 Orlando, FL – The Backbooth
Fri. June 19 Orlando, FL – The Backbooth
Sat. June 20 Pensacola, FL – Sluggos
Sun. June 21 New Orleans, LA – Dragons Den
Tue. June 23 Houston, TX – Java Jazz
Wed. June 24 Corpus Christi, TX – House of Rock
Thur. June 25 San Antonio, TX – White Rabbit
Fri. June 26 Austin, TX – Red 7
Sat. June 27 Dallas, TX – The Door
Sun. June 28 Oklahoma City, OK – The Conservatory
Wed. July 1 Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
Thu. July 2 Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Smalls Theatre