is what happens when you take Punk Rock
and make it harder, faster and more aggressive
But also more out-there, and political. It started in North America in the late 1970s
. The musicians had (mostly) identical ideologies to the first punk rockers, including the DIY-aesthetic.
Some of the original, first wave of hardcore bands were Black Flag
, from Los Angeles, Minor Threat, from Washington DC, and Bad Brains, also from Washington DC. These bands were the beginning of a genre that later branched out into countless different iterations.
New York Hardcore, or NYHC, began in the 1980s
with the sounds of bands like Sick of it All and Agnostic Front. Popular bands from the region today are Madball and H20. Bands like Madball were instrumental in the adoption of a "tough guy" sound and image in part of modern hardcore, seen in bands such as Hatebreed. Other bands in New York, such as the Cro-Mags, adopted Krishna Consciousness.
Japanese hardcore got its start sometime around the early 1980s, with acts like S.O.B., SS, GISM, The Stalin, and Gauze forming the initial wave. Characterized by its prominent noise and d-beat influences, Japanese hardcore was notoriously frantic and abrasive and proved instrumental in the rise of thrashcore and grindcore, with GISM and S.O.B. having been noted as influences by Napalm Death.
is thought to have been begun by Ian Mackaye
of Minor Threat
. This was a way of life in which the participant would abstain from the vices of the earlier hardcore scene - usually smoking, drinking, and sometimes promiscuous sex. While this movement was for a time characterized by gang violence, its current day incarnation could be seen to be the "Positive Hardcore" scene of New England, which includes bands such as Have Heart, The Effort and Bane.
In the late 1980s and the early 1990s
, a new breed of hardcore band began. The first of these is sometimes thought to be Integrity, who hailed from Cleveland. They mixed thrash metal influences with the fresh flavor of hardcore, and sowed the seeds of a new genre, nowadays known as Metalcore
. Other bands who were instrumental in this were Ringworm, Rorschach and Earth Crisis. Converge
were a band who formed in Boston, Massachusetts. They took the early sound of metallic hardcore and created an enigmatic mix of extreme metal with envelope-pushing sensibilities. Nowadays, they are seen to be the keystone in the influences of the Mathcore
subgenre, which includes bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan
In the early 1990s, hardcore also branched out through the work of bands like Fugazi
, Rites of Spring
and Embrace. This was the beginning of Post-Hardcore
and Emo Music
, which have both strayed from their origins and become difficult to define.
Bands from Southern California in the early 1990s who were influenced by the hardcore sound of Black Flag
and the Descendents, such as NOFX, Rancid
, Bad Religion
and The Offspring
, were a huge part of the 1990s Punk Revival. These bands also cemented the genre of Skate Punk
and played a part in the popularity of Ska Punk
and Pop Punk
, influencing bands in the latter genre like Green Day
Needless to say, the work of pioneers like Black Flag
and Minor Threat
have had an extensive influence on the music of today, whether they wanted to or not.
Some bands that formed the first wave of hardcore:
Tropes associated with hardcore and its direct offshoots:
- Anarchy Is Chaos: In a good way, however.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Yes, it is a quite loud, heavy genre, but most hardcore musicians are goodnatured.
- Deadpan Snarker: Most of hardcore lyrics tend to invoke this.
- Doing It for the Art: So much so that it's easier to find bands which don't fall into this trope.
- The Fettered: Most protagonists in hardcore songs will tend to invoke this in some way or another.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Usually in the 6-8 range, sometimes higher in cases of bands with pronounced Metal influences. Occasionally drops down to a 5, as well. Level 9 hardcore punk is often of a subgenre sometimes known as powerviolence. Level 10-11 hardcore punk is instead something else entirely.
- Protest Song: Well, it's punk, what did you expect?
- Teenage Wasteland: Probably the reason why most hardcore punk musicians are pretty young.
- True Art Is Angsty: Hardcore punk lyrics are mostly somber-natured.
- Three Chords and the Truth: Most hardcore punk musicians tend to eschew high-budget production in favor of a more dirt-cheap, lo-fi one. Subverted with the more recent offspring of hardcore punk, as lo-fi has mostly fallen out of favor.