-core and the many ways it gets used

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funeralxempire
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05 Jun 2024, 7:44 pm

I'm not going to attempt to cover any non-musical uses of that suffix, although they exist (goblincore, cottagecore, etc). I can cover them in a later post if there's interest.

The ur- example would be hardcore punk. When the term was coined it didn't refer to a musical sound but instead to a dedication to DIY values and aesthetics.

Gradually from that meaning hardcore punk (and later hardcore) came to mostly refer to a style more than a mindset. Generally the focus was on speed, simplicity and intensity. Sometimes bands that fit the initial definition also adopted elements of what was emerging as the style of hardcore/hardcore punk. Dead Kennedys and Misfits come to mind as bands that made the transition.

During the mid-80s hardcore punk started to fracture in different directions. This lead to styles like post-hardcore (which was sometimes called 'emocore'), crossover thrash (which was sometimes called thrashcore) emerging, as well as splits between 'youth crew' and 'tough guy' scenes, as well as other more arty/alternative minded scenes.

Beyond that, cultural exchange between the British analog to American hardcore (sometimes called UK82 or street punk) and it's offshoot crust started to occur more and more.

Eventually emo emerges as a less than well-defined offshoot of post-hardcore. Arty, jazz-influenced hardcore bands from California start what eventually gets called mathcore and screamo meanwhile hardcore increasingly becomes distinct from punk in a lot of American scenes.

Unrelated to this a subgenre called slowcore starts to emerge; it's more closely related to shoegaze than to hardcore though. If OG shoegaze is typically British a lot of slowcore is the mid western American take on shoegaze (iirc).

So, anyways, for some subgenre definitions:

hardcore: heavier than punk, but not metal either; typically has 'mosh parts' and 'thrash parts'
crust punk/crustcore: dirty leftists playing stuff that resembles UK82 mixed with early extreme metal
grindcore: initially the same as above but faster and shorter but gradually the political message was lost in some subgenres like deathgrind, goregrind, pornogrind, etc.
emocore: initially used as an insult for 'post-hardcore' bands; post-hardcore often being applied to bands with members from the first wave of hardcore when they grew up and started playing stuff closer to alternative rock; emocore is ultimately the root of any subgenres that get called emo
thrashcore is hardcore that focuses on the fast 'thrash parts' instead of the slower parts
moshcore is hardcore that focuses on the slower 'mosh parts' instead of the fast parts; this is the origin of 'tough guy hardcore', and 'metallic hardcore' and therefore of all metalcore, as well as deathcore and beatdown

Also, just to cover them:

hardcore also came to refer to a faster offshoot of techno and some of the styles that grew out of it like breakcore and speedcore; breakcore is hardcore techno with breakbeats instead of 4 on the floor beats and speedcore is hardcore techno turned up even faster. Glitchcore is usually breakcore intended to sound 'glitchy' and overlaps heavily with IDM. IDM was originally applied to stuff like Aphex Twin, as if to suggest other dance music was stupid.

Largely focused on the US east coast 'metallic hardcore' emerged, combining 'tough guy hardcore' with more and more metal elements. New York always had a lot of interaction between the metal and punk scenes and that helped bands from that region to find acceptance as they became increasingly influenced by thrash metal and the local death metal scene.

As metalcore become it's own distinct genre different flavours emerged, like Converge who combined metallic hardcore with post-hardcore elements, but also mathy and noisy elements.

Generally speaking if you encounter 'math' as a microgenre description it means the bands play in weird timings like jazz sometimes uses.

Another offshoot of metalcore was deathcore which combines elements of brutal death metal and slam with metalcore. Slam is an offshoot of brutal death metal that focuses on mid-tempo chromatic riffs borrowed from New York hardcore and crossover thrash. Initially deathcore was also applied to some bands that combined Gothenberg style death metal with hardcore punk like The Black Dahlia Murders, but I'm not sure if that continued to be the case.

The early '00s gave another metalcore style that combined melodic (Gothenberg style) death metal with east coast 'metallic hardcore'. Some of those bands had more poppy elements, others also borrowed from post-hardcore, stuff like Converge or both.

More subgenres:
Nintendocore (like blabby mentioned) is basically metalcore + 8-bit sounds.
Skramz is what bands that sounded like 90s emo/screamo started calling itself after some of the poppier metalcore bands started getting called screamo during the early oughts. 90s screamo was often closer to the early 90s era 'mathy' stuff than it was to either earlier post-hardcore or to the other, indie rock based stuff that also started getting called emo around that time.
...mathcore usually refers to stuff that mixes early 90s mathy stuff like Heroin with more 'metallic hardcore' elements.
Midwest emo usually combines the 'mathy' elements with the 'indie' elements, while filtering out most of the hardcore influence.
Mincecore is a microgenre of grindcore and goregrind that retains the far-left slant, often using the same imagery as goregrind or pornogrind but in a more politically conscious manner rather than merely for shock value.

Sludgecore (or sometimes sludge metal) is kinda like the NOLA equivalent of grunge. Basically it takes the B-side of Black Flag's My War and runs with it. Slow, gloomy Black Sabbath worship but with too much hardcore punk influence to just be doom metal and without the poppy tinges that defined grunge.

Gradually crossover thrash and thrashcore started to refer to slightly different things. Crossover thrash meant thrash metal mixed with thrashcore, or sometimes just with hardcore, whereas thrashcore increasingly meant a focus on speed. Fastcore is occasionally applied to this style (especially the Japanese stuff like f**k On The Beach), not to be confused with speedcore, the style of techno.

Blah blah blah. :ninja:


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IsabellaLinton
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05 Jun 2024, 8:18 pm

Ooooh thanks! I'm eating but I'll read it asap.


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IsabellaLinton
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05 Jun 2024, 8:57 pm

I should know better than to ask an autistic. :lol:

Thank you so much for all the info, also from Blabby in that other thread.
It's going to take me a while to make sense of it all.

I really had no clue.
imo they were all just screamer stuff with heavy metal guitar.

Can you post like a favourite, or a beginner song for some of the categories?

I don't even know Grunge very well, so it'll take me a while to catch on.


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funeralxempire
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05 Jun 2024, 9:43 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I should know better than to ask an autistic. :lol:

Thank you so much for all the info, also from Blabby in that other thread.
It's going to take me a while to make sense of it all.

I really had no clue.
imo they were all just screamer stuff with heavy metal guitar.

Can you post like a favourite, or a beginner song for some of the categories?

I don't even know Grunge very well, so it'll take me a while to catch on.


Sure, I'll try to think of a handful of examples. I've got some significant biases against some microgenres and in favour of others, so whatever I say can be taken with some amount of salt (not too much though, you don't want to ruin the flavour :mrgreen: )

Hardcore is a pretty diverse genre (in the same way metal is) so it would be hard to give examples of every sound that's ever occurred under that general umbrella. The other issue is that both hardcore and post-hardcore are terms that have nudged towards mainstream visibility only to vanish again so there isn't always an obvious connection between the most visible examples.

I'd hold up Minor Threat or State of Alert as definitive examples of early hardcore punk.
I'd hold up Gorilla Biscuits or Youth of Today as definitive examples of youth crew.
I'd hold up Judge as an early example of 'tough guy hardcore' with early Earth Crisis, 25 Ta Life or Hatebreed being definitive of the more metallic direct it evolved into. Bulldoze are an example of beatdown, which is essentially tough guy hardcore doubling down on the tropes instead of evolving in a less macho direction.

Converge represents metallic hardcore going in a different direction, less macho and more like post-hardcore but with way more intensity.

Early Black Flag is the best example of early west coast hardcore punk. Later on they moved in a more metallic direction. Dead Kennedys are a band that pre-dated hardcore punk but also took influence from it.

Exploited are a good example of UK82. Discharge are also UK82 but also generally considered where d-beat and crust started. Street punk is another name given to stuff that sounds like UK82 and isn't really political. It's adjacent to hardcore punk but not really the same. Eventually American bands imitating UK82 and European bands imitating American hardcore started to emerge. The Casualties are an example of the former.

Heroin, The Swing Kids and Mohinder are examples of what I'm calling early mathcore. I'd say that influence shows up in stuff like Orchid and Love Lost Not Forgotten, as well as in the noisier metalcore like like Converge and Rorschach.

Napalm Death's From Enslavement to Obliteration and Terrorizer's World Downfall are definitive grindcore albums.

I'll try to add more detail later to avoid making you drink from a firehose.


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IsabellaLinton
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05 Jun 2024, 9:53 pm

I like Black Flag and Dead Kennedys.


What I meant was can you post videos for a few of them?

*Time permitting of course.

I'm feeling rather lazy myself so you can do the work.

:lol:


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funeralxempire
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05 Jun 2024, 9:58 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I like Black Flag and Dead Kennedys.


What I meant was can you post videos for a few of them?

*Time permitting of course.

I'm feeling rather lazy myself so you can do the work.

:lol:


Sure, I'll start posting videos in a bit.


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06 Jun 2024, 2:50 am

Somedays, I just feel old, when I read some of these threads . Prolly help if I was a Metal head , from that time period.
But was a interesting read and presented as a what I believe to be a apt description of the " Culture" of metal music. :D


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funeralxempire
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07 Jun 2024, 5:45 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I like Black Flag and Dead Kennedys.


What I meant was can you post videos for a few of them?


So, here's some early hardcore:


Henry Rollins from State of Alert eventually took over vocal duties in Black Flag.



Here's UK82:



Youth crew:



Heavy hardcore:




Thrashcore:



Venice Beach had a strong hardcore and thrash scene that produced one strain of crossover thrash:


Suicidal Tendencies had probably the first hardcore video to get on MTV.

Meanwhile New York City produced crossover thrash with a bit more emphasis on heaviness:


Post-hardcore was also emerging:



Meanwhile not all hardcore was adopting metallic influences:




Emo was one of the styles to emerge from post-hardcore:




Some hardcore was combining those various earlier strains of hardcore in different ways:



And that's where I'm gonna wrap up my attempt at covering hardcore's history from the early '80s until the mid '90s. I'll try to cover some more peripheral early stuff and more subgenres in the next post.

Generally speaking hardcore was closer to punk and still fixated on being distinct from metal in this period. Metallic influences start to become increasingly overwhelming starting in the late 90s.


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funeralxempire
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07 Jun 2024, 6:45 am

Jakki wrote:
Somedays, I just feel old, when I read some of these threads . Prolly help if I was a Metal head , from that time period.
But was a interesting read and presented as a what I believe to be a apt description of the " Culture" of metal music. :D


Personally, I'd call this punk rather than metal.


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08 Jun 2024, 6:47 am

Nerdcore was not mentioned. It's about nerd & geek intrests like computers, scyfy, anime, & video games :nerdy: The music may have some sounds from retro video-games & have elements of rap & hiphop.


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funeralxempire
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08 Jun 2024, 9:38 am

nick007 wrote:
Nerdcore was not mentioned. It's about nerd & geek intrests like computers, scyfy, anime, & video games :nerdy: The music may have some sounds from retro video-games & have elements of rap & hiphop.



Thanks for covering this. I was planning on leaving all sorts of styles that called -core that aren't part of hardcore towards the end. There's still a lot within hardcore I haven't gotten to yet either.


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IsabellaLinton
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08 Jun 2024, 9:40 am

Thanks so much for all the song links, fxe.
I won't be able to listen until I'm home but I look forward to it.


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