Hardcore Punk is a subgenre of Punk that originated in North America in the late 1970s, since then it has been spreading through the world like a contagious virus, mutating everywhere it went. Hardcore Punk has been reborn in so many ways, and I am not talking about the soft, lame, and self-proclaimed HC-Punk that has nothing to do with the genre. I am talking about the real deal. This article will discuss the modern interpretation of hardcore punk and my understanding of it.
The hardcore I want to layout here is best described by starting with mentioning some example bands. I know, I could have picked so many other bands that would have deserved mention. Allow me to begin with these and come back to more bands later in another article.
What are some good examples of bands that I mean?
Knocked Loose — Oh, one of my favorites, and I got to say when someone tells me the word “hardcore punk,” my head directly jumps to this band. The malice and hardcore in this band are strong. Their fundamental use of extreme metal breakdowns and their famous slow tuned churn make this band eternal, and a-must listen to everyone diving into this genre. The chances are that if you do not like this band, you might like the next one more.
Nasty — This band is a special one. The oldest band mentioned but perfectly fits into the line. With their hardcore, metallic rhythms and their unique aggressiveness, they have been dismantling stages worldwide. Their newest album, “Menace,” really shows that this band has everything that it needs to be one of the top bands of the genre. Therefore, this band is a must-hear, and I am sure many would agree.
Malevolence — I think everyone in the scene would agree to one thing, Reign of Suffering is a banger. This album has everything, from the melodic riffs to brutal breakdowns. This album tops the genre. If someone needs a place to get started, this band is a must-go-to, in my opinion. The Other Side is for everyone, enjoy one of the best tracks of 2020 and, personally, my favorite track in the band is their newest track to date of writing this, but let me tell you one thing, this track will change your life. Have a spin!
Street Soldier — Lesser known but a must mention in this blog. These boys know how to beatdown properly. The energy and the rhythm of this band never fail to get you pumped. If you are looking for a good portion of heavy and aggressive music straight into your face, check out One Man Gang. That track makes my blood boil. This aggressive mix of rhythm and lyrics are undoubtedly unique to the scene and a perfect example of niche-niche inception. This band is worth losing yourself in the void of hard music, trust me.
I will add future reviews and write more articles about bands that deserve to be mentioned and recognized. Stay tuned!
Are hardcore concerts brutal?
Yes, they are. Broken noses, shattered ribs, and people getting knocked out is just the beginning. Concerts like these are best defined by the saying, “all hell breaks loose.” People go crazy; people bash the living sh** out each other, they mosh and windmill, they kick, and two-step. However, people entering the pit at concerts like these, they actively seek that. So basically, by entering the pit, you signify that you are okay being beaten and moshed. It sounds like a lot of fun, doesn’t it?
Hang in there; that is the mosh… Most folks do not necessarily mosh. Most of the spectators stand in a circle around the pit and enjoy the show. It is something to see and a nice entertainment next to the show. And if you don’t like to see the spectacle, there is plenty of room on the sides of the pit or somewhere in the background.
Hardcore festivals have a unique vibe, aggressive music, and plenty of good people that enjoy them. One of my best experiences was at the Fall in the Brawl festival, 2019 in Manchester. People came together to enjoy underground bands from all over Europe and even the US, so did the fans. The multiculturality is insane; I met people from across the globe. Festivals like these are great because they bring together like-minded people and perfect valves to let off some steam.
Hardcore Punk Fashion
That is a fun one. Well, everything that is black is fine. Tattoos, piercings, metal-shirts, and beards are a common thing to see. But do not worry, you will not need any of that. A simple shirt of a band playing at the venue should suffice to get started. Surprisingly, mohawks are a relatively rare sight at events like these. If I must, I would explain this by arguing that it is a different type of audience.
For most bands playing at festivals like these, merchandise is their primary income, so if you want to support your favorite musicians, buying merchandise at gigs is a great way to do that. Since the audience of a relatively small size most of the time, bands will not see a lot of money for their performance. So be nice, garb some shirts and have a chat with the bands by doing so.
Origins of hardcore
I got to mention this, since the hardcore punk that I am describing, does not match the classical image of hardcore punk like Black Flag, Agnostic Front, or Madball. These bands still dominate the niche; I can see that, however, modern hardcore punk is a different shade of blue. It is only a question of time till bands like Knocked Loose will be worth mentioning with the others. No wonder people like Corey Taylor say things like: “Whether it’s bands like Knocked Loose or bands like… There is this fantastic band called Ho99o9, which is like hip hop/metal/hardcore, they dabble in so many genres. And they’re SO good.”
To wrap things up
Thanks to COVID-19, festivals, and gigs described above are fragments from the past. However, these memories are too precious to be lost. I can not wait until gigs and festivals pick up again. Small bands need your help now more than ever! Buy merchandise, listen to their track, and mosh for yourself!
If this type of music is appealing to you, go to gigs, they are a lot of fun and a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded people and to enjoy your favorite bands remodeling the venue they are playing at. Do not be scared off by the mosh. Just keep your distance, and you should be just about fine.
(Disclaimer: This article is not politically motivated, and its sole purpose is educational. These bands have not paid me, nor did they ask me to mention them in this blog. These bands are listed to make the explanation more comfortable.)