Being involved in something as cool as the first wave of Canadian punk and hardcore must have been great at the time - y'know, with raised middle fingers decrying Reaganomics and the like. But the Subhumans peaked in the early 80s and hadn't put out anything since, which makes you question their current relevance in the socially conscious punk movement of today, when even Green Day can sell 10 bajillion records. Sadly, on their first album since 1983, the Subhumans date themselves instantly with by-the-numbers arrangements and drab wordplay that, while full of good intentions, does little to excite. Concerned in part with grievances against America, Parade totters close to smarmy juvenile knee-jerkery on songs like Celebrity and I Got Religion, which unoriginally lampoon - you guessed it - celebrities and religion. No one can fault the band's earnestness, but this just isn't up to par.
Subhumans play Saturday (October 21) at Lee's Palace.