Let’s get one thing clear right now, what the term hardcore means nowadays is so loose. This ain’t no scene kid post-hardcore BULLSHIT, this isn’t a fucking eerie note, breakdown, chug along, slit my wrists album, this is some pure, original, New York hardcore punk that’s all thrashed out, this is the mother fucking CRO-MAGS! and if you don’t know Cro-Mags, well you gotta know!
While hardcore punk existed from the late 70’s starting with the D.C. scene that emerged with the forming of the Bad Brains escalating their sound into something more abrasive and bands like Black Flag following along, hardcore punk escalated into more fierce sounds as it progressed into the future. When the west coast San Francisco bay area and L.A. got a hold of the sound of hardcore punk the sound escalated even more by incorporating more metal influences like solos and what not, i.e. Dead Kennedys. From there two things happened, England’s hardcore punk scene evolved into crust and grindcore, like Napalm Death and Amebix, while America was putting out crossover thrash, like Suicidal Tendencies and D.R.I. When ’86 hit, hardcore punk was a force to be fucking with! The NYC scene had evolved into being the most vicious, moshing, circle pitting, hardcore motherfuckers out there. 1986 was the year of the Cro-Mag!
Cro-Mags The Age of Quarrel is one mean album! Every song is a thrashy hardcore chant anthem. From We Gotta Know to Signs of the Times, you are subjected to a 32 minute street beat down that leaves you begging for more. This is the album that spawned the idea of metalcore…. Yes, I know that metalcore turned into pure shit later on but what metalcore was in the late 80’s and early 90’s with bands like Integrity, was something much better and different than bullshit like Killswitch Engage.
Cro-Mags had a savage approach to hardcore punk. While a lot of hardcore at the time was very abrasive, raw, and sloppy, Cro-Mags had a more refined sound. With the implementation of thrashy solos and leads, Cro-Mags reinvented what hardcore punk meant while creating a spin off of genres. Check em out!
If you wanna hear a heavier version of We Gotta Know check out Sepultura’s cover