Are you tired of feeling like a pussy because all you listen to is pop punk? Do all of your friends make fun of you because you’re still into risecore? Do you wish you were into music with more credibility, giving you that special validation that you’ve been craving for so long? Well, I’ve got good news for you! I have created a special guide specifically designed to help kids just like you to begin their exciting transition into Real Hardcore™.
Step 1. The Attitude – Knowing How To Act
Before I get into what bands you are going to listen to and the actual music itself, I’ll begin with something that’s far more crucial – your attitude towards the music. Since hardcore comes and goes in cycles and whatever is considered Real Hardcore™ just depends on the season, the attitude is the one thing that remains constant and never changes. You basically want people to know how seriously you take the genre, and that it’s more than just music – it’s a way of life (which usually lasts approximately 2-3 years depending on the person).
What Bands Do I Hate On?
An essential step in becoming immersed in the Real Hardcore™ community is identifying the fake, disingenuous bands and hating on them. This will show people that not only are you credible for the bands that you like, but you’re also credible for the bands that you don’t like. But much like Real Hardcore™, the fake hardcore scene is also constantly changing. It’s important to be aware of this so you don’t end up making a fool of yourself and hating on bands that no one really cares about anymore (like complaining about how you’re so sick of the scene being over-flooded with generic deathcore bands for example). But be careful – you don’t want to be “too obvious” with the bands you hate on either because it might make you look like you’re trying too hard. There are ways around this, though – for example, instead of hating on Asking Alexandria, try hating on Capture The Crown. Both bands sound pretty much the same except Capture The Crown is way less famous.
Wait, I know what you’re thinking… “I’m getting into hardcore… one of the most derivative, generic forms of music out there. How could I possibly criticize other bands for possessing these exact same traits?” Don’t worry about it – the fans of these bands you’re hating on are way too wrapped up in enjoying their own music that they won’t even be able to notice this enough to call you out on your hypocrisy. You’re in the clear!
I See Stars covering Bane gives you the perfect opportunity to hate on a scenecore band for jocking the Real Hardcore™ lifestyle. Try lashing out at them by calling this cover “disrespectful”. How is a band covering another band’s material disrespectful? Who knows, but let’s just roll with it. You also can diss I See Stars for having electronic elements in their music (using synthesizers totally isn’t hardcore); just don’t let your friends know that Bane’s vocalist is a dubstep DJ.
2. The Fashion – Knowing What To Wear
Image is a key aspect when getting into Real Hardcore™. You are going to want to start fresh and get rid of any style of clothing that pertains to the music that you used to listen to. Camo shorts have always been popular in the hardcore scene. Either that or a pair of tight black jeans. Band shirts are a must, but just make sure it’s a credible band. You don’t want to show up to a Real Hardcore™ show in an A Day To Remember shirt. That would be embarrassing to say the least! A basketball jersey and backwards baseball cap are other good articles of clothing which can help give you that real “street” look.
This Real Hardcore™ band can be spotted wearing camo shorts on stage.
As far as your hair, keep it short or grow it out long – just make sure you don’t look like you put any effort into styling it. If you absolutely feel like you MUST keep your scene kid swoopy hair, make sure it’s kept at a reasonable length and absolutely NO flat ironing unless you can convince your friends that that’s just how your hair “naturally is”.
3. The Music – Knowing What Bands To Listen To (and What Bands To Avoid)
Now that I’ve got the important points out of the way, let’s get into the music.
What Bands Should I Avoid?
A while back, Sarge wrote a post on Hardcore-core. Although these bands are associated with the hardcore scene, they should not be confused with Real Hardcore™ and should be avoided at all costs. “How can I spot the difference”? you ask? Facebook likes are usually an easy way to tell whether a band is Real Hardcore™ or not. Most Real Hardcore™ bands have less than 100,000 likes, whereas some of the Hardcore-core bands have up to 200,000.
What Current Bands Should I Listen To?
Rotting Out is a prime example of a current band to get into. They’re touring with The Story So Far, so if you’re still iffy about Real Hardcore™, this gives you a chance to “test the water” so to speak. If it doesn’t work out, then you could fall back on watching The Story So Far headline and say “at least I tried”.
Expire is another great band to get into. We are lucky to have labels like Bridge 9 to tell us what bands are OK to listen to. Being from Milwaukee doesn’t give them much street cred, but their music goes hard, so we’ll look past that.
Everything about Backtrack just screams authentic Real Hardcore™. They usually tour with hardcore-core bands, so be this gives you time to relax and stand with your arms folded in the back after their set is done.
What Older Bands Should I Jock?
Choosing what old bands to jock can be a very tricky and nerve-racking process. “What if I pick the wrong one?” A band like Madball is a safe bet. They sound like a crappier version of the current bands you’ll get into so there’s no point in listening to them that much, but at least be aware of their existence and pretend to like them.
I almost confused myself when I thought of Terror. A band that came out when I was in high school and had little credibility in the Real Hardcore™ community at the time? Just goes to show how much things change because now you will jock Terror and consider them hardcore veterans.
Jocking a band who’s broken up is great – it gives you the credibility of being into a band that’s no longer around AND you don’t have to deal with the stress of memorizing their lyrics so you could shout them at the vocalist when you go to their show (“omg what if I mess up the words?!”). It’s basically a win-win situation!
And there you have it, my friends! I hope you can follow this guide because before you know it you will be well on your way into being an accepted member in the Real Hardcore™ community. Enjoy your visit (and be sure to not stay for too long!).