From Library Journal
Culling quotes from numerous interviews conducted over a five-year period, Blush presents an oral history of the first generation of American hardcore music (1980-86) what he deems its golden age. Charting the rise of bands such as Black Flag and the Misfits, as well as more famous hardcore alumni like the Beastie Boys and Moby, the book is divided into chapters based on different regional scenes. Rather than having a chronological narrative, then, the book bounces back and forth in time, from chapter to chapter, which will possibly confuse readers unfamiliar with the people and bands discussed. The author's tone also veers between that of a jaded ex-hardcore kid and a sentimental old-timer, but his account is nonetheless fascinating and rings with experience (he promoted hardcore shows and tours in the 1980s). It should also be noted that American Hardcore is the first book to document hardcore on a national level; books such as Cynthia Connolly's Banned in D.C. (1988) and Bri Hurley's Making a Scene (o.p.) have regional focuses. Blush also includes an extensive discography (just on vinyl and cassette, however) that lists noteworthy as well as forgettable releases. Recommended for academic libraries and ones with extensive music collections. Vincent Au, New York
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Hardcore rock music, "an infectious blend of ultra-fast music, thought-provoking lyrics, and fuck-you attitude," sprang from the puddle of post-New Wave punk. According to Blush, punk transformed the pop-music landscape and quickly flamed out. New Wave, a "watered-down" punk, was then "cranked out by major labels . . . for mainstream consumption." Enough interpretation. The meat of the book is an oral-history-style continuum of the comments of scads of hardcore movers and shakers, leavened by squibs from aging hardcore-scene participants. One highlight is a discussion of the merging of a branch of heavy metal with hardcore to create a hybrid called crossover. Metallica's James Hetfield contrasts tellingly with the Dead Kennedys' Jello Biafra and D.O.A.'s Joey Shithead, exemplifying the difference between "old school" metal money-mongers and revolutionary punkers. Difference? Well, "an old school manager" wanted hardcorers Black Flag to tour with metal band Motorhead but tried to charge rent for the lights and P.A. "Flag said, 'Fuck you!,' " as well they should. An extraordinary resource on one of pop music's most overlooked influential subgenres. Mike TribbyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved