Releasing a Spanish-language version of an album already released is a trick usually reserved for Christina Aguilera. In relation to a punk band, it sounds more like a Me First and the Gimme Gimmes trick than a serious album. But when it’s The Casualties, mohawked standard-bearers of the “fuck you” school of punk rock, it’s got to be serious. Several members of the band are of Latin descent, and there is no doubt that they mean this record wholeheartedly.
It’s either the hardest or the easiest job in the world to review this album. I’ve already written about On The Front Line, the English-language original version, and not much has changed. There’s an extra track, a song about punks in Latin America, which maintains the splintered-glass feel of the rest of the album, and breakneck-speed angry punk rock from the streets, full of spit, fury and dirt.
After all, though, punk rock was born in the streets, in ethnic-ghetto neighborhoods in London and New York, and the working class in the U.S.A. is increasingly Spanish-speaking. While this record will probably end up a collector’s item for die-hards, it’s not hard to imagine a new genre of street music rising from that growing population. Maybe the Casualties are ahead of the game. Sadly, it’s just as hard to understand what singer Jorge’s saying in Spanish as it was in English, but hey, it’s the thought that counts, right?