Review: Sober Living For The Revolution: Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge And Radical Politics
Classic Rock Magazine
By Jo Kendall
SXe: what political punk rock did next.
If rock'n'roll is your business - and business has tended to be pretty good for the past 40 years or so - there's little chance you will have examined punk rock in all its angry, mutating glory. But if you're curious about the post- Pistols scene that drop-kicked punk into hardcore, straight edge and the oft-perceived po-faced social activism behind them, this book is for you.
It's not a promising start; the preface reads like an Open University textbook. But as soon the progenitors of the new noise get their say the study comes into its own. Through the manifestos of Minor Threat's Ian Mackaye - patron saint of straight - Refused's Denis Lyxzen and even Fall Out Boy's Andy Hurley, the layers surrounding the movement and its faithful start to unfurl. It's still confusing, filled with socialist, anarchist, puritan, feminist, vegan and radical queer ethics (sometimes all at once), and it won't be turning, say, Tommy Lee's head any time soon, but Kuhn's quest to probe every niche to define the puzzling whole is a brave try. Less 'get pissed, destroy', more 'use your brain, change the world'. And it's for all ages, too.
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