Good News For Subhumans Fans
Vancouver punk band The Subhumans has re-recorded its 1980 Incorrect Thoughts debut album and released it under the title Same Thoughts Different Day through Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles label.
The Subhumans originally broke up in 1982, but reformed in 2005 as Subhumans Canada. It planned to reissue Incorrect Thoughts because of fan demand, but there was a snag in that plan.
The Subhumans' original label (Friends Records) was long out of business and the band had no written record of its agreement with the company. A San Francisco label called CD Presents, which is now also defunct, released what the Subhumans claim was an altered and aesthetically inferior version of the album in the mid-'80s.
The head of CD Presents claimed ownership of Incorrect Thoughts, but the band says it's unaware of any legal basis for it and that no documentation to support it was ever presented to it. Here's a brief synopsis from the liner notes for Same Thoughts Different Day:
"The band had never had any business dealings with CD Presents. None of the members of the band had ever authorized the release. We were never contacted by CD Presents; no royalties were ever paid to us, and we have never received an accounting of the quantities manufactured or sold."
In order to avoid a legal battle over Incorrect Thoughts, singer Brian "Wimpy" Goble, guitarist Mike "Normal" Graham, bassist Gerry "Useless" Hannah and non-original band member and drummer Jon Card recorded new versions of the album's songs at the Hive Studios in Burnaby, B.C. in 2008 and 2009. The group also re-recorded two songs that originally appeared on an obscure compilation and four others that it played but never recorded back in the old days. All of them have been assembled and released on the 20-track Same Thoughts Different Day.
"We had a lot of fun making this new album and we think it turned out really well," the band wrote in the liner notes. "In fact, re-recording these songs ended up providing us with an opportunity to improve on some of the things that we were never that happy with on the original recordings."
I'm happy to report that the album sounds great and the songs still sound fresh. Some of the snarl and menace from the original "Slave To My Dick" may be missing, but perhaps that comes with the penis emancipation that may have occurred over the past 30 years.
If you want to relive the glory days of Vancouver's early punk scene, or hear some of the best songs to emerge from it for the first time, pick up a copy of Same Thoughts Different Day. It's available on CD, as a digital download and as a double-vinyl LP set that comes with a digital download card.