My name is Bryan Harris, I sing for the Boston Hardcore band Death Before Dishonor. It’s really hard for me to pick just 3 records that changed my life, so I will pick the 3 most important albums that got me into hardcore music.
Biohazard – Urban Discipline
1st I’m going to go with Biohazard “Urban Discipline”. I saw the video for the song Punishment on Headbangers Ball on MTV in the early 90’s. I was a kid that grew up listening to hip hop, then transitioned into metal. I was listening to bands like Slayer, Megadeath etc. at that time and loved it but once I saw that Biohazard video I was like ‘damn this appeals to me’. It was heavy, had a street feel to it, and the video made me be like ‘this is crazy’. There were guys covered in tattoos, wilding out, they are walking over the Brooklyn bridge with dudes moshing, and diving on em. I immediately went out to Strawberries (a local record store that no longer exists) and bought the record. That record front to back is one of the best hardcore records out there. It has so much energy. These guys didn’t look like typical metal guys, the lyrics on that record I felt like I could relate to. That record led me down a rabbit hole of figuring out what hardcore was! Also Biohazard was the first hardcore band I saw live in 1994 after hearing the record!
Agnostic Front – One Voice
2nd is my all-time favorite hardcore band and album. Agnostic Front “One Voice”! As I was buying records and tapes trying to find my next hardcore band after Biohazard. I kept on seeing this band called Agnostic Front in thank you’s on other albums or in magazines. As I started going to shows I would see the Iconic Agnostic Front “Skinhead” t shirt with the boots that I thought was cool. I’m pretty sure at that time Roger was in jail and they were on a hiatus, so they weren’t playing shows. Anyways I was like ‘ok I gotta get this record and hear what this band sounds like’. I went into a local record store and picked up “One Voice”. The album cover looked cool, it had picture of a prison yard with guards wearing gas masks. Once I put that album on, from the “Prison” intro to the last song I was in love. The band pic on that album was cool, I thought these dudes were insane looking. Musically and Lyrically that album is my favorite hardcore record of all time!
Madball – Set It Off
The 3rd most important hardcore record for me, also my 2nd favorite album of all time is Madball “Set It Off”. At this point I had been going to shows for a little bit and heard that Stigma from Agnostic Front was in this band as well as Roger’s little brother. I bought this record on tape, the cover was another eye catching one. A baby holding a gun. I was like ‘man this is gonna be hard’. I put the tape in my Walkman immediately after leaving the record store and I was blown away by how heavy it was compared to what I had been listening to. The “We don’t fake, we just take it” intro into Set It Off – it gets no harder and better than that. Another record I think is perfect from front to back. There isn’t one song on that record I ever fast forwarded through. Lyrically another band I could relate to.
One thing that stands out bout all 3 of these records, the covers all seemed appealing. In a time when we didn’t have the internet and had to seek out music organically, looking at the covers you could be like “ok this is something I could be into”. Always some type of image referring to a messed-up world that we were living in!
Death Before Dishonor is a hardcore band from Boston, USA. Their latest album “Unfinished Business” has just been released on Bridge Nine Records.