It’s not 1982 and you can’t expect things to sound the same. The lines have blurred and you can nearly start a riot on some corners trying to define who and what is hardcore. Much of what is called hardcore these days has a strong metal influence and sounds much different from what was called hardcore back in the day.
I’m a fan of lots of the old school stuff which was born out of the punk scene but I also like a lot of the newer ‘metalcore’ stuff. That being said, here are some of the recordings that are in my player, in the car, or on my PC on a regular basis:
Shai Hulud – Hearts Once Nourished With Hope and Compassion
This band mixes powerful music with interesting changes and passioned lyrics about the struggles of life. Songs laced with rage and misanthropy are also filled with intelligent lyrics about perseverance in the face of frustration.
Bad Brains – Bad Brains
Four black guys from D.C got together to start a jazz/funk band and got swept up in the maelstrom which was the burgeoning hardcore scene. Along with bands like Teen Idles and Minor Threat, they produced a classic collection of blistering punk music which helped define hardcore. Later, reggae influences helped them break out of the “loud, fast rules” which was becoming a musical straightjacket.
Comeback Kid – Turn It Around
CBK may not be the most innovative band around but they play an infectious, engaging brand of punk influenced hardcore with lots of shout-outs and catchy guitar parts.
Madball – Hold It Down
Minor Threat – Complete Discography
What can I say, not only did they define the genre but started a sub-culture (straight-edge) as well. Impossibly fast, tuneful songs with something worth saying.
Throwdown – Haymaker
This is in your face, tough-guy, straight-edge hardcore. The theme of family and being true to yourself and your convictions runs throughout their music. Although I am not edgy, I can appreciate their call to be honest and true. For myself, for my friends, for my family, indeed.
Walls of Jericho – All Hail the Dead
A blistering mix of metal, thrash, and chugga-chugga hardcore from this female fronted band out of Detroit. Candace K. is a fiery ball of energy on stage who takes no prisoners.
Most Precious Blood – Our Lady of Annihilation
Strong, intelligent New York hardcore with a healthy dose of crushing riffs which rose out of the ruins of Indecision. Their live show is a thing of beauty and power.