American Hardcore | Chicago Reader

American Hardcore

Unlike the 70s punk that preceded it, 80s hardcore never offered much in the way of fun, hope, or idealism—just speed and naked aggression, which makes this ambitious documentary by director Paul Rachman and writer Steven Blush (adapting his book American Hardcore: A Tribal History) a rather grim nostalgia trip. To their credit, they mostly bypass bands that transcended the genre commercially (X, Husker Du) and stick with the true underground acts (Black Flag, Minor Threat, Circle Jerks, DOA, Bad Brains, Millions of Dead Cops, and the ineffable Flipper), but the encyclopedic treatment eventually bogs down into a dutiful survey of regional scenes. Fans will dig the abundant performance video and commentary from Henry Rollins and Ian MacKaye; everyone else should steer clear of the mosh pit. R, 100 min.

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