As previewed for L.A. Record:
So much more than a mere punk band, Subhumans formed in Southwest England in 1980 and featured Dick Lucas, one of the genre’s most prolific, literate and respectable songwriters. With often-profound lyrics touting the virtues of anarchy and derailing corrupt social and political practices, the group was one of the only punk bands to experiment with classic rock tempos, blues melodies and instrumentation unconventional to the genre (who’d have thought a punk could play piano?). The band broke up in 1987, and after a stint with seminal ska/punk/reggae band Culture Shock, Dick met up with former Subs bandmates Phil and Trotsky again to form politi-punk/ska band Citizen Fish in 1989, which is still active today. Despite having broken up when I was 5 years old and I discovered the Subs during my teen years in the mid-’90s. It didn’t take long for them to become my all-time favorite band (and my all-time favorite punk band to this day), and when a friend and I tracked down Dick’s address we decided to write him fan letters. Much to our teenybopper amazement he actually responded—several times, in fact—and informed us the Subs would soon be reuniting, which they did to our utter glee in 1998. At the tender age of 15 we ventured to see our favorite penpal from across the pond in San Bernardino and garnered fond memories of pepper spray, flying shoes, bone-crushing moshing and the mysterious cum stain that ended up on the back of my friend’s jeans. Here’s to seeing what ends up on my pants at the Knitting Factory.