Sunday Listens: Reliving My Youth With Late 90's Crust Punk

This post is part of the Sunday Listens series where I post about music that's exciting/interesting to me.  Sometimes from the perspective of a voice teacher and usually on Sundays.  Get your week started right with awesome tuneage.

 Texas band Bread and Water circa '99

Texas band Bread and Water circa '99

Last week I attended the Denver premiere of the movie Bomb City.  It's based on the true story of Brian Deneke, a punk kid living/skating in Amarillo, Texas who was murdered in 1997.  He was murdered for being a punk, and so the movie featured late 90's punk prominently.

For more on what it meant to be a punk in a small town that elevated the status of jocks, and why being a punk was something that might get you killed, read the wikipedia article, and then follow that up with this brief but timely analysis from Vice News.  Definitely go see the movie (you can pre-order it on iTunes).  Failing those efforts, ask an old punk friend (everyone has one, right?) about the late 90's.  It was a thing.

I was a punk in the late 90's and watching the movie felt like a time warp in many ways.  During one of the scenes from the court trial, a punk who is testifying is wearing a Bread and Water patch.  "Wow, that's an obscure band reference," I thought.  Later my friend (and fellow old punk), Sascha reminded me that they were a Texas band and Amarillo punks would have surely been into them.

Late 90's/early 00's crust punk: liberally applying a distinct d-beat, with a notable scream, periodic slow parts with some guitar picking, multiple vocalists employing a call and response motif, mostly unintelligible lyrics, with perfectly understandable choruses that serve as a call to action against such things as the state, the system, racism, patriarchy and capitalism, meant to be danced to with ample headbanging and thrashing of limbs, fosters a strong sense of community amongst fellow show-goers and bandmembers, linked to the ongoing anti-globilization movement at the time.

That's my best attempt at a definition, but please judge for yourself.

Here's the Bread and Water album that got me hooked:

This list isn't complete without a band that was highly influential on my musical tastes and my political beliefs: Anti-Product.  This live video says it all, especially singer Taína Asili saying it all at the beginning.

The Subhumans groundbreaking album, "The Day the Country Died", was released in 1983, which predates my timeframe by a lot.  But, there wouldn't be 90's crust punk without the Subhumans.  (Who, by the way, still actively tour and release albums.)  Go ahead, dig back into the vaults and listen to the entire album, "The Day the Country Died".  It's only 35 minutes long!

So, what do think?  Has crust-core played an important role in your life?  Should it be mandatory listening for the youth of today?  Does it sound like a chainsaw in a dumpster?  Let me know in the comments below!

[Hey, music fans! Did you know that purchasing albums, from digital platforms or your local record store, help support musicians who sacrifice pretty much everything for the sake of creating life-changing sounds?  Don't stream; Collect!]