What the hell happened to hardcore? It's right up there with hip-hop, these days, in the constant hand-wringing and state-of-the-genre analysis by its fans. The mid-2000s, MySpace, and regrettable haircuts came along and... voilà, a genre that used to be famous for its no-nonsense rage became a morass of sub-sub-genres 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 like the Sacramento foursome Hoods still keep it real. Formerly known as mostly a straight-edge act, the group's merch still touches on that movement's imagery — barbed wire, crossed arms, and the like — and its music still 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 with them and released two late-00s albums with local label made good Eulogy Recordings. Last year, though, Hoods decamped to I Scream for its 11th studio album, Pit Beast, behind which it continues to tour, landing in Miami on Saturday and West Palm on Sunday. Get your hoodies and athletic shorts ready.