American Hardcore by Steven Blush

American Hardcore

Hardcore punk was an underground tribal movement created with anger and passion but ultimately destroyed by infighting and dissonance. This oral history includes photographs, discographies, and a complete national perspective on the genre.

Details American Hardcore

TitleAmerican Hardcore
Release DateApr 1st, 2006
PublisherFeral House
GenreMusic, Nonfiction, Punk, History

Reviews American Hardcore

  • jamie
    An oral history/testimony-style text, this book is a collection of quotes from the alleged originators of hardcore -- people like Jello Biafra, Ian MacKaye, Henry Rollins, and many more -- and various scene participants who made art, wrote zines, and put out hardcore records. Sounds like a great document of early hardcore, right? Not so much. The author is only interested in documenting his version of what the early hardcore scene was, from his w...
  • Troy
    I really wanted to like this. I felt a tinge of nostalgia and wanted to read about hardcore, esp. about the D.C. scene which I was never a part of and which sounded mythical to my teenage self. We had this at our store and I picked it up, wondering why I'd never read it before. It was structured like Please Kill Me, a book I fucking loved, so I knew it would be good—Except it wasn't. It is a poor attempt at an oral history. Whereas Please Kill ...
  • Scott
    I can't remember where exactly I read this review (I want to say it was Felix Havoc writing for Heartattack?), but the reviewer nailed it on the head when he said something along the lines of: "it's like Steve Blush did years of patient & thorough research for his masters thesis & then waited until the night before it was due to type it all up." Couldn't have said it better myself. American Hardcore is full of typos and (at times) inappropriate o...
  • Josh
    As important of a document as this book has the potential to be, much of it is wasted by the author's intent to glamorize the violence, dismiss any view that isn't white-centric hetero dudebro conservatism, and trivialize the involvement of women and people of color. "American Hardcore ain't no revisionist history based on what I personally think happened" Blush writes in the forward. Why, then, does he make such a point to demonize MRR, Jello Bi...
  • Kurt
    This book seems to have struck up some controversy since it's release. Some complain that the content is edited to flesh out the authors ideas and theses. Some complain that this or that group doesn't get their due. Some say that Blush diminishes female's roles (and other minorities; gays, blacks) in The Scene. The noise surrounding the book echoes a lot like the music it chronicles. But I really enjoyed the book. I enjoyed it because it was the ...
  • Rick
    Essential reading for any fan of hardcore punk or for anyone who remembers that early 80s era and wondered what the hell was going on. The author was part of the scene and a show promoter, but most of the book is snippets of interviews with band members and others on the scenes of various cities across the country where hardcore punk popped up. Not a dreamy, nostalgia trip -- one chapter deals on how girls and women were pretty much marginalized ...
  • Jeff Lanter
    This book should be a great resource full of information from the people in bands or that went to shows in the 80's. Instead, it all too often devolves into the author's personal attacks or biases. The tipping point is when he claims that hardcore (or you get the feeling punk music too) aren't relevant anymore, because the music and the people involved aren't lucky enough to live when he did. This is total nonsense. There is good information in t...
  • Jordan E.
    I liked this book for what it covered, but hate it for what it didn't cover. There was hardcore after nineteen eighty-whatever. Also, it needed a lot more Descendents....but I could say that about any book.
  • catechism
    There are good things about this book. The discography in the back is nice. I always appreciate a juicy bit of gossip or a good story, and this book has a few of both.And man, check out that cover! The colorized photo, enhanced so the blood is extra red. Plus the tagline, proclaiming that this book is “The definitive work on one of rock’s most important eras.” In the foreword, it says that the first edition of this book “set the record st...
  • Hater Shepard
    Whoops-- hiding on my shelf in plain view.good compendium of band names, and some quality quotes. But the author's voice is mostly aggravating. A fair amount of misinformation and plain old typos/errors. It's a good piece of the puzzle, tho.Read Get In The Van, Our Band Could Be Your Life (gentrification of hardcore!), watch We Jam Econo-- also good resources. Azerrad's inclusion of some bands to the exclusion of others is utterly ridiculous, no ...
  • Mike
    Though it covers some of the same turf as Our Band Could Be Your Life, American Hardcore is by no means a repeat. The raw energy of the original scene comes through in the writing--complete with typos, mistakes, etc. Think of it as a very well-constructed 'zine. Most of the big names are well-represented. If you want Ian Mackaye or Henry Rollins stories, you'll get your money's worth. But it's the vivid descriptions of the far out hardcore scenes...
  • Gabriel Strange
    Steven Blush was biased throughout the book. However, I can forgive this as most of the bands in the Hardcore Scene from what I gather were all about spitting their own biased agenda regardless. Seeing as he was a kid involved in the scene at the time, I believe it's fitting.It took me a little while longer than normal to finish this book as I wanted to allow some of the information to set in each chapter and do some of my own research into the g...
  • matt
    Having gone the past ten years without reading this, I picked it up hoping for illuminating quotes/insights for an article I'm writing but Blush's editorializing and poor framing of the subject matter is pretty distracting. He has a pretty even hand in showing the idiocy and brilliance of each band/scene but there's a sloppiness to the writing/editing that is inexcusable regardless of how 'punk' that might be. Certainly better than the film but m...
  • Krotpong
    An oral history gathered from people with biases, grudges, and faulty memories. Much of the book is poorly written/edited and there are some glaring omissions and mistakes. Hardcore didn't end in 1986. "If you was there man, you'd know what it was all about, man. But you wasn't. I was there, man. I was cool!" is what I take away from "American Hardcore". Still, if you're nostalgic and don't particularly feel like thinking about what you're readin...
  • Mike
    If you're at all interested in punk or hardcore music, read this book. It's a good history of the 80's hardcore scene that uses interviews with musicians and zine writers as a basis. This book strips the nostalgia and glory from the scene in favor of realism and accuracy. For the most part, I was engaged, but there's a chunk in the middle that just goes through small scenes that didn't have much impact. This part is boring, but probably because w...
  • wolfhunter
    Excellent. I completely fell in love this book. Really interesting and shares a good amount of information that will certainly keep you engaged and reading until the end. It's an in depth reality about how it all started, and the bands that kept hardcore alive and dead. My favorite, so far. If you're interested in this kind of music, you'll love it. If you don't have a clue about what this music is and represents, then you're better off not touch...
  • Christopher Ashley
    While filled with a ton of anecdotal history, it was nearly impossible to finish this just ended up feeling like a bi-coastal circlejerk about who played with whom, who fought whom, and how it all got fucked up. if you dig old-school hardcore, it is worth reading the chapters about bands you care about, though.
  • Greg Franklin
    I grew up on the tail end of this movement in 1980s America. I hung around a few times with members of one of the bands mentioned in the book. This book gives excellent perspective to a splintered musical genre that developed in the 80s, and provided me with background on how it developed and spread across the USA.
  • Dante Johnson
    Being a music fan I love books about the history and evolution of music. I do have a tendency to get bored with them. I found this book to be very interesting and well written. A great look into the American Hardcore Punk scene in the late 70's and 80's
  • Nate
    A good compliment to "Our Band Could Be Your Life", Blush documents the hardcore side of the 80's underground. I don't know if this will convey what the big deal was to anyone who wasn't around at the time, but it meant a lot to me and is an excellent document of a mostly forgotten era.
  • Ludovico
    Not bad, it gives you a deep insight on the scene at that time, sometimes maybe even too deep mentioning maybe every single band of the time but without much criticism...definitely worth reading for everyone whose heart has beaten with Minor threat, gorilla biscuits and dead kennedys...
  • Brendan
    not the best book about hardcore out there, mostly because the author's shitty attitude kind of gets in the way of my enjoyment of the content he's providing. and speaking of that content, there are a shit ton of factual errors in this, especially in the section about western mass.
  • Jim
    This book is worth reading for sure. I read it a long time ago, but some of the stories and histories still stand out to me. There are some great photos as well. However, the author's bias, attitude, and slight tendency to repeat himself get annoying.
  • Alejo
    A great book that covers a great landscape of the original Hardcore movement. The first part is truly interesting, covering all the sociological aspects of this movement, without mincing any words. the second part, the largest one of the book, tries to cover all the local scenes and all the bands that sprung from them which it can be a little heavy handed, also it could have eased up on the black Flag story that is covered in other book; but it d...
  • Stevie Mcfly
    Anything you can find in this book that's interesting to read (rather than to reference) can be found in a glut of other oral histories. It's cool to read about all the bands forgotten to those who weren't there, but it can be a bit of a slog trying to get through the details of the entire discography of every punk band from every town, city, village, etc., in America between 1978 and 1992.
  • Andy
    This book is trash filled with factual errors and the writer lacks any sort of writing style to atone for this. On top of that, there are traces of racism and homophobia. There would probably be misogyny, too, if the topic discussed wasn’t roughly 95% male.
  • Sam
    If you experienced early- / mid- '80s hardcore or have some reason be interested in it this is an impressive overview.
  • Austin Gaines
    The best part is the collection of band logos in the back.
  • Dale Godfrey
    I'll be honest, starting out with this book, I had a passing knowledge of hardcore. I am a fan of many types of music, the majority of which are raw, so hardcore has always appealed to me on a visceral level. As discussed in the book, the majority of hardcore was put out by unprofessional musicians, in their teens and early 20s (an age group not known for having a big emotional spectrum), but those artists “should” grow as people, and develop...
  • Ed Wagemann
    I experienced the Chicago Hardcore scene during the summer of '85. By that time Hardcore had become redundant with no new content to offer. Skinheads were taking over and there was all this macho posturing going on. It was no better than the high school cheerleader mentality that hardcore proclaimed it loathed.At around that same time Penelope Spheeris' Decline of the Western Civilization was released (and has since come to be touted as the defin...