Youth Crew Hardcore

Diana was out of town last week, leaving Andrew to program and broadcast last Thursday's episode of The Way Out all by himself. There aren't many musical styles that Diana and Andrew disagree on, but youth crew hardcore is one genre that she's never really built up a taste for. So, following on last week's Destroy All Music (Part 2) show, Andrew thought it would be fun to take a brief diversion (and a stroll down memory lane) into the youth crew genre while Diana was away.

Youth crew was a sub-genre (or movement, community, scene - whatever you prefer to call it) of the U.S. hardcore punk scene during the mid-to-late 1980s. What you might call the "first wave" of youth crew is typically regarded as happening from about 1984 to 1990. It was largely based out of New York City and the Northeast region, though there were also pockets of activity in Southern California and a few other places like Seattle and D.C. There was a fairly immediate "second wave" of bands that emerged in the early 1990s (Strife, Mouthpiece, Outspoken, Undertow, Battery, et al), with some of these groups taking off in more of a "metalcore" direction (think also: Snapcase, Integrity, Earth Crisis, Hatebreed, Converge). On the heels of metalcore's popularity in the hardcore punk scene, a youth crew revival, or "third wave," followed in the late 1990s with groups like Good Clean Fun, Ten Yard Fight, Floorpunch, In My Eyes, and Kill Your Idols. There are strains of that revival still living on today.

It's difficult to pin youth crew hardcore down to a single sound or style, though there are certain musical characteristics - fast songs with mid-tempo breakdowns, sing-along choruses, guitar harmonics and speed picking, double bass drum - that a lot of youth crew bands shared (as hilariously parodied by Jud Jud). What most united youth crew were the themes of community and brotherhood (the "crew") and, generally speaking, a more optimistic outlook than the other punk bands of the era (which led to youth crew being associated with "posi" or "posi-core," meaning positive). Moral values like straight edge and vegetarianism were also prominent in the youth crew scene - though youth crew and straight edge were not entirely synonymous, as many suppose. It's perhaps because of youth crew's close association with straight edge and the sometimes jock- or gang-like nature of the "crew" mentality that it's often not taken seriously by people outside the scene, then or now.

In many ways, this show could be Part 3 of our Destroy All Music mini-series about early U.S. punk and hardcore. All but a few of these tracks were recorded during the 1980s, and all of these bands easily fit into the hardcore punk category/genre. But we've decided to treat it as a separate thing, since it's so narrowly focused on the one sub-genre or scene.

Here's the playlist for our Thursday, April 10, 2014, broadcast:

Youth of Today - "Youth Crew"
Judge - "New York Crew"
Gorilla Biscuits - "No Reason Why"
Side By Side - "My Life to Live"
Bold - "Nailed to the X"
Wide Awake - "Friendship"
Project X - "Straight Edge Revenge"
Breakdown - "Safe in a Crowd"
Fit of Anger - "Revealing the Truth"
Up Front - "One Step Ahead"
Outburst - "Mission Impossible"
Underdog - "Not Like You"
Turning Point - "Before the Dawn"
Minor Threat - "Straight Edge"
Bad Brains - "Right Brigade"
Cro-Mags - "Don't Tread On Me"
7 Seconds - "The Crew"
Agnostic Front - "United and Strong"
Warzone - "We're the Crew"
Uniform Choice - "Use Your Head"
Insted - "Blind"
Justice League - "Down Again"
Chain of Strength - "True Til Death"
Inside Out - "No Spiritual Surrender"
Brotherhood - "No Tolerance"
Strife - "To An End"

It needs to be noted that this broadcast was plagued by technical errors. When Andrew arrived in the studio, the sound from the control board was completely dead, meaning the audio feed was going out over the air but it couldn't actually be heard in the studio. It's difficult to produce a radio broadcast when you can't hear what you're doing! The beginning of Youth of Today's "Youth Crew" got cut off and there's a section in the middle of Bold's "Nailed to the X" where the audio feed went completely dead for more than half-a-minute. One of the microphones broke during the first voice break. And on and on. So, there are quite a few glitches and pockets of dead air in the recording, and we haven't attempted to clean any of it up for the archived audio stream. Please excuse the mistakes.

Archived streaming audio of this show can be heard here now (playable in Chrome, Firefox, Explorer, Opera, and Safari browsers):

Bookmark the permalink. RSS feed for this post.

Leave a Reply

Powered by Blogger.


Swedish Greys - a WordPress theme from Nordic Themepark. Converted by