Hoods keep it real for hardcore at Churchill's.
Hoods keep it real for hardcore at Churchill's.
Courtesy of I Scream Records


What in hell happened to hardcore? It's right up there with hip-hop in the constant hand-wringing and state-of-the-genre analysis from its fans. The mid-'00s, MySpace, and regrettable haircuts came along and — voila — a genre that was once famous for its no-nonsense rage became a morass of sub-subgenres tangled up in skinny pant legs. Most of what passes for "hardcore" now on the all-ages circuit sounds like weak death metal, bearing little resemblance to punk or even to the meaty-dude form of hardcore as it stood at the end of the last millennium.

Luckily for those who still care, bands such as the Sacramento foursome Hoods still keep it real. Formerly known as mostly a straight-edge act, the group peddles merch that still touches on that movement's imagery —barbed wire, crossed arms, and the like — and its music remains fueled by the kind of pent-up anger best expressed by the sober.

After years of struggling with the infamous Victory Records, the band finally escaped its contract and released two late-'00s albums with local label made good Eulogy Recordings. Last year, though, Hoods decamped to I Scream for their 11th studio album, Pit Beast, behind which they continue to tour, landing in Miami this Saturday. Get your hoodies and athletic shorts ready.


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