Our first installment is about a hungry young band from Brooklyn called Biohazard. I've seen them at L'Amours a few times, and the Twitterscape can't get enough of them- we think they're going to be big.
More and more bands these days are combining influences from a lot of styles. For example, Mordred plays a hybrid of thrash, funk, and rap, drawing influence from anything from K-9 Posse to Armored Saint, or Dave Mustaine's new solo album that is equal parts ska, industrial, and rockabilly (with a DJ). Like Mordred, it's really hard to pin down Biohazard's sound.
Most people in New York City ride the subway a lot I think. It seems kinda scary and dirty to me, but I guess if you are from Brooklyn and wear knit hats then you probably look working class and people don't mess with you, so it's probably OK for Biohazard to use it as their main form of transportation.
I had never thought of putting rap lyrics over Agnostic Front riffs, but basically that's what Biohazard does. It kind of reminds me of what a lot of old school hardcore bands like Fury of V, E-Town Concrete, or Comin' Correct were doing back in the early 00's, only not as authentic.
I mean I'm sorry, but I don't really buy the tough guy act from a bunch of dudes from Brooklyn!! What happened, someone splashed mud on your new fixie?? LOL! Go cry about it on Bike Snob NYC, don't write a hardcore song about it!
Seems like these guys have a really strong sense of community, like they really want to keep it real and stay connected to their people. For example here the singer is kicking it with some infantile retard from the neighborhood and giving him a tutorial on wiggerish arm movements. Wish I had a mentor like that when I was a kid so I could have been listening to Cold Front and Dmize instead of LFO and Mest :(
I don't listen to a lot of rap, but I think these guys do because a lot of their songs are about how they are from the streets and are really physically intimidating/have been through hard times but are now tougher than ever because they survived it. I know how that feels because I have no idea how I got through my last semester of school- I had 13 credits and was working like three shifts a week checking people's ID at the fitness center at school (I have work-study financial aid). The only thing that kept me going was listening to "Tales From The Hardside" on my Zune and repeating to myself "I can do this! I can do this!"
I found this interview with them on YouTube, they seem really intent on talking about how bad the neighborhood they live in is. They could probably find something affordable in a nicer place if they would just spend a few minutes on Craigslist. My friend says that Jersey City has some cool bars and isn't as lame as it sounds, it seems kind of far out to me though. Also, if they lived somewhere nicer then they probably wouldn't be as inspired by all the urban discipline they see every day so maybe it's better for them to stay in Canarsie, I don't know.
It's really life-affirming stuff to hear about how these guys survive against the gritty backdrop of Brooklyn and channel all their pain into their band- super inspiring for me. I have some friends who are going to school in New York and they are dealing with a lot of the same things; rent is really expensive in Williamsburg now and they can barely get by on their student loans/allowance. A lot of them even had to get jobs. They do a couple iPod DJ gigs a month for extra cash, which sucks because they have a lot of homework and it's easy to fall behind on it, then next thing you know you get an angry phone call from your mom because she looked online at your grades and you have a B- in "History of Sex."
I think the guy with the missing teeth is the one from the cafeteria. I'm going to ask my mom about Pratt's dental insurance, maybe he can get them fixed.
Anyway, it doesn't really say exactly what the guys in Biohazard do for a living in their lyrics but from the looks of them I imagine they probably drive Pepsi delivery trucks in Queens, work at gas stations, or just do like random manual labor because they can't read. I could swear I saw one of them working in the cafeteria when I went to visit my friend at Pratt, but I didn't want to ask if it was him because he looked really mad (he was the one at the sundae bar and got kind of pissy when I asked him for double sprinkles [but he didn't charge me extra, he probably could tell I was cool because I was wearing a Suicide Silence shirt]).
They seem like cool guys who like to have fun, but I feel like they're trying a little hard to do the whole Municipal Waste/Toxic Holocaust thing. I mean they're definitely good at it, but the thing is that they take it a little too far. In order for it to be funny, it has to be a little bit believable, you know? We talked about this in my "Entertainment Business" class the other day: If all you do is combine every ridiculous cliche from crossover fashion into your characters, it's too much. You have to use some restraint or you just end up looking like a cartoon. Overkill, Toxik, and Xentrix are much better at doing the retro-thrash thing without going over the top.
The singer seems kind of confused. He looks like David Vincent meets Ashton Kutcher circa 2002. The whole trucker hat thing is kind of played out and it doesn't really make any sense when coupled with the leather vest, I think he should just choose one look to focus on. I don't know what he is going for but I'm not really into hipster metal.
Also, it's sort of hard to understand them when they talk. They all sound like Rocky or something, or like they just got back from the dentist and their tongues are all swollen and numb. I don't know if maybe if they all met in some kind of support group for people with traumatic brain injuries but it seems like they should see if their parents' insurance covers speech therapy (I asked my mom and she said it should, she is a claims processor for Aetna).
I don't know who the black guys in this video are but it's cool that Biohazard earned their respect, I guess if you are from Brooklyn and stuff people will treat you like a badass.
In this video Bobby from Biohazard is interviewing the singer for some band called The Madballs. I'm not familiar with them but they seem lame, the guy is wearing a hat that says "DMS" on it, which I guess is his fraternity or whatever. You're in Europe, dummy, nobody knows about your stupid frat!
I've been thinking about getting a tattoo (if my parents say it's OK). I want to make sure that my first one is something I'm really happy about. The singer for Biohazard was on Miami Ink and he got this one. I think he's going to regret it- why would a skull be saying "for the win"?? It doesn't even make sense LOL!
I feel like kids now are really open-minded so I see big things for Biohazard. It's not like before where a kid would only listen to one kind of music. For example, I have really eclectic tastes. One minute you will find me listening to Exhorder and the next I will be playing Pantera. I think a lot of other kinds are the same, so they will probably really like how Biohazard is like half rap, half power groove. I'm not really into their whole "hipster metal" image with the ironic hats/crunk parts and stuff, but whatever, the music is good so I can look past it.
Biohazard's singer is yet another dude from Brooklyn who thinks it's cool to drink cheap beer, how original. I'm so over hipster metal! Go listen to Mastodon you jerk!!
If you are into bands who aren't afraid to cross genre boundaries like Mucky Pup, Dance Hall Crashers, and Violent Playground, you will probably really like Biohazard! Definitely pick up their tape if you see it at Camelot, I am pretty sure they still have a few copies left at the Everett Mall.