You know what I love about Youth Crew hardcore? I get older and it stays the same age.
Hardcore ebbs and flows. When I first started listening to hardcore a little over 20 years ago, Gorilla Biscuits was one of the first bands I loved. A few years later I stumbled upon a Turning Point CD in a used CD and video game store. Those were among my most-listened favorites for quite a while.
What feels like a lifetime later, I was listening to Stay Gold, Champion, The Promise, Right Idea, The First Step and the bands that came before, during, and shortly after.
Even later still, when I suppose I really ought to have dropped out of hardcore, Mindset and the new wave of Youth Crew-inspired straight edge hardcore led the way once again.
It feels like Youth Crew is back on the fringes. It never dies, but it tends to live more on the margins. Bands like Substance are hard to come by. The occasional quality DC band sneaks onto my radar, but I don't often hear bands that sound exactly like the old bands from both the 1980s and then again in the 1990s.
I'm sure there are better comps, but Substance sounds a band that found a nice balance between the sounds of 2000s Pacific Northwest hardcore and 1980s-90s East Coast hardcore punk.
I'm sure there are much better comps, but I can't think of them right now. Vocally, I keep thinking of Stay Gold and musically I think of bands like Champion and Turning Point. It's really enjoyable stuff.
It really pulls me back to the 90s when I'm listening to "Hardpoint," and I mean that in the best way. I think this six-song EP clocks in around 14 minutes, which ends up being about the perfect length. I don't know anything about Total Core, but this release knocked it out of the park so good on the label and the band for putting this one out.
Not that there was any doubt, but Substance confirms that Youth Crew is alive and well in 2017.
You can keep all your distractions and obstruction
Live your life, don't forget about ours,
This music lives in us
The scene, the message, is all we need
Hand in hand, human to human
THIS IS TRUE UNITY
By the time I was done with my second listen through, I had my Champion sweatshirt and Air Jordan 1s on, ready to hit the streets for a late night skateboard session.
by Daniel Coughlin