Monday, March 23, 2009

Hardcore: What It Means to Me

Now, let me start off by saying hardcore is certainly not the only genre I like. My tastes in music are not really tied to one specific sound; if I like it, I'll listen to it. Pop, classical, metal, punk, IDM, whatever. But there will always be a special place in my heart for hardcore, and I'd like to try and explain why.

Hardcore is such a widely defined genre that nobody who actively listens to it will like all of it. In fact, usually the opposite. People say they like hardcore, but have to name off a few bands to show what constitutes hardcore to them. There are so many bands out there that define themselves as "hardcore" that sometimes I find myself questioning what true hardcore is(Of course, a quick listen to Violence Violence by Ceremony always reminds me). And although the mainstream will always try to hijack, dilute, and rape it for all it's worth, I feel like they will never succeed.

MTV and VH1 will always ruin people's fun. They played Blink-182 and called it punk. Suddenly, everyone wanted piercings and patches. Job For A Cowboy came along and metal was all the rage. Bands like My Chemical Romance and Forever The Sickest Kids hijacked the "emo" name and created something completely different,something that suburban kids thought they could "relate to." Now, while all these genres have been defiled by numerous bands, I feel like hardcore can't be touched. No matter how many kids listen to H2O or Set Your Goals and call themselves hardcore, I feel like that can't affect me. When I liked punk and people shouted, "OMG Good Charlotte!" I was pissed. I ranted about how if they wanted punk, they should shove a Dead Kennedys album up their ass. When people heard In Flames and started throwing their horns incorrectly (A VERY dangerous thing to do), I nearly shit myself my anger. But I feel like the media can try as it might to take hardcore away from me, but it can never succeed.

Hardcore, for me, was always more about the music. Punks could keep their mohawks and peircings, metalheads had their crazy shows with lights and Pope blood. But we didn't need that. All we needed was a few guitars, a drumkit, and mic, and some seriously pissed off people. People who shouted lyrics that had changed their lives, lyrics that gave them something to believe in, something to fight for. Lyrics that wouldn't forgive and wouldn't forget. Lyrics that cut like barbed wire and smashed into your skull like a foot in a stage dive. Hardcore was not for the faint of heart, and certainly not for the heartless. No, my friends. Hardcore was it. Hardcore the last, best hope of humanity during times of desperation and oppression. Hardcore was us.

And no matter how hard the mainstream tries, no matter how many shit bands they manufacture, they can never take hardcore away from us. Because we won't let them. We don't follow the trends, but we do know this: Other people could never understand what hardcore is to us. And that's why we'll always win.

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