Scraping Genius Off The Wheel


  • Gary Suarez

SO, UH, HOW MANY MORE “LEGENDARY” NYHC BANDS ARE LEFT TO REUNITE?2010 has already been an eventful year for reunited New York hardcore bands. Favorites like Cro-Mags and Killing Time, the latter of which dropped a great new album a couple months ago, have been playing live gigs. Agnostic Front performed a one-off show with their classic Victim In Pain and United Blood rhythm sections in lieu of their present recording/touring lineups. Recently, Bridge Nine announced the return of Underdog with a forthcoming complete discography and a handful upcoming live shows. Out of nowhere, Supertouch and Yuppicide have both returned to play this weekend’s Black N Blue Bowl. But now, despite my earlier elation, I’m starting to wonder if this trend is getting out of hand.

In the past 24 hours, I’ve learned about several more NYHC reunions. Late-eighties group Inside Out (not to be confused with Zack de la Rocha’s pre-RATM band of the same name) has also apparently reunited and are playing their “first show in 21 years” at Andrew W.K.’s Santos Party Haus. Additionally, BrooklynVegan scribe Black Bubblegum posted recently regarding reunited NYHC band Indecision, who have a show coming up at Knitting Factory in July. He also revealed that current New York resident Moby has regrouped with Vatican Commandos, his long-forgotten Connecticut hardcore act, for a July gig at Mercury Lounge.

So what’s going on?

Well, hardcore is really no different than any other genre when it comes to nostalgia for the days of old. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that bands from the 80s are taking advantage of the chance to reunite, play the old songs for an eager audience, and hopefully make a couple bucks in the process. But the exponential nature of this regional resurgence raises some questions for me, as one who has attended a fair deal of reunion concerts lately. Simply put, some of these bands broke up for a good reason. Countless NYHC bands active primarily in the eighties and early nineties weren’t all that good, and getting back together decades later doesn’t change that. In fact, they’re potentially harming their minor (and, occasionally, inflated) legacies by reminding people of their mediocrity or middling musical quality. I’m not applying this to any group in particular, but I’ve been to some shows lately where I’d gladly have subbed out a few of these acts for their spunkier, younger descendants.

Despite my undeniable interest in seeing some of these groups on stage again, I’m starting to feel more than a little bit of reunion fatigue. Anybody else feel the same?


Show Comments
Metal Sucks Greatest Hits