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The Casualties

On the Front Line (Side One Dummy)

Talk on the streets is there's a backlash against the Casualties (appearing on Sunday, July 18, at Invesco Field as part of the Vans Warped Tour) by self-righteous old-schoolers armed with accusations of "sell-out" and, of course, the perennial standby, "poseurs." Those knee-jerk slanders should be laid to rest, however, with the first spin of On the Front Line's ferocious barrage: the lightning fast battery Meggers (apparently surnames are superfluous for this crew) inflicts upon his unwitting drum kit, and Jorge's decrepit barking is a welcome break from teen pleasers like New Found Charlotte. His vicious military chanting strengthens the simple but sticky hardcore melodies; while guitarist Jake fires riffs off like he's Tony Montana. And recording the disc at Bill "Black Flag" Stevenson's Blasting Room studio in Fort Collins certainly didn't hurt matters.

However, whereas the delivery is sweet terror, the subject matter is a path beaten hard by many combat boots before: An army of street thugs accused of a crime they didn't commit vows allegiance to our heroes. This paramilitary organization then roams the night in search of revenge, justice or beer -- whichever comes first. The Casualties' music is just as valid -- and hackneyed -- as love ballads; for those more inclined to bare knuckles than baring their souls, it's the same level of cliche with just a bit more bite.

 
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