Internal Riot

by Subhumans

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about

REVIEW from Sputnikmusic.com
It’s been nine years since singer Dick Lucas and the anarchist U.K. punk band The Subhumans reformed for touring, and 20 years since the band released an album of new material. With punk rock all but squandered by the eyeliner-wearing MTV faithful, Internal Riot arrives just in time to remind us what a punk band is supposed to sound like, rather than what they’re supposed to look like.
The screaming jets and guitars in the beginning of “This Year’s War” make it clear that time hasn’t slowed The Subhumans down, as they sound angrier than ever. The moaning guitars and furious drumming sound like the blast of a well-timed bomb. The band delivers 13 songs in 41 minutes without leaving out a single target in Dick Lucas’ raspy assault.
Lucas paints his ugly picture of America with lines like “There’s war in the headlines, there’s war in the heads. The leaders will feed us ‘til we’re overfed.” His stories focus on the atrocities of war and violence, and instead of simply pointing out the problem like too many of the bands releasing political-tinted albums today, Lucas’s lyrics actually point to solutions.
The majority of the band’s social and political tirades discuss guns and bombs, but “Supermarket Forces” attacks the oversized grocery and department stores that impact local businesses. With Lucas screaming, “The price of all your favorite meals stays low, but now you can’t afford it,” one could assume he doesn’t do his shopping at K-mart.
As a whole, the band itself sounds very tight on the album. From the machine gun intro to “Culture Addict” to the simple-yet-effective guitar riffs on the title track, these middle-aged musicians sound like they’re still in their prime.
But the album is not strictly limited to two-minute cuts of punk fury. “Too Fat, Too Thin” showcases the band’s lesser-known ska sound, with a punchy bassline and upstroke guitars in a song that focuses on the media’s constant pressure for women to lose weight. If you would have approached the band in 1983 and told them that one day they’d be the heroes of anorexic teenage girls everywhere, do you think The Subhumans would still be around in 2007?
With a rich history embedded in the roots of punk rock, and a new album that proves that they haven’t lost their grasp on what’s happening in the world, The Subhumans have managed to stay relevant while showing today’s sugar-coated punk bands what’s really going on.

credits

released September 1, 2007

Dick voice/words
Bruce guitar/voice
Phil bass
Trotsky drums
recorded at Riverside, Bath 22-27 May + 5-10 July 2007
engineer Tom Dalgety
mixed by Steve Evans
Bluurg Records - Fish 50

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Track Name: This Year's War
There's war in the headlines, there's war in the heads
Of the leaders who feed us til we're overfed
We're not hungry anymore for your diet of war
Malnutrition for the global poor
The people stood in breadlines
Are still paying for the landmines
Are being cursed for nothing worse
Than living on the pipeline

One war ends and the next one starts
The oil pipe dream leading straight to the heart
Of capitalism and market chains
That supply the demand to feel less pain
But the pacification is wearing thin
Global domination has its cost
When culture's lost then no one wins
Its no surprise when the bombs go off
-This year's war
-against terror like the war on crime
Is a war on anyone, anytime

The invisible enemy could be you
Now we live in a state of total strangers
Fear controls til' its who trusts who?
Everyone scared of their next door neighbors
-This year's war-
-against terror like the war on crime
Is a war on anyone, anytime

People turn to terror when all else fails
The prisons aren't full of rich white males
We're more than scared of the men at the top
We're talking to each other and we're pissed off!
Pissed off with the thought its out of our hands
That innocent people in far-off lands
Will die for the greed or revenge of the few
Who say 'we have no choice in what we must do'

The empty reasons about 'defending
Freedoms' are just never-ending
Strings of bluff to justify
Complete control over peoples lives
Or at least the global oil supply
And re-election as the polls roll by
And a place in history when you die
-This year's war-
Track Name: Internal Riot
I wanna complain cos I think I like it
I get deranged when it's all gone quiet
Never have guessed the internal riot
I only drink cos it helps me think
that I understand all the reasons why it

Burns like some communal strength
Unrealised hence 'unrealistic'
'Unite the world' but what it meant
Was needing targets less fantastic

A unity of mutiny against the lie that we're all free
Sparks a continuity of invention sparked by desperate glee
Told it's useless to keep on
Fired the reaction even more
Now you're damned if you're right
Damned if you're wrong

This is what anger's for
Track Name: Fractured
I really wish I'd spoken up
'cos now it seems you've broken up
You're signal's weak, address unknown
I heard you're in a Barratt home
Semi-detached and double-glazed
I hope you come around some day

All we want is a whole lot less
Of the voice saying "here's some more"

I'm not sure we've ever met
I got your profile off the net
Now every time I scan for signs
Of recognition in the eyes
Of all these people growing past
All I'm seeing is the aftermath

All we want is a whole lot less
Of the voice saying "here's some more"

Fractured - dashed upon the cracked foundations of a civilisation
Fractured - trapped in pointless gestures at the point of saturation
Fractured - overdrive it's too much one-way nonstop information
Fractured

Here's the gap now fill it in with bite-sized portions of the dream
Cracked reflections of desires are casting shadows on the screen
Overhead the sun goes by...message unreceived it seems

All we want is a whole lot less
Of the voice saying "here's some more"

Fractured - split between the act of witnessing and being captured
Fractured - knowing that the going there involves the rudiments of rapture
Fractured - some desire for the heights unknown yet knowing it's all manufactured
Fractured

Yesterday I saw your face, you looked different in the advert
Yesterday I saw you're face - Fractured

All we want is a whole lot less
Of the voice saying "here's some more"
Track Name: Point of View
Read it in the paper the other day,
But not the day before
Neither in the one that came after it
So it’s out of sight once more
Everyone says it’s too hot outside
And the canteen's gone downhill
The food ain't what it used to be
But I don't see 'em being ill

Get another point of view

What was it the paper said
Next to the topless girl?
Nowt but a picture of a starving kid
In someone else's world
Christ she looks almost anorexic
Give her some food before she dies!
In the macho banquet of anesthetic
Conscience starves as they feast their eyes

Get another point of view

The bigger the picture the more it drives
Images into the front of the mind
While the back dries up from the lack of ambition
To think beyond sex and social position

You have to look further if you want to see more
Then think a bit harder than you ever did before
If something is wrong and it makes you think twice
You've got the incentive to act
It’s your choice

Get another point of view
Track Name: Won't Ask You Again
Change isn't progress unless it feels better
And waiting for better just makes it feel worse
We blow all the bubbles of hope and excitement
Try to calm down before they all burst

Too used to asking for things we deserve
Clean water in taps or somewhere to live
And failing to see that merely by asking
We're setting the limits on what people give

I don't want your promises
I don't want your change
What’s the chance of being heard?
I won't ask you again

Asking for change is like asking for freedom
To choose who supplies all you need to be free
We take the position of moral consumers
Only to find that there's no guarantee

Action's a magnet for those who quit asking
But couldn't find anyone else they could tell
Action is not only making the protest
But making that overdue phone call as well

I don't want your promises
I don't want your change
What’s the chance of being heard?
I won't ask you again

The leaders we look at keep talking of changing
Like it was our fault things are all going wrong
Look a bit wider and get the whole picture
Then turn off the nerve that says "here you belong"

The people who change things are dead when it's normal
And lucky to stay out of jail when it's not
You can ask for the world to stop kicking your soul in
Or stand up and fight for the fighting to stop

We don't need your promises
We don't need your change
If this is all you have to give
We won't ask you again
Track Name: Supermarket Forces
40 years in the local store
Got forced out by the supermarket
The price of all your favorite meals
Stays low but now you can't afford it
Send in the supermarket forces

Supermarketeering plans
To simplify and save you time
Alternatives are there to feed you
Better food less advertised
Send in the supermarket forces

Stick it on a card to save you cash
They know your details in a flash
Streamlined sets the mental tone
Now everyone's a shopping clone

Cut your supermarket chains

Mass consumption how d'you like it?
Be prepared to feel denied
The cost of living on their terms
Is higher than you realise

Send in the supermarket forces
Track Name: Process
I really need to talk to someone
Please hold while I put you through
I think I need a new subscription
To a life outside this queue
It's not the waiting it's the knowing
There's no end at the other end
The stock replies anaesthetise the pain
And then it starts again

I'm stood in the queue for the queue to get out of this
process

All this waiting just to make a claim
A wage, a target set
A cry for help or understanding
Will turn to rage, cause and effect
Sober minds talk of compliance
"Wait your turn" and "show respect"
A fear of speaking in defiance
Burns a fuse with no regrets

So I let it all out, I wanna get out of this process

And here's someone I need to talk to
And someone needs to be informed
Being helpful lost the smile
And handed out the uniform
And in a cell or in the army
On the end of desks or phones
Live the crazy, acting calmly
Just wishing it would all explode

And say it out loud: You got to get out of this process
Track Name: Culture Addict
Upper downer, side to side
We live to watch or have a go
Let's reproduce the advert life
That winks the “yes” as it yells the “no”
-Now you're just a culture addict
And sells the basic contradiction
What you need is more addiction
Every desire is up for sale
Greed succeeds as reason fails

Addicted tricked but then I fixed it
Kicked it, missed it - couldn't resist it

What's addiction? Who's to say
Degrees extreme or every day
With repetition it begins
Realisation sinking in
(Now you're just a culture addict)
No more choice of take or leave it
The double-sided "can't believe it"
How did something so brand new
Become the only thing to do?

Addicted tricked but then I fixed it
Kicked it, missed it - couldn't resist it

Pleasure was the measure used
To judge the idea of success
But then your conscience got abused
By false conceptions of "the best"

Now it’s too easy to get more
And more of what you're needing less
And harder too, to reach a point
Beyond this culture of excess

Addicted tricked but then I fixed it
Kicked it, missed it - couldn't resist it
Addicted
Couldn’t resist it
Track Name: Too Fat, Too Thin
What size are you supposed to be?
Too fat, too thin, too scared - all three
The pounds and ounces hierarchy
Of processed people in 3D

Don't lose weight you need to survive
Just to live up to their lies
All those smiles and patron-eyes
Are how your looks get stigmatized

I'm so thin
I'm so fat
I couldn't give a shit about that
You're so beautiful it sets me free
You're just the way you're meant to be

Pressure to change to fit the size
That sells the shit they advertise
Leads to a culture of disguise
And several teenage suicides

I'm so thin
I'm so fat
I couldn't give a shit about that
You're so beautiful it sets me free
You're just the way you're meant to be

Overstressed and underweight
Or overweight and under-rated
In the struggle to be "average"

You're just the way you're meant to be
Track Name: Sedated
Diverting conversations
Subverting inspiration
With the mere regurgitation
Of the one-way information
On the screen

Consuming with resistance
Assuming moral distance
While we lap up the insistence
That the next
Will be the best
We've ever seen

Plug me in - Turn me on - So aware
So captivated
Plug me in - Turn me on - So aware
We've been sedated

Diversion into caution
The assertion of importance
Made a promise of reluctance
To be following instructions
All the time

The message came in slices
In between the current crisis
Now opinions are divided
By the power of advertising
It's sublime

Plug me in - Turn me on - So aware
So captivated
Plug me in - Turn me on - So aware
We've been sedated
Track Name: This is Not an Advert
I notice adverts everywhere
It’s even on the clothes you wear
And still you smile so unaffected
Is all this anger misdirected?
Relate the logo on the t-shirt
Now you're just a walking advert
Do you really care who made it?
Sweatshop workers underpaid

This is not an advert

Pre-teen kids who get abused
For wearing nonspecific shoes
Anorexic suicidal
Women on the diet cycle
Men in cars that just look faster
As they crawl towards disaster
All the side effects of being
Little more than what we're seeing

This is not an advert

Trends and slogans
Cultural tokens
Of mass consumption
What's your function?

The epitome of anti-culture
Designer branding constant future
Plans for redesigning space
Every human has its place
Desire consumes more to be free
Of addiction born of unmet needs
Supplied by signs that overfeed
The cures for the dependency

This is not an advert

Please allow me to replicate you
I'll buy your clothes and neither love nor hate you
Track Name: Never-Ending War Song
There’s someone on the doorstep with a button in his hand
All this western culture fix has blown apart his land
Until we make connections with the way it’s all been planned
His hate for us is something we'll never understand

Advertise democracy then offer it for sale
The price goes through the roof much like the bombs if payment fails
To pay the interest on the loan to build some factories
And extra jobs for the boys back home as burger franchisees

So when your nation's starving ‘cos the wages that we pay
Means you can't afford to eat the food they cook 12 hours a day
Or wear the shoes they make so our teenagers can stay cool
We'll keep the cycle going till you've military rule

And then, my friend, the arms we've got will cost you more than debt
An everlasting friendship that we won't let you forget
All this global enterprise truly goes two ways
You give us your resources - we give you bigger chains

It’s a war against war against war against war
With words about words about words on the wall
Stances taken, dealers shaking
Hands on the arms deal, here's some more

Money exchanges, there go the wages
There go the jobs, and here comes the poor
White man trade and we all get slaves
Making the trainers we can't afford

We look to the sky when we want to know why
We go to the ground to get profound
Here comes a plane to deliver again
And we get to our knees and pray that it's food

Nobody explained who didn't have a suit on
Nobody complained ‘cos we didn't understand
More worried about the rains and where to get the food from
They may say they run the country but it's us living off the land

We saw the ad and bought the box
And saw the ad and lots of clocks
And ties and tightness, so much tightness
The money key fits all the locks

Importation ran amok
When all this greed escaped the box
We learnt to feed for more than what we needed
And then the value dropped

We took for granted all we'd had
But prices only raise the cost
Of living without joining in
Such soul-degrading culture loss

So then we had to fight to save ourselves from losing proper jobs
Then fight again to get the ones where corporations were the boss
You'd recognize the household name it's on your t-shirt and your socks
Or skyward advertising gas on baseball hats in parking lots

Business rang the businessman
Who rang around, said "here's the plan
We use up everything we can
Then raise the price and get some more

Overseas where by degrees
Their leaders carry guns, I see
Dictatorships and poverty
And what we're looking for

Oil and aid a fair exchange
Yet all these guns get in the way
Well, I flipped a coin
And either way
It’s time to go to war"

Now I've just my anger left to keep me half alive
Below that 50/50 line it’s worthless to survive
And worth the chance of an afterlife of peace and silent nights
Just one more thing I have to say and do before I die

Here is what you get for forcing us to buy your civilisation
War's the global empty face of loss and its retaliation
Track Name: Mosquitoes
Swelling on the face and other random places
Poison in the bloodstream this is not a daydream
Suffering in silence bordering on violence
Thoughts about revenge so bitten by mosquitoes

I hate mosquitoes and they hate me!

Beauty's in the eye of the broken bathroom mirror
The elephant man isn't coming round for dinner
Working on a plan to change the way the wind blows
Cannot understand getting bitten by mosquitoes

I hate mosquitoes and they hate me!

Little helicopters
Buzzing after midnight
Swearing at the ceiling
Praying for the daylight
But there is no god no
Just another psycho
Beating at the windows
Bitten by mosquitoes

I hate mosquitoes and they hate me!