THE BEGINNING

Kate Hutchinson demands a post-hardcore revival, with Rival Schools at the top of the class

Kate Hutchinson demands a post-hardcore revival, with Rival Schools at the top of the class

It felt like we’d finally erased the last memories of our teenage nu-metal fashion faux pas – remember those parachute-leg jeans that soaked up to the knee on a rainy day and unwieldy chain belts that could give you concussion? – and then Download festival announced its line-up this year with a razor-sharp reminder of our backward scap-wearing yoof.

Apparently, Korn, Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach and even Staind (ick) still have a place in our nostalgia-heavy hearts. All that was missing was Linkin Park, a pre-loungecore Incubus and Disturbed to complete MTV2’s entire video rotation circa 2000.

In fact, the majority of Download’s headliners were a flash from the past. But not all flashes were wince-inducing. There was also the subtle smack of golden-era post-hardcore from New York’s finest, Rival Schools. They were the ultimate hardcore super group, an amalgamation of former Gorilla Biscuits and Quicksand frontman Walter Schreifels, who, prior to that, was also in Youth of Today with Civ’s drummer Sam Siegler, also in the band. Add to that bassist Cache Tolman from Iceburn and guitarist Ian Love, and theirs resulted in a more melodic, uplifting alt.rock sound than their previous incarnations. Zane Lowe even declared them as his favourite band ever (in the days before he said that about every band).

But sadly, Rival Schools suffered a similar end to the original Emo peers: their career dissolved before they’d barely finished promoting their impressive debut album, ‘United By Fate’. Still, their virtual non-success has awarded them a cultish status – so much so that when The Offspring and Deftones toured here last month, they snapped up the ‘Schools as their opening band. After all, if nu-metal can make a comeback then so can post-hardcore, right?

Right! Loud And Quiet went along to their Deftones gig, not purely for sentimental reasons and to clarify that their signature tune ‘Used For Glue’ is one of the great alternative anthems of the noughties, but also to hear their new post-hardcore pearls: ‘Big Waves’, ‘Sophia Loren’, ‘On The Frey’ and ‘Paranoid Detectives’. The band were back last year to play, but now, with exciting new material, does this officially herald post-hardcore’s return, we wondered?

Well, yes, but if this gig is anything to go by, they’re going to need some help. Quicksand once shared a bill with the Californian yelp-metallers back in 1998, but here the droves of gothic girls touting brightly coloured dreads and their thick-set boyfriends are nonplussed. That they swapped an intimate comeback gig in Nottingham for this London support slot could have something to do with former Quicksand member Sergio Vega’s appearance on bass in place of injured Deftone Chi Cheng, but they conjure an atmosphere as well as Peaches Geldof wields her fountain pen. It’s not that they’re not great – they are, bar the muddy sound at The Forum – but rather they’re back when their contemporaries are doing ‘weird stuff’ like protest folk and prog rock projects.

True, post-hardcore has never been an easy genre to define (for just some of the arguments, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Post-hardcore) but at a time when bands like like Enter Shikari and Fightstar are key examples on Wikipedia, we would like all its brilliant bands of yore to step forward and reclaim this flickering torch. And just when the art of the comeback is all the rage too (aren’t we thoughtful?).

Here’s our post-hardcore reunion wishlist:

Fugazi
Vocalists Guy Picciotto and Ian McKaye were among the founders of post-hardcore, Picciotto in one of the first post-hardcore and emo groups Rites of Spring and McKaye in hardcore punkers Minor Threat. But together with their Fugazi bandmates, and their rigid DIY ethos, they pushed the boundaries of punk and hardcore music.

Million Dead
Frank Turner, enough of your Billy Childish-channelling protest-folk procrastinations already. Ditch the Vocalzone and pork pie hat and reform your brilliant, face-shredding quartet.

J.Majesty
For years we heard and loved the funk twangs of ‘No School’ but had no idea who this post-hardcore band were (not even Pitchfork has a biography page for them!). So now you all need to.

Quicksand
If you must insist that Quicksand were much better than Rival Schools.


At The Drive In

El Paso’s riff monsters disbanded to form The Mars Volta and Sparta, but ‘Relationship of Command’ perfectly demonstrates the balance between discordant, melodic and radio-friendly; a style that has been aped by myriads of bands ever since.

Refused
Swedish experimental and political post-hardcore-ers whose 1998 full-length album ‘The Shape of Punk To Come’ was number 28 in Kerrang’s 50 Most Important Albums Of All Time in 2006.

Finch
Post-hardcore rolled up into one uber emo burrito. No, wait, you were like the American Funeral For A Friend. Ugh. You had lyrics like ‘Your picture still remains / but I wonder are you still the same?’. Double-ugh! Too bad you’re already touring again.

« Previous Article
Next Article »