In our current era of safe, blow-dried, corporate rap and rock, and super-bland pop, the snarling, spitting, angry punk acts profiled in the new film, American Hardcore: The History of American Punk Rockcome across like a musical speedball — dangerous, manic, provocative and obviously in league with the devil. Want a little political commentary on President Reagan? Here's D.
Roger Miret and Vinnie Stigma are lynchpins of New York Hardcore NYHCand their band Agnostic Front played a key role in defining, shaping and establishing the sound and cultural code of conduct for the still-thriving movement. Unlike the dozens of bands that have come and gone, leaving their indelible footprint along the way, Agnostic Front are still going strong, 11 studio albums into their plus year career. Roger and Vinnie remain the very embodiment of hardcore, representing endurance, perseverance, brotherhood, strength against oppression and the will to keep going, obstacles be damned.
It was a guy thing: rampant testosterone; fistfights and epithets; incendiary, harmonically minimal rock as hard, loud and fast as cheap guitars could play it, made by young musicians wanting to blow up the world with noise and attitude. To many of the musicians who fondly remember the wild old days when the bands and their audiences melted into a delirious mass of flailing, diving bodies, it had to mean something more than just letting off steam. And maybe it did.
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In the documentary American Hardcoreone of the interviewees neatly sums up the blazing glory of the early-'80s American hardcore punk scene by describing his favorite band's career trajectory: "Six flyers, five shows, one album, 18 songs. In a way, that's also American Hardcore 's philosophy. Director Paul Rachman and his collaborator Steven Blush fleshing out his book of the same name present a barrage of performance snippets, poster art, and talking heads, practically demanding that viewers submit to the idea that was some kind of golden age for free musical expression.
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From downtown warehouses to suburban bedrooms, the scene spread from city to city like wildfire, uniting bored, angry outcasts into an authentic underground revolution. The history of hardcore punk--the tougher, faster, and more politically minded stepchild of the '70s punk movement that arose in the '80s--is examined in exuberant detail in Paul Rachman's documentary American Hardcore. Rachman's cameras careen across the landscape of the U.
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