Articles listing out the best bands in any genre never seem to fully satisfy everyone. But oh, well, what can you do? This may be especially true for any listicle trying to cull the best hardcore outfits to emerge from Broward and Palm Beach counties. So we tread forward lightly at the risk of incurring the vitriolic wrath of opinionated users on the Eulogy message boards.
In our little reminisce here, we couldn't help but notice that there was a very strong presence of NY/HC-styled outfits during the '90s in South Florida, and that we actually miss the violent days of youthful thugcore. We present you with Broward and Palm Beach counties' best hardcore bands of all time.
10. Remembering Never
Remembering Never went through some growing pains before taking off based on the power of an early demo. What's funny about this metalcore outfit is that everybody took it seriously and by doing so, failed to grasp the humor and irreverence it brought to the genre. Though Remembering Never became more focused on political issues towards the end there, it was still lost on their fans. The band recently released This Hell is Home which is a slight stylistic departure from their early work. Another thing meatheads don't understand: progression.
Tension's short-lived tenure, roughly from '93 through '97 saw some of the best youth crew/straight-edge/vegan and certainly angry hardcore to come from these shores. In retrospect, we, namely this scribe, should've looked beyond the ideology and concentrated on the music for it is righteous as fuck. Thankfully, retrospection can't correct the foils of youth and as such, I will forever live with some rather narrow minded judgment calls. However, because of the existence of cheese, I will never fully comprehend the vegan lifestyle.
Endure was but a tiny and faint bleep on South Florida's hardcore radar back in the early '90s. However, it was a training ground for future scene stalwarts Tension and Strongarm and for that, it merits inclusion. Their lone release, a four song cassette demo was pretty good and a real gem in hardcore collections.
Culture, another vegan straight-edge outfit that lasted around five years in the mid- to late '90s was another proving ground for musicians that would go on to Trust No One, Where Fear and Weapons Meet, Shai Hulud, and many more. This is also where singer Damien Moyal got his start before becoming the Pete Moss of the hardcore scene.
Strongarm was a metallic hardcore outfit out of Fort Lauderdale that accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. While I've never cared for anyone's personal beliefs, I've always respected their right to have them in the same way that Strongarm, now that I think back on it, never was the preachy type to lead the mosh pit in prayer. It jammed hard, people got its ninja kicking on and positive messages are not a bad thing. These cats were always fun live.
5. Morning Again
More vegan straight-edge fare from the '90s, Morning Again was another band that featured members that went on to other outfits, came from other bands or interchanged with existing bands for varying reasons. Come to think of it, the '90s in South Florida hardcore was like one giant pickup game of basketball. Eulogy Records' John Wylie, who is closing in on the 20th anniversary of his label and featured in too many bands to list here, was a part of this progressive and forward-thinking band.
4. Collapsing Lungs
Collapsing Lungs, or L.U.N.G.S. as they would rechristen themselves, should've been bigger. Signed to Atlantic Records in '94, it suffered the foolishness of a label that simply did not promote them correctly. Miles ahead of the nü metal nonsense that would eventually clog the airwaves, these guys were pioneers of the rap/metal amalgamation and as such, deserve way more credit than they receive. Twenty years ago, along with my friends Dan Escauriza and Nick Kreimer, I witnessed the band open for Infectious Grooves at the Edge. We were a few feet away from the guy who shot the video above. The world is a small place.
3. Where Fear and Weapons Meet
Alex Justice was a great frontman. Where Fear and Weapons Meet was a much needed boon to South Florida's hardcore scene at a time when chunky riffage, breakdowns, and almost sludge-like tempos ruled. Sometimes you need your hardcore with some relatively fast fury, right?
2. Bird of Ill Omen
It's weird, for some reason I had convinced myself that Bird of Ill Omen had been around for a long time, but now that I check the dates, it barely eked out a three year career.
It feels like I saw these guys at Cheers at least a hundred times. It had some pretty radical lineup changes and their tiny recorded output (an EP and a 7") are solid releases; the memory that stands out the best was the intensity of their live shows. I guess I'm suffering from the goggles of romanticizing the past, but there was something ominously poetic about Bird of Ill Omen, something that made sense and now wish had lasted a little while longer.
1. Shai Hulud
Shai Hulud will be turning 20 years old next year, and as much as it would like to call New York home, this group will always be from Florida in our book. Arguably the most successful band in this listing, Shai Hulud took everything that is good from genres like punk, hardcore, and metal to create their version and vision. Most consistently helmed by the Matthews, Fox and Fletcher, Shai Hulud is a band you could probably claim you "played in" and the tangled mess of musical membership is so thick and convoluted, it'd be easier to believe you than to dispute the claim. It's time to crank up That Within Blood Ill-Tempered and ride some sand worms into the coming storm.
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