Live Fast Die Fast wants you to know they’re NYHC. They want you to know this so much, in fact, that in the first song of this album, they tell you they are. Along with Agnostic Front’s Vinny Stigma and This Is Hell’s Rik Jimenez. Furthermore, AF’s Mike Gallo Produced this. Clearly they have the friends, the pedigree and the location to claim NYHC. But, I once told my girlfriend I was hung like a horse only to be proven wrong on a disastrous trip to the stables. So, I began to listen to this release with an open mind, but a ‘going to the stables’ mentality.
The album opens with the lyrics “New York Hardcore, 2011. We’ll never let this die.” I find myself partly relieved and partly doubtful of this. In 2011, many bands who call themselves hardcore are playing less technical metal and wearing makeup. If your preshow routine is sitting in front of your grandmother’s vanity with a Mary Kay case, I’d rather you didn’t call yourself hardcore. Because you’re not. Also, this album won’t be for you. Short songs referencing real hardcore topics such as ‘the struggles’, ‘the streets,’ unity and brotherhood pervade this entire release. Unfortunate reality sinks in on “Song of our Youth” where the lyrics talk about about trudging on despite the pressure to change, while remaining true to who you are. It’s a shame when hardcore bands feel persecuted within the hardcore community for being actual fucking hardcore bands.
I find myself getting angry listening to this album, but not in the way 12 year old me did when first listening to Age Of Quarrel. I find myself getting mad that this album inspires nostalgia in me. Because this is what hardcore is. The song Seenster especially inspires this with lyrics like “There was a time not too long ago/Where I felt no life,not even at a show/no heart, no calling, no unity/kids showing up just to be seen”. No frills, no downtuned guitars, many songs clocking in under two and a half minutes, this album is a great example of NYHC somehow living and breathing in 2011. And in the form of a new band and not an old band putting out a new record that’s just not as good as their classics. It reminds me of the first time I heard Underdog or Agnostic Front. This album says hardcore isn’t about feelings or fashion or having connections with the right labels. It’s about going through shit in life, realizing you’re not alone and coming through it scarred and stronger.
Listening to this album a few times, I find myself not wanting to get too in depth with the who’s and what’s. What the guitarist is doing, what the drummer is doing. Is this 4 chord rock? None of that is important. So many bands focus on that and lose sight of the fact that they do not play appealing songs. I don’t care if it’s gourmet food in your turd, if it fucking smells like shit it smells like shit. Wipe your ass, flush and get out of the bathroom. I’ll only cheer when the door’s closed and you’re gone. Live Fast Die Fast have put together a great collection of short, angry NYHC anthems that will undoubtedly stand up to a trip to the stables any day.
Live Fast Die Fast – Lenny Leonardi, Rich Allegretta, Marc Divito, Paul Turano, Nickel Yeomans
only the strong survive
call to action
times of glory
blood collar crime
kings and coyotes
song of our youth
road less traveled