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Essential Record Guide: Hardcore

Inthe early 1980s, far from the world of Clash stadium gigs and new wave,a nation of dozens rewrote the punk rule book while no one was watchingand created a loud-fast life force that’s proved more durable thananyone could’ve ever imagined. Hardcore was serious like a heart attackand revelatory like a bloody nose-and in the time it’ll take to readthis article, a new band will have joined its undying justice leagues

BAD BRAINS BLACK DOTS (Caroline, 1996) It’s neither as rangy as their self-titled 1982 ROIR cassette nor as polished as 1983’s Ric Ocasek-produced Rock for Light.But these 1979 recordings document the never-explained moment when fourblack reggae-loving D.C. military brats dope-slapped English punk sosoundly that only teenage skate rats could keep up.