Monday, December 29, 2008

Boston Crew

1981 to 1984 was the heyday of the Boston Hardcore scene. So many bands and so many shows, so much controversy and so many opinions. As a high school student during that period I was lucky enough to have braved many of those shows, whether it was a Boston band all-ager at a VFW hall or Boston bands opening up for national acts at The Channel. The reputation that the city's punks had was well deserved; there was the constant threat of violence in the air, and sometimes it broke out in big ways. The pit was not a "fun" place to be, and the straight-edge "Boston Crew" was always on the prowl. Sure it was narrow-minded and mostly idiotic, but to my teenage mind it meant something (even if I didn't quite know what).

What is forgotten, however is the MUSIC. Boston HC was different from the other cities. It wasn't snotty and punky like LA, it wasn't anthemic (i.e UK influenced) like DC, and it wasn't arty like SF. It was brutal, it was chaotic, and it was metallic. The Boston bands, more than any other scene, were heavy. As a tribute, here's a list of the cream of the crop, mostly released (vinyl-only at the time) on the Radiobeat, Taang!, and X-Claim labels. Taang! records has fortunately kept much of this material in print and on CD:

Compilations: "Unsafe at any Speed", "This is Boston, not LA"
SS Decontrol: "The Kids will have their Say", "Get it Away"
Jerry's Kids: "Is this my World?"
Gang Green: "Sold Out"
The FUs: "Kill for Christ", "My America"
The Freeze: "Guilty Face", "Land of the Lost"
Kilslug: "Warlocks, Witches, and Demons", "Answer the Call"
Proletariat: "Soma Holiday"
DYS: "Brotherhood"
Negative FX: "Negative FX/Last Rights"

No comments: