Dezember 21st, 2009

BURNING FIGHT – The Nineties Hardcore Revolution in Ethics, Politics, Spirit, and Sound – Brian Peterson

Posted in bücher by Dolf

Revelation Records, P.O. Box 5232, Huntington Beach, CA 92615-5232, Usa


This was a sucker to get thru, almost 500 pages, rather small print and the main part is 31 (!!) lengthy band-interviews – puh. Now that I got this off my chest lets talk about the book. As shown in the subtitle it is all about hardcore in the nineties, and the author took a lot of time (6 years) to talk to all the bands from back then. Here are some names: Avail, Burn, Coalesce, Deadguy, Earth Crisis, Endpoint, Inside Out, Los Crudos, Integrity, Rorschach, Shelter, Unbroken, Trial, Vegan Reich..

The book is cut in several chapters, starting off with the obvious introduction and foreword, followed by 5 chapters on specific subjects – “Politics and Social Awareness”, “Straight Edge”, “Animal Rights”, “Spirituality” and “Sound”. Each chapter ist opend by words from the autor and followed by extracts from various band-interviews to the matter. Those first 134 pages are very interesting to read, basically, it is more oral history for people who are interested in the scene back then. The main part, the interviews well, I guess it depends if you like to read interviews or not. at the end you get some final thoughts and such.

The book is illustrated with plenty of b/w photos that are usually a bit small. So, if you are hooked with the ninties hardcore scene this is a good read, since you get all the various opinions from dozens of bandmembers – and various they are.

For me personally it was another evidence why most of the bands interviewed never meant anything to me, because they had either nothing new to say, or they had to say stupid things. Their music was not new for the time, it was done before. Look: Hardcore started in the eighties, it was brandnew then and the people who started it made a couple of “rules”, those developed and changed but the core ideas have been set. Then you have the new kids of the 90′s that come in, and start to “think again” about all the stuff that has been tought about before. That is nothing new, it happens all the time it is just a bit boring to read about it another decade later so lengthy.

Don`t get me wrong, some of those bands had great ideas, meaningfull lyrics and some smart people playing some powerful music, but reading about all those average inidividuals that already look back at their hardcore days and remember it beeing a great time is ridiculous and very boring. It is also boring to hear people speak about how some fucking religion fits into hardcore (it does not) and how they justify that and other behaviour. Some of the “grown ups” look back and understand that what they did was maybe not so new, stupid, childish – but in most cases it was also good fun.

I was so happy reading some of the more smarter opinions, because most of it is boring storys or total dumb bullshit. Seems the scene back then had a lot of space for “confused kids” that eventually became “leaders”, before they quickly dropped out again. Some of them went the long way from beeing “hardcore” to convert to muslim (!!!), crazy! Now you say, “dude, there is no rules in hc, why not be open to new ideas, blabla”. right, there is no rules, that is why now there is even a thing as “Nationalist Hardcore” over here in Germany.. but that is another subject. It seems the author and some of the bands mean well and are great people, I just wish, instead of documenting ALL of it, he would have worked more editorial and cut out all the blabla, analyze of what was going on and find a résumé.

Brian Peterson decided to go for the full docu and therefore I have to say: Less would have been more. You get so much random talk – I could not stand it. On the other hand, there was some smart and true messages that “go under” in the sea of “opinons” and I could go on and on about all the bullshit beeing talked about Straight Edge, veganism, youth crew, blabla bla. I have to repeat it, that shit was boring and old when it got “started” – some of the bands/people in the book do also say exactly that, by the way. But of course every hardcore kid thinks he in his time is the center of the world, or at least the scene – completely ignoring that it has all been said and done before.

It could have been a real good read for me, cut down to a 1/3 of what it is now and concentrated on the relevant messages of the smarter people maybe with a couple of examples of the more stupid shit – but, I did not write the book and Peterson had a different idea about his book – so there it is. Lets wait for the next book, of the next generation of naïve kids coming into hardcore and leaving it after they are “done” with it. Meanwhile you certainly spend a lot of time if you decide to spend the 18.- $ US for this paperback and read it. (dolf)

Isbn 1-889-70302-8

[Trust # 138 October 2009]

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