Infobox Music genre
name= Youth Crew|bgcolor=crimson
Hardcore punk Straight edge Melodic hardcore Crossover thrash
Guitar- Bass - drums
popularity= Low to Mid
Hatecore- Metalcore- Positive hardcore
Hardcore dancing- Straight edge- DIY punk ethic
Youth crew is a subgenre of
hardcore punkthat was pioneered by 7 Secondsin the early to mid-1980s, and which thrived in the New York hardcorescene of 1988. Youth crew is distinguished from other hardcore and punk scenes by its optimistic, fraternal and more moralistic outlook. The original youth crew bands and fans were often straight edge, and also sometimes advocated vegetarianism. Some of the later spin-off bands delved further into ascetic spiritual and political interests.
Early musical influences included
Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Negative Approach, Cro-Magsand Agnostic Front. While some youth crew music is similar to melodic hardcore, youth crew also includes breakdowns intended for the hardcore dancingstyle associated with live performances. Youth of Todaywas a very thrashy youth crew band, with abrasive vocals and fast songs too short to include a lot of melody (similar to early Agnostic Front, and contrasting with the other big New York City youth crew band, Gorilla Biscuits). Later youth crew bands took increasing influence from Heavy metal.
Origin of the term
The term "crew" was a hardcore slang word for a group of friends.
Youth of Todayhad a song titled "Youth Crew" on their 1985 7" "Can't Close My Eyes", and 7 Secondshad a 1984 record called "The Crew". Warzone had a song called "We're the Crew" on their 1988 album " Don't Forget the Struggle, Don't Forget the Streets." Judge had a song called "New York Crew."
Youth crew was most popular from 1986 to 1990, primarily in New York City and, to a lesser degree, Los Angeles. The sound was largely defined by a series of releases by
Revelation Records, including albums by Youth of Today, Chain of Strength, Sick of It All, Gorilla Biscuits, Bold, Judge, Side By Side, and Uniform Choice. Like 7 Seconds, these bands were all straight edge, and lyrical concerns included brotherhood and community values. However, many of these bands were more aggressive in their attitudes. Ray Cappoeventually converted to the Hare Krishna faith, and 108 and the Cro-Magsalso participated in the Krishnacore offshoot. The California band Vegan Reich established the hardline wing of straight edge youth crew hardcore. Although hardline had few adherents, its attitudes and militancy had a notable effect on later bands such as Earth Crisisand Racetraitor. The youth crew scene also included the participation of skinheads, many of whom were fans of Warzone, Cro-Mags and Youth Defense League. [cite web |author=Schreifels, Dylan |title=Youth crew memories |url=http://doublecrosswebzine.blogspot.com/2008/05/dylan-schreifels-memories-of-youth-crew.html |publisher=Double Cross Webzine |accessmonthday=June 8 |accessyear=2008] Youth crew bands were contemporary with, though noticeably distinct from, crossover thrash, thrashcore, crust punk, melodic hardcore, and emobands.
In the 1990s, bands inspired by this scene became increasingly influenced by thrash and
death metal. These bands, including Earth Crisis, Snapcase, One Life Crew, Integrity, Strife, Hatebreedand Blood for Blood, recorded for Victory Records, and were partly responsible for the contemporary metalcorescene. [Christopher Pearson, "Beer and Loathing in New Jersey: Earth Crisis in Concert", January 20, 1999 [http://dartreview.com/archives/1999/01/20/beer_and_loathing_in_new_jersey_earth_crisis_in_concert.php] Access date: June 20, 2008.] Groups on Trustkill Records, such as Nora, Walls of Jericho, Eighteen Visions, Racetraitorand Shai Hulud, were also part of this current.
Youth crew bands first achieved visibility in popular culture through
Zack de la Rocha's third band, Rage Against the Machineand Civ(featuring the former singer of Gorilla Biscuits). Later youth crew-derived music became increasingly associated with metalcore, particularly in the cases of Earth Crisis and Strife. The late 1990s saw a revival of the youth crew style, revisited by bands such as In My Eyes, H2O, Ten Yard Fight, and Ray Cappo's Better Than a Thousand.
Youth crew fashion
The youth crew fashion, different from the stereotypical
skinheador punk fashions worn by many NYC-area hardcore music fans circa 1988, is preserved in record-liner photos, videos, and zine photos from that era. The look was more conventional than a lot of punk fashion. In an interview in 2004's "All Ages: Reflections on Straight Edge", Cappo described the youth crew look as being " Tony Hawkmeets Beaver Cleaver".
Youth crew fashion included bleached hair,
crewcuts and similar haircuts, athletic wear, letterman jackets, sportswear, army pants or shorts, oversized T-shirts bearing band logos or straight edgeslogans, hooded sweatshirts and hightop basketball shoes. 7 Secondsand their fans often drew black lines under their eyes in a similar manner to athletes. Hardliners and more militant straight-edgers sometimes wore camouflage and military surplus gear. The SwatchX-Rated became popular in youth crew fashion.
The year 1988 is often considered to be the peak of youth crew straight edge
New York hardcore, so the abbreviation "'88" sometimes appears in songs, T-shirts, album cover art or other media. 1988 is also commonly remembered as a year that was very violent and dangerous in the New York hardcorescene, when a lot of clubs closed or banned hardcore concerts. While the number 88 is also used as code among neo-Nazis, this is unlikely to have any resonance in the youth crew scene.
Andersen, Mark and Mark Jenkins (2003). "Dance of Days: Two Decades of Punk in the Nation's Capital". Akashic Books. ISBN-10: 1888451440
Blush, Steven (2001). "American Hardcore: A Tribal History". Feral House. ISBN-10: 0922915717
Lahickey, Beth (1998). "All Ages: Reflections on Straight Edge". Revelation Books. ISBN-10: 1889703001
O'Hara, Craig (1999). "The Philosophy of Punk: More Than Noise". AK Press. ISBN-10: 1873176163
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