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Hardcore, Punk, and Other Junk

Aggressive Sounds in Contemporary Music

Edited by Eric James Abbey and Colin Helb - Contributions by Evan Ware; Sean Ahern; Mika Elovaara; Marcus Erbe; Nelson Varas-Diaz; Eliut Rivera-Segarra; Brian Cogan; Ross Hagan and Kevin Fellezs

Hardcore, Punk, and Other Junk: Aggressive Sounds in Contemporary Music, edited by Eric James Abbey and Colin Helb, is a collection of writings on music that is considered aggressive throughout the world. From local underground bands in Detroit, Michigan to bands in Puerto Rico or across Europe, this book demonstrates the importance of aggressive music in our society. While other volumes seek to denigrate or put down this type of music, Hardcore, Punk, and Other Junk forces the audience to re-read and re-listen to it. This category of music includes all forms that could be considered offensive and/or move the audience to become aggressive in some way. The politics and values of punk are discussed alongside the emerging popularity of metal and extreme hardcore music. Hardcore, Punk, and Other Junk is an important contribution to the newest discussions on aggressive music throughout the world. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 228Size: 6 1/2 x 9 3/8
978-0-7391-7605-4 • Hardback • March 2014 • $80.00 • (£52.95)
978-0-7391-7606-1 • eBook • March 2014 • $39.99 • (£52.95)
Eric Abbey is a professor of English and literature at Oakland Community College in Michigan. He is the author of Garage Rock and Its Roots: Musical Rebels and the Drive for Individuality.
Colin Helb is an assistant professor of communications at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. His research focuses on issues of identity and culture in semiprofessional and localized music scenes.
Chapter 1: Food For Thought: On Sid Vicious’s Cannibalization of “My Way”
Evan Ware

Chapter 2: Let the Shillelagh Fly: The Dropkick Murphys and Irish-American Hybridity
Sean Ahern

Chapter 3: Am I Evil? The Meaning of Metal Lyrics to its Fans
Mika Elovaara
Chapter 4: By Demons Be Driven? Scanning ‘Monstrous’ Voices
Marcus Erbe

Chapter 5: Heavy Metal Music in the Caribbean Setting: Politics and Language at the Periphery
Nelson Varas-Diaz, Eliut Rivera-Segarra
Chapter 6: No Fun: Noise Music, Avant-garde Aggression, and Sonic Punishment
Ross Hagan
Chapter 7: The Last Report: Throbbing Gristle and Audio Extremes
Brian Cogan
Chapter 8: Black Metal Soul Music: Stone Vengeance and the Aesthetics of Race in Heavy Metal.
Kevin Fellezs
Chapter 9: “The Time is Right to Set Our Sight on Salvation”: The Strange Tale of How the Hare Krishnas Came To Play Hardcore Punk
Colin Helb

Chapter 10: The Cult of Hellmouth: The Success of Contemporary Hardcore
Eric James Abbey

Abbey and Helb have collected essays culled from an international group of authors from various disciplines. The common thread of the volume is aggressive music--broadly construed. The topics of the essays range from punk to hardcore to heavy metal to so-called Krishnacore. The contributors discuss the music in terms of emotional release, an aggressive way of separating groups/races, and a noisy indictment of all things corporate . . . [L]inked by thematically by aggression in music, essays included vary widely. . . .Overall, Abbey, Helb, and the rest of the contributors do a fine job of exposing important, under-appreciated elements of music on the margins of mainstream culture. Summing Up: Recommended. All readers.

Metalheads tend to distrust academia. We distrust the machine in all of its forms, and since the machine accepts academia, we believe the voice of academia is tainted by interest toward social acceptance. Academia also has a habit of finding ways to cram reality into its theories rather than the other way around. However, some academics make insightful contributions to the study of metal and Hardcore, Punk, and Other Junk: Aggressive Sounds in Contemporary Music provides an example of the best of this process. . . .On the whole, the book shows a new face for academia in looking into metal that is less afraid of certain areas of metal that are alien to what academia customarily writes about and may reject attitudes held by the majority of academics. The insight offered into the mechanics of metal and the associated symbols that it invokes also suggests new areas for academics and thinkers to pry into this interesting genre. Hardcore, Punk, and Other Junk: Aggressive Sounds in Contemporary Music lives up to its title and presents a window into the troubling questions that most would ignore raised by these dissident genres.
Death Metal Underground

This collection of essays, edited by Eric James Abbey and Colin Helb . . . could easily fit into any popular punk or metal magazine’s pages. . . .The historical essays — the history of Throbbing Gristle, as well as that of Krishnacore (and, specifically, Ray Cappo) lend the most complete and erudite examination of the aims and goals of two very different groups of musicians. They’re intriguing essays, and by far . . . appealing reads in the whole of the collection. . . .[A] solid collection of pieces that ably demonstrate aggressive music has more to offer than moshing and breakdowns.
Rock Star Journalist

This is a rich collection of essays that makes an important distinction between aggression, the purpose of which is release, and violence, the purpose of which is damage. I found the sweep of the book in topic and approach to be fascinating. Collecting essays on topics such as Sid Vicious, heavy metal in Puerto Rico, the noise scene, Hare Krishna hardcore punk, and the cult of Hellmouth, the editors are to be congratulated on their contribution to the too scant literature on aggressive music. A large achievement of the book is that it opens up possibilities for further study.
Thomas M. Kitts, St. John's University

This collection is a lively and witty but also deeply researched attempt “to find,” in the words of co-editor Eric Abbey, “the similarities in diverse forms of [aggressive] music from noise to metal, punk to hardcore, and many things in-between.” Abbey and his co-editor Colin Helb have gathered ten high-caliber essays that decipher for the uninitiated the aesthetics and sociology of aggressive music being produced in unexpected locations, in unsuspected ways. Readers will be fascinated by the existence of a global “noise scene,” the culture behind Throbbing Gristle’s “extreme music,” the significance of black thrash and metal, the unlikely spectacle of Hare Krishna hardcore (three times a subculture) as explored by co-editor Colin Helb, and, in Abbey’s contribution, the vitality of hardcore punk as embodied by Detroit’s community-building Hellmouth. In this book Abbey and Helb, like the noise music they valorize, show mastery of their subject matter, taste in their selections, and conviction that hardcore, punk, and other junk are life-affirming forms of popular music.
Steven Hamelman, Coastal Carolina University