|Stylistic Origins:||Punk rock|
|Cultural Origins:||Late 1970s, United States|
|Instruments:||Vocals - Guitar - Bass - Drums|
|Popularity:||Low to Mid depending on subgenre|
|Derivatives:||Alternative rock - Grunge - Post-hardcore|
|Subgenrelist:||List of hardcore punk genres|
|Subgenres:||Christian hardcore - D-beat - Emo - Grindcore - Melodic hardcore - Nardcore - Powerviolence - Skate punk - Thrashcore - Youth crew|
|Fusiongenres:||Crossover thrash - Crust punk - Funkcore - Jazzcore - Horror punk - Metalcore - Rapcore - Skacore - Sludge metal - Thrash metal|
|Regional Scenes:||Australia - Brazil - Japan - Canada|
Europe: Italy - Scandinavia: Umeå
USA: Boston - California - Chicago - Detroit - Minneapolis - New Jersey - New York - Indiana - Philadelphia - Phoenix - DC - Tragic City Hardcore
|Other Topics:||Hardcore dancing - Straight edge - Street punk - DIY punk ethic - List of hardcore bands - List of hardcore genres|
Hardcore punk is a subgenre of punk rock that originated in North America and the UK in the late 1970s. The new sound was generally thicker, heavier and faster than earlier punk rock. The songs are usually short, fast, and loud, covering topics such as politics, personal freedom, violence, social alienation, straight edge, veganism and vegetarianism, war, and the hardcore subculture itself.  
In America, the music genre that became known as hardcore punk originated in different areas in the early 1980s, with notable centers of activity in California, Washington, D.C., New York City, Michigan, and Boston.
The origin of the term hardcore punk is uncertain. The Vancouver-based band D.O.A. may have helped to popularize the term with the title of their 1981 album, Hardcore '81.   Until about 1983, the term hardcore was used sparingly, and mainly as a descriptive term. (i.e., a band would be called a "hardcore band" and a concert would be a "hardcore show"). American teenagers who were fans of hardcore punk simply considered themselves fans of punk – although they were not necessarily interested in the original punk rock sound of late 1970s (e.g., Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Clash, or The Damned). In many circles, hardcore was an in-group term, meaning music by people like us. Since most bands had little access to any means of production, hardcore lauded a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach. In most cities the hardcore scene relied on inexpensively-made DIY recordings created on four-track recorders and sold at concerts or by mail. Concerts were promoted by photocopied zines, community radio shows, and affixing posters to walls and telephone poles. Hardcore punk fans adopted a dressed-down style of T-shirts, jeans, and crewcut-style haircuts. While 1977-era punk had used DIY clothing as well, such as torn pants held together with safety pins, the dressed-down style of the 1980s hardcore scene contrasted with the more elaborate and provocative fashion styles of late 1970s punk rockers, which included make-up, elaborate hairdos and avant-garde clothing experiments.
During the same period, there was a parallel development in the United Kingdom of a British form of hardcore punk or street punk. British hardcore bands such as Discharge and Chaos UK took the existing late 1970s punk sound and added the incessant, heavy drumbeats and distorted guitar sound of New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) bands such as Motörhead. This contributed to the development of the thrash metal sound of the 1980s.
Michael Azerrad's book Our Band Could Be Your Life and Steven Blush' documentary film American Hardcore describes three bands -- Black Flag, Bad Brains, and Minor Threat -- as the most important and influential in the genre. Azerrad calls Black Flag the genre’s "godfathers"; credits Bad Brains, formed in Washington, D.C. in 1977, with introducing "light speed tempos" to hardcore; and describes Minor Threat as the "definitive" hardcore punk band.
Black Flag, formed by guitarist and songwriter Greg Ginn in Los Angeles in 1976, had a major impact on the Los Angeles scene – and later the wider North American scene – with their raw, confrontational sound and DIY approach. Tours in 1980 and 1981 brought Black Flag in contact with developing hardcore scenes in many parts of North America, and blazed trails followed by other touring bands.  
According to Brendan Mullen, founder of the Los Angeles punk club The Masque, the first U.S. tour of The Damned in 1977 found them favoring very fast tempos, causing a "sensation" among fans and musicians, and helping inspire the first wave of U.S. west coast hardcore punk.
San Francisco's Dead Kennedys formed in 1978 and released their first single "California Über Alles" in 1979. By the time they released the In God We Trust, Inc. EP in 1981, Dead Kennedys were playing very fast tempos. Circle Jerks’ first album (recorded in late 1979, released 1980) features several songs with very fast chord changes and tempos. The Misfits (of New Jersey) were a 1977-style punk band involved in New York’s Max's Kansas City scene. Their horror film aesthetic was popular among early hardcore fans. In 1981, the Misfits integrated high-speed thrash songs into their set. Hüsker Dü was formed in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1979 as a post-punk/New Wave band, but soon became a loud and fast hard punk band. Hüsker Dü released the 1982 live album Land Speed Record, which has been called a "breakneck force like no other... Not for the faint of heart." By 1985, the band morphed into one of the seminal alternative rock bands. In 1982, Bad Religion released How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, which is considered a benchmark hardcore album, and which secured them as one of the most enduring outfits of the early 1980s hardcore scene. By 1981, many more hardcore punk bands began to perform and release recordings, including 7 Seconds of Reno, Nevada who formed in 1979; M.I.A of Orange County, California; Negative Approach and Degenerates of Detroit; The Meatmen of Lansing, Michigan; The Necros of Maumee, Ohio; The Effigies of Chicago; SS Decontrol,DYS, Negative FX, Jerry's Kids, and Gang Green of Boston; The Mob and Agnostic Front of New York City. The Beastie Boys, more widely known for their later hip hop music, were one of the first recorded hardcore bands in New York City. Negative FX, perhaps the most popular hardcore band in Boston around early 1982, did not appear on record while they were together. They were largely unknown outside their own area until a posthumous album was released in 1984. In Honolulu, the skater surfer fueled community juxtaposed well in the tropical tourist city. Bands like Super Rad Ohana, The Sharx, and Devil Dog thrived from '81 -'87. Devil Dog frontman Raoul Vehill recreated the dayglo thrash scene in his autobiographical novel, Hawaii Punk, published by Enlightened Pyramid.
Notable early hardcore punk records include The Angry Samoans’ first LP, the Big Boys/The Dicks Live at Raul's Club split LP, the Boston-area compilation This Is Boston, Not L.A., Minor Threat's 7" EPs, JFA's Blatant Localism EP, the New York-area compilations New York Thrash and The Big Apple Rotten To The Core, Negative Approach's eponymous EP and the DC-area compilation record Flex Your Head.
An influential radio show in the Los Angeles area was Rodney on the ROQ, which started airing on the commercial station KROQ in 1976. DJ Rodney Bingenheimer played many styles of music and helped popularize what was called Beach Punk, a rowdy suburban style played by mostly teenage bands in the Huntington Beach area and in conservative Orange County. Early radio support in New Jersey came from Pat Duncan, who hosted live punk and hardcore bands weekly on WFMU since 1979. In New York City, Tim Sommer hosted Noise The Show on WNYU. In 1982 and 1983, MTV put the hardcore punk band Kraut on mild rotation. College radio was the main media outlet for hardcore punk in most of North America. The Berkeley, California public radio station KPFA featured the Maximum RocknRoll radio show with DJs Tim Yohannan and Jeff Bale, who played the younger Northern California bands. Several zines, such as Flipside and Maximum RocknRoll, also helped spread the new punk style. A few college stations faced FCC action due to the broadcasting of indecent lyrics associated with hardcore songs.
Concerts in the early hardcore scene increasingly became sites of violent battles between police and concertgoers, especially in Los Angeles. Reputed violence at hardcore concerts was featured in episodes of the popular television shows CHiPs and Quincy, M.E., in which Los Angeles hardcore punks were depicted as being involved in murder and mayhem.
The Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, and Germany have had notably active hardcore scenes. However, in the United Kingdom, street punk (also known as UK hardcore) bands such as The Exploited, Disorder, Discharge and Chaos UK occupied the cultural space that American-style hardcore did elsewhere. These UK bands at times showed a musical similarity to American hardcore, often including quick tempos and chord changes, and they generally had similar political and social sensibilities. However, they represented a case of parallel evolution, having been musically inspired by Oi! bands such as Sham 69, and the speed metal band Motörhead.
Discharge played a huge role in influencing early Swedish hardcore bands, such as Anti Cimex. Many hardcore bands from that region still have a strong Discharge and Motörhead influence.
Many American hardcore punks listened to British punk bands, but others upheld a strict regionalism, deriding the UK bands as rock stars and their fans as inauthentic. American hardcore bands that visited the UK (such as Black Flag and U.S. Chaos in 1981-1982) encountered ambivalent attitudes. European hardcore bands suffered no such prejudice in the U.S.; Italian bands Raw Power and Negazione, and the Dutch BGK, enjoyed widespread popularity.
In the more underground part of the UK punk scene, a new hardcore sound and scene developed, inspired by continental European, Scandinavian, Japanese and American bands. It was started by bands like Asylum and Plasmid, and their sound – only heard at concerts and on demo tapes and compilations in the mid 1980s – evolved into bands such as Heresy, Napalm Death and Extreme Noise Terror.
Some of the most important influences among late-1980s UK bands included the Japanese band GISM, Boston band Siege, Idaho band Septic Death, Los Angeles band Cryptic Slaughter and Swedish band Anti Cimex; as well as more metallic bands such as Celtic Frost and Metallica. However, by the late 1980s, UK bands were becoming far more influenced by American bands such as the Dead Kennedys (who were always very popular in the UK), Black Flag and many of the early Washington, D.C., New York City, Boston and East Coast hardcore bands such as Minor Threat, DYS, Slapshot and 7 Seconds. Straight edge began to make its presence felt in the UK, with the emergence of small straight edge communities in most major cities in the UK, and with straight edge bands forming in Durham and London.
There were many 1980s bands that could be described as sounding like something in between the styles of the dominating UK and US bands. While the bands that had the most significant influence were bands such as Discharge and Charged GBH, others, such as The Stupids (a UK band influenced by US hardcore) gained brief but widespread college-radio airplay in the US.
Other notable bands from that era in Europe were Crise Total (Portugal), Wretched, H.H.H., MG-15, Subterranean Kids, L'Odi Social, Ultimo Gobierno (Spain), Vorkriegsjugend, Spermbirds (Germany), U.B.R. (Former Yugoslavia), Heimat-Los (France), Lärm, Funeral Oration (Netherlands), Dezerter (Poland), Kaaos, Lama, Riistetyt, Terveet Kädet, (Finland), Headcleaners, Homy Hogs and Mob 47 (Sweden).
Examples of European bands that continued to play the original style of hardcore in the 1990s include Voorhees, Totalitär, Disfear and Sin Dios. After the fall of the Iron Curtain in eastern Europe, many hardcore bands were created or became more publicly known (after hiding in garages and being known only by small circles of underground fans). Examples of such bands include Sarcastic Front from Czech Republic, or AMD and Leukemia from Hungary.
By the late 1980's the hardcore music sound was mainly based on the East Coast and New York City in particular. However, there were some notable West Coast bands such as Chain of Strength and Inside Out.
The important hardcore bands during the late 1980's were almost exclusively from New York including Youth of Today, Raw Deal, Sick of it All, Agnostic Front, Murphy's Law, Underdog, Sheer Terror, Breakdown, Leeway, Side by Side, Warzone, Gorilla Biscuits, Bold, Absolution, Token Entry and Judge. Slapshot was the premiere hardcore band from Boston.
By the end of the 1980s, hardcore became more diverse, branching off into two sounds: one traditionally punk-based and the other evolving into something heavier, slower, and more intense, influenced by heavy metal, known as metalcore. The punk-focused sound retained much of the style and feel of the original hardcore punk bands, while the more metallic sound, sometimes labeled metallic hardcore,  tended to be heavier and often more technical. Sick of It All's second studio album, Just Look Around (1991) is illustrative of this intense, heavy and slower style. Judge, Hogans Heroes and Integrity were some of the earliest bands to feature an amalgamation of deep, hoarse vocals (though rarely as deep or guttural as death metal); downtuned guitars and thrashy drum rhythms inspired by earlier hardcore bands; and slow, staccato low-end musical breaks, known as breakdowns.
Thrash metal and melodic death metal elements are also common in melodic metalcore.  Biohazard and Candiria emerged as two of the most popular, innovative and respected metalcore bands. Other important bands of the era, such as Inside Out from California and Burn from New York, retained elements of classic hardcore along with more progressive rhythms, chord progressions and lyrics.
Ebullition Records, founded in 1990 by Kent McClard in Santa Barbara, California, often released albums by bands that criticized the American political and economic system, paying less attention to personal issues. Anarchist ethics seeped their way into the work of many hardcore punk bands, most notably Aus-Rotten, who were also popular in the crust punk genre. On the east coast of the United States, bands such as Rorschach and Born Against also played a similar left-wing form of metallic hardcore. Refused gained international recognition after touring for several years. They released their final album The Shape of Punk to Come and later broke up during a US tour.
Hardcore saw a major rebirth in the mid 1990s with bands starting up all over the East Coast. Some of the more popular bands who established themselves during this era included Madball, Hatebreed, 25 Ta Life, Crown of Thornz, Skarhead, Shutdown, Indecision, Snapcase, Earth Crisis, Vision of Disorder, Bulldoze, One4One, Fury of Five, Sum of All Fears, Krutch, Mushmouth, Torn Apart, Converge, Morning Again, One King Down, Blood for Blood, All Out War, Merauder, Irate, Farenheight 451, E Town Concrete and Ten Yard Fight. Two bands from the West Coast who made a large impact were Strife and Ignite.
While the aforementioned "godfathers" of the hardcore genre—Bad Brains, Black Flag, Minor Threat—usually did not deal with overt political themes, many bands that followed in their wake took strong left-wing political stances against Republican US President Ronald Reagan, who served in office from 1981 to 1989. Reagan's policies, including "Reaganomics" and social conservatism, were common subjects for these bands.  Dead Kennedys, Reagan Youth and MDC promoted anarchist views. However, a minority of hardcore bands were relatively conservative, such as The FU's, The Undead and Antiseen.
The San Francisco-based thrash metal bands Metallica and Slayer incorporated the compositional structure and technical proficiency of heavy metal with the speed and aggression of hardcore. The new fusion genre became known as thrash metal. Other early bands in this genre include Megadeth, Sepultura and Anthrax. Slayer are also known for their hardcore punk roots, and have released an album of hardcore cover versions called Undisputed Attitude. Sepultura's members were in hardcore bands in Brazil and have recorded with hardcore musicians such as Agnostic Front.
In 1985, New York's Stormtroopers of Death, an Anthrax side project, released the album Speak English or Die. Although it bore similarities to thrash metal – with a bass-heavy guitar, fast tempos and quick chord changes – the album was distinguished from thrash metal by its lack of guitar solos and heavy use of crunchy chord breakdowns (a New York hardcore technique) known as mosh parts. Other bands, such as Suicidal Tendencies and Dirty Rotten Imbeciles (DRI]), switched from hardcore to a similar metallic style, which came to be known as crossover thrash.
Some hardcore bands began experimenting with other styles as their careers progressed in the 1980s, becoming known as alternative rock. Bands such as Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Hüsker Dü, and The Replacements drew from hardcore but broke away from its loud and fast formula. Critic Joe S. Harrington suggested that the latter two "paraded as Hardcore until it was deemed permissible to do otherwise".
In the mid-1980s, Washington State bands such as Melvins and Green River developed a sludgy, "aggressive sound that melded the slower tempos of heavy metal with the intensity of hardcore", creating what became known as grunge music. The early grunge sound was largely influenced by Black Sabbath and Black Flag (especially their My War album). The popularity of grunge resulted in renewed interest in American hardcore in the 1990s.
Melvins, aside from their influence on grunge, helped create what would be known as sludge metal, which is also a combination between Black Sabbath-style music and hardcore punk. This genre developed during the early 1990s, in the Southern United States (particularly in the New Orleans metal scene).   Some of the pioneering bands of sludge metal were: Eyehategod, Crowbar, Down, Buzzov*en, Acid Bath and Corrosion of Conformity. Later, bands such as Isis and Neurosis, with similar influences, created a style that relies mostly on ambience and atmosphere that would eventually be named atmospheric sludge metal or post-metal.
The later 1980s and early 1990s saw the development of post-hardcore, which took the hardcore style in a more artistic and complex direction, much as the bands of the post-punk era did for classic punk rock. Washington DC, in particular the community surrounding Dischord Records, became a hotbed for post-hardcore, producing bands such as Hoover, Nation of Ulysses, Jawbox and Fugazi, who helped define the scene and included Dischord founder and former Minor Threat frontman Ian MacKaye. Other notable post-hardcore bands from the United States include Chicago's Big Black, New York's Quicksand and Orange 9mm, Seattle's Pretty Girls Make Graves, Atlanta's Light Pupil Dilate and El Paso, Texas' At The Drive-In.
Post-hardcore included and influenced other styles, such as emo and math rock. Early emo bands were influenced by hardcore bands like Rites of Spring, Minor Threat, and Black Flag. Emo bands are heavily influenced by hardcore punk's powerful lyrics, song structure and emotion. Sunny Day Real Estate are sometimes called the "first true emo band."
The hardcore punk scene had an influence that spread beyond music. The straight edge philosophy of no smoking, drinking or doing drugs was rooted in a faction of hardcore particularly popular on the east coast of the United States. Hare Krishna bands like 108 and Shelter typified this movement, taking it even a step further. Hardcore also put a great emphasis on the DIY punk ethic, which inspired other types of bands to make their own records, flyers and other items, and to book their own tours through an informal network of like-minded people.
See main article: Mosh and Hardcore dancing. The early 1980s hardcore punk scene developed slam dancing and stage diving. In the second half of the 1980s, the thrash metal scene adopted this form of dancing, with bands such as Anthrax popularizing the term mosh with the metal scene. The term hardcore dancing now describes a type of dancing that has become staple of hardcore concerts.