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The history of hardcore and metal

The history of hardcore and metal
November 01, 2008, 02:07:51 PM
Kind of interesting, when you think about it. (This post is in note form, not complete text.)

First, you had aggro-rock bands, culminating in The Kinks, through the late 1950s and early 1960s. I'd group Blue Cheer in here.

In 1965-1968, you had The Beatles making increasingly loud music.

Then in 1968, you had Iggy and the Stooges. Fully developed punk.

In 1969, Black Sabbath, King Crimson and Led Zeppelin all recording. All three were a rebellion against the hippie outlook to varying degrees.

In 1976, Motorhead started putting out punk songs with heavy metal influences in both riff and structure, melodic-harmonic structure from The Beatles.

Undoubtedly, the more aggressive NWOBHM bands were influencing punk, as Iron Maiden (ex punks) and Venom did.

In 1982, there was Discharge. Around the same time: GBH, The Exploited, and a lot of "punk" but not "punk hardcore" bands that were pretty bad.

Shortly after and semi-contemporaneous, Black Flag, Minor Threat, then finally the Cro-Mags, DRI, COC, Cryptic Slaughter. After that, punk was pretty dead until emo revived it around 1990 when Fugazi caught on, but the music was more like liberal protest rock (see The Beatles) put into a literal, easy form.

Right about 1987, ex-punks went into post-punk or grindcore. That flowering got us Napalm Death and Godflesh, among others.

About 1993 or so, there was a punk revival, pure retro. Imitate that past. Rancid fits in here? Radio offshoots rode the Nirvana/Blink 182 crest.

This came up with the Cro-Mags thread. I think it's interesting and hope others fill in gaps in my knowledge.

Re: The history of hardcore and metal
November 01, 2008, 02:53:42 PM
Crust Punk probably deserves a mention somewhere, that's where a lot of early grindcore bands come from (Bolt Thrower and Napalm Death, specifically). I'm not very well versed in the style, but I think it is bands like Doom, Nausea and the excellent Amebix (they'll be touring in the US early next year, by the way)  that truly defined the sound of Crust Punk, taking cues from bands like Discharge and Hellhammer.

Re: The history of hardcore and metal
November 02, 2008, 11:45:48 AM
A good overview.

Contemporary to the Kinks: the Yardbirds ('64-'66, split into Cream, Led Zeppelin etc) who was one of the first ones to create loud and evil noises from the blues guitar. Also, garage rock bands in the vein of Sonics and Monks, lots of them, in the early 60's already. Some of the US bands were earlier than the UK ones but in UK there was much more support and marketing. In the pre-hippie, pre-Vietnam, pre-race riot US it was not supported by the market to smash guitars and scream like hateful negroes, in UK's "Swinging London" it was hip as documented by the movie "Blow Up". At this stage Europe was full of decadent nightclub life and free sex whereas USA was strictly normative in a way that could only have been envisioned by the strictest fascists.

Contemporary to the Stooges: the primal assault of White Panthers terrorists' house band MC5, pure garage punk with political statements and anti-social intent. Velvet Underground and glam rock were influential in decadent look and lifestyle. Frank Zappa's satire and The Doors' abyssic nihilism beget bands like Dictators, Ramones, The Dead Boys, Misfits and New York Dolls in worship of trash and lowlife fun and said "fuck off" to both the establishment and the counterculture. Note that all this happened in the USA. The era has changed because of the Vietnam war and various crises, distrust for the establishment and also the way hippies became a joke. UK was filled with the monolithic hard rock and progressive rock sounds of the bands ASBO mentioned, plus Hawkwind which combined aggressive rock and acid and was the root of Motorhead. The UK movement was like a late version of the American hippies' psychedelia and soul seeking but with more literature and less naivete.

Contemporary to Motorhead: Sex Pistols (which was an exercise in pure marketing and spread the punk fashion and catchword to the whole world), Damned and The Clash. It's the expression of the British working class attempting to break to freedom in a society whose rituals, morals, class system are breaking up as the world fills with capitalism, pollution, technology and entertainment. But it was influenced by the American bands of the previous stage.

Contemporary to Discharge: Crass, Rudimentary Peni, art punk, funk punk, disco/electro punk etc. punk is already broken into factions at this stage just like black metal did recently. Crustcore was exactly like early black metal in that it was Motorhead without instrumental ability, but opposite in that it looked to an utopia/dystopia of the future whereas black metal hearkened to the barbarism and mysticism of past beliefs and superstitions. Construction vs. deconstruction, critique vs. blasphemy. There have been racial riots, terrorism, AIDS etc. in Europe too and things start to look more serious. This is also the first time since the hippies that the US bands develop moral and political ideas (which the original punks were in opposition to) because the times have changed since the post-Vietnam nihilism: Black Flag, Dead Kennedys and thrash / punk metal, Slayer, Metallica. Metal and hardcore at this stage are different combinations of the same elements. The ball has been thrown forth and back between the US and the UK.

Contemporary or even earlier to Fugazi: Minutemen, Bad Religion, Replacements, Husker Du. This is where punk (and metal too?) became liberal, acceptable etc. Is it ironic it happened in the time of Reagan? Before this it was either the dirty un-P.C. scoundrels who you don't want to let inside your house or aggressive leftist radicals/anarchists who you also don't want to let inside your house.  But at this point it's normal teenagers starting bands to express their angst. The genre totally exploded. This is the point where it compares to nowadays black metal and it seems useless to explore its history further because it's like a race so totally interbred that it has lost most of its original features and recognizability.