Hardcore wasn’t always for rich, popular Christian kids in skinny jeans and scene hair. Long ago, in a galaxy far away, it was a more extreme form of punk rock. This is old news to anybody around my age, but I don’t think kids these days fully grasp it because it was literally ten years before the kids in Attack Attack! or whatever were even born. I didn’t get into hardcore until 1989, when it had been in full swing for many years and Youth of Today brought in hordes of jock moshers, but even then it was a very different beast than today.
A land before flat irons
At that time, hardcore certainly wasn’t for anybody who was remotely cool, popular, good-looking or otherwise healthy and happy to be alive. People like Scott Vogel understand this, which is why I like it so much when he says “We are not a rock and roll band. We are not cool. We are fucked up kids just like all of you.” Hardcore was for fucked up kids, and at least to me, it meant bands like SOA, Minor Threat, Black Flag, MDC, DRI, Poison Idea, and believe it or not, the Beastie Boys. Many people don’t know that they weren’t always a gay, uptight “rap” group for socially-conscious college students who go on to be shitbag yuppies that drive Volvos– they were actually one of the first hardcore bands, way back in 1981 or so.
Not only that, but their song “Riot Fight” is the first example of a blast beat that I am aware of, predating NYC Mayhem, Infest, Napalm Death and all that Earache stuff by several years. So all you thrash dorks who worship Nine Shocks Terror or whatever should probably be jocking the Beasties for pioneering this shit. I really wish the Beasties would have stayed a hardcore band, because they were really good at it, and it was way cooler than when they lost my respect by taking back all the ignorant, misogynist, and homophobic stuff they said on “License to Ill.”
Later on, they did a few hardcore songs on “Ill Communication” the “Aglio e Olio” EP (featuring Suicidal Tendencies’ Amery Smith on drums), but basically moved away from it after “Pollywog Stew.” And it’s a shame, because they were a really fucking good hxc/thrash band.
DFL = What if the Beasties kept playing thrash?
Enter DFL, or Dead Fucking Last. Originally featuring Adam Yauch on bass, DFL is basically what it would sound like if the Beasties hadn’t turned into boring, gay rap for oversexed, middle class college kids. They released a 7″ called “My Crazy Life,” a CDEP version of the 7″ and I think two LPs, but I think the 7″ is their best material.
It basically sounds like a band that would have played with JFA, MDC, Adolescents, or any of the other 80s hardcore bands I grew up on. Like those bands, they played raw, fast hardcore, but never lost their sense of humor- I still laugh at the intro to one of the songs where he introduces the band as “Crazy Monty, Crazy Adam, Crazy Tom, and Fucked Up Tony.”
I feel like all the dorks who got into the whole “thrash” thing in the 90s totally overlooked this band because they were on Epitaph, despite that DFL did 80s hardcore better than any of the crappy bands putting out one generic, shitty 7″ after the next. Now that kids are into the whole Municipal Waste thing, maybe they’ll finally get their due?
Either way, don’t sleep on DFL if you missed them in the 90s! This 7″ fucking rips, and I’m pretty sure this is long, long out of print (it was on Grand Royal), so I’m including a download link: Cop the DFL 7″ here