Subhumans

Subhumans

War On Women

Thu, September 13, 2018

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

First Unitarian Church

Philadelphia, PA

$15.00 - $18.00

This event is all ages

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Subhumans
Subhumans
Subhumans were, between 1980-85, one of the most prolific and original of the evolving UK punk scene; they were based in Warminster, Wiltshire, [SW England], and the lineup was Dick on vocals, Bruce played guitar, Phil on bass, and Trotsky on the drums. Dick had previously sung for The Mental, who released one EP and embodied the ’can’t-play-will-play’ early punk ‘anyone-can-do-it’ attitude. Bruce had been in the Stupid Humans, also based in Warminster; these two met at an Angelic Upstarts gig in 1980, and when their bands split they got together to form Subhumans.

Musical influences were a mix of Sex Pistols, Damned, and similar punk originators, and prepunk bands like King Crimson and Frank Zappa, which led to a style of punk more intricate in its structure than their contemporaries, without losing the base energy and dynamics of punk. Dick’s lyrics, at once socially aware and heavily critical of social norms, placed them in the anarcho-punk area of the ever-expanding UK punk scene of the early 80s, alongside Crass, Antisect, Conflict, and Flux of Pink Indians, who released the band’s first 3 EPs Demolition War, Reason For Existence, and Religious Wars and their first LP [in ‘83] The Day The Country Died, which became an instant classic that went on to sell 100,000 copies, [largely at the cover price of ’pay no more than #3.25’, which was as cheap as possible in order to make the music more accessible].

In ‘83 they formed their own label, Bluurg Records, and over the next two years released From the Cradle to the Grave LP [which included a 16 minute track of the same name that had the music press calling for a redefinition of ’punk’!] Evolution EP, Time Flies 12" EP, Rats EP, Worlds Apart LP, and 29:29 Split Vision LP, which was released after splitting up in ‘85. By then they’d played 262 gigs including several European tours and 2 in the USA, [which was in the 80’s a rare achievement for a non-commercially minded band].

Dick went on to join seminal ska-punk-reggae band Culture Shock [86-89, 3 LPs on Bluurg Records], and met up with Phil and Trotsky again in Citizen Fish [89-???], who have so far recorded 7 LPs of their politipunk-ska songs and clocked up over 1000 gigs across the planet…then in ‘98 these 3 ex-Subhumans roped Bruce back in to reform Subhumans, to ’see what it felt like’, and, it feeling rather excellent, have kept going with occasional touring and a limited release CD of old unused songs, Unfinished Business.

New songs are being created slowly but surely for another studio release, and a live one will be out in February; released as part of the Live in a Dive series on Fat Wreck Chords, it was recorded April ‘03 in Corona, California during a highly packed-out USA tour, and features 26 tracks that span their entire output and captures the intensity of Subhumans live that studio recordings could only hint at. In August, Queens of the Stone Age recorded and released their version of a Subs song ’Wake Up Screaming’, and the film director Asia Argento has asked to use Subs music in her adaptation of ‘The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things’.
War On Women
War On Women
Baltimore’s War On Women were born screaming—at the world, at the status quo, in the face of oppression. The band’s forthcoming album Capture The Flag calcifies that rage, and no one in its wake is safe. Much more than a collection of songs or sonic experiment, Capture The Flag is a call to action that cannot be ignored. 

Riff-fueled manifestos are nothing new for War On Women. The co-ed feminist punk troupe has been tackling injustice one song at a time since their 2010 inception. Storming out the gate with teeth gnashing and spitting venom, War On Women’s self-titled 2015 debut crossbred riot grrrl ferocity with the nimble aggression of thrash. Hailed for their crystalline jabs at societal ills, War On Women prove that hardcore can incite change that ripples far beyond the parameters of the stage. 

With hundreds of shows and years of activism behind them, Capture The Flag finds War On Women more dogged than ever. Taking shape over the course of summer 2017, the band’s sophomore effort delves into injustices at both the macro and micro levels. Religious subjugation, gun violence, armchair activists, gender orgasm gap, female genital mutilation, the fetishization of motherhood, and toxic relationships—no breed of oppression defies War On Women’s purview. Recorded with J Robbins in Magpie Cage Recording Studio, Capture The Flag finds the band in their sonic wheelhouse, wedged somewhere between rebellious and rousing. 

Enlisting the talents of their activist predecessors (Kathleen Hanna), glass ceiling shattering contemporaries (Joanna Angel), and own family (Brooks’s daughter Eva), Capture The Flag is a composite character of one of hardcore’s most riling bands. Ceding the gang vocals that peppered their debut album, War On Women opted to cultivate the singular voices of women who have devoted their lives to riling against the powers that be. The result is a crucible of discontent that will inspire as much as it will incense.

As is their modus operandi, War On Women have not stopped at the music. Capture The Flag will also receive its own college-level companion workbook. Inspired by the academic community’s fervent embrace of their self-titled record, War On Women have decided to not only join the conversation, but also facilitate it. This workbook—which will be available for preorder with Capture The Flag—includes a lyric sheet and song dissections, relevant quotes, a reading list, directory of resources, and national support hotline numbers.

War On Women are neither a crew of young bucks nor a contagion of seasoned legends. They don’t fit neatly into metalloid machismo or hulking hardcore tropes. They have nothing to prove, and there’s nothing more delightfully dangerous than that.
Venue Information:
First Unitarian Church
2125 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19103
http://www.philauu.org/