Saturday, September 23, 2006

We're All Subhumans Now

"We're all Americans now." (French magazine Le Monde, September 2001,
in aftermath of 9/11 attacks)

"You're either with us or against us...." (George W. Bush, November 2001)

"We're all subhumans now." (myself, September 2006, in the aftermath of Israel's attacks on Lebanon)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

New Dark Age Parade

Well, seeing as how this is my first entry I'd better get right to the important stuff. My name is Gerry Hannah aka "Gerry Useless". I'm the bass player and one of the three song writers for the original Subhumans from Vancouver, Canada. We've just released a new, 14 song CD titled New Dark Age Parade on G7 Welcoming Committee Records in Canada and on Alternative Tentacles Records in the rest of the world. It's the first time the band has released brand new material since 1982!

I think this record is really, really good. Now, of course you'd expect me to say that, me being a member of the band and what not, but the truth is, I don't plug records I don't like. In fact, shortly after our first album, Incorrect Thoughts came out in 1981, I was asked what I thought of the album on a live radio interview in Texas. My response was, "I wouldn't buy it" (of course, that comment was very popular with the rest of the band!). I only really liked about 3/4 of the songs on the album and I was really disappointed with most of the production. I actually like that album now, but back then I didn't and I said so. So when I say that I think New Dark Age Parade is really, really good, I do mean it.

From a musical standpoint, New Dark Age Parade is for the most part, mid tempo with a few faster punk rock forays here and there, as well as a couple of slightly slower tunes too. It's mostly hard driving rock (without the posturing and without trying to be slick) and there's a bit of a garage pop sound in there too. I would say the album draws on influences as diverse as the Clash (circa Complete Control days), to the New York Dolls (circa their first album), to Steppenwolf (Monster), to Bowie (Man Who Sold the World), to Stereolab (circa Refried Ectoplasm, without the keyboards and Latietia Sadier's angelic vocals). Now of course, that's just my opinion. You may disagree and indeed, my bandmates may disagree, but I'm just trying to give you an idea of the sound of the damned thing.

Lyrically, the album speaks on topics ranging from poverty and drug addiction, to alienation from one's self and society, to unity and a sense of belonging, to psychological healing, to macho posturing, to religious fanaticism (both christian and muslim) and last, but not least, to war! (how could there not be songs about war on a Subhumans album, when clearly, we live in a world at war?). I guess you could say that the record from a lyrical standpoint is just a tad "political", which will come as no surprise to those of you that are familiar with our earlier stuff. None of the songs are anti-American in content though (as has been suggested by some reviewers), but a few of them critique American foreign policy, both current and past (how could any sane person not critique 60 years of madness?).

Anyways, if this CD sounds interesting to you, I urge you to go out and buy it from your favourite record store or order it from G7 or Alternative Tentacles. If you like us and/or like the record, please don't pirate the damn thing. Honestly, how do you expect indie bands and labels to keep on going if they can't make any money from record sales? More about that on another posting perhaps.... I guess that's all for now.