It's an odd thing to look back on the things that helped shape us such as the music we listen to and just how long ago they initially took place. Looking back on the DC punk and hardcore scene, the time has flown by. It has been almost twenty years since Fugazi decided to form, and has been twenty-two years since Revolution Summer and the birth of bands like Rites of Spring and Embrace. Minor Threat became a band nearly thirty years ago, and the term straight edge entered our vocabulary in 1981. These are still bands and events that are have such a great influence on the music of today, but most of us weren't even alive when all of it was taking place. Despite how long ago it may have started, one thing that has remained true is DC straight edge and the following it still generates. This is no better seen in Coke Bust.
I had the opportunity to see Coke Bust a week ago at a benefit for the National Coalition of Organized Resistance. Held in the basement of a church, vegan burritos on the side and youth crew patches rampant, Coke Bust played a short and pissed off set before Forced Forward and End of a Year. Bodies flying, people on the ground, people in the air, the band blistered through their set without looking back. Needless to say, their live set is easily comparable to their demo.
Featuring members of Bail Out! and gaining notoriety quickly since their birth, Coke Bust's Demo 7" is eight songs of pissed off hardcore that could only be generated by the nation's capital. With a picture of Marion Barry on the B-side of the record, Coke Bust sings about half-hearted kids that call themselves straight edge, the corrupt elite in our political world, reconstruct a drug dealers life gone to hell, and end with a Youth of Today cover - all on a small slab of black vinyl.
The songs themselves feature obvious influences of straight edge acts of the past, and feature vocalist Nick thrashing through each song in seconds. There is a very discordant feel to the music at times of calm, but after a few seconds it is back hardcore played an absolute break neck speed. The band's lyrics are pissed off and in no way hold anything back. From "We've gathered all our eggs and put them in a basket, when I die there will be an X on my casket," to "You had your time, then it went. Now it's us, stand out of the way. Now it's us, get the fuck out of my way," Coke Bust simply could not give a fuck what you think.
Maybe it really wasn't that long ago when Ian MacKaye sang "I've got the straight edge," but those days are gone. It's good to remember the past and where we came from, but in terms of DC straight edge, Coke Bust is the present and possibly the future. Just like they said, stand aside and get the fuck out of their way.
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