Miami's 15 Best Hardcore Bands of All Time
It's amazing how much the 305's had its hands in the perpetuation of established underground genres. Sure, Miami hasn't invented any of them, but her additions to the sound are as unique and weird as they come.
Now we look at the greatest hardcore punk acts that have called Miami home. Remember that Fort Lauderdale and Coral Springs are not in Dade County, so check the area code before getting angry.
Here are Miami's 15 best hardcore bands of all time.
See also: Miami's 20 Best Punk Bands of All Time
15. Chocolate Grasshopper
Before he would be immortalized in the saccharine sarcophagus of Quit's melodic punk, Andre Serafini was part of the bearhead hardcore antics of Chocolate Grasshopper. Brent ended up in Radon and Ray has continued to live in South Florida and perform in different bands. He once kindly lent this scribe a pair of mic stands and some chords so that his show at the now defunct Gables Pub could go on! Some of the nicest dudes in South Florida's hardcore history.
14. Mehkago N.T.
Many things can be said about the short and incredibly destructive path that Harold, Dub, Miller, Bundee, Berny and Chris forged through South Florida. Did they blend metal and power violence with a no-holds-barred hardcore approach? Yes. Did they give a good goddamn about you? No. Did they set out and accomplish what their moniker cheekily hides in Español? Si, they fucking did.
See also: Miami's 50 Best Bands of All Time
Certainly one of the newer bands to come making a hardcore racket in South Florida and one who I'm sure will be revisited in the future by connoisseurs of the genre for their chunky mix of melody and groove into textbook '90s hardcore. Ryan Haft has been a help in recording many other bands while Colin Smith now resides in California. They have a pretty extensive recorded catalog that you should check out.
12. All Hell Breaks Loose
AHBL was a fun metal-tinged hardcore band that released two solid albums and featured the '90s version of Pete Moss in Chip Walbert as well as another journeyman hardcorist Alex Leon. This band would've probably become a household name outside of the state if it hadn't been for the tragic and untimely death of their drummer Joe Lamadrid on November 26th, 2004 after a performance in Tampa. Their final concert to raise funds for his family at the Alley is perhaps my most treasured memory of that place.
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Featuring members from a handful of other bands like Until the End, Where Fear And Weapons Meet, Glasseater, All Hell Breaks Loose, Dance Floor Justice and Promise No Tomorrow; Destro will always be fondly remembered for ushering the new millennium with a dose of that old school youth crew straightedge hardcore that New York bands had sullied to a joke. Destro was cool. Even if I always imagined them on stage with shiny silver heads.
10. Poison the Well
Poison the Well might've begun with some metalcore ideas and worked themselves through a myriad of "post" descriptions but in their hearts of hearts they were always a hardcore outfit. One of the more profitable and well-known acts on this list, PTW still retains a following given that their self-imposed hiatus is on its fourth year. Will they ever come back or will they let the myth grow with no further input of their own? Only time will tell.
9. Holly Hunt
We're not even going to entertain the idea that Holly Hunt is exclusively a "metal" or "sludge" act. That is fucking nonsense. Beatriz Monteavaro and Gavin Perry do more with their drum kit and guitar than most five-piece bands do in a lifetime. That's no lie. Listen to the song above from their new 12" EP Prometheus and tell us, please tell us that ain't hardcore?
Hialeah's Brethren was fucking awesome. They were everything you'd want from New York acts like 25 ta Life and Sick of It All but with a 305 thuggacation that was undeniable. Ah, one can almost walk down memory lane and count the amounts of times one witnessed Brethren live by the number of dings and dents suffered on the skull from wayward roundhouse kicks and extreme picking-up-of-the-change. Ah, ninjas to the back!
For every ounce of me that wants to sing the praises of Homestretch, there's the little voice in my head that will never let me forget how for years, bassist Jonathan Suarez has been threatening the removal of my prized vintage Cavity t-shirt of my possession. Well. I. Don't. Think. So. Butterbean! However, that said, they've recently released an LP of some old songs that kicks a lot of ass. It's titled Wars of Attrition, Acts of Contrition and you should endeavor to get it.
Again, there is something more in line with attitude than with sound when it comes to these lists. All that needs to be said about Floor being included is that there is no trio anywhere (regardless of who sat in for what session; Floor only exists like the Holy Trinity but her name is Legion for she is many) in the land that could get as heavy and sweet. The discovery of the "guitar bomb" was a Great Moment in Hardcore History.
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Okay, get this and see if you can follow along. There are or have been two punk bands in South Florida named F. They have released albums and EPs as such. They might've even have been founded by the same guy. They sound different but they have sung the same songs. One is a little more pop the other is a little more hardcore. One loves a good time while the other identifies itself as the musical wing of the '80's Republican Party. One has a tattoo of Jimmy Carter while the other sports a full back piece of Ronald Reagan and his best pal Bonzo the Chimp. All of it is on purpose and none of it is. You can only have weird hardcore in Florida, that's for sure. You Are an EP is one of those gems that should live in every record collection.
4. Trust No One
When Trust No One first reared its then clean-shaven face, it was a breath of fresh hardcore air. Deeply rooted in a punk rock ethos, TNO was able to blend old school with new school, recorded the awesome You've Been Warned CD in 2000 and promptly petered out into the ether. Way to go guys. Front-man Coach is one of the best in the genre and when he returned to South Florida a couple of years ago it was with welcome arms that she embraced him back. Now, if someone could just get homeboy to trim that beard of his down a bit...
See also: Miami's Ten Best Ska Bands of All Time
South Florida's first youth crew hardcore act was Powerhouse. Helmed by Ivan White and Tim Pryce since 1987, they have the distinction of being the only band on this list that went from the naïve rage of youth into the wizened anger of middle-aged rockers. They haven't lost their edge and pretty much anyone who tenured with the band has gone on to form a pretty serious who's who of South Florida's punk rock scene. It's a goddamned shame there aren't more recordings by these guys out there.
No one is entirely sure as to where Anger's anger comes from. It is true that Alex Marquez is one of the greatest metal drummers alive. It is true that he cuts an imposing figure on stage whether he's behind the kit or with a microphone in hand. What is little known is that this giant teddy bear is one of the finest lyrically romantic poets in the biz today. No lie. Maybe the anger comes from the immigrant experience in '90s South Florida and the prophetic cover of their sole album Miami, FL is as on point today as when it was released. Speaking of which, it has been almost twenty years since that album was released; it is high time it gets repressed by someone somewhere.
I was going to say all kinds of incredible things about DNME and how awesome they were when they were around but all I can think of right now is how sad life has been since drummer Alex Del Bueno passed away on October of 2008. Has it really almost been six years since the community service was in full effect? Jesus. Now I'm completely saddened and my only hope is that wherever Al is, he's got himself a nice Crown on ice.
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