With all the political and social friction polluting society these past few years, it’s weird that there haven’t been more pure, balls-out rock albums addressing the situation. There aren’t too many artists jumping up and throwing fingers at the bullshit — at least, not any with enough swagger and charisma to make those fingers count. Thankfully, New York’s celebrated street punks, The Casualties, have returned with just what the political manifesto needed: Resistance.
Resistance is a thrashing punk record that distills an intelligent anger into a spinning circle pit. The title track features a rousing group chant (“Resistance! Whoa oh oooh! Resistance!”) that echoes The Clash’s now ancient call to arms, while singer Jorge Herrera spits and growls like a rabid Johnny Rotten amidst each verse. Similar to Joe Strummer or Mick Jones, Herrera focuses his lyrical barbs on social issues. “Morality Police” urges on with passion, screaming, “Fuck your religion, morality police/ you can’t control us / fuck your morality police,” and “South East Asian Rebels” takes aim at the persecution of punk rockers in countries like Thailand and Malaysia.
The Casualties have crafted a stand-out, riff-heavy metal punk. “Life on the Line” greases a string-splintering main riff that starts to buckle when the tight rhythm section of Rick Lopez (bass) and Marc Eggers (drums) hammers down the chorus of “You’ve run out of time/ your life’s on the line.” It’s as if speed metal pinned UK punk to the wall in the ’70s and the two amicably agreed to work together — pretty heavy stuff. That’s the real beauty about Resistance, though. It’s a prime example on how political aggression, melody, and addicting hooks can co-exist in the 21st century.
So, stick that on your poster and march it.
Essential Tracks: “Morality Police”, “Life on the Line”, and “Resistance”