History of Our World

Radio Silence | A Selected Visual History of American Hardcore Music

Posted in Music, Object, Print by A on November 19, 2009

Cassette Demos, 1985 – 89.

Antioch Arrow at 915 E. Street. San Diego, California, May 1993.

Hand Painted Leather Jacket, 1986.

Universal Order of Armageddon Demo, Vermin Scum Records, 1992.

Hand Drawn ‘Straight Edge’ T-Shirt, 1982.

Dance Floor at the Wilson Center, Summer 1982.

“Fuck You HBPD” Sticker, 1986.

Minor Threat, Salad Days 7″ (Back Cover Detail), Dischord Records, 1985.

Skate Rock Vol. 03, ‘Wild Riders of Boards’ 12″, High Speed Productions, 1985.

In the late 1960s, two bands hailing from Michigan laid the groundwork for punk. The Motor City Five and The Stooges aren’t the center ring on punk’s tree, but they stand as the most recognizable starting point. Both bands’ revved-up version of the blues garnered attention, major label deals, and devout fans, but the landscape wasn’t yet ripe for a revolution. Ultimately, a shitload of heroin and the typical cast of clueless suits caused both bands to end prematurely.

And while wearing swastikas for shock value, disrespecting the Royal Family, and displaying a disdain for anything considered “normal” was punk’s calling card, its roots remained firmly in the streets of New York, the art scene of Los Angeles, and London fashion; places totally foreign to kids in suburban America. As romantic as it was to be a starving artist living like shit in New York City most kids just fucking hated their parents and liked to light fires in the woods.

As punk migrated to the suburbs the sound and attitude changed. Something snapped in American culture; kids who loved the speed and fuck you attitude of punk took hold of its spirit, got rid of the “live fast, die young” bullshit and made a revision: hardcore. It wasn’t a direct fuck you to punk’s aesthetic and sound, hardcore was moving too fast to give a shit. With an actor elected as President and a defense initiative named after Star Wars, the decade was as dire as it was absurd. Cocaine was huge, AIDS surfaced as global epidemic, and the suburbs were really fucking boring. Hardcore’s direct and naïve stood out as the most honest commentary put to music at the time.

– Anthony Pappalardo, Instinct and Attitude: The Art of Necessity


Radio Silence| A Selected Visual History of American Hardcore Music

Nathan Nedorostek : Anthony Pappalardo

MTV Press



Radio Silence