Minor Threat were an American hardcore punk band from Washington, D.C.. Though they only released one album and three EPs, they were one of the most influential punk rock bands of The '80s, spearheading the Straight Edge movement with one 46-second song ("Straight Edge"). They are also one of the innovators of hardcore punk, along with Bad Brains and Black Flag. The majority of Minor Threat's songs are very fast, brief and angry, such as "Out of Step With the World" and "I Don't Wanna Hear It." Face of the Band Ian Mackaye went on to form Fugazi.
I'm a troper just like you:
- Cover Version: "Sometimes Good Guys (Don't Wear White)" (originally by Garage Rock band The Standells), "12XU" (originally by Wire), and "(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone" (originally by Paul Revere and the Raiders; The Monkees' version was also popular. Interestingly, Ian MacKaye has admitted he was unfamiliar with either of those versions at the time of recording, and was inspired to record it because of The Sex Pistols' version).
- Hardcore Punk: Perhaps one of the defining examples.
- "I Want" Song: Inverted with "I Don't Wanna Hear It." He does not want to hear it.
- Miniscule Rocking: Few of their songs pass the two-minute mark. Their Complete Discography, composed of almost all their songs, runs at a length of 47:10 - roughly the average length of an ordinary album.
- Never Trust a Title: The Complete Discography compilation album does not contain their entire discography; it lacks the First Demo Tape EP, the three tracks from the 20 Years of Dischord box set, and the rediscovered track "You Betrayed Me by Growing Up." The title was originally accurate though: When the compilation was released, none of that other material was out yet.
- Nostalgia Filter: "Salad Days"
- Protest Song: "Straight Edge," "Out of Step," "Guilty of Being White," etc.
- Religion Rant Song: "Filler"
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "I Don't Wanna Hear It"
- Straight Edge: The Trope Namer and Trope Maker.
- Unbuilt Trope: Minor Threat are sometimes cited as the first punk band to treat politics in a more socially conscious and "politically correct" way rather than just general rebellion and are the godfathers of most of today's political punk. But there were a lot of huge differences between them and what followed:
- The very song they got their name from, "Minor Threat", is not meant to be sarcastic or ironic. Rather it's a very cynical and self-depreciating take on growing into adulthood and admittance that they are in fact a "minor threat" to society and probably aren't going to change anything. The narrator is actually lamenting how he should grow into adulthood like most people but just can't seem to.
- Rather than talk about white privilege, they have "Guilty of Being White", a song complaining about reverse racism and discrimination against whites that existed in Washington, DC at the time.note
- The song "Straight Edge" may have birthed the straightedge movement, but doesn't sound like a modern straightedge anthem at all. Rather than being militant or obsessed with purity, the narrator is simply someone who seems to regard drugs as not fun and a waste of time while he has better things to do. The song isn't even critical of drinking alcohol, just drinking to excess and drunkeness.