Check Out This Incredibly Deep Wellspring of New York City Hardcore Treasures

Categories: NYHC

Photo credit: Todd Huber
Agnostic Front
Since its inception in the early 1980's, the New York Hardcore scene has always been a tough hog to tie down. Unlike the small yet organized scenes that came from other parts of the country in the same time frame, New York's came from too many different directions--sonically, physically and philosophically--for an outsider to peg down the main objective.

In the beginning, there were the city dwelling precursor bands like the straight forward Stimulators as well as The False Prophets and The Mad who featured low budget though high concept theatrics in their stage show. Pretty soon after that, it was all about the no-frills squall of Queens outfits like Heart Attack, The Mob, Reagan Youth and Urban Waste not to mention the burly, burr headed pioneers of the Lower East Side, Agnostic Front. But then you also had Long Island representing with the Nihilistics and Satans Cheerleaders as well as the New York/New Jersey hybrid bands like The Psychos and Cause for Alarm.

See also: The Oral History of NYC's Metal/Hardcore Crossover

Trail a little further into the 80's, and you've got the crossover of Leeway and the Cro-Mags, the Peace Punks of Nausea, the working class heroes in Killing Time and Sick of it All and the Straight Edge crew consisting of bands like Youth of Today, Gorilla Biscuits and Judge.

The 90's are an even bigger mess with bands as diverse as Rorschach, Burn, Marauder, Citizens Arrest, Crown of Thornz and Madball all buzzing around the city playing everywhere from ABC No Rio to Coney Island High in the wake of CBGB's decision to stop having Hardcore bands play their venue. Shift into the present day and you've got bands like Brain Slug to No One Rules playing anywhere from Bowery Electric to a VFW Hall on the North Shore of Long Island.

Do you see what I mean? It's an utter clusterfuck.

Strangely, the closest anyone has got so far in presenting the tenure of the scene properly has been on an anonymous Facebook page entitled The New York Hardcore Chronicles 1979 - 2015. The page is a virtual treasure trove bursting at the seams with photos, show fliers and set lists complete with priceless commentary from those who were involved throughout the scenes' existence.

It took a lot of slinking and sliding and a lot of meetings in parking garages, but SOTC tracked down the masked individual behind the pages' inception and got them to speak

Give us the basic info on why the page was set up.
The page was set up to create a platform for people to reconnect with the community and the culture of New York Hardcore past, present and future. It's a place to post their photos, flyers and other material as well as engage in dialogue with others from the clan. Although I had the vision and created the page (One day while I was sitting in fucking jury duty) it's a total group effort that involves many "Content Contributers". It's not "My" page, it's "Everyone's" page.

See also: What Makes NYC Metal?

Why do you think it's important for this moment in time to be documented? Do you feel the NYHC scene has received something of a raw deal when it comes to the history of American Hardcore?
I think part of what has made the NYHC scene hard to document in the past was the fact that it was so large and fractured. You had the guys from Queens, The Lower East Side Crew, and People coming in from Jersey & Long Island. A straight edge as well as a non-straight edge contingent and so on and so forth; so it's a lot to wrap your head around as far as telling a cohesive story goes. In contrast, the D.C. and Boston scenes started very small by a nucleus of people and moved outward from there which makes the story much easier to lay out. New York is a totally different animal.

Sponsor Content

Now Trending

New York Concert Tickets

From the Vault