Distracted by a page in Thrasher, where does one turn?

Corrosion of Conformity's spiked skull logo doesn't just look cool, it looks powerful. A threat, even. Animosity sounds like a ten o'clock news segment where everyone is at war. It appears you've dug yourself further underground than the long-haired grave robbers you spent last summer rotting with. You make compulsive lists after analyzing band thank-you's and shirts in photos. Pretty soon the locks everyone wanted you to cut are all over the bathroom floor. When you are not sticking glue and gelatin in your hair, you appear to have mange. All this and more, while still owning your virginity. Hardcore is a frightening discovery for modern times. Twenty-seven songs in under 35 minutes&ldots; Who needs society?

Fuck the world.

As is written in the stars, you and your new best friend will become teenage science projects together and raid all the medicine cabinets you can find. Even though your friend is still Haunting the Chapel while you are Dealing With It!, it ain't long until all your favorite bands start to sound like watered-down versions of his.

You meet a few stragglers and fellow explorers here and there, but nothing is as it seemed on Night Flight. Your mother begins dating some cover band drummer who is ten years older than you. While he's playing air guitar and blowing kisses to his only fan in the mirror, your real dad has taken up residence behind bars. The guy at the record store who turned you on to all your favorite hardcore bands declared the scene "dead" and gave you all of his records just before joining Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth. Disenchantment puts experience in a choke hold. After so many nights spent with lyric sheets, you put an X on your hand because you have seen firsthand what drugs do.

Lurking possible outlets for the innate suburban rage you've channeled, you stumble across Strength Thru Oi! Nicky Crane looks pissed. Mentally, you move away to England. At the next show you notice the same types of youth beating a guy under a car, then lifting the car to get in a few more steel-toed kicks . . . Arrival.

A few home tattoos and assault charges later, Geraldo has some skins on the TV and everyone thinks you're voting for Hitler. Your regular-ass cousin has taken to riding a skateboard, your now-stepdad has a porno called New Wave Hookers, someone tells you that Anthrax is NYHC, and you are officially over it. You smoke a joint to Paul's Boutique, fuck a girl and lose a few years.

Baked at a fairground for some headbanging MTV butthead tour, you wonder why mutants are backed up and staring at you. Quicksand just played and you incorporated everything you learned in New York about dance floor justice. Suburbia is half-terrorized and the other half confused. Wasted and doing karate to live music — once again, you are on some next level shit. While White Zombie plays, you zone out on the back of a shirt.

Birth

School

Metallica

Death

Yup, there it is. Life explained. You are born, you serve detention for defiling a locker with the logo of some band who would betray you with their next record, and you discover Kill Em All; Cliff Burton dies; James, Lars, and Kirk fuck you over. Then you die.

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