Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I’m going to move out of the late 70’s and into “my era” for a bit, which is the early 80’s and the birth of what became known as hardcore punk. By 1981, there were bands that existed only to play as hard and fast as possible, but the ones I find myself still listening to are the groups that paid tribute musically to the original punk bands that came before them, that is the ones that never sacrificed a good melody for pure speed. A good example would be Kraut, one of the first bands to emerge in New York City right on the heels of late 70's bands like The Stimulators, but a little bit before better known groups like Agnostic Front and Murphy’s Law came along.

Kraut’s place in hardcore history is undeniable. Their first two EP’s are genius (and highly collectable) and their first full length LP, 1982’s An Adjustment to Society, is a bona-fide classic, but to this day, they are best remembered for this video. Why? Because in the very early days of MTV, long before Billy F. Gibbons and the boys famously re-invented themselves for small screen mega success, the fledgling network had to play whatever videos were available to them, and the majority at that time were UK pop and new wave acts, and this video for “All Twisted” which gave Kraut the distinction of being the first independent band ever played on MTV. The fact that it was shown at all still boggles the mind, but it was, and pretty damn often. I was only 17 years old when I first saw this, and while my own future was still uncertain, this group of my peers pointed out the path I was to take for the rest of the decade and beyond. So thank you Doug, Davey, Don and Johnny; wherever you are, I hope you’re still fighting the good fight.


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