Friday, June 26, 2009

New York Thrash

When people think of “NYHC,” the first bands that usually come to mind are skinhead bands like Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags, and Murphy’s Law. But those bands are part of that scene’s second generation, when the politics began to take on more of a right-wing stance. The original New York hardcore scene finally got some credit passed its way when American Hardcore was published; the first book to actually put that scene into a proper perspective regardless of what the critics have to say. And New York Thrash is the seminal compilation that documented that era, released on cassette by ROIR in 1982.

NYHC developed at a much slower pace than that of the scenes in places like Washington DC or Southern California. For instance, they were still pogo dancing at shows, and it took the hardcore kids from DC to introduce circle pits and stagediving to “culturally superior” New York in 1981. Few people in the scene had money to record and release records, so a lot of the early bands went relatively undocumented when they were still in their musical prime. Even so, most of the bands were rough around the edges and didn’t really rate alongside better-known outfits like Minor Threat or Black Flag in their day.

But there is something to be found in these primitive-by-comparison bands. The Mad’s “I Hate Music” is one of my all-time favorite punk songs, followed by the stripped-down rocker “Getaway” by Kraut (featuring future Cro-Mag Doug Holland). Bobby Steele’s post-Misfits band The Undead were actually bigger than the Misfits themselves were at one point. Adrenalin OD (actually from New Jersey) applied a sense of humor to fast hardcore that is still held in high regard by those in the know. Heart Attack featured two future members of D Generation, while Even Worse had future Big Takeover editor Jack Rabid and Trouser Press writer Tim Sommer. The Nihilistics predated the New York skinhead bands, and apparently drew the most violent crowd out of the early hardcore bands. False Prophets were ‘reactionary left-wingers’ whose take on hardcore got the attention of Alternative Tentacles, who released both of their LPs. And what else needs to be said about the Beastie Boys and the Bad Brains?

I first picked up New York Thrash fifteen years ago this summer, and it’s been one of my favorite comps ever since. One of the main staples in my Walkman as a little skinhead/punk kid, getting high and riding my battle-worn GT Interceptor around East Oakland and Alameda. Whenever I listen to this comp, it takes me back to that time.

Get thrashed!
1. I Hate Music [The Mad]

2. Getaway [Kraut]

3. Shotgun [Heart Attack]

4. Social Reason [The Undead]

5. New Year’s Eve [Adrenalin OD]

6. Illusion Won Again [Even Worse]
7. Cry Now [The Fiends]

8. Here and Now [The Nihilistics]

9. Nightmare [The Undead]

10. Taxidermist [False Prophets]

11. The Regulator [Bad Brains]

12. Riot Fight [Beastie Boys]

13. Love and Kisses [The Nihilistics]

14. Asian White [The Fiends]

15. Last Chance [Kraut]

16. Emptying the Madhouse [Even Worse]

17. Paul’s Not Home [Adrenalin OD]

18. Scorched Earth [False Prophets]

19. God is Dead [Heart Attack]

20. The Hell [The Mad]

21. The Big Takeover [Bad Brains]

22. Beastie Boys [Beastie Boys]

1 comment:


THAT'S FUCKIN' COOL DUDE. I LOVE THAT TAPE COVER! TRUE FACT: Adrenaline OD was one of the first hardcore records i ever bought.