When I thought of doing the TBBYNHO series, I was listening to Circle Jerks. To be more specific, I was taking a walk while listening to Teenage Electric, and I thought to myself, “More people need to listen to this band.” You’ll never know how difficult it was for me to resist putting Lemon Party as the article image for this piece, but by mentioning it I either made you think about it, or made you Google it, and I am content.
In the late 70s, Keith Morris and Greg Hetson got together and formed one of the best hardcore punk bands ever to grace the stage: Circle Jerks. Before Circle Jerks, Keith Morris had been the lead singer of another of the greatest hardcore punk bands I know of, Black Flag. A few years after Circle Jerks formed, Greg Hetson would go on to become a core member of Bad Religion, a band credited with the revival of punk rock, and one of my favorite bands in general. With a revolving door of bass players and drummers, some of whom had hefty resumes of their own, Circle Jerks was a veritable mixing pot of hardcore and punk rock talent.
Now, if you have never heard real classic hardcore, you probably have the absolutely wrong impression about what it is. Hardcore does not mean monotonous guttural screaming. Hardcore doesn’t necessarily have to mean playing every instrument as fast and hard as you can. Hardcore can be melodic, humorous, serious, idealistic, and more. Hardcore will tend to be faster and rougher than regular punk rock, and tend to have less of a standard song structure (verse-chorus-verse-chorus), focusing more on imparting a single idea through the lyrics. Circle Jerks were hardcore:
As always, if there’s a band you’d like to see featured in the series, send me an email with the band name, a bit of history/backstory for the band, any experiences you’ve had with live shows or the band, where you first heard of them, and (if possible) links to some of their songs. I’ll edit it/put it together, and post it up with credit for the submission. I do, however, reserve the right to refuse any submission that I feel totally sucks. Hey, it’s my series, after all.