Speakers Push Air

The Hardcore Continuum
January 10, 2010, 6:07 pm
Filed under: Mixes

or An Open Letter To Ramblin’ Jim Hardy:

Dear Ramblin’ Jim

whilst drunk and just before you passed out, you mumbled something about how you like The Bronx* and would like to hear some more hardcore, and I said I’d make you a mix of some sort.

Daft idea, Jim.

Hardcore is about the most useless genre term I can think of, it’s like bottling smoke. Any genre that could – arguably (and fuck, do people argue) – include Gallows, Bad Brains, Big Black, Descendents, Fugazi and Poison Idea as well as hundreds of big shorted West Coast ramalamalama Epitaph Records bastards AND whining emo shitheads is a genre definition in trouble.

Some of the bands are obvious, but do you include stuff like Big Black, Butthole Surfers, Killdozer, Dinosaur Jr, who fucked with the formul but still probably formed at a Black Flag gig? Or the more college rock end of things – fuck sake, Jim, but the Lemonheads used to be a hardcore band. Or the British stuff – Snuff are definitely a hardcore band, and I could have included Bob Tilton or Broccoli for example, but what about the more crusty / anarcho end of things? West coast punkers love Rudimentary Peni.  What I haven’t done is include anything from the meathead East Coast straight edge scene**, partly because most if it is virtually metal anyway, and it’s boring music for boring macho fuckheads who beat people up for not being vegan enough. There are even Krishna hardcore bands out there, believe it or not.

So, it’s a heavily tattooed minefield. But I had a go, Jim.

I’ve tried to cover the original ‘hardcore’ bands, even if they weren’t hardcore really – Bad Brains, Minutemen, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Mission of Burma etc. Inventive, original, exciting bands that spawned 3 decades of awful lowest-common-denominator toss that totally missed the point.

I’ve included some of the hardcore / straightedge scene originals and their descendents – including, yes, The Descendents, Fugazi, Bad Religion, and NoFX who are great but can be blamed for Lagwagon, Blink 182 and all that shite.

There’s a fair smattering of the weirder “hardcore” (which I usually preferred) – NoMeansNo, Nation of Ulysses, Les Thugs (with a gorgeous Dead Kennedys cover) and lots of fairly straight down the line but excellent hardcore punk. Mclusky may or may not really belong, and Misfits are technically a goth metal band, but fuck it.

If you want to know more about the Dillinger Escape Plan / Texas Is The Reason / Anti-Flag stuff, ie 90s and noughties indie-punk-hardcore-emo stuff I haven’t really kept up with, maybe check with Bikin’ Adam Branston – I’m better on the 80s and 90s punkier stuff I guess.

You’re a beautiful man, Ramblin’ Jim Hardy, but this is some UGLY fucking music.


Staggerin’ Lee Fisher

(* The Bronx aren’t all that, by the way)
(** Apart from Gorilla Biscuits, Texas Is The Reason and Rival Schools who are all kinda part of that scene but much better)

Dubversion: Hardcore – You’re A Little Bit Confused About The Score.

1. Minor Threat – Straight Edge (Washington DC – the motherlode, probably)

2. Descendents – I’m The One (California, kinda nerdcore, obsessed with coffee)

3. Refused – New Noise (Swedish, seminal, turned into International Noise Conspiracy)

4. NoFX – Perfect Government (San Francisco, awesome but have a lot to answer for. Still wearing big shorts)

5. Gorilla Biscuits – Start Today (NY, borderline East Coast meatheads but great, spawned Rival Schools)

6. Texas Is The Reason – If It’s Here When We Get Back, It’s Ours (NYC, formed by people who were actually in Krishnacore bands)

7. Leatherface – Springtime (Sunderland, the UK’s greatest ever hardcore / punk band, pure prole poetry)

8. NoMeansNo – Everyday I Start To Ooze (British Columbia, surprisingly old men make hardcore with jazzy bits and blow almost everyone else outta the water)

9. Bad Religion – Kerosene (California, the eternal hardcore grandaddies. Warning: may contain anthropologists)

10. Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl (Olympia, Washington State. Original Riot Grrls, include Kathleen Hanna, who has caused endless turmoil for young hardcore fans who try not to turn her into an object of sexual attraction and fail)

11. Nation Of Ulysses – Cool Senior High School (Fight Song) (Washington DC, supersmart hardcore hipsters who spawned lots more good shit and had manifestos and that)

12. Scream – Fight American Justice (Washington DC, probably emo. Warning: May contain Dave Grohl)

13. Fugazi – Waiting Room (Washington DC, more punk than you or your mum.)

14. Naked Raygun – Treason (Chicago, shouty, melodic, drinking punk, has Big Black and Pegboy connections)

15. Pegboy – Field Of Darkness (Chicago, the members of Naked Raygun who weren’t in Big Black, plus Steve Albini, who was).***

16. Big Black – Jordan, Minnesota (Chicago, the member of Naked Raygun who weren’t in Pegboy, plus Steve Albini who was. Probably the best band on this mix. Probably not hardcore, not really.)

17. Husker Du – Don’t Want To Know If You Are Lonely (Minneapolis, the band that probably spawned indie rock, and probably the first or thereabouts to jump from indie to major and start a major label goldrush. Missed them at Glastonbury because I was off trying to find some mushrooms)

18. Bad Brains – Banned In DC (Washington DC, actual rasta hardcore band who hated being called a hardcore band and used to play jazz fusion. Singer used to do backflips onstage)

19. Mission Of Burma – Academy Fight Song (Boston, officially the most seminal punk band ever: only ever sold 17 records but now so fucking influential that even baldy twat Moby saw fit to cover them. )

20. Gallows – Abandon Ship (Watford, the heavily tattoed sound of young Britain… . Probably metal).

21. Snuff – I Think We’re Alone Now (London, daft, daft people, all wanted to be in Leatherface, reform every other week. Probably mod).

22. Pretty Girls Make Graves – Speakers Push Air (Seattle, only one great song. This is it. Probably indie)

23. Black Flag – Drinking & Driving (California. Probably the first proper hardcore band. Were hard and that, but smoked dope and had long hair. Warning: May contain Henry Rollins).

24. Fucked Up – David Christmas (Toronto, members have stupid names. Probably prog)

25. Dillinger Four – Portrait Of The Artist As A Fucking Asshole (Minneapolis. Young people music, probably emo).

26. Dead Kennedys – California Uber Alles (San Francisco. Very whiny, probably a surf band.)

27. Les Thugs – Moon Over Marin (French, not really hardcore, but this is a Dead Kennedys cover)

28. Arcwelder – Raleigh (Minneapolis, pretty obscure, probably indie.)

29. Mclusky – To Hell With Good Intentions (Cardiff, best Welsh band ever)

30. Misfits – Skull (New Joisey, invented “horror punk”, the twats. Probably the most heavily merchandised band ever. Definitely not hardcore).

31.Minutemen – This Ain’t No Picnic (California. Cleverer than NoMeansNo, more seminal than Mission of Burma, punker than Fugazi. Sound like Vampire Weekend).

32. Lemonheads – Mallo Cup (Boston, formerly an excellent college punk band before Evil Dildo took over and turned them into the Flying Burrito Brothers)

33. Rival Schools – Used For Glue (NYC. Definitely emo, sort of a supergroup, catchy as fuck).

34. NoFX – Straight Edge (just nonsense, really, but a tricksy way of wrapping things up).

(*** this is a childishly simplistic summary of a very incestuous scene. Only Albini knows all this shit inside out, and he’s busy playing poker and telling new punk bands how to run their careers).

NB: the volume levels on this mix are all over the shop. How very punk.

10 Comments so far
Leave a comment

thanks very much x

Comment by dodgepot

Is Jim Ed Hardy’s brother?

Comment by Earl

So the Bronx aren’t all that, but Texas is the Reason and fucking Pretty Girls Make Graves are?

Lol. 🙂

Comment by dogbot

yep :p

Comment by dubversion

actually, I did admit in the notes that Pretty Girls Make Graves have only got one song

Comment by dubversion

This is arguably your finest mix yet. Well, to my ears anyway. Good Work.

Comment by LDR

Yeah, true. That doesn’t change ole Dodgers being spot on about the Bronx, mind… 😉

Comment by dogbot

Thank you, by the way, for the credit on here, which I missed. You’re far too kind, comrade. 😉

Comment by dogbot

Enjoyed that a lot, mate. Thanks. Hope life’s treating you well.

Comment by Jamie

Great Sunday afternoon cleaning music!

Hope all’s well.

Comment by chip barm

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