Known for their aggressive brand of old-school punk, New York's the Casualties emerged in the '90s as torchbearers for the kind of combative hardcore anthems pioneered by bands like the Exploited, G.B.H., and Negative Approach. The band built a loyal fan base issuing albums like 1997's For the Punx, 2001's Stay Out of Order, and 2006's Under Attack. Despite their evolving lineup and the departure of last remaining founding member Jorge Herrera following 2016's Chaos Sound, the Casualties continue to forge ahead as punk veterans.
Formed in 1990 out of a desire to return to the heyday of '70s and '80s punk, the Casualties' initial lineup consisted of singers Jorge Herrera and Colin, drummer Yureesh, guitarist Hank, and bassist Mark. Even this inaugural lineup was shaky, with Colin stepping out for several months to finish his education and Rivits singer Rachel stepping in to take his place. During this period, the Casualties put together a demo. The following year, the core lineup consisted of Colin, Jorge, Yureesh, and Mark. The band added guitarist Fred when Hank dropped out, and went on to make an appearance on the compilation Benefit for Beer. Soon more changes were in the works, with new guitarist Fred heading off to school. C Squat's Scott temporarily filled Fred's shoes until he returned a short time later. During this period, guitarist Hank came and went a second time. Another guitarist, Steve, also played briefly with the group.
The Casualties stabilized long enough in the fall of 1991 to put together an EP, 40 Ounce Casualty. By the following year, the band was touring frequently and building up a fan base in its hometown of New York City. In 1993, however, more shakeups were in the works. Guitarist Fred and bassist Mark were out, and Jake Kolatis and Mike were in to take their respective places. The following year, the band appeared on another compilation, Pogo Attack, and put together a second EP, Drinking Is Our Way of Life. The four-track EP was never issued but later was incorporated into the band's 1999 release, Early Years: 1990-1995. Stability remained elusive, and drummer Yureesh and singer Colin dropped out. Shawn stepped in to take Yureesh's place. The group put together a third EP, A Fuckin' Way of Life, in 1995, the same year that Rivits drummer Meggers (aka Mark Eggers) took Shawn's place.
Temporarily settled in terms of their lineup, the Casualties traveled to London in 1996 for a performance on the stage of the Holidays in the Sun Festival. The following year, the band put out its first full-length album, For the Punx, and embarked on a tour where it supported the Varukers. Unfortunately, the lineup evolved again the following year, when the Krays' bassist, Jon, took over when Mike dropped out. Jon stayed long enough to help out on the Underground Army album, but jumped ship during the band's supporting tour across Europe in 1998. To take his place, the band recruited Dave Punk Core, who only stayed until 1999.
With the addition of ex-Manix bassist Rick Lopez, the group (rounded out by Jorge Herrera, Jake Kolatis, and Meggers for those still following) started another tour. More tours of the U.S. and Europe followed in 2000 and 2001, along with the albums Who's in Control?, Stay Out of Order, and Die Hards, the last marking their debut on SideOneDummy. On the Front Line appeared in February 2004; two years later, the Casualties preceded Under Attack's late August release with a main stage slot on the Vans Warped Tour. All We Have, the band's eighth studio long-player, dropped in 2009, followed by the Season of Mist-issued Resistance in 2012. Chaos Sound arrived in early 2016, after which Herrera left the band. In 2018, they returned with Written in Blood, the group's first album with former Krum Bums vocalist David Rodriguez. ~ Linda Seida