Sunday, August 21, 2011

Five hardcore records that I love...

These are hands down the five most quintessential hardcore records for me.  I found the links to the songs through a quick Google search.  Some people will agree with me and many will strongly disagree with me.  Either way, here are five hardcore records that I love.  Please feel free to list the five hardcore records you love in the comments section.

Chokehold - Content With Dying
Released:  1995

When I think of mid-'90s hardcore, I think of bands that have substance and beliefs.  Bands that sing about unpopular opinions whether you like it or not.  To me, Chokehold exemplifies these characteristics whether they are singing about religion, veganism, woman's rights/pro-choice, mass media control or political and social topics.  The music is brutally heavy and moshy.  I have heard people say they are just "boring mosh-core."  I like to describe them as "mosh with a message," and they are anything but boring.  This download link also includes the Instilled seven-inch which is also awesome.  Another great thing about this download link is that all the tracks are individualized.  The original CD version of Content With Dying was four tracks consisting of the A-side and the B-side of Content With Dying as well as the A-side and B-side of the Instilled seven-inch.

Cro-Mags - Age Of Quarrel
Released:  1986

Anyone who likes hardcore would agree that Age Of Quarrel is a flawless hardcore LP.  The music is absolutely crushing and the lyrics are sadly still relevant to this day.  I say sadly only because you would think as a society, we would have advanced a little bit since the time of this recording.  The weakest song on this album absolutely destroys the strongest songs from most of their contemporaries. To me, Cro-Mags are the gold standard for New York Hardcore.  Most current bands try to imitate, but don't come close to duplicating.

Undertow - At Both Ends
Released:  1994

Editor's note:  Since this is an album on a major label, there is no download link available.

The first time I heard Undertow was through the split they did with Struggle on Bloodlink Records.  Musically, that split was like scratching an itch that just wouldn't stop itching.  Not until I heard the At Both Ends record did I feel satisfied.  The lyrics are very personal and emotional, which matches the intensity of the music perfectly.  In my opinion, Undertow disprove the very popular opinion that "good hardcore" was dead in the '90s aside from Mouthpiece.  At Both Ends has everything you would want musically from a hardcore record, ranging from fast parts to big chugy mosh parts.  Indecision Records released a complete Undertow discography titled Everything in 2009, which you can purchase here.

Earth Crisis - Destroy the Machines
Released:  1995

Editor's note:  Since this is an album on a major label, there is no download link available.

Of all the great Victory Records releases from the mid to late '90s, this is my favorite.  It is a real shame the label went straight to shit after Snapcase, Strife and Earth Crisis moved on to other labels or broke up.  When people ask me why I am Straight Edge, I usually recite the lyrics to the song "The Discipline" to them.  That song sums up every feeling I have about Straight Edge and it blows me away how relevant it still is to my life.  Every song on Destroy the Machines has a lyrical urgency I can only compare to a Vegan Straight Edge version of Age Of Quarrel.  You can purchase Destroy the Machines here.

Youth Of Today - Break Down the Walls
Released:  1987

Editor's note:  Since this is an album on a major label, there is no download link available.

The original version of Break Down the Walls on Wishingwell Records is the perfect example of youth crew New York style.  The lineup at the time of this record is a who's who of the New York Hardcore scene in the late '80s.  Craig Setari and Tommy Carroll of Straight Ahead played bass and drums.  Richie Birkenhead of Underdog played second guitar while Ray Cappo and John Porcelly sang and played guitar.  This version of Break Down the Walls has clearer bass guitar and a better mix than the version released by Revelation Records in 1988 and then remixed and remastered in 1997.   This record is ripped straight from the vinyl, which I feel adds the subtle characteristics of vinyl to the digital version.

1 comment:

  1. can you please send me the DL link for the wishing well mix? i got the record back at my parents place, and couldn't find it online anywhere?