Monday, June 22, 2009

Guest post: Where's the love for awesome hardcore bands that turned into shitty metal bands?

This is the first of what we hope will be many guest columns from MI readers, in this case from frequent commenter and MI Twitter follower Snoopz. Naturally it isn't as good as something we would write ourselves, but you can't have everything, can you? If you're interested in writing something, please send it to our email or send a direct message on Twitter- the more the merrier!

This is my shot at a guest column for Metal Inquisition and it’s gonna be about hardcore bands that “went metal” in the 80’s and early 90’s, and, well, how that was totally fuckin awesome! Now right now, people who were hardcore fans in the 80’s, their heads are exploding, because what I just said is the equivalent of a teenager today telling me, a 30 year old, that it must have been awesome to be around in the 90’s to see the emergence of Slipknot and Sevendust. I’d say, “no, I went to Tattoo the Earth Tour and it sucked” and we would just not see eye to eye. Well I don’t connect well with older hardcore fans, record collectors, and so forth. I see them as the No Fun Club. Like, if my favorite Cro-Mags album is the wrong one, forget it, I’m not even worth talking to. No accounting for personal taste with these hardcore puritans, there are good albums and bad albums and, a consensus has been reached on the matter, and I should shut up.

School of Violence, Junkyard, and Broken Bones?! It's like a who's-who of forgettable crap all in one image!

The records I’m going to mention today, by Warzone, Token Entry, and DYS, are universally hated despite musical innovation and adventurous lyrics. What the fuck? I’ll get into this right now. I’m pretty positive most Metal Inquisition readers have a general awareness of hardcore music, but I should clarify that records I’m talking about don’t sound like the metalcore bands that were all spawned by At The Gates’ Slaughter of the Soul. In fact death metal is not really a factor. Think crossover, cheese metal, funk metal, thrash.


Here is a photo of my room around 2000. I was heavily involved in some hardcore archeology at the time, digging up albums from ten years earlier. Note all the tapes. Guess what? They were cheaper than Cds. And what tapes was I finding the most in used bins? The “sellout” metal albums by punk and hardcore bands that nobody wanted. Now you are getting an idea about why I know so much about this shit.

Warzone - Self-titled
Warzone was a NYHC band, had a killer 7 inch and two great, well-produced full lengths, and then the 1989 S/T album dropped, ruining everything in a lot of people’s eyes. When I was first listening to Warzone in the mid-90’s (they were reunited and playing often) I did not even know that the album existed. I found it hard to believe, when told by friends, that some “awful” Warzone record was out there with bullet holes on the cover. I searched for years. Nothing. Finally in the early 00’s I met a friend who had received the record as a birthday present. A gag gift of course. Amazingly his copy was a promo sent to a radio station and contained a press release for Caroline Records that was, I admit, rather funny, describing their logo as “the iron cross of unity.” My heart sank when I saw that the program director of the station had written on the release, in pen, “despite their best intentions, this is a lame band.”

Almost as awesome as the old Lion's Den picture where they're on the train tracks

The record rocks, good luck finding it on mediafire. Sure it has a thin sound, the guitars sound like a series of samples for a RUN DMC record all strung together, but this whole record moves at a mid-tempo groove that will fuck you up.


Token Entry - "The Weight of the World"
On to Token Entry, a melodic straight edge band from the late 80’s who dropped Weight of the World in 1990, a kind of hard rock funk metal record that is near and dear to my heart. Here are the words of AMG “The vocalist looks ready for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the guitarist is black, the bass player was kidnapped from a hairy metal band, and the drummer looks like seventy percent of the male actors in Los Angeles.” Too much for most hardcore fans I’m sure. A photo of a band not looking right on the back of the record is enough for most fans to dismiss the album as “sellout” before putting it on the turntable. It’s like, if the record’s cover is in full color, it’s a deal-breaker. Oh well, their loss, this release is real fun and was recently re-issued.

DYS - Self-titled
Last and the best. DYS, self-titled LP. Fuck man, it kills me to see people on Amazon.com saying the discography CD is good only if you program your CD player to play the tracks from Brotherhood alone. 1984, this record is not influenced by thrash, it’s really just longer hardcore songs, with some higher-pitched vocal. In the words of the guitar player, "the most technically proficient and cleanest sounding record in the history of Hardcore." This shit is all muscle, so look out. Lyrics?
A demon trapped within all men
Has won the battle here
And those who set the demon free
Now have cause to fear
Gone the days of loneliness
Trapped within his brain
He steps forth into darkness
And remembers all the pain
Damn, you should listen to that stuff when working out.

Conclusion
Again, I’ll tell you all, I wasn’t there when all these records dropped, but I’ve been listening to this kind of shit for years and have got pretty much 100% negative feedback from people learning about my musical tastes. I dig Mucky Pup, and M.O.D., two bands recently dismissed here at Metal Inquisition. I don’t know why I got to go against the grain. A few years ago I saw a review in the thrash zine HeartattaCK lamenting that the cover of a new 7” featured cover art in the style of the Suicidal Tendencies Join the Army record cover. “I hope that this style of art does not come back,” said the reviewer. I wondered, “what the fuck kind of crappy album covers does this person like? Blurry photos with typewriter font lower-case text?” That is the antithesis of cool. Crossover rules.

45 comments:

  1. That Token Entry album sounded the way I always wanted Red Hot Chilli Peppers to sound. I bought it on tape along with Murphy's Law "Best of Times" as they were both in the sale bin.

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  2. i got that Token Entry record in high school and i liked it a lot, too. especially "number 7" or whatever.

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  3. dope both worlds poster on the wall...

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  4. Those Warzone dudes look like they're on the set of the Broadway rendition of PORKY'S. So awesome.

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  5. come on, man, i wanna see the back cover of that Token Entry album!

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  6. christ. someone actually likes worse music than sarge? actually i was just discussing this Warzone record over the weekend. the first song is hilarious how they pronounce and hold the long "S" in No Regretsssssssssss.

    i guess you can call me that guy, but these records all suck so bad. its not even a matter of them "selling out" its that their previous records were all so damn good and then they release this crap.

    Token Entry jaybird was a masterpiece and then they release a funk-metal monstrosity.

    dont even get me started on the DYS record. aside from "one sided war" that record sucks.

    HOWEVER, for comedic value, these 3 records are totally hilarious. anyway, you have a black train jack flier on your wall, so i can trust you.

    if you want to hear the ultimate band that falls into this catagory, check out Antidote. the song "Road Warrior" will make you laugh so hard, you will piss your pants.

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  7. *sigh*
    serious fucking typo...CANT CANT CANT CANT trust you.

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  8. it's unfortunate when age and circumstance conspire to place mostly worthless records in our good graces. i have my store of these: we were all young once. the key is to keep these embarrassments close to your chest until you find someone as unfortunate as you've been to commiserate with (via "reliving the past"). as nietzsche pointed out, it's the mentality of the slave who attempts to right the world's wrongs by turning them on their head. as aggression warned back in the dark days of 1983: "don't be mistaken."

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  9. You forgot the record that started it all and was so derided by everyone "back in the days" that you would have thought it instantaneously should have squashed all further attempts of HC bands to "broaden their style":

    SSD's "How we rock"
    When you go from being one of the HC Straight Edge pioneers to being a bad AC/DC cover band that takes guts. The DYS album is somewhat similar in that regard, but actually still pretty good. And I loved that Token Entry album, what can I say...

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  10. @Lucifer

    you are right about the SSD thing and AC/DC. also, its funny how DYS kind of copied SSD in that regard. kind of like MOD = SOD.

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  11. as nietzsche pointed out, it's the mentality of the slave who attempts to right the world's wrongs by turning them on their head.

    he might be onto something... is this why i love crunkcore so much?!

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  12. yes! my favorite cro-mags record is Best Wishes, I think DRI's Thrashzone is just as good as the earlier stuff, Both Worlds was awesome, Leeway's best music was all of the post Desperate Measures albums,and Warzone from ANY period of the bands existence is pretty damn awesome. ahh, it feels good to get that off my chest...notice that my tag is still anonymous though...i guess i still have a few Regretssssssss.

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  13. this post should have a sound bite of "No Regretsssssssss" attached to it.

    Crunkcore..Sarge...Noooooo!!!! id rather watch Milano in Green bib shorts than listen to that jive!

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  14. I agree on the SSD, but also Gang Green could've easily been added in here too. They owned the sale bin.

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  15. Good first post ... but got to say, not including SSD in this post is a seriously oversight—they and DYS being the bands that committed the original sin.

    The demo for that Warzone record is great, by the way :)

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  16. I noticed in that first picture you had a Dischange cassette. I bought that album in a used music store and thought it was Discharge for the first ten tracks until I took a closer look at the name and saw the "N". Fail on my part. Great post, though.

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  17. man, i like Dischange better than Discharge. that record jams!

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  18. Man, that made the think of the old footage on the American Hardcore documentary, where the DYS guy is all "we used to be a hardcore punk band, but now, we're just a hard rockin' band."

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  19. You can add Necros to this list, and Headfirst as well.

    Diesel Queens had a great song about this phenomenon...

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  20. Thanks for reading my post. In regards to SSD, certainly they are the 1st band to come to mind when discussing this phenomena, but I don't really feel passionate about defending Break it Up. It's ok, but I really meant to write up some unfairly maligned records, not write the history of the genre cause that would be a very very long post ..

    as for Gang Green, I love that band and get their metal cds first (before the hc ones) in the cut-out bin at Strawberries Underground including the greatest hits on Roadrunner or Roadracer that had all the skeleton sports players on the front. I've seen em three times, as recently as two years ago when they played a DRI benefit show in Long Beach to about 20-30 people in a big empty club.

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  21. Ahhh, that's right—you are defending these records.

    IN THAT CASE, MI should change the header of this post to "GUEST POST: AWESOME HARDCORE BANDS THAT TURNED INTO AWESOME METAL BANDS"

    How can only 30 people want to see Gang Green. DOUBLE BUMMER THAT IT WAS A BENEFIT SHOW.

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  22. How about later period Excel,Beowulf or Two Bit Thief?...Pagan Babies,Leeway,Doggy Style or the final Cryptic Slaughter album? I still have my Token Entry tape,I paid full price for it when it came out...mike http://convulsingdischargeofinanity.blogspot.com/

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  23. alliance has the gear and rooms for a great product!

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  24. does Alliance accept credit cards?? hablan ustedes espanol?!!

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  25. dudes...seriously check out Antidote's album "return to burn". you will not stop laughing!!!

    some Road Warrior lyrics:

    "Cruisin' cross the desert
    Lookin' for gas
    Cruisin' cross the desert
    Kickin' ass!!"

    HAHAHA!

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  26. Well, I was thinking about this subject these days, but I disagree with Snoopz choices. I have a tase for the "bad" records of good bands and so far I haven´t seem anyone agreeing with me. I prefer "Cause For Alarm" by Agnostic Front than any of their releases. Verbal Abuse´s "VA`s Rocks Your Liver" is a great record. The three metal records by English Dogs - "Forward Into Battle", "Metalmorphosis" and "Where The Legend Began" are awesome, Gang Green kicks ass with all their Road Runner records, and Broken Bones "F.O.A.D." and Bonecrusher are incredible. They´ve gone metal in a good, respectful way, yet these records are under appreciated. By the way, Headfirst´s record is so cool that I prefer this better than the "self edge" stuff. Call it bad taste, but it´s just an exquisite taste.

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  27. Fuck yeah, good call on English Dogs, "Where Legend Began" is one of the first records I bought with my own money. Listened to it yesterday, as a matter of fact.

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  28. "Cruisin' cross the desert
    Lookin' for gas
    Cruisin' cross the desert
    Kickin' ass!!"


    wat

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  29. Good call on later period Beowulf. Two cents is great.

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  30. Uniform Choice went from Minor Threat clone to cock rock in record time.

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  31. ReallyGood@WoundingJune 22, 2009 at 7:17 PM

    Has everybody forgotten Discharge's Grave New World? I love that album! Is it like their older, classic stuff? Hell no.
    Mão do Macaco - I too prefer Cause For Alarm more than the rest of the Agnostic Front catalog.

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  32. I did'nt want to state the obvious but the unholy trilogy of this kind of music is:Discharge-"Grave New World",TSOL-"Hit&Run"(ugh!) and Celtic Frost-"Cold Lake".........Necros-"Tangled Up"(I kinda like that one),Steve Jones-"Fire&Gasoline"(one of the worst ever!) and most of the Suicidal Tendencies catalog...http://convulsingdischargeofinanity.blogspot.com/

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  33. the review for said Warzone LP slathered across review section Flipside in 1989 stated it was "shmaltzy boogie rock with bad artwork headed straight for the cut-out bins"...couldn't agree more. Live, Warzone were a great band. Too bad Raybeez died of Aids.RIP Ray Barbieri.

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  34. Dear MI:
    You entertained my idea and granted me a post about Mucky Pup.

    please, research Antidote's "Return 2 Burn" album featuring the hit single "Road Warrior". it will change your life!

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  36. there's only one thing cooler than loving the "obscure" albums that everybody loves and that's loving the ones that everybody hates.. please. i don't even know the DYS record but the others suck. i have the warzone record on cd and it's just funny to listen to sometimes. but i can hardly imagine ANYONE seriously liking that album.

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  37. "The No Fun Club" is right.

    You nailed it like Christ to the cross with that one.

    -P.P.

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  38. Barfly, any chance of getting you to rip that CD?

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  39. you forgot about SSD "How we rock". cock schock rock at its cheesiest/best. But seriously, the DYS lp is awesome..

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  40. I only have a couple of the albums mentioned in the article(Token Entry and Warzone). Will definitely have to check out some of the others, including Antidote since it was also mentioned so much.

    I have no Neitzsche quotes to add.

    Most of the HC/funk metal bands I've heard usually don't do much for me but I'm always willing to give it a try...even if I end up hating it. I mean, the stuff is still OLD so it's not like I'm soiling my musical tastes by doing anything as reprehensible as listening to shitty metalcore! ha.

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  41. I just listened to the Antidote-return to burn LP for the first time in at least 19 years... wow. Almost unlistenable. the lyrics are hilarious.

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  42. I appreciated your post . This much .

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