Monday, February 9, 2009


There was this brief time span when beatdown hardcore was fun. Social awareness and slightly better musicianship came to the foreground amongst certain bands. Fear For Your Life was a good example of this.

Starting around 2003 in the western Massachusettes area, FFYL put out a relatively primitive sounding demo. While the songs themselves were quite awesome, the recording did not hold its own weight. Two of those three songs ended up being re-recorded for their 2004 demo, in which I am posting today. While listening to this demo, please keep in mind that the death metal-influenced slam parts were not even close to being overdone to the point in which they are today. The lyrics were also somewhat refreshing within this genre at the time as well. Having a band with socially-conscious lyrics within a style of music who had previously only ever offered songs of betrayal and loyalty was pretty cool, in my book. Offering lightning-fast riffs (both thrash and grind) amongst their down-tuned, sludgey, "slam parts", Fear For Your Life still remains relevant in my mind to this day.

As shown in this video, things were fun at the time. A good balance was happening at the time as far as having fun and venting aggression goes. Anyone who attended shows at The Mr Roboto Project during this era (2002-2005) can attest to this as reactions would range anywhere from push pits to kung-fu to impromptu studio wrestling matches. If this band were to play a show today, one can only imagine the type of posturing that would be prevalent amongst the crowd. I became disinterested whenever the thug mentality made its way back into the genre (aka whenever suburban kids discovered the concept of being in a crew through the internet).

Claim to fame: I created the term "beatdown hardcore". Ask anyone from the area about some of my infamous arguments with kids about the difference between "breakdowns" and "beatdowns" ... borderline infamous. A lot of shitty bands owe me royalties.


Jason said...

Agreed 100%. Beatdown was a lot of fun for a while. But the result was an influx of kids uneducated in what hardcore really is and a lot of venue destruction.

Leo Lombardozzi said...

AJ, it's Leo again. Thank you for posting this. I've been slowly getting back into listening to Hardcore, and the FFYL demo was one of the first CDs to go into my 6 disc changer. I've been looking for the video for a while. Where was this? I remember the video but not the show.

Hope all is well.