I don't talk politics much. I'm not the sort to subscribe to one side
or the other. I think about both sides, I talk about both sides
I just never choose one. I've always felt that when you choose
a side you're claiming to know everything about the other. Most take
their stance without the knowledge to back it up. And many pick their
side based on the circle, party or scene they wanna run with. They
choose a side because belonging feels good, because being radical
feels good, while the issues they're supposed to be behind are lost.
I love trying to tackle every possible angle to an issue. And I just
love playing devil's advocate. To me, choosing a side is giving up
and giving in subscribing to a party is like willfully
incarcerating yourself. Politics are always changing shouldn't
our views on them change too?
Which brings me to the now defunct Born Against, whom I am not
criticizing here for having been an overtly political and much
loved hardcore band. The thing I've realized is that, while I
choose not to be a radical or a preacher, we need this sort of
activism, community, and even radicalism in our world. They may be
extremists and may not truly mean each word that falls from their
mouths they may protest for the sake of protesting but
it is simply their loud, emotionally charged presence this world
requires. Without it, we'd all look like walking zombies, acquiescent
to the powers that be. We need this sort of screaming color in our
world we will always need this, to be reminded the human
spirit prevails and continues to genuinely care.
During their four-year existence ('89 to '93), Born Against released
a debut album, Nine Patriotic Battle Hymns for Children, in
1991 and a 10-inch, Battle Hymns of the Race War, in 1993,
along with a number of singles and 7-inches. Now their recordings
have been reissued on two CDs. The first of these pairs the album and
the 10-inch onto one 18-track CD, Patriotic Battle Hymns. A
second reissue, The Rebel Sound of Shit & Failure, compiles 24
songs drawn from the New York City band's underground career,
including rare compilation, 7-inch and 8-inch tracks.
I never was involved in any sort of hardcore scene. I've never been
hardcore, extreme or radical about, well, anything. I'm more the type
to question rather than exhort I don't particularly enjoy
waving flags or banners, but I like watching them fly and rumple in
the wind. So, take it from me, I'm no expert on hardcore, but I
really enjoy listening to Born Against's savage, minimal and gritty
punk instrumentation and in-your-face, make-you-think lyricism.
The hardcore scene was (is?) quite an extensive one. And like any, it
involved artists and musicians, good and bad some that meant
it and some that just didn't. The sincerity and emotion in Born
Against's music feels real and their presence feels strong, which is
why they're one of the most celebrated acts in hardcore.
If you dig hardcore member or not, political or not, radical
or not you'll be glad to pick up either of these reissues for
the sheer amount of non-stop power and ferociousness. And the sort of
intense songs that makes you think, makes you question and, in the
end, makes you realize that's what we're all here for anyway, right?