My friends mostly fall into two categories: fucked up alcoholics/drug addicts/criminals and overeducated pussies who are too smart for their own good yet somehow never found a way to make any real money. Although in many ways they couldn’t possibly be more different, the common thread is that I know almost all of them through the hardcore scene.
You are probably asking yourself “Hardcore?! What’s hardcore about being a 34 year-old with a pot belly, 1999 Subaru Outback wagon, two kids and making $36,000 a year as a public school teacher??” And you’re right, they’re not hardcore! But despite that, many of these groce betas/chubby girls with Betty Page hair did briefly flirt with hardcore, and that’s where our paths crossed.
IKEACORE (also known as GAINSEVILLECORE and LIBRARIANCORE) is the soundtrack to their lives, because Ikea perfectly represents the lifestyle of highly educated, yet foolish and lazy white people. They wish they could have fancy modernist furniture, but they are dumb idealists who got worthless liberal arts degrees, now have the correspondingly sad paychecks, and all they can afford is Ikea.
BRB WRITING REALLY HEARTFELT LYRICS ABOUT HOW ‘AMAZING’ WORKING CLASS PPL ARE
While this is obviously a gross simplification and not everybody fits precisely into these neat stereotypes, I think it’s helpful to look at the musical career paths of your typical hardcore bro such as me and compare it to the path of an IKEACORE fggt:
Entry-level metal (Slayer, Slipknot, etc) -> entry-level punk (Dead Kennedys, Casualties, etc) -> HARDCORE (in the case of lifers like me, this usually turns into a painful REGRETCORE phase, but that’s another post)
Alternative rock -> entry-level punk -> brief hardcore phase -> basement emo/indie rock -> IKEACORE (may be followed by playing indie children’s music ala The Evens)
As you can see, the critical difference here is that IKEACOREs start from a much more beta place. So, while you might think of them as hardcore kids, it’s really an optical illusion: maybe they went to amazingcore/Bane/No Warning shows for a couple of years, but they were just experimenting with their identity; they never REALLY liked hardcore. They were always soft pussies who were more sad than angry, and that is why they grew out of hardcore and retreated to the comfort of more feminine music.
The key features of IKEACORE as a genre mirror the weak, disgusting nature of its fans: dull, vaguely ‘punk’ music that is neither melodic nor heavy (see Fugazi); hoarse, ‘braying donkey’ style vocals that are completely tuneless (but it’s OK because they are are ‘singing with so much emotion’); and lyrics about stuff that liberal whites are into such as how great poor people are, unjust events in faraway countries or feeling sad about some bullshit. Basically they are what Gorilla Biscuits meant when they said “coded messages in slowed down songs.”
A few examples:
DEFEATER: DEAR FATHER Y U NO LOVE ME
Back in the 90s, you know someone was an IKEACORE asshole if they said “I hate pop punk, except for Propaghandi.” They were a NOFX/Good Riddance ripoff comprised of a bunch of shrill Canadians who relentlessly criticized the US yet felt free to accept our American dollars (which IMO constitutes ‘fueling the military-prison-industrial murder machine’). LOL @ how they got a pass on being one of the least original bands of the 90s pop punk glut just because of their gay lyrics.
Rise Against, continuing the proud tradition of skinny white fggts with acoustic guitars telling you what war is all about.
Fat guy who is ‘singing his heart out,’ skinny fggt with a jewfro and patchy beard, and homely girl singing along?? Yup, it’s IKEACORE, courtesy of Make Do Mend. And OMG he has a 1/8″ cut on his forehead but he doesn’t even care because their music MEANS SO MUCH TO HIM!!! He needs to ‘get his feelings out or they will eat him from inside’!! Also, his boss at the non-profit let him use a sick day for this show so he wants to make the most of it since he only gets 3 this year.
What do you think about IKEACORE?? Why do these people think they have anything to do with punk or hardcore?? Which is gayer, being in an IKEACORE band or letting some strange old man with whiskey on his breath finger your asshole behind the Greyhound station????