The Casualties – We Are All We Have

The Casualties - We Are All We Have

The Casualties - We Are All We Have

With seven albums and a heap of tours already in the can, The Casualties looks a little long in the tooth. But that cuspid hasn’t dulled over the years–nigh on 20 now–and the new album, We Are All We Have, is proof. The band slings out thrashing hardcore punk. Their relentless use of gang vocals leads some listeners to further brand their music as Oi! or street punk.

The Casualties sounds fit, and the songs on We Are All We Have never stop attacking. The band wields a heavier thrash influence than one might expect, and this always works in their favor. Arguably, the album falters when the band resorts to punk cliche’s, but it comes with the territory. This kind of punk rock is a community-minded venture, and the bar room choruses and punk dress code that some folks deem cliche’ also serve as identifiers and rallying posts. The Casualties might be heavy-handed with the gang vocals, and their lyrics just routine, but We Are All We Have is still a good album.

Although treble-heavy at times, the album’s sound is solid, crisp, and adrenalized. Guitars change chords feverishly, the rhythms match their pace, and band founder Jorge Herrera’s lead vocals sound so caustic that he could easily front a death metal band. The better efforts on We Are All We Have begin with “Apocalypse Today” and “War Is Business”. Both tracks bring some of the tightest, purest thrash you’ll hear on this album. The stellar “Depression – Unemployment Lines” rolls along like a quarter horse. It’s a well-built song that, although no less relentless, offers a break from the tireless firing of the snare drum.

The album’s early tracks, including “Carry On the Flag”, “We Are All We Have”, “Heart Bleeds Black”, and “Stand Against Them All”, get corny. On “In The Tombs”, the band introduces some reggae, and then they go full dub on “Rockers Reggae”. Such is common in this genre, and The Casualties are no worse off for having added this sound to their repitoire’. We Are All We Have succeeds, warts and all. Punk fans who wish bands would focus less on melody and more on thrash will savor The Casualties.