Good day all,
Had a great weekend this past weekend spending some quality time with some really good friends of ours at their home in North Carolina. It was a fun experience because 1) Dan is a great chef and made great food all weekend, 2) my son and their daughter are friends and play really well together, and 3) they are just great people who treated us to a great weekend. During the weekend the topic of music came up while Dan and I where talking, as it usually does, and Dan was extolling me with an abridged history of the DC Hardcore scene from back in the 70’s/80’s and the influence it had on how he listens to music today. Dan is such a DC Hardcore fan that his desktop background on his IPAD is a picture of Henry Rollins and Ian MacKaye, both DC Hardcore legends. Now I can’t talk about DC Hardcore the way Dan can, and the reality is I can only discuss what I know of hardcore in general, but there is a correlation between hardcore and metal that can be explored.
The interesting thing about the hardcore scene and metal is that it is not that different musically, the aggression is part of both genres, the power is part of both and the overall angst of the protagonists of the music is shared as well. Hardcore has most of its similarities with thrash as some of the more popular hardcore bands probably get mixed in with the thrash segment more than others. Bands like DRI, Cryptic Slaughter, Septic Death, Seige, these are all hardcore bands that have definitely found a following in the metal/thrash community. Heck bands like SOD, MOD, Municipal Waste, even Nuclear Assault all come with a hardcore background. Anthrax’s Scott Ian is straight outta hardcore and a prime example of the influence that hardcore had on early metal and thrash as well as today’s current metal scene. As a sidebar, and in my personal opinion, the heavy metal documentary series Metal Evolution would have been better served looking at the hardcore influences in metal than wasting time with grunge and nu-metal episodes, but that is just me!
The obvious influence of hardcore on metal is the metalcore genre of heavy metal. This music is built off of the fast frenetic pace of hardcore and has a metal flavor added to it, whether it is the melodic singing or the more obvious use of the blast beat drumming in the songs. I for one am not a fan, I like hardcore and I like metal, but I HATE the screaming/melodic vocal mix in most metalcore songs and bands. Pick one or the other, not both, it is distracting and obnoxious, in this one man’s opinion. Hardcore has its place in metal but don’t basterdize it the way metalcore does, isn’t a pleasant product in my mind.
But I digress, hardcore is a fascinating genre of the punk scene that should be explored more vigorously by metalheads everywhere, the influence on metal is obvious and there are some really great hardcore bands that most metalheads would appreciate. Go out and buy DRI’s Crossover , or Cryptic Slaughters Convicted , or even early Minor Threat albums, trust me you won’t be sorry. This is part of your heavy metal history and everyone needs to explore it to enrich our own understanding of where our favorite music comes from. One other thing I want to say about these hardcore albums that I mentioned, try to find them on cassette and listen to them through a Walkman with headphones on, a much better way to experience how these bands are supposed to sound than the digitally enhanced copies you can get today.
So hopefully I was able to give you even a small itch to check out hardcore and even the DC Hardcore scene, I think that is what Dan would want. Also I hope Dan enjoys this post and my small but heartfelt ode to hardcore as a Thanks for a great weekend. As I have stated there really is a major hardcore influence to some of the best bands we all listen to today, it is possible that bands like Anthrax, Testament, Metallica, wouldn’t have mastered that thrash sound that we all love without a little bit of influence from the early hardcore scene. Give it a listen and let me know if you think I am right, or just plain old crazy!
The Song of the Day is back, enjoy! http://youtu.be/9dBbvI6jhQU
Until Later, Peace,