Agony Shorthand

Thursday, April 01, 2004
AMERICAN HARDCORE REDUX: MECHT MENSCH vs. URBAN WASTE....A month or more ago I put down on digital paper my favorite American 80s hardcore blasts, and waited to see if others might have their own favorite win, place & show finalists. Two hardcore heavies that came up in the comments section were Madison, Wisconsin’s MECHT MENSCH and New York City’s URBAN WASTE and their “Mob Style” 7”EP. I took the bait and checked ‘em out. I’d actually heard the Mecht Mensch “Acceptance” 7”EP record before, and remembered it to be angry, raw and pretty good, just not exceptional. The memory was confirmed. I’d peg them as possessing about 3/5th of the power and aggressiveness as Midwestern compatriots THE FIX, whom they very much resemble in both vocalist and overall delivery. There’s one tremendous bleary-eyed slow-ish track called “Grinder” that’s head and shoulders above the remainder. See what you think by downloading it for free right here.

I always thought, like others, that New York City missed the boat entirely during the few years that hardcore punk was fresh & exciting, and instead served up multitudes of meatheaded muscle-flexing morons or god-awful anarchist atrocities, HEART ATTACK and temporary residents the BAD BRAINS excepted. URBAN WASTE and that vaunted “Mob Style” record doesn’t do much to alter my perception, though that is one hell of a fiery circuit-blowing guitar sound their main axe-slinger had. Lots of shouting and Angry Man 101 platitudes. How did MINOR THREAT do this sort of thing so much better? Just ask the kids, they know (except they’re all 37 now).