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Casualties - Under Attack

  by Alex Halls

published: 4 / 1 / 2007



Casualties - Under Attack
Label: Side One Dummy
Format: CD

intro

Uncomplicated, but classic punk on seventh album from British-sounding New York group the Casualties


For a long time the Casualties have sat in the Punk underground, hailed for their approach to punk’s original music roots but yet criticised for their supposed vanity. Surely being Punk is all about being yourself; an important point evidently forgotten by the detractors. Those in this latter camp may well feel justified given the band’s sudden growth in popularity, which has seen them recently appear on a growing number of high-profile compilations. Boosted by dedicated musicians, the band’s distinctive look captures that of the seminal punk, sporting traditional, brightly coloured Mohicans, if a little obsessed with their perfection as numerous bottles of hairspray go into the construction. From New York City, the Casualties look, and by all arguments, musically sound like a British punk band. Most apparent in the vocals, it’s hard to tell otherwise. New album, 'Under Attack', marks the band’s seventh release, and number three on record label Side One Dummy. It is a more mature album and well-polished from both a production perspective and from the musicianship involved. Whilst it would have been great for it to remain rougher around the edges, ultimately it remains Casualties through and through. The band have always played uncomplicated music, which is nonetheless rather effective. Over its twelve tracks Under Attack’s lyrics are pretty basic but fundamentally describe some of America’s problems and how little is being done to solve them. Following on in the vein of predecessor, 'On the Front Line', 'Under Attack' covers such subjects as the U.S. government forcing its soldiers to fight illegitimate wars, bleeding the earth of its natural resources and attacking America’s so-called democracy. Not at all light material and definitely a persistent move away from the band’s past tendency to shy away from such subjects. What’s great about bands is when they are bi or multi-lingual, adding an additional string to their musical bow. 'On the Front Line' was also subsequently released in Spanish, lead singer Jorge’s mother tongue and, although there is none to be seen on 'Under Attack', perhaps the Spanish voice helps shape the band’s vocal sound. By playing last summer’s Warped Tour the Casualties will doubtlessly attract further criticism; however they profess simply to play where they desire, truly fitting with the punk spirit. 'Under Attack' is a credit to the Casualties. Its fast pace and accurate sound makes it truly effective; a really quite outstanding release. The fact that the sound doesn’t really change from most of their past albums is a genuine bonus. Some bands needs to vary their sound and experiment, if from a need to satisfy themselves as musical artists, or from fans changing tastes over time. The Casualties don’t: plain and simple. It all works, always has done, it’s just a greater number have finally woken up to ‘in your face’ vocals and allowed themselves to be tempted by an album that is capped off by a truly delicious bass line in 'In It for Life'. A classic!



Track Listing:-
1 Under Attack
2 Without Warning
3 System Failed Us...Again
4 Social Outcast
5 VIP
6 No Solution / No Control
7 Down & Out
8 In It For Life
9 On City Streets
10 Fallen Heroes
11 The Great American Progress
12 Stand And Fight



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