I always loved Canadian Punk – be it D.O.A., be it Forgotten Rebels and and and – and The Subhumans are top of the pile. Their history is long and starts in 1978 and their contribution to Punk in Canada is key. Not only played many of the Subhumans in other bands but they also have had one of their members making a step further – Garry Hannah was part of an early 80’s Direct Action group that did go all the way including bombing a canadian plant manufacturing parts of the US Cruise Missile. That got him a 10 yr sentence (serving five) and that ended the first part of The Subhumans carrer. Plenty of years later they reformed and continue to play and put out records – true to their style of punk rock.
After a couple of noticeable singles Incorrect Thoughts was their first release, later put to a wider audience by CD Presents in the US of A in a 1985 re-release (as far as the story goes a bootleg, Songs remixed, tracks added and re-ordered, and the cover art changed -all without participation or permission from the band).
1977 – no doubt, Hardcore for them is years away!
published by a cool lable – a local indepdendent lable (as for the Canadian version)
found in a cool shop – the CAN version never made it to me, little did i know about the „bootleg“ on CD Presents (but that i have thanks to … Konneckschen, where else)
catching sound – True, great songwriting and inteligent lyrics and not too much focused on speed or „heavy“ or „hard“
The lyrics – the key differentiator with other bands – a brain and a pen! And a storyline! And moving subject from individual, to politics and to self. Genius, trust me!
A line like this handed down from the stage, yes, that’s genius:
I’m a hero
I’m the spokesman for the crowd
My only claim to fame
is a machine that makes me loud
Where am I leading you
why can’t you get there on your own
If you believe in me
someday I’ll leave you all alone
And thats from my loveliest song, which is actualy from the bootlegged version (and appeared initaly only on the the great „Vancouver Independence“ compilation, also courtesy of Friends Records) and it reads like this:
You and me, girl we'll fight it out against the world If she believes that she'll believe everything she's told I'll never leave you not till the mountains turn to dust If he believes that he's got a little too much trust She's nothing to him He's nothing to her And both of them are less than that to me They've both been had A lie behind the smile Perjuring to cultivate a dream Businessmen and workers help each other make their way If you believe that just look around and count your pay The government will help you protect the old and feed the poor You might believe that till the police are at your door You're nothing to them They're nothing to you And both of you are less than that to me The skull and the badge Are the lie behind the smile Used against the powerless and weak I'm a hero I'm the spokesman for the crowd My only claim to fame is a machine that makes me loud Where am I leading you why can't you get there on your own If you believe in me someday I'll leave you all alone I'm nothing to you You're nothing to me And less than nothing's what I want to be Confusion and noise I'm sick behind my smile Sick of every face that I see I'm sick of every face that I see I'm sick of every face that I see (c) 1980 The Subhumans
Now, listen up:
And this is their mates D.O.A. covering it for the soundtrack of Alternatives Tentacles 1990’s venture into movies – TERMINAL CITY RICOCHET:
Whilst we are at it, here the movie trailer (get the DVD/Sountrack combo!):
And, what do the Subhumans have to say today?
and that one is from „Boodied but Unbowed“, Vancouvers answer to „American Hardcore“:
and if you dare for more („Gimme Gimme some more!“) then get THE PUNKMOVIE!