Skarhead, repping the outer boroughs of New York City, gives those '90s bands who put the "hard" in hardcore a run for their tough-guy money. The band started as a side project formed by members of Madball and Subzero along with notorious frontman Danny Diablo. The tattoo-covered Diablo had already pushed the edges of brutality with his first big band, Crown of Thornz, before disbanding it in 1998. Meanwhile, Skarhead kept it going over the years, albeit with a changing cast of supporting players.
Distinguished by Diablo's aggressive, street-smart swagger, the band is often credited with helping create so-called "thugcore," a subgenre full of relentless breakdowns and throwdown-ready posturing. (In recent years, Diablo has ventured into making his own solo hip-hop albums.) And while similar acts are thin on the ground these days, Skarhead keeps, uh, fighting the good fight. Its latest album, Drugs, Music & Sex, released last year on I Scream Records, also the label home for similar scene survivors like Madball and Wisdom in Chains. The band plays Ballers Rock Bar on Friday with a slew of opening acts from Florida, including Daytona Beach's Fortitude and Margate's own Shakers.