Youth of Today

Infobox musical artist |
Name = Youth of Today

Img_capt =
Background = group_or_band
Origin = New York, USA
Genre = Hardcore punk
Youth crew
Positive hardcore
Years_active = 1985 – 1990
Label = Revelation Records
Current_members = Ray Cappo
John Porcelly
Walter Schreifels
Sammy Siegler
Youth of Today was a straight edge hardcore punk band whose vocalist was from Danbury, Connecticut, and whose remaining members were from various parts of New York, but are commonly referred to as a New York Hardcore band. The band played an important role in establishing the Youth Crew sub-genre of hardcore. Jello Biafra once claimed that the band had the most generic name ever given to a punk rock band. [Biafra, Jello. "Names for Bands". "No More Cocoons". San Francisco: Alternative Tentacles. 1987.]


Youth Of Today was formed in Danbury Connecticut in 1985 by two members of the hardcore band Violent Children, Ray Cappo (vocals) and John Porcelly (guitar), aiming to start a Straight Edge band at a time when most old school Straight Edge bands had disbanded. Having difficulty finding a bassist and drummer, Ray and Porcell found help from two high school friends, Graham Philips and Darren Pesce, who had played with Porcell in a band called The Young Republicans in the past.

In 1985, Youth Of Today recorded their debut EP "Can't Close My Eyes" for Kevin Seconds' (singer of the popular hardcore band 7 Seconds) label- Positive Force Records. At the same time the band contributed four songs to the Connecticut Fun compilation album; these tracks would later be combined with the aforementioned release to make the album version of "Can't Close My Eyes" that is commonly reccognized today.

After touring for a while both Graham and Darren left the band, and two members of New York band Straight Ahead joinedRay and John, Craig Setari (bass) and Tommy Carroll (drums).

Tommy left during their second tour, and Drew Thomas, drummer of brotherband Crippled Youth (who later changed their name to Bold), was asked to finish the rest of the tour.

A short while later,Underdog vocalist Richie Birkenhead joined the band on second guitar. With this line-up, the first Youth Of Today albumwas recorded, entitled "Break Down The Walls", and released by Wishingwell Records, the label of California Straight Edge bands Unity and Uniform Choice.

Soon after recording the album Drew was replaced by Mike "Judge" of Death Before Dishonor. (Later to be the singer, along with John Porcelly on guitar, in the band Judge). Craig left to reform Straight Ahead (and later played in Agnostic Front and Sick Of It All), and Walter Schreifels of Gorilla Biscuits joined on as the new bassist.

At the end of the "Break Down The Walls" tour that followed the release of the LP, second guitarist Richie left the band to concentrate on singing in Underdog, and with that line-up Youth Of Today appeared with two songs on the Revelation Records sampler "New York Hardcore - The Way It Is", alongside New York bands like Bold, Gorilla Biscuits, Side By Side and Sick of it All.

At the end of 1987 Mike left the band, and Sammy Siegler (ex-Side by Side) became the new drummer. In 1988 Youth Of Today recorded their classic second LP "We're Not In This Alone", which was released in America by Caroline Records and in Europe by Funhouse Records.

The beginning of the next year, Youth Of Today, whose line-up was steady at last, did a European tour- playing shows in: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Austria,Yugoslavia, Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and England.

In 1990 Youth Of Today decided to quit and recorded 4 songs for a farewell 7" on Revelation Records. Three of those songs appeared on the single "Disengage".

When Youth Of Today split, it seemed the beginning of the end for the second Straight Edge wave, which had begun in 1985, and which was at its height in 1988-1990. Together with bands like Uniform Choice, Insted, No For An Answer, Chain of Strength, and Gorilla Biscuits, Youth Of Today were an inspiration for hundreds of bands all over the world, who combined the message of Positive Thinking and Straight Edge with energetic and fast hardcore.


*Ray of Today started the Hare Krishna band Shelter, and was later joined by Porcell.

*Walter was playing guitar in Gorilla Biscuits from 1986 on, and was joined on the European tour of Gorilla Biscuits in 1990 by Porcell and Sammy on guitar and drums. After the split of Gorilla Biscuits, Walter started Quicksand, and later on, Rival Schools .

*Sammy later played drums in CIV (which featured members of Gorilla Biscuits ), and ironically, Limp Bizkit and multiple other bands.

Aside from several one-off reunion shows, Youth of Today did a European reunion tour in 2004 with original members Ray, Porcell and Sammy. Ray's friend Ken Olden from Battery and Better Than A Thousand filled in on bass.



*Can't Close My Eyes LP/ CD (1985)
*Break Down The Walls LP/ CD (1987)
*We're Not In This Alone LP/ CD (1988)
*Youth Of Today EP/ CD (1990)


*Can't Close My Eyes 7", 1985, Positive Force Records #4 (has since been reissued in LP or CD format on four different labels: Schism Records, Caroline Records, We Bite Records, and Revelation Records)
*Disengage 7"/ CD

Live Albums/Singles

*Yesterday 7"
*Take A Stand 12"/ LP/ CD
*Anarchy In Vienna LP
*Live At Van Hall 1989, Amsterdam 7"
*Live At CBGB's 7"
*Inside Out and Youth of Today-Benefit split 7" (live bootleg)


*"Make It Work" 7"
*"Connecticut Fun" LP (1985)
*"" 7" (1987, Revelation Records)
*"New York City Hardcore - The Way It Is" LP (1988, Revelation Records)
*"Hold Your Ground" CD
*"Sunday Matinee" LP/ CD
*"In-Flight Program" CD
*"Voice Of The Voiceless" LP/ CD
*"Another Shot For Bracken" LP
*"A Time We'll Remember" LP
*"We Bite" 7"
*"We Bite" 100 2xLP
*"The Sound Of The Streets" 4xCD
*"Revelation 100" 2xLP/CD (Revelation Records)

ee also

*Straight edge
*Youth crew


External links

* [ Youth of Today fan site]
* [ Revelation Records]
* [ Biographie en francais]

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