Hardcore Punk

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Hardcore punk is a punk rock subgenre - or rather a set of punk rock subgenres - which is closely related to heavy metal music, because many hardcore artists include several elements from metal in their music, and many metal artists, likewise, include several hardcore elements in their music (several metal subgenres have their roots in hardcore punk music such as thrash metal, grindcore, metalcore, Stockholm death metal, sludge metal, and nu metal). In fact, hardcore can be said to form a continuum from pure punk to primarily metal-oriented music, and many metalheads consider hardcore to be, if not a metal genre, then at least part of the universe of heavy metal music.

Hardcore arose in the late 1970s and gained considerable popularity in the 1980s. It was originally a reaction against the adoption of mainstream society of the aesthetics and lifestyle associated with punk rock as well as the intellectualization of punk rock in Europe. Inheriting the rock instrumentation of punk rock (vocals, guitars, bass, and drums), hardcore musicians would infuse more aggression into their music, speeding up the tempos considerably and inserting heavy and groovy breakdowns into their compositions. Although a global phenomenon, there are two important geographical centers in the development of the genre - namely, the USA and the UK. American hardcore was inspired by the likes of The Dead Kennedys and The Ramones, fusing it with influences from overseas. There were, and still are, several local hardcore scenes in the USA, with the NYC hardcore scene (which often includes the New Jersey scene) probably being the most influential one, spawning bands like Agnostic Front, Misfits, Warzone, Kraut, Mucky Pup, and The Undead, many of which are of crucial importance to metal music as well. Other important early American hardcore bands were Dirty Rotten Imbeciles (D.R.I.) from Texas, The Accüsed from Washington state, Gang Green from Boston, Minor Threat from Washington D.C., and Black Flag and Suicidal Tendencies from Los Angeles. The UK hardcore scene very much sprung from the harsh style of Discharge and The Exploited as well as Amebix which combined elements from early punk rock with elements of NWoBHM, with Motörhead being a particularly important influence; UK hardcore evolved into crust, which would prove to be influential on both death metal and black metal.

Borrowing from heavy metal music, hardcore would itself have an influence on the development of a new subgenre of heavy metal in the early-to-mid 80s - namely, thrash metal, as American metal musicians started to combine the harsh and aggressive style of UK bands like Discharge and The Exploited and US bands like The Misfits and Black Flag on the one hand with the more intricate and technically advanced style of NWoBHM. Despite the similarities in music, the hardcore and thrash metal scenes were separate, and when the members of the two scenes met, violence would often ensue. However, the animosity between the two scenes would eventually disappear, resulting in a hybrid hardcore-thrash style called crossover-thrash, as hardcore artists started incorporating thrash metal elements into their style (perhaps most notably Agnostic Front, D.R.I., and Suicidal Tendencies among others) and thrash metal artists would start to incorporate hardcore into their style (Nuclear Assault being an important example of this). New bands that featured members of both scenes were even established, most notably Stormtroopers of Death (S.O.D.).

Because of the influence of metal upon many early hardcore bands, the term metallic hardcore is sometimes used with reference to hardcore nd crust bands that either make use of elements from various heavy metal subgenres or hardcore bands that are, for other reasons, associated with heavy metal music. In other words, the 'metallic hardcore' label applies to bands at the more metal-oriented end of the hardcore-metal continuum. Typical features of metallic hardcore are the grooves, riffage, and drum patterns associated with hardcore punk and elements associated with heavy metal music, such as guitar leads, double bass drums, palm-muted riffing and, often, productions which, while DIY, are not deliberately underproduced. It should be noted that, here at the MMA, the hardcore subgenre only includes metallic hardcore bands.

In addition to 'standard' metallic hardcore, inclusive hardcore genres on the MMA are:

  • Crust: crust, or crust punk, with its own sub-genre here on MMA, Crust is typically used with reference to the hardcore punk tradition established in the UK by the likes of Discharge, Amebix and Hellbastard. It combines the energy and aggression of punk music with the power and darkness of heavy metal music, early crust punk drew inspiration from the music of the likes of Black Sabbath, Venom, Bathory and Motörhead, while rejecting the lyrical matter often associated with metal at the time. Characteristic of crust punk are heavily distorted guitars and dominant bass frequencies, given the impression of a very dirty sound, and many crust bands also embrace the d-beat drumming style popularized by Discharge, which was in turn inspired by Motörhead. Another typical feature is the use of both very fast tempos and extremely heavy tempos, and harsh guttural vocals are not uncommon. And offspring of crust punk is grindcore which was invented by Napalm Death and Carcass under the influence of Extreme Noise Terror (who would later embrace grindcore aesthetics themselves). Many bands on the Stockholm death metal scene of the early 1990s would incorporate numerous elements from crust punk into their sound as would early American sludge metal bands like The Melvins and Neurosis, while Hellhammer/Celtic Frost would draw inspiration from Discharge, resulting in derivatives of d-beating figuring in black metal. More recently, crust bands have infused elements from death metal, black metal, thrash metal and sludge metal, into their music. Examples of crust bands included in the MMA are Extreme Noise Terror, Amebix, Discharge, Acephalix, Wolfbrigade, Nuclear Death Terror, and Hellbastard. Many modern crust bands have infused so many death metal elements into their music that it makes more sense to consider them death metal bands, in which case the bands, or releases, in question are included under death metal, as is the case of a number of Acephalix and Bastard Priest releases. Other crust bands crossed over into thrash metal territory as is the case of Hellbastard's late releases and Amebix' "Monolith"; in this case the relevant releases are included under thrash metal. Crust Punk
  • UK82: UK82 is a hardcore punk style that includes those early second-wave punk bands who retained a strong punk sound but added the heavy drum beats and distorted guitar sound of NWoBHM bands to produce a punk and metal hybrid. Examples of bands playing in the UK82 style would be G.B.H and The Exploited.
  • New York Hardcore: New York Hardcore, or NYHC, was more than just a scene. NYHC bands had a distinctive metallic sound incorporating thrash metal riffs and also took influence from the British Oi! movement. NYHC had a strong influence over the development of metalcore and beatdown hardcore.
  • Crossover thrash: Crossover thrash, often abbreviated to crossover, is a form of thrash metal that contains more hardcore punk elements than standard thrash. It is sometimes referred to as punk metal, though this is generally incorrect due to the existence of other music genres that combine forms of punk rock and heavy metal, such as grunge, crust punk, and more recently metalcore and its subgenres. While thrash metal is heavily influenced by hardcore punk, the overall sound of crossover thrash is more punk-influenced yet more metal-sounding and aggressive than traditional hardcore punk and thrashcore. The term was coined by the band D.R.I. with their album "Crossover", released in 1987. The term 'crossover' is based on the metaphor of crossing over from one genre into the other, thus capturing artists the operate within the transition zone between thrash metal and hardcore punk. With the metaphor comes the conception of directionality, such that the genre is applied to hardcore and crust punk artists who have crossed over into thrash metal territory, such as D.R.I., Discharge, The Exploited, The Accüsed, Agnostic Front and Suicidal Tendencies (who eventually ventured into alternative metal), and thrash metal artists who crossed over into hardcore punk territory, such as Nuclear Assault and S.O.D. In the MMA database, crossover bands and releases that lean more towards thrash metal are included under thrash metal, while those that lean more towards metallic hardcore are included under hardcore.
  • Thrashcore: thrashcore and the closely related subgenre skatepunk are often placed in the crossover continuum. Thrashcore is basically metallic hardcore played at very high speed (often featuring simple guitar figures performed with palm-muting), sometimes using blastbeats, and makes use of microsongs. Skatepunk is a more melodic, but just as aggressive and fast, variant of thrashcore, used as soundtracks in skateboarding videos (with many of the artists being skateboarders themselves). D.R.I. and Voetsek as well as Cryptic Slaughter, Septic Death and A.N.S. all started out thrashcore bands and eventually took their music in a more thrash metal-oriented direction. In the MMA database, thrashcore bands and releases that are more hardcore than thrash are included under hardcore while those that are more thrash metal oriented are included under thrash metal; some thrashcore bands have taken their music in a more grindcore-oriented direction, in which case they are included under grindcore.
  • Powerviolence: Powerviolence or Power Violence is a style of hardcore punk that grew out of thrashcore. Songs tend to be short and aggressive and are often accompanied by frequent tempo changes and socio-political lyrics. While powerviolence bands remain musically grounded in hardcore punk, the scene has strongly influenced the development of grindcore and some crossover between the genres exist.
  • Post-hardcore: post-hardcore combines hardcore elements with elements from alternative rock, alternative metal, noise rock and sludge metal, and is often also often characterized by an avant-garde approach. Some post-hardcore acts have inherited the metallic elements from metallic hardcore, while others infuse post-metal into their sound. Such metallic post-hardcore bands are included in the MMA - if the hardcore elements are prevalent, then they are filed under hardcore; otherwise they are categorized under the most appropriate metal subgenre as is the case of, for instance, Wolves Like Us. Post-hardcore bands with no metal elements or not relevance to metal are not included in the MMA.
  • Sludgecore: sludge metal was born as a hybrid of hardcore punk and crust punk on the one hand and doom metal, southern metal and stoner metal on the other hand. Some sludge bands emphasize the tempos and aggression of metallic hardcore and crust, prioritizing these over the slow tempos of doom metal and stoner metal. Such artists and releases - if the hardcore and crust elements are dominant - are included under hardcore rather than sludge metal. Examples of such bands are I Exist and Hard Charger.
  • Beatdown: Beatdown hardcore is a style of hardcore punk that tends to be very metallic, often drawing inspiration from brutal and slam death metal, while remaining closer to hardcore than a typical metalcore or deathcore band would. The style sits on the cusp between hardcore punk and metalcore and deathcore, and beatdown bands often cross over into decidedly metal territory. Where they do, bands and releases are filed under metalcore or deathcore on MMA. An example of one such band might be Hatebreed.
  • D-beat: D-Beat is a metal-influenced style of hardcore punk named after and popularised by the band Discharge. D-Beat features a recognizable d-beat drum pattern, usually has shouted vocals and is stylistically and thematically similar to Anarcho-Punk.


The following hardcore-related subgenres are included in the MMA, but not under the hardcore genre:

  • Metalcore: metalcore has its own subgenre, as it has evolved into a popular metal genre of its own.
  • Deathcore: deathcore - a hybrid genre that combines metalcore and death metal - is considered a metalcore subgenre, and deathcore bands and releases are included in the deathcore child-sub under metalcore.
  • Mathcore: as with deathcore, mathcore - highly technical and progressive metalcore - is considered a subgenre of metalcore, and mathcore bands and releases will be included under metalcore (or deathcore). Those math metal bands that have more in common with progressive metal will be included under progressive metal.
  • Grindcore: although derived from crust punk, grindcore has developed into an extreme metal genre in itself and is given a subgenre of its own. Some grindcore acts started out as crust, powerviolence or thrashcore bands and then developed into grindcore bands, as is the case of Extreme Noise Terror. In this case, crust, powerviolence or thrashcore releases are included under hardcore while grindcore releases are included under grindcore.
  • Other punk-metal hybrids: punk-metal hybrids that do not draw on hardcore or crust or related genres, but rather on other punk rock genres are included under the most appropriate metal genre. Thus Kvelertak who combines punk rock, hard rock and black metal is included under hard rock, and Motörhead and Brats who combine early punk rock and traditional heavy metal are included under traditional heavy metal, while Oktan and The Spittin' Cobras who combine dirty hard rock 'n' roll and punk rock are also included under hard rock.


Note that hardcore punk, crust punk, thrashcore, skate punk and other purely punk-oriented artists with little or no relevance to metal music are not included in the MMA database. If a metal band in the MMA has released a non-metal punk-oriented release, that release will be included under Non-Metal, as is the case of Lawnmower Deth's album "Billy" which is a pop punk album along the lines of Green Day.

Sub-genre collaborators (+ child sub-genres & shared with Metalcore):
  • Bosh66 (leader)

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hardcore punk Music Reviews

AGENTS OF SATAN The Old Testament

Boxset / Compilation · 2003 · Hardcore Punk
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siLLy puPPy
Powerviolence is a unique subgenre of extreme punk / metal / core music that took off like a wildfire in the late 80s and early 90s all throughout the state of California. Somewhat based on a mix of hardcore punk and grindcore, this bizarre hybrid excelled at unexpected hairpin turns that often incorporated doomy sludge metal riffs and lots of sound samples. Just one such band was AGENTS OF SATAN that formed in 1995 from the previous band Radioactive Lunch in San Mateo, CA. The members were Lord Balsac (vocals), Ramon Salcido (bass) and Dead Junkie (drums). While mostly free of guitar, there were a couple guitarists incorporated for brief periods.

Like many such powerviolence groups whose mission was to unleash the ultimate skronkcore possible, this band has a messy canon of demos, splits and EPs but never released a true bonafide album in its own right however this compilation THE OLD TESTAMENT is one of those all-encompassing releases that takes care of that and pretty much gathers together every track from all those disparate releases and creates a one-stop shop opportunity including some live and unreleased material not previously available. Also included is the ridiculously impossible to find Radioactive Lunch 7” that preceded the official moniker switcheroo to AGENTS OF SATAN.

THE OLD TESTAMENT gathers together a whopping 43 tracks that only add up to a mere near 45 minutes of playing time. That’s barely a minute per track as an average with some like “Silver In Christ’s Comhole” lasting only 25 seconds and the lengthiest “Goat Skrote” hitting an unthinkable 2.5 minutes. The instruments are limited to bass and drums and a wide-range of spastic vocal styles fluctuating from low guttural growls to manic screaming and high-pitched shrieks and squeals that offer shrill irritations to the heavily distorted bass riffs that emulate a guitar that deliver grindcore freneticism, doom-laden sludge riffs and moments of pure chaotic turbulence. The drums pretty much follow suit by playing in tandem with the bass and also free falling into complete disorder but always offering plenty of noisy bombast.

The powerviolence compositional style is much more diverse than the regular punk and core styles of metal as it excels in sudden tempo changes, dynamics shifting and the abstract use of chaos and order. The main problem i personally have with AGENTS OF SATAN is the lack of guitar usage and although there are claims that guitarists existed in this band, i personally don’t hear any throughout this collection but then again the heavy distortion is so thick and murky that there very well could be a guitar riff or two and never know the difference much like the guitar and bass fusion of lo-fi black metal. Basically this is pretty crazy stuff crafted for the ultimate shock value. Song titles include: “Shredded Clitoris And Foreskin,” “Rape Your Ass With Drugs,” “Cut Off My Dick” and “Vomit Tar.”

For those into the skronkiest noise bands then this will be a treat for sure. The album definitely has its moments but as a whole doesn’t really scratch that itch. Unexpected elements include a wide variety of spoken word samples which Satanic themes and micro-intermissions of hip hop but for the most past this is a celebration of loud noisy youthful angst which wants to exist in the nasty boyz club. Musically this is more developed than many punk bands but as a metal band doesn’t quite hit the mark but then again powerviolence is category of extreme rock that sits somewhere in between. Not as accomplished as bands like No Less, Nails or Magrudergrind but not a bad listen for what it is and a nice little specimen of the San Francisco Bay Area underground.

Tracklist

Demo & Split 7" With Burn The Priest 1 –Agents Of Satan Black Scabs 2 –Agents Of Satan Rape Your Ass With Drugs 3 –Agents Of Satan Snowmen 4 –Agents Of Satan Red Impulse 5 –Agents Of Satan Goatcore 6 –Agents Of Satan Pusher

Unholy Ascension 7" 7 –Agents Of Satan Unholy Ascension 8 –Agents Of Satan H. O. G. 9 –Agents Of Satan Crosshairs 10 –Agents Of Satan Posted 11 –Agents Of Satan Sliver In Christ's Cornhole 12 –Agents Of Satan Vomit Tar 13 –Agents Of Satan Crust = Glam 14 –Agents Of Satan Snatch In Your Eye / Necrotal Ulceration

From El Guapo Compilation LP 15 –Agents Of Satan Raped Priest 16 –Agents Of Satan Cut Off My Dick

Split 7" With No Less 17 –Agents Of Satan Black Metal Bat 18 –Agents Of Satan Goat Skrote

Accidental Double Homicide 2x7" Compilation 19 –Agents Of Satan Butcher Knife

Autopsy, Mayhem, Hardsound CD Compilation 20 –Agents Of Satan Agents No Le$$

Split 7" With No Less 21 –Agents Of Satan Klawbo Connection

Split 7" With Noothgrush 22 –Agents Of Satan Shredded Clitoris And Foreskin 23 –Agents Of Satan Snort Fat Lines Of Crank 24 –Agents Of Satan West Bay Coalition

Live On KFJC June 1995 25 –Agents Of Satan March Of The A. O. S. 26 –Agents Of Satan Rape Your Ass With Drugs 27 –Agents Of Satan Goatcore 28 –Agents Of Satan Snowmen 29 –Agents Of Satan Red Impulse

Live On KFJC 27 Nov 1996 30 –Agents Of Satan Vomit Tar 31 –Agents Of Satan Cut Off My Dick 32 –Agents Of Satan Castigo Del Brujo

Radioactive Lunch 7" 33 –Radioactive Lunch I Hate You 34 –Radioactive Lunch Ten Pounds Of Tots 35 –Radioactive Lunch Cake 36 –Radioactive Lunch Toupé 37 –Radioactive Lunch Magic Shell 38 –Radioactive Lunch After The War 39 –Radioactive Lunch Crackbabies 40 –Radioactive Lunch Buttsweat 41 –Radioactive Lunch Rumproast 42 –Radioactive Lunch Gangstaa

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BURIED No Way Out

Demo · 2014 · Hardcore Punk
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siLLy puPPy
BURIED is a hardcore punk band that appeared in early 2010’s Porterville, California and released this one demo available as a digital release in 2014 and then disappeared into the ether never to be heard from again. Pretty much no info can be found on these guys.

This demo NO WAY OUT has five tracks and only clocks close to 11 minutes but is a fairly typical hardcore punk sound that has raw chunky guitar riffs and a subordinate bass and drums. The most unique feature is probably the lead singer’s style which sounds more like a sludge metal singer than a punk rocker as do the guitar riffs at times.

While the attitude comes off as an angry anarchic punk rock band there is a lot of metal crossover on NO WAY OUT as the music has the energetic drive of Discharge but often sounds more like the crossover thrash of bands like S.O.D. or Suicidal Tendencies. Overall this is well performed punk rock that is probably quite exhilarating live but as a short little digital music experience is actually quite generic and doesn’t really muster up an iota of creativity.

DEAD KENNEDYS In God We Trust, Inc.

EP · 1981 · Hardcore Punk
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UMUR
"In God We Trust, Inc." is an EP release by US, California based punk act Dead Kennedys. The EP was released through Alternative Tentacles in December 1981. It bridges the gap between the band´s debut and second full-length studio albums "Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1980)" and "Plastic Surgery Disasters (1982)". The 8 tracks off the 13:54 minutes long EP are included on reissue versions of "Plastic Surgery Disasters (1982)". There´s been one lineup change since "Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1980)" as original drummer Bruce Slesinger (stagename Ted) left Dead Kennedys in February 1981. He was replaced by D.H. Peligro, who plays on "In God We Trust, Inc.".

"In God We Trust, Inc." has an interesting recording history, as Dead Kennedys originally went to Subterranean Studios in June 1981 and recorded the material live in the studio in one day. Unfortunately the magnetic tapes were corrupted and therefore the band had to enter Mobius Music in August 1981 to re-record the material. It´s the latter sessions which ended up being released as "In God We Trust, Inc.".

Most tracks on the EP are short, fast-paced, and aggressive hardcore punk songs with politically charged lyrics. Lead vocalist Jello Biafra spits out his sarcastic venom with great passion and conviction and the instrumental part of the music is delivered with the right restless energy and anarchistic bite. "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" is probably the most well known track off "In God We Trust, Inc.", but tracks like "Religious Vomit" and "Moral Majority" are highly entertaining too. The most different track on the EP is "We've Got a Bigger Problem Now", which is basically a lounge jazz meets hardcore punk version of "California Über Alles" (from "Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1980)"), with alternate lyrics. At 4:29 minutes it´s also by far the longest track on the EP.

The sound production is raw, chaotic, and organic sounding, and suits the equally raw material well. Despite the authentic raw nature of the tracks, it´s obvious that Dead Kennedys are a very well playing band, with a couple of more tricks up their sleeves than most other contemporary hardcore punk acts. The clever lyrics and their ability to incorporate stylistic elements from other musical genres are two of the features which set them apart. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

DEAD KENNEDYS Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death

Boxset / Compilation · 1987 · Hardcore Punk
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Warthur
I've always felt that the Dead Kennedy's most creatively fruitful period ended around the time of Plastic Surgery Disasters, and I guess Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death is fairly convincing evidence of that. Of the seventeen tracks on this collection of non-album material, only *two* were recorded after 1982 - and one of them is a comedic re-do of Buzzbomb from Plastic Surgery Disasters. (The other one is an uninteresting cover of I Fought The Law). Not that I'm complaining at all - the other fifteen tracks are top-flight stuff, showing the full diversity of the band and featuring some neat spoken word bits from Jello. (Most impressive is Night of the Living Rednecks, an impromptu live performance necessitated by a guitar breaking mid-song.)

DEAD KENNEDYS In God We Trust, Inc.

EP · 1981 · Hardcore Punk
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Aside from We've Got a Bigger Problem Now, a do-over of California Uber Alles with a lounge jazz opening section, In God We Trust Inc. is dedicated to one thing and one thing alone: playing the fastest, rawest, most stripped-down hardcore punk the Dead Kennedys could muster. With Jello Biafra vomiting forth his lyrics at a frantic pace his social message can get lost unless you're a careful listener, though at its best - as on Nazi Punks Fuck Off - the message is quite unambiguous. Most recent CD versions of Plastic Surgery Disasters include this EP as bonus tracks, and are greatly enhanced for it.

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