Formed: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Alongside D.O.A., whom vocalist Roy 'Wimpy' Goble and drummer Dimwit later joined, The Subhumans was Canada's foremost hardcore band, both forming at roughly the same time in the same city (Vancouver). Both bands were highly politicised, although D.O.A. tempered their views with large doses of drunken behaviour and hedonistic fun. The Subhumans were more serious, though not without a sense of humour, brandishing a slightly more conventional musical attack that bears some similarities with Stiff Little Fingers, a comparison accentuated by Goble's throaty growl, which makes him sound like Jake Burns with a Canadian accent. Their lasting contribution to society was their genuine, grassroots political activities that placed them alongside Crass as one of the few punk bands who actually walked it like they talked it. Their music mixes power, anger, energy, humour and melody with intelligent, thoughtful lyrics and beautiful, simple yet effective song-structures.
It 1983 bassist Gerry Useless (not his real surname, it's Hannah) was one of five people arrested for taking part in terrorist activities, being charged with firebombing shops selling pornographic material, dynamiting a nuclear power plant and bombing a plant that designed guidance systems for Cruise missiles. The Vancouver Five (as they became known) were convicted and sentenced to lengthy prison stretches. While in prison he contributed a beautiful song ('Living With The Lies') to the soundtrack album for Terminal City Ricochet.
Never big sellers in their heyday, they nonetheless reformed in the the 00's and have made new records.