I turned 31 about a month ago and at my age a person tends to finally want to "grow up" and get out of hardcore. There's been plenty of lonely Friday and Saturday nights (like tonight) where I've wanted just pack up 90% of my CD collection (the fuck if I'm going to give up my Cro-Mags and Lifetime discs) and sell it off to Cheapo Records and begin my new life as a jaded indie rocker that the Twin Cities happens to filled to the brim with. It's time to trade in my Judge and Gorilla Biscuits CDs and make myself enjoy the Arcade Fire and whatever else is hip and trendy with the uptown Minneapolis bar crowd. I should trade all my crucial hardcore band shirts in for ironic faded 80's metal band t-shirts and grow an equally ironic 70's porno mustache to match. It's time to grow the hair unruly and try to convince myself that Rufus Wainwright actually puts out listenable music. Right now instead of typing out this review I should be at some trendy bar in North Minneapolis getting loaded off fruit flavored drinks from a tiki glass and waxing poetically about the time I almost got to hang out with Paul Westerberg during the '87 World Series (True Story).
There's just something about hardcore that makes me come back to it time and time again. Even though I feel like a prom chaperone I still venture out to grimy basements and rented VFW halls to see God knows who rock out for 15 uninterested, too cool for anything, hardcore kids. I'm still upfront too, pointing my finger and singing along. I come home sweaty and tired but smiling as I drift off to dreams about mosh pits and unity.
This is what hardcore means to me and even though I'm bitter and somewhat jaded about today's scene I still love it. There's nothing more invigorating than listening to a band from far flung corner of the globe scream about the same fucking problems and issues I have. Maybe the song that's being piped through my headphones is about being stabbed in the back, or assholes, or interpersonal relationships but it's always reassuring knowing that someone out there feels exactly the same way I do.
Oh yeah, I was actually going to do a record review here. Oops.
I was sincerely hoping that Generations was going to at least try and capture that feeling I get when I listen to hardcore. The "feeling" is hard to explain but when you hear it, you know what it is and you know you are hearing something that comes straight from the heart.
Generations, for the most part, does a quality job of presenting that feeling with 16 of today's up-and-coming hardcore acts. It's starts off with a hard hitting but melodic tune from Vancouver's Go It Alone and doesn't let go of the energy with the Lights Out and Lion of Judah tracks. Blacklisted come swinging at you with a Quicksand inspired riff that goes into a devastating speedy pissed off ditty that's just ripe to open pit up. Iron Boots contribute two tracks of Warzone worship and then are one-upped by a 51 second burst of energy by newcomers, Keep It Up. Snakes Eyes is next and unfortunately have nothing to do with Storm Shadow or G.I. Joe but nevertheless contribute 38 second track of crunchy angry hardcore. Robot Whales are the odd band out here but makes me smile with their obvious nods to mid 90's DC hardcore and much unrated Sparkmaker. Internal Affairs rips you a new one and leaves you panting for more as Sinking Ships brings out the melodic nature of hardcore with a love song to hardcore itself. Righteous Jams are Boston Straight Edge in full effect and don't get any arguments from me, and then Down To Nothing harkens way back to the days of Bad Brains and Minor Threat with their track "I Will Win". Generations then takes a nosedive with the overrated hardcore acts Cold World, Mind Eraser, and Fucked Up but leaving us with Mental doing one of their traditional catchy "get low" hardcore songs that they have been perfecting for the last couple of years.
Revelation's attempt to bring back hardcore to the label that brought hardcore to most of us didn't exactly reaffirm my love of hardcore but it was great listen through most of 18 tracks here. Generations is a decent showcase of today's hardcore. The 16 bands on here are not about Warped Tour or girl jeans and are more about having fun and just having a chance to be heard; that is what hardcore is all about. At least this compilation saved me from growing a porno 'stache, hell, no one wants to see me in porno 'stache.
8.3 / 10
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