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Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.
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||This article's factual accuracy is disputed. Please help to ensure that disputed facts are reliably sourced. See the relevant discussion on the talk page. (December 2011)|
|Stylistic origins||Punk rock|
|Cultural origins||Late 1970s, United States|
|Typical instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass, drums|
|Mainstream popularity||Some in the early 1980s with certain artists gaining mild airplay on MTV and local radio stations.
Low with some exceptions.
|Derivative forms||Alternative metal, Grunge, Alternative rock, Nu metal, Post-Hardcore, Thrash metal|
|Christian hardcore, D-beat, emo, melodic hardcore, powerviolence, skate punk, thrashcore
|Crust punk, crossover thrash, deathcore, digital hardcore, grindcore, grunge, horror punk, manguebeat, metalcore, Nintendocore, punk jazz, rapcore, sludge metal, ska punk|
|Australia - Brazil - Japan - Canada
Europe: Italy - Scandinavia: Umeå
USA: Washington DC - California - Chicago - Detroit - Minneapolis - New Jersey - New York - Seattle - Indiana - Boston - Philadelphia
|Moshing, nardcore, street punk, straight edge, youth crew, DIY ethic, list of hardcore punk bands, list of hardcore genres|
Hardcore punk (often referred to simply as hardcore) is a music genre that originated in the late 1970s, following the mainstream success of punk rock. Hardcore is generally faster, thicker, and heavier than earlier punk rock. The origin of the term "hardcore punk" is uncertain. The Vancouver-based band D.O.A. may have helped to popularize the term with the title of their 1981 album, Hardcore '81.
Hardcore has spawned the straight edge movement and its associated submovements, hardline and youth crew. Hardcore was heavily involved with the rise of the independent record labels in the 1980s, and with the DIY ethics in underground music scenes. It has influenced a number of music genres which have experienced mainstream success, such as alternative rock, metalcore, grunge, thrash metal, emo and post-hardcore.
Hardcore sprouted underground scenes across the United States in the early 1980s — particularly in Washington, D.C., California, New York/New Jersey, and Boston—as well as in Canada and the United Kingdom.
While traditional hardcore has never experienced mainstream commercial success, some of its early pioneers have garnered appreciation over time. Black Flag's album Damaged was included in Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003, and the Dead Kennedys have seen one of their albums reach gold status over a period of 25 years. Although the music started in English-speaking western countries, scenes have also existed in Brazil, Japan, Europe and The Middle East.
In the vein of punk rock, most bands followed the traditional singer/guitar/bass/drum format. The songwriting had more emphasis on rhythm rather than melody. Hardcore vocalists screamed, chanted and used spoken word poetry. Drummers would play fast D beat one moment and then drop tempo into elaborate musical breakdowns the next. Guitarists were not afraid to play solos, octave leads, and grooves as well as tapping into the various feedback and harmonic noises available to them. The guitar sound was almost always distorted and amplified.
In critic Steven Blush's description, "The Sex Pistols were still rock'n'roll...like the craziest version of Chuck Berry. Hardcore was a radical departure from that. It wasn't verse-chorus rock. It dispelled any notion of what songwriting is supposed to be. It's its own form."
This distillation of punk was further emphasized through dress. Hardcore punk fans adopted a dressed-down style of T-shirts, jeans, and crewcut-style haircuts. The style of the 1980s hardcore scene contrasted with the more provocative fashion styles of late 1970s punk rockers(elaborate hairdos, torn clothes, patches, safety pins, studs, spikes, etc.). Keith Morris, "the...punk scene was basically based on English fashion. But we had nothing to do with that. Black Flag and the Circle Jerks were so far from that. We looked like the kid who worked at the gas station or submarine shop."
Michael Azerrad, author of Our Band Could Be Your Life, calls Black Flag the "godfathers" of hardcore punk. Formed in Hermosa Beach, California by guitarist and lyricist Greg Ginn, they played their first show in December 1977. Originally called Panic, they changed their name to Black Flag in 1978.
By 1979, Black Flag were joined by other Los Angeles-area bands playing hardcore punk, including X, Fear, The Germs and the Circle Jerks (featuring Black Flag's original singer, Keith Morris). This group of bands was featured in Penelope Spheeris' 1981 documentary The Decline of Western Civilization. By the time the film was released, new hardcore bands had formed in Los Angeles and neighboring Orange County, including The Adolescents, Agent Orange, Angry Samoans, Bad Religion, Descendents, Dr. Know, Ill Repute, Minutemen, New Regime, Social Distortion, Suicidal Tendencies, T.S.O.L., Wasted Youth, and Youth Brigade.
Sometimes credited with inspiring Black Flag is The Middle Class, whose song "Out of Vogue" has been called the first hardcore record.
Whilst popular traditional punk bands such as the Ramones, The Clash, and Sex Pistols were on major record labels, the hardcore punk bands were not. Black Flag, however, was briefly signed to MCA subsidiary Unicorn Records, but were dropped because an executive considered their music to be anti-parent. Instead of trying to be courted by the major labels, hardcore bands started their own independent record labels and distributed their records themselves. Ginn started SST Records, which released Black Flag's debut EP Nervous Breakdown in 1978. SST went on to release a number of albums by other hardcore artists, and was described by Azerrad as "easily the most influential and popular underground indie of the Eighties." SST was followed by a number of other successful artist-run labels — including BYO Records (started by Shawn and Mark Stern of Youth Brigade), Epitaph Records (started by Brett Gurewitz of Bad Religion), New Alliance Records (started by the Minutemen's D. Boon) — as well as fan-run labels like Frontier Records and Slash Records.
Bands also funded and organized their own tours. Black Flag's tours in 1980 and 1981 brought them in contact with developing hardcore scenes in many parts of North America, and blazed trails that were followed by other touring bands. Youth Brigade was one of the first hardcore punk bands to tour, chronicling it in the 1984 documentary Another State of Mind.
The Another State of Mind tour was funded by "Youth Movement '82", a concert organized by BYO at the Hollywood Palladium that — in addition to Youth Brigade — featured T.S.O.L., The Adolescents, Wasted Youth, Social Distortion and Blades. The concert was one of the largest punk shows ever held around that time, attended by more than 3,500 people.
Concerts in the early Los Angeles hardcore scene increasingly became sites of violent battles between police and concertgoers. Violence at hardcore concerts was portrayed in episodes of the popular television shows CHiPs and Quincy, M.E.
Shortly after Black Flag debuted in Los Angeles, Dead Kennedys were formed in San Francisco. While the band's early releases were played in a style closer to traditional punk rock, In God We Trust, Inc. (1981) marked a shift into what is considered hardcore. Similar to Black Flag and Youth Brigade, Dead Kennedys released their albums on their own label Alternative Tentacles. In addition to Dead Kennedys albums, Alternative Tentacles released the seminal hardcore punk compilation Let Them Eat Jellybeans!
While not as large as the scene in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area hardcore scene of the 1980s included a number of noteworthy bands, including Crucifix, Flipper, Kwik Way, and Whipping Boy. Additionally, during this time seminal Texas-based bands The Dicks, MDC, Verbal Abuse, and Dirty Rotten Imbeciles (D.R.I.) relocated to San Francisco.
This scene was helped in particular by the San Francisco club Mabuhay Gardens, whose promoter, Dirk Dirksen, became known as "The Pope of Punk". Another important local institution was Tim Yohannan's fanzine, Maximumrocknroll, as well as his show on Berkeley, California public radio station KPFA Maximum RocknRoll Radio Show, which played the younger Northern California bands. One of those bands was Tales of Terror from Sacramento. Many, including Mark Arm, cite Tales of Terror as a key inspiration for the then-burgeoning grunge scene.
The first hardcore punk band to form on the east coast of the United States was Washington, D.C.'s Bad Brains. Formed in 1977 and consisting of all African-American members, their early songs featured some of the fastest tempos in rock music. The band released its debut single, "Pay to Cum", in 1980, and were influential in establishing the D.C. hardcore scene.
Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson, influenced by Bad Brains, formed the band Teen Idles in 1979. The group broke up in 1980, and MacKaye and Nelson formed Minor Threat, who became a big influence on the hardcore punk genre. The band used faster rhythms and more aggressive riffs than was common at the time. Minor Threat inspired the straight edge movement with its song "Straight Edge", which spoke out against alcohol and drugs. MacKaye and Nelson ran their own record label, Dischord Records, which released records by D.C. hardcore bands including: The Faith, Iron Cross, Scream, State of Alert, Government Issue, Void, and DC's Youth Brigade. The "Flex Your Head" compilation was a seminal document of the early 1980s DC hardcore scene. The record label was run out of the Dischord House, a Washington, D.C. punk house.
Seminal Boston hardcore bands included Jerry's Kids, Gang Green, The F.U.'s, SS Decontrol, Negative FX, The Freeze and Siege. A faction of the scene was influenced by D.C.'s straight edge scene. Members of bands such as DYS, Negative FX, and SS Decontrol formed the Boston Crew, a militant straight edge group that frequently assaulted punks who drank or used drugs. The controversy surrounding this crew and their antics sparked a debate about violence within the hardcore scene. In the late 1980s, Elgin James became involved in the militant faction of the Boston straight edge scene, and he later helped found the organization Friends Stand United.
In 1982, Modern Method Records released This Is Boston, Not L.A., a seminal compilation album of the Boston hardcore scene. The compilation included songs by The Proletariat, The Freeze, The F.U.'s, Jerry's Kids and Gang Green. Curtis Casella's Taang! Records was also pivotal in releasing material by bands from this era.
The New York City hardcore scene emerged in 1981 when Bad Brains moved to the city from Washington, D.C. Starting in 1981, there was an influx of new hardcore bands in the city, including The Mob, The Abused, Heart Attack, Kraut, Beastie Boys, Murphy's Law, Urban Waste, Agnostic Front, Reagan Youth, No Thanks, The Icemen and Warzone. A number of bands associated with the New York City hardcore scene came from nearby New Jersey, most famously the Misfits. Others included Adrenalin OD, Hogan's Heroes, Mucky Pup and The Undead. In the early 1980s, the New York hardcore scene was headquartered in a small after-hours bar, A7, on the lower east side of Manhattan. Later, New York's hardcore scene was centered around CBGB, whose owner, Hilly Kristal, embraced hardcore punk. For several years, CBGB held weekly hardcore matinees on Sundays. This stopped in 1990 when violence led Kristal to ban hardcore shows at the club.
Early radio support in New York's surrounding Tri state area came from Pat Duncan, who had hosted live punk and hardcore bands weekly on WFMU since 1979. Bridgeport, Connecticut had an early show that featured hardcore called Capital Radio, hosted by Brad Morrison on WPKN, beginning in February 1979 and continuing weekly until late 1983. In New York City, Tim Sommer hosted Noise The Show on WNYU. In 1982, Bob Sallese produced The Big Apple Rotten To The Core compilation on S.I.N. Records, featuring The Mob, Ism and four other bands from the early A7 era. The album gained notoriety on the commercial radio station WLIR, and nationally on college radio. The LP was followed by The Big Apple Rotten To The Core, Vol. 2 in 1987 on Raw Power Records.
Minneapolis hardcore consisted of bands such as Hüsker Dü and The Replacements, while Chicago had Articles of Faith, Big Black and Naked Raygun. The Detroit area was home to Crucifucks, Degenerates, The Meatmen, The Necros, Negative Approach, Spite and Violent Apathy. JFA and Meat Puppets were both from Phoenix, Arizona, 7 Seconds from Reno, Nevada, and Butthole Surfers, Big Boys, The Dicks, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles (D.R.I.), Really Red, and MDC were from Texas. Portland Oregon bands included Poison Idea, Final Warning and The Wipers. Hardcore bands in Washington state included The Accüsed, The Fartz, Melvins, and 10 Minute Warning. Raleigh, N.C. Hardcore included Corrosion of Conformity, Aftermath, The Wartz, and Final Option. Corrosion of Conformity was the longest-lived of the Raleigh/Durham area hardcore bands. Final Option, was started in 1986 by frontman, Panzer Vortex when he was still a sophomore at Needham Broughton High School. Aftermath's lead Singer, Ronnie Dalgo, a friend of Panzer Vortex, was also a high school student at this time. Aftermath had a more hard-edged sound than Final Option, which preferred more humorously absurd and offensive lyrics.
D.O.A. formed in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1978 and were one of the first bands to refer to its style as "hardcore", with the release of their album Hardcore '81. Other early hardcore bands from British Columbia included Dayglo Abortions and The Skulls.
In the United Kingdom a hardcore scene eventually cropped up. Referred to under a number of names including "U.K. Hardcore", "UK 82", "second wave punk", "real punk", and "No Future punk", it took the previous punk sound and added the incessant, heavy drumbeats and distorted guitar sound of New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands, especially Motörhead.
Formed in 1977 in Stoke-on-Trent, Discharge played a huge role in influencing other European hardcore bands. Their style of hardcore punk was coined as D-beat, a term a number of 1980s by imitators of Discharge associated with. Another U.K. band, The Varukers, were one of the original D-beat bands, and Sweden in particular produced a number of D-beat bands during this time period including Anti-Cimex, Disfear, and Totalitär.
Scottish band The Exploited were also influential, with the term "UK 82" being taken from one of their songs. They contrasted with early American hardcore bands by placing an emphasis on appearance with frontman Walter "Wattie" Buchan's giant red mohawk, and the bands continuance of wearing swastikas a la Sid Vicious. Because of this they were labeled by others in the scene as "cartoon punks".
The mid 1980s were a time of transition for the hardcore scene. Bands such as Husker Du, Articles of Faith, and new bands formed by members of bands like Deep Wound and Minutemen experimented with other genres and were embraced by college radio, coining the term "College Rock". Many Boston bands such as SS Decontrol, Gang Green, DYS, and The F.U.'s, as well as Midwestern hardcore bands Necros, Negative Approach and The Meatmen moved in a slower, heavier hard rock direction. Crossover thrash was another influential movement in mid-1980s hardcore, with bands like D.R.I., Corrosion of Conformity, Final Option, Suicidal Tendencies, Cro-Mags, Agnostic Front, Rich Kids on LSD, The Accüsed and Cryptic Slaughter embracing the thrash metal of bands like Slayer. And most of the Washington D.C. hardcore scene eschewed hardcore in favor of a college rock-influenced style of punk. With hardcore punk diverging in so many directions, the mid-80s scene was a very fragmented one.
By the mid to late 1980s, many of the most prominent hardcore punk bands had broken up. Bad Religion made a progressive rock album with Into the Unknown, the Beastie Boys gained fame by playing hip hop, and Bad Brains incorporated more reggae into their music, such as in their 1989 album Quickness. Social Distortion went on hiatus after its first album was released, due to Mike Ness's drug problems, and returned with a sound based more on country music, which was referred to as cowpunk.
While hardcore punk was declining in many American cities, New York City was becoming an even bigger epicenter for hardcore, particularly the youth crew movement. Influenced by Bl'ast, and Uniform Choice, Youth of Today spearheaded the movement, which went further than straight edge by lyrically expressing views against drugs, alcohol and promiscuous sex, and views in favor of vegetarianism or veganism. In the late 1980s, other New York bands associated with youth crew included Bold, Gorilla Biscuits and Side by Side. Youth crew spread beyond New York to Southern California bands such as Chain of Strength and Inside Out.
At the beginning of the 1990s, bands such as Born Against, Rorschach, Burn and Drive Like Jehu took the 1980s styles of hardcore and pushed them into more contemporary sounds. Many of the bands from this era were strongly influenced by other genres, such as heavy metal, alternative, pop, and even rap. Hardcore subsequently became a broad umbrella term, as a variety of different sub-genres arose, such as; melodic hardcore (Avail, Lifetime, Kid Dynamite), emo (Ashes, Endpoint, Saves the Day), d-beat (Avskum, Aus Rotten, Skitsystem), powerviolence (Spazz, Dropdead, Charles Bronson), thrashcore (What Happens Next?, Voorhees, Vivisick), mathcore (Dillinger Escape Plan, Botch, Converge), screamo (Heroin, Antioch Arrow, Swing Kids) and rapcore.
While the 1990s had many different sounds and styles emerging, the genre primarily branched into two directions; new school metallic hardcore (sometimes referred to as metalcore), which incorporated aspects of thrash metal and death metal for a heavier and more technical sound, and old school, reminiscent of classic styles of hardcore punk like youth crew. "New school" bands such as Strung Out, Earth Crisis, Snapcase, Strife, Hatebreed, 108, Integrity and Damnation A.D. dominated the scene in the early 1990s, but towards the end of the decade, a new-found interest in "old school" had developed, represented by bands like Battery, Ten Yard Fight, In My Eyes, Good Clean Fun, H2O and Ray Cappo's new band Better Than a Thousand.
Many of the bands during this time wrote lyrics about straight edge, politics, civil rights, animal rights and spirituality. Ray Cappo's views led him to become a Hare Krishna and fellow members of the New York scene, John Joseph and Harley Flanagan of the Cro-Mags also converted, as would new bands embracing youth crew. While most of the bands embraced the straight edge lifestyle, some prominent ones from this era did not, such as Biohazard, Madball and Sick of It All. As a result of the Internet, music festivals such as Hellfest, and the commercial success of Victory Records and Trustkill Records, various bands such as Refused went on to find success with a larger audience and eventually brought the term "hardcore" into the mainstream.
With the increased popularity of punk rock in the mid-1990s and the 2000s, some hardcore bands signed with major record labels. The first was New York's H2O, who released its album Go (2001) for MCA. Despite an extensive tour and an appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, the album was not commercially successful, and when the label folded, the band and the label parted ways. In 2002, California's AFI signed to DreamWorks Records and changed its sound considerably for its successful major label debut Sing the Sorrow. Chicago's Rise Against were signed by Geffen Records, and three of its releases on the label were certified platinum by the RIAA. Rise Against gradually diminished hardcore elements from their music, culminating with 2008's Appeal to Reason, which lacked the intensity found in their earlier albums. And with Endgame, it was substituted with a more melodic hardcore approach.
United Kingdom band Gallows were signed to Warner Bros. Records for £1 million. Their major label debut Grey Britain was described as being even more aggressive than their previous material, and the band was subsequently dropped from the label. Los Angele's band The Bronx briefly appeared on Island Def Jam Music Group for the release of their 2006 self-titled album, which was named one of the top 40 albums of the year by Spin magazine. They appeared in the Darby Crash biopic What We Do Is Secret, playing members of Black Flag.
In 2007, Toronto's Fucked Up appeared on MTV Live Canada, where they were introduced as "Effed Up". During the performance of its song "Baiting the Public", the majority of the audience were moshing, which caused $2000 in damages to the set.
Some hardcore bands began experimenting with other styles as their careers progressed in the 1980s, becoming known as alternative rock. Bands such as Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Hüsker Dü, and The Replacements drew from hardcore but broke away from its loud and fast formula. Critic Joe S. Harrington suggested that the latter two "paraded as Hardcore until it was deemed permissible to do otherwise."
In the mid-1980s, northern West Coast state bands such as Melvins, Flipper and Green River developed a sludgy, "aggressive sound that melded the slower tempos of heavy metal with the intensity of hardcore," creating an alternative rock subgenre known as grunge. One of the most popular grunge bands Nirvana was particularly influenced by a number of hardcore bands (Black Flag, Bad Brains, MDC, etc.), with band members Dave Grohl and Pat Smear being recruited from Scream and The Germs, and singer Kurt Cobain listing hardcore albums among his top 50 favorites.
Digital hardcore is a music genre fusing elements of hardcore punk and various forms of electronic music and techno. It developed in Germany during the early 1990s, and often features sociological or left-extremist lyrical themes. Nintendocore, another musical style, fuses hardcore with video game music, chiptunes, and 8-bit music.
The 1980s saw the development of post-hardcore, which took the hardcore style in a more complex and dynamic direction, with a focus on singing rather than screaming. The post-hardcore style first took shape in Chicago, with bands such as Big Black, The Effigies and Naked Raygun, while later developed in Washington, DC within the community of bands on Ian MacKaye's Dischord Records with bands such as Fugazi, The Nation of Ulysses, and Jawbox. The style has extended until the late 2000s.
The mid-80s Washington D.C. post-hardcore scene would also see the birth of emo. Guy Picciotto formed Rites of Spring in 1984, breaking free of hardcore's self-imposed boundaries in favor of melodic guitars, varied rhythms, and deeply personal, impassioned lyrics dealing with nostalgia, romantic bitterness, and poetic desperation. Other D.C. bands such as Gray Matter, Beefeater, Fire Party, Dag Nasty, also became connected to this movement. The style was dubbed "emo", "emo-core", or "post-harDCore" (in reference to one of the names given to the Washington D.C. hardcore scene).
The Melvins, aside from their influence on grunge, helped create what would be known as sludge metal, which is also a combination between Black Sabbath-style music and hardcore punk. This genre developed during the early 1990s, in the Southern United States (particularly in the New Orleans metal scene). Some of the pioneering bands of sludge metal were: Eyehategod, Crowbar, Down, Buzzov*en, Acid Bath and Corrosion of Conformity. Later, bands such as Isis and Neurosis, with similar influences, created a style that relies mostly on ambience and atmosphere that would eventually be named atmospheric sludge metal or post-metal.
Metalcore is another metal-based fusion genre which combines hardcore ethics and heavier hardcore music with heavy metal influences. It has been used to refer to bands that weren't purely hardcore and weren't purely metal such as Earth Crisis, Deadguy and Integrity.
Metallica and Slayer, pioneers of the heavy metal subgenre thrash metal, were influenced by a number of hardcore bands. Metallica's cover album Garage Inc. included covers of two Discharge and three Misfits songs, while Slayer's cover album Undisputed Attitude consisted of covers of predominately hardcore punk bands. Younger groups such as Sepultura also began to incorporate hardcore punk influences, resulting in a leaner and more direct sound. In turn, hardcore bands such as Corrosion of Conformity, Suicidal Tendencies, and Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, started to incorporate thrash metal into their own music to create a style that DRI coined as crossover thrash. Mathcore bands such as The Dillinger Escape Plan also draw heavily on both metal and punk influences.
Often confused with crossover thrash and sometimes thrash metal, is thrashcore. Thrashcore (also known as fastcore) is a subgenre of hardcore punk that emerged in the early 1980s. It is essentially sped-up hardcore punk, with bands often using blast beats.
Many bands took left wing political stances and were vocally against Republican U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who served in office from 1981 to 1989. Reagan's policies, including Reaganomics and social conservatism, were common subjects for these bands. Shortly after Reagan's death in 2004, the Maximumrocknroll Radio Show composed an episode made up of anti-Reagan songs from the 1980s including material by Dead Kennedys, Government Issue, DRI, Youth Brigade, Crucifucks, Wasted Youth, Dayglo Abortions, Reagan Youth, T.S.O.L., The Fartz and others.
Similarly during the 2001–2009 presidency of George W. Bush, a number of bands actively espoused anti-Bush stances. During the 2004 United States presidential election, artists and bands including Brian Baker, Jello Biafra, Mike Watt, Bad Religion, Rise Against, Circle Jerks, Ensign, Sick of It All, The Unseen, Western Addiction, and Youth Brigade involved themselves with the anti-Bush political activist group Punkvoter.
A minority of hardcore artists were more right wing, such as Antiseen, whose guitarist Joe Young ran for office in North Carolina as a Libertarian. Former Misfits singer Michale Graves also infamously appeared on an episode of The Daily Show, voicing his support for George W. Bush.
The early 1980s hardcore punk scene developed slam dancing and stage diving. A performance by Fear on the 1981 Halloween episode of Saturday Night Live was cut short when slam dancers, including John Belushi and members of a few hardcore bands, invaded the stage, damaged studio equipment and used profanity. They included John Joseph of Cro-Mags, as well as Ian Mackaye of Minor Threat. In the second half of the 1980s, the thrash metal scene adopted this form of dancing, with bands such as Anthrax and Stormtroopers of Death (an Anthrax-affiliated project) popularizing the terms mosh and moshing with the metal scene.