Photo by Ben Rayner
fter ten years of having to suffer difficult-to-listen-to arty screamo bands made up of sensitive guys wearing lampshades on their heads, it seems like hardcore kids are looking back to the straight up power violence/metalcore bands of the early 90s for their inspiration.
Four new bands that we like include Millenial Reign (Toronto, CN), Pulling Teeth (Baltimore, US), Living Hell (Boston, US) and an SXE band with the best name we’ve heard in years, Coke Bust (Washington DC, US).
While Coke Bust’s new demo sounds like vintage Infest doing Youth Of Today songs, the other three bands all owe a HUGE “artistic debt” to one of our favourite hardcore bands of all time, Integrity.
What started off as a vaguely normal straight edge band from Cleveland turned into an institution which would create a crossover sound of crusty punk, metal and hardcore which would go on to create metalcore, screamo and hardcore as we know it today. Maybe it had something to do with fact that during the recording of their genre-defining For Those Who Fear Tomorrow album, downstairs from Nine Inch Nails’ studio in Clevo, the band were consuming a sheet of acid, weekly, bought from Filter’s singer Richard Patrick. Or maybe not.
In any case, Millenial Reign’s singer, Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham, told us that the main motivation behind his new band, which is named after an Integ song, was “total Integ worship”. Oh yeah, and the L.A clothing line Fucking Awesome just did an Integrity tribute shirt as well (see above).
We got in touch with Integrity’s founder Dwid at his Belgian home to ask him what he thought about all this drooling fanboyism but he declined to comment. Instead we talked to Damian from Fucked Up and asked him what the hell was going on.
Vice: What the hell is going on? Can you explain why all the best new bands are ripping off Integrity and fashion labels are making shirts in their honour?
Damian Abraham: Well, I think the thing with Integrity is that it is a complete vision and package. I was never a “metal” kid growing up because I couldn’t vibe with the aesthetic and the straight up fantasy schtick. The thing with Integ is that they had all the elements that made metal appealing to me: The crushing metal riffs of Aaron Melnick but they also had Dwid’s complete warped world view and were rooted in punk. They invented metalcore and as someone who sings in hardcore bands: Dwid had the most intense vocals I have ever heard and really is one of the few vocalists to push the genre. I actually told Dwid about the band and we’re talking about getting him to do the artwork for the seven inch.
What do the rest of Fucked Up think about all this?
They are all Integ fans so they are into it. I think they are also hoping that this will stop me from trying to force the Integ thing on them.
A kind of “if we let him do this hopefully he’ll grow out of it” kind of vibe?
Kind of, yeah.
Millennial Reign’s seven inch is coming out in the next few months through Revelation. Pulling Teeth’s amazing new album Vicious Skin is out now on their own A389 Records label (www.a389records.com). A389 is putting out the Coke Bust record and the Living Hell guys have a record coming out on Revelation as well.