This story is over 5 years old.


Dischord Records Is More Than Minor Threat and Fugazi: A Deep Dig Into The Label's Back Catalogue

With the Dischord records catalogue now available on Bandcamp, we take a look at some of the more overlooked songs on the legendary DC label.

Slant 6. Image: Jen Semo

Dischord, the legendary DC punk label that introduced Minor Threat, Fugazi, Rites of Spring, Jawbox and Dag Nasty to the world, has placed most of it’s catalogue on Bandcamp. That’s right, you can now stream Minor Threat’s early singles, the two sides of The Void/Faith split and both the Shawn Brown and Peter Cortner incarnations of Dag Nasty.

Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson started Dischord in 1980 with the release of Minor Disturbance, an EP from local punks Teen Idles, and the label has gone on to become one of the most respected and revered, punk or otherwise, in the world.


While the label is home to heavy hitters such as Minor Threat, Nation of Ulysses and the legendary Flex Your Head compilation, it has also championed more pop and experimental acts such as Q And Not U, Lungfish and Evens.

We've looked through the Dischord Bandcamp page and dug out some of the more interesting and overlooked tracks from the legendary catalogue.

1. “We All Fall Down” - Egg Hunt (2 Songs, 1986)

During a 1986 visit to London, Dischord’s Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson, who also played in Minor Threat together, recorded this one-off project with producer John Loder. Originally written by MacKaye for his other band Embrace, "We All Fall Down” shows off the songwriting abilities of two of the most important punks ever.

2. “DJ” - Artificial Peace (Complete Session, Nov ’81, 2010)

This album features the entire session that Artificial Peace recorded in November 1981. At the time, A.P. were on of the leading bands in the D.C. hardcore scene. Three of these songs were initially released on the Flex Your Head compilation, but the rest were shelved when the band unexpectedly broke up after playing for barely over a year.

3. “What Kind of Monster Are You” - Slant 6 (Soda Pop​*​Rip Off, 1994)

Forming from the ashes of Autoclave, another Dischord band, Slant 6 played a more stripped down garagey take on DC punk. From their first show in the summer of 1992, to their last with Fugazi in Leeds in 1995, Christina Billotte, Myra Power, and Marge Marshall played with a ferocious energy. “What Kind of Monster Are You” is from their debut full-length Soda Pop * Rip Off.


4. “Swann Street” - Three (Dark Days Coming, 1989)

I first came across this track on the 1989 State of the Union compilation that included Scream, Ignition, Soulside, and Fugazi. The acoustic introduction immediately stood out. Formed in 1986, Three was Jeff Turner, Steve Niles, and Mark Haggerty (all of Gray Matter) and Jeff Nelson. According to the Dischord website, the line "these berries smell like shit" referred to the small fruit that dropped to the sidewalks from the Ginkgo trees outside an apartment that Niles shared with Turner.

5. “Worlds At War” - Rain (La Vache Qui Rit, 1987)

Another track from the State of the Union comp, Rain were a band inspired by the Revolution Summer and were one of the key players in the second wave of DC punk. Their sole album La Vache Qui Rit was originally released in 1987 on Peterbilt, a label started by Guy Picciotto (of Fugazi, Rites Of Spring, One Last Wish) that has since gone on to release records in conjunction with Dischord.

6. “Keel-Haul Love” - Reptile House (4-Songs, 1985)

Reptile House were from Baltimore and produced a 4-song EP that was co-released between Dischord and Druid Hill Records. Due to it's jammy and sometime atonal sound, their music has been likened to the Bay Area’s Flipper. Vocalist Daniel V. Strasser (later known as Daniel Higgs) went on to form Lungfish.

7. “Perfect Sleeper” - Holy Rollers (Fabuley + As Is, 1991)

With their three-part vocal harmonies, strident politics and more experimental approach to songs, Holy Rollers were perhaps one of the more overlooked bands on Dischord. Ian McKaye guests on this track “Perfect Sleeper”.


8. “Side 1” - Skewbald (2-songs, 1991)

In 1981 when Minor Threat’s Lyle Preslar decided to go to college the band was temporarily put on hold. So, MacKaye and drummer Jeff Nelson formed Skewbald/Grand Union with Eddie Janney and John Falls. Though it was a short-lived project - that winter MacKaye roadied for Black Flag - they did manage to record two songs for single including the medley “Sorry/Change for the Same" that sounds like an even more pissed off Minor Threat.

9. “Jerk” - Fire Party (19 Songs, 1996)

Amy Pickering had been involved in the DC hardcore scene since she was in high school and went on to work at Dischord. As vocalist for the all-female Fire Party she influenced many and is considered by some as coining the term Revolution Summer. Though the band didn’t release a lot of material they toured the US and Europe including London where they recorded a Peel Session with the legendary John Peel.

10. “Minor Threat” - Minor Threat (First Demo Tape, 2003)

This is where it all started. As Minor Threat; Ian MacKaye, Lyle Preslar, Brian Baker, and Jeff Nelson were to become one of the most influential and powerful punk bands of all time. A band that created a whole new approach to punk and music. Though "Minor Threat" first appeared on the band’s first 7” released in 1984, this version was included on their first demo tape recorded in February and March of 1981 at Inner Ear Studios with Skip Groff and Don Zientara. It remains one of the greatest punk songs.