As the late-70’s punk movement developed, it began to splinter into numerous sub-genre’s that infused punk with a number of unlikely brethren.
Whereas a number of first and generation artists simply “rocked themselves up”, producing a raft of radio friendly punk rock – a sound accessible for the masses, ala Perry Como – other artists did not.
Groups such as the Pop Group, Public Image Ltd. and the Specials (amongst others) mixed their punk leanings with jazz, dub and reggae, while other punk groups played around with funk, goth and electronica. The metamorphosis went on and on.
Like every movement, there is also an element of digression and as punk grew, aspects of the genre became more and more aggressive and from this came an expansive hardcore punk fraternity.
Members of this included Discharge, One Way System (who will feature here in the future), GBH as well as the oft-ridiculous Scottish band The Exploited amongst others.
As a form of music, hardcore was (and still is) abrasive, while lyrics tend to incendiary and politically charged, but by golly in the fifteen or so years I’ve been listening to early UK hardcore, it’s always been jolly good fun.
One of the mainstay groups of the early hardcore punk era were Bristol band Chaos UK. The band’s repertoire often consisted of left-leaning politically motivated songs played at 400 miles per hour and their 1982 début EP – Loud, Political and Uncompromising – is no exception.
Released by the Bristol-based Riot City Records, the EP is led by an almost hardened sense punk rock gloom, before launching into two minutes of sheer noise that is “No Security”. Chaos UK’s finest moment came in 1984 with the release of their second album, Short Sharp Shock, but it was their earlier releases and shows that truly signposted what was coming next.
In the time since, hardcore has morphed many times over, with genres such as digital hardcore, emo, post-hardcore and thrashcore being illegitimate children of punk’s hardened wing.