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Hardcore

The most prevalent thread to emerge from the original punk era was hardcore.  Just when people were thinking, "what could be more loud and obnoxious than punk", hardcore took off.  These bands played faster, louder, and had lyrics that were even more offensive.  Major hardcore music scenes developed in Los Angeles and D.C., although there were dozens of bands spread all over the place. 

"The Decline of Western Civilization" was a movie which chronicled the L.A. music scene.  The movie soundtrack was released in 1980, and featured the music of Black Flag, The Circle Jerks, Fear, and also X.

grayblkflagBlack Flag was led by vocalist Henry Rollins.  Their 1981 album "Damaged" was a hardcore classic with "Rise Above", "Six Pack", "T.V. Party", and "Spray Paint".

The Circle Jerks were formed by ex-Black Flagger Keith Morris. "Golden Shower Of Hits" (83) featured the anthem "Coup D'Etat"and the funny "Jerks on 45" (a medley of AM radio pop classics).  The Jerks also appeared in the movie "Repo Man".  They can be seen as a cheesy lounge band doing a ridiculous version of  "When The Sh*t Hits The Fan".  "Coup D'Etat" also appears on the "Repo Man" soundtrack.

Fear.  I would like to be able to sing like Lee Ving.  He has a loud raging voice that makes you take notice.  The songs "Let's Have A War" and "I Don't Care About You" elicit the perfect emotions for those angry situations that occur in everyday life.  You may find yourself humming the lyrics "Let's have a war. We need the space" when you get stuck in traffic.  

BackFromSamoaThe Angry Samoans were a personal favorite of mine.  Their music featured lots of interesting tempo changes and lyrics which were sometimes hilarious.  Contrary to their name, The Angry Samoans sounded almost happy.  1982's "Back From Samoa" was a great album which contained the awesome tracks "Lights Out", "Steak Knife", and  "Not Of This Earth"

Minor Threat defined the Washington D.C. hardcore scene.  This band was much more serious and political, and promoted the "Straight Edge" movement, which called for abstinence from drugs and alcohol.  "Out Of Step" was released in 1983, featuring the track "Look Back and Laugh". If you are interested in the music of Minor Threat, the "Complete" CD was released in 1988 which contains their entire recorded career.  Front man Ian MacKaye went on to form the band "Fugazi".  

Bad Brains were another D.C. hardcore band.  They found it interesting to mix Reggae and hardcore songs on their albums and in their performances.  If you find that intriguing, pick up the CD "Sailin' On".  If you want your hardcore straight up, pick up "Rock For Light".  Their best tracks, "Sailin' On" and "Big Take Over" are on both CD's. These tracks are nearly perfect, with their use of distortion and feedback in the intros, and the unreal pace they sustain.

The Meatmen ruled the middle of the country.  If you ever want to take a radical stand against political correctness, get some Meatmen music.  They were as offensive and obnoxious as possible, while maintaining a sense of humor.  The lead singer, Tesco Vee, produced a good EP, "Dutch Hercules", that is extremely rude in a very tongue in cheek manner.

There were a ton of other hardcore bands.  Some good ones to check out are: Agent Orange ("Bloodstains"), 7 Seconds, Jody Foster's Army (J.F.A.), Gang Green, Necros, and Joneses.

 

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