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(Sub)human Remains 

Wednesday, Aug 26 1998
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When it was announced, the Subhumans reunion raised both limp spikes and a healthy dose of suspicion. With the rash of 1997 and '98 filthy lucre reunion tours it was easy to be a little jaded when the Subhumans -- one of the most respected and talented of the old socio-political punk powerhouses of the mid-'80s -- decided to resurrect the early '80s lineup for one last tour. (The band broke up in 1987, after releasing a half-dozen records.)

Singer Dick Lukas says the tour is not about money or playing to punk's (continual) resurgence. Instead, it's a simple way for the band to say thanks. "We want to come back and play for the people who never got the chance to see us," says Lukas. "Our popularity in America is bigger than when we were together. This is our way of saying thank you to all the people who still love the old songs."

The decision came easy. Lukas' current band, Citizen Fish -- which consists of three out of the four original members of Subhumans -- started playing some of those old songs during practice, just for laughs. "It felt great and sounded better than it did back then," says Lukas. "We decided to con Bruce, the original guitarist, into doing a few one-off gigs around England." The crowd reaction was encouraging. "We're actually better musicians now," says Lukas. "We have 15 years more experience under our belts, but some of the songs don't carry over well through the years." This is understandable considering that the group's 74-song catalog deals heavily in political issues of the 1980s, with titles like "Who's Going to Fight in the Third World War."

"The anger is still there," says Lukas. "But we're a little more analytical in our thinking and the songs we choose will reflect it." Even though the American shows are selling out, Lukas says this will be the final tour. "If we were to stay together we would need new material," he says. "Citizen Fish is still our main focus, so people should keep in mind that this is just a thank you postcard from England." The Subhumans play Thursday at 8 p.m. at Slim's, 333 11th St. (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is the punk rock price of $8; call 522-0333.

-- Robert Arriaga

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Robert Arriaga

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