Representing the New York City hardcore scene, Gorilla Biscuits formed in 1987 and released their widely influential Revelation Records album, Start Today, two years later. The band broke up in 1992, reunited for a one-off performance in 1997 and have been playing semi-regularly since 2005. The Biscuits' roll call reads like a who's-who of the punk echelon: singer Anthony Civarelli went on to front CIV, guitarist Walter Schreifels later started Quicksand and Rival Schools, and drummer Luke Abbey played in other pioneering hardcore bands like Warzone and Judge.
Check out: “New Direction”
“All I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi.” That linchpin line from Suicidal Tendencies' 1983 calling card, “Institutionalized,” has been aped by both Fred Durst (on Limp Bizkit's “Stuck”) and Cypress Hill. Though they broke up for a year in the mid-'90s, Suicidal Tendencies are still at it, albeit with vocalist Mike Muir as the only remaining original member. Fun fact: Current Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo played with the band from 1989 until 1995.
Check out: “Institutionalized”
YOUTH OF TODAY
A major player in the “Youth Crew” scene of early hardcore punk, Youth Of Today brought the mid-'80s straight edge movement to the forefront with their 1986 album Break Down The Walls. The Danbury, Connecticut-based band's concise, thrashy style went on to inform a bevy of beloved '90s East Coast hardcore bands such as Bane, In My Eyes and Have Heart. Lead singer Ray Cappo later formed Krishnacore outfit Shelter and posicore project Better Than A Thousand. Youth Of Today initially split in 1990, but have since reformed to play various festivals and one-off gigs.
Check out: “Break Down The Walls”
Best remembered for a chaotic 1981 appearance on Saturday Night Live, at the behest of comedian John Belushi, Fear reportedly caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to the SNL set. The SoCal punk band's 1982 Slash Records debut, The Record, is a nonstop cavalcade of early hardcore mayhem—Kurt Cobain even listed it as one of his top 50 records of all time in the posthumously published Journals. Lead singer and rhythm guitarist Lee Ving still performs under the Fear name; the band played three dates of the 2010 Warped Tour on the Legends Stage.
Check out: “Beef Bologna”
In 1978, years before Morrissey declared that England owed him a living on the Smiths' “Still Ill,” British anarcho-punk collective Crass were wailing, “Of course they fucking do!” During Crass' seven-year lifespan, the ideologically minded punks self-released six albums advocating anarchism, women's rights, pacifist direct action, animal rights, antiestablishmentarianism and environmentalism. Any post-'80s political music act owes an inspirational debt to Crass.
Check out: “Do They Owe Us A Living?”