Ah yes, it’s finally that time. I’ve discussed my love for the “edgy” forms of hardcore often, constantly citing powerviolence, screamo, fastcore, and crust as the superior forms of the genre. After all they’re the least “bro”-y of all the styles, less full of Hitler-youth-esque guys in Nike Air Maxes in camo shorts than the other genres (PV has always been more of a “you bet there’s a skull drawn in my notebook” type look). In fact I’ve often embraced those styles due to their rejection of the hardcore bro, their ability to remain fiercely independent in the face of senseless 90’s worship and rejection of some of the more intense aspects of straight edge. That is, however, all about to change as we delve deep into the style that spawned all the horrible hardcore “fashion” that so many awkward 20-something men, fresh off their warped tour phase, have adopted in a vain attempt to prove their masculinity. I’m talking of course about Youth Crew, where shirts aren’t necessary but the incessant need for gang vocals and floor-tom heavy breakdowns are.
Going to a hardcore show nowadays is an interesting, if not slightly disturbing, thing. Upon walking in, almost immediately, you are greeted by the sight of legions of hardcore kids; close shaved hair cuts, Nike Air Maxes (or similar shoes), camo shorts, and a shirt from one of the same three 80’s/90’s hardcore bands (Trapped Under Ice, Madball, or Youth of Today). And, more importantly than how they look – standing there in their get ups, arms folded across their chest or firmly bringing a cigarette to their lips – is the attitude they exert; one of hostility and, somewhat oddly given hardcore’s basic principles, of conformity. These people are unflinching, devoted to whatever character they are playing and seemingly unable to take a joke at the expense of hardcore or deviate much from their standard genre listening beyond hardcore.