Random Records with Steve O

Casey Jones - The Few, The Proud, The Crucial

Steve O - March 8, 2015

The Few, The Proud, The Crucial

If I was born about 20 years earlier, and in D.C., I would’ve been one of those kids X’ing up and going to every Minor Threat show. As it happens, I discovered Minor Threat around the time their Discography was re-released, in 2003. But as profound of an impact as Minor Threat had on me, and let’s not mince words, there are very, very few bands that can be spoken in the same breath as them in terms of influencing my life, they were old. And a SteveO starting high school wanted something current. Yeah, you had the straight edge back in ’81, I’ve got it now, but does anyone else? Or I am just wanting to live in the past, identifying with something that doesn’t really exist anymore?

But then, lo and behold, I discovered, around that same time, Casey Jones. Blatant and unapologetically straight edge. Their debut, The Few, The Proud, The Crucial, was released back in 2003, and probably showed up on my radar because it featured members of Evergreen Terrace, chief amongst them Josh James (currently plying his trade in Stick To Your Guns,) who traded in his guitar for the microphone. Featuring short songs that barely push two minutes, with plenty of gang vocals and sound clips (the Family Guy ones date the record today) interspersed among songs like “Know This X” and “If You’re Smoking In Here You Better Be On Fire,” Casey Jones were the modern Minor Threat I was looking for. Every one of their three records features some variation of the “I am proud to be drug free” line. Mixed with a slight sense of humor amongst the seriousness, (you know what you’re getting into with a song called “Dead Kid? Try A Nice Memorial Tattoo,”) Casey Jones were the Minor Threat for me to grow up with, along with the likes of Bane and Champion.

Casey Jones live

Casey Jones put out three records full of straight edge anthems, with songs like "No Donnie, These Men Are Straight Edge" and "If James Hetfield Can Stay Straight Edge, Anyone Can," during their existence as a side project. They called it quits back in early 2012, following the release of their final album, I Hope We’re Not The Last, at which time the Jacksonville troupe went on one last tour, including their first ever stop in Chicago. I’d never heard of the Viaduct Theatre before, and never seen it mentioned since, but back on a wintery day in 2012 I was there to bid Casey Jones a final adieu.

Even if you’re not straight edge, and the odds are largely in favor of that, give The Few, The Proud, The Crucial a listen. It’s a hardcore record, so it only takes up about 20 minutes of your time. If hardcore is your thing, you’ll enjoy it.