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CRIPPLED YOUTH- Join the Fight 7″EP (New Beginning Records, USA, 1986)

CrippledYouth_frontCrippledYouth_backCrippledYouth_lyricsaCrippledYouth_vinylaCrucialYouth_vinylbAfter the youngest band in Hardcore, here’s another band full of youngsters. It’d be so easy to slag off CRIPPLED YOUTH mercilessly – not only for the fact that after this they became BOLD, one of these countless post-Hardcore bands that give me the creeps. Just check out the lyrics we’ve got here like the immortal words in “Positive Scene”: “I don’t know what your scene’s like, or if it’s really cool, I just know what my scene’s like and I think it fucking rules” – no wonder bands like CRUCIAL YOUTH took the piss out of these posi-bands and even the german SPERMBIRDS had a song called “No Punks in K-Town” (on their fabulous “Something to prove” LP from 1987) that was directly aimed at Crippled Youth and what they stood for – things had begun to drastically change. suddenly, you had all these insecure kids singing about friendship, walking tall and respect. Scary shit, man.

But apart from the obvious sillyness, and that could have been one of the main motiviations for me to post this any other day than today, I was really surprised when playing “Join the Fight”. Some of the songs in their naivety didn’t sound half as bad as I had remembered them. There’s something really driving in the music and that has a lot to do with the simple but effective hammering of the skins. I love that. It’s obvious that YOUTH OF TODAY were the main influence for CRIPPLED YOUTH in every aspect.

I had this EP already sorted out to be sold with hundreds of other records. But after ripping it and writing this little piece, I realized that it’s still somehow dear to me. Maybe as a curiosity too. I mean, maybe that’s the only way to take Boyscout Hardcore.
Depicted is the second press, by the way. Funny, how the printers forgot to remove their I-dunno-how-you-call-these-scales before making the offset film.

Walk tall, walk straight.mp3
Positive Scene.mp3
Can’t you see.mp3
Not just Talk.mp3
Stand together.mp3
K-Town Mosh Crew.mp3
United we stand.mp3

PS: The errorous link for “Positive Scene” is fixed now!


  1. Hilarious!


    Posted on 02-Jul-09 at 12:16 | Permalink
  2. From comments about Focaultian exegesis of heavy metal, to boyscout hardcore, and damn if you didn’t do another great write-up well worth reading. I hate it when I’m too busy to check out what’s going on here. These types of bands and that whole “scene” always remind me of how much I love the Grudge 7″. Sound wise this is pretty alright.


    Posted on 02-Jul-09 at 13:20 | Permalink
  3. Jay Thurston

    Straight Edge hardcore. Where are there wheelchairs??? I thought they were supposed to be crippled??


    Posted on 02-Jul-09 at 16:39 | Permalink
  4. Sean

    Man I’ve loved this ep for close to a decade…a hardcopy always eluded me! Always wanted to doa shortened c-beat cover of Walk Tall.


    Posted on 02-Jul-09 at 17:37 | Permalink
  5. Ringo Reblaus

    aarrrgghhh, you just had me singing along in front of the computer. i always loved this record for the same reasons that you mentioned.
    and while i agree with you, that the real charm of this lies in the naivety of the youth, i think that you are totally wrong, that the fabulous SPERMBIRDS aimed their song “no punks in k-town” at CRIPPLED YOUTH. this song is an ironic look at the SPERMBIRDS’ hometown kaiserlautern, which the huge number of american soldiers stationed there (of which lee, the singer, once was one) simply call “k-town”.
    oh, and didn’t anybody get the “positive scene”-joke so far? 😉


    Posted on 03-Jul-09 at 03:39 | Permalink
  6. Hahaha, Ringo – you might be right about Kaiserslautern and K-Town, but c’mon, my version somehow sounds better!

    I’ll be drinking a good glas (actually a bottle) of Chianti to you tonight! From brother to brother!


    Posted on 03-Jul-09 at 03:44 | Permalink
  7. mister 77

    time for confessions. I like this ep. I mean I hate the lyrics and shit but the music is really good. not all of it. thanks for this.



    Posted on 03-Jul-09 at 08:03 | Permalink
  8. Times have changed. Who today would write a song reacting to a kiddie band?


    Posted on 03-Jul-09 at 08:19 | Permalink
  9. OTTO

    It was right around the time that these ‘boy scout’ records started coming out that I began to drift away from the hardcore scene… It was an age thing. These kids were as young and naive as I was when the first 7 Seconds and Minor Threat 7″‘s were coming out; I wasn’t any more.

    But I always liked ‘Positive Scene’ telling me to ‘brush 2 time a day’ and have a ‘positive dental outlook’… at least CY weren’t totally humorless like so many of their compatriots.


    Posted on 05-Jul-09 at 03:17 | Permalink
  10. theun_k

    hey erich,

    has anybody told you you uploaded crucial youth’s positive scene instead of the crippled youth track? or is this a joke i didn’t get?

    either way – i would really apreciate it if you replace the track.

    that said > thanks for the upload – theun_k


    Posted on 13-Jul-09 at 10:17 | Permalink
  11. Ooops, Theun_K – glad you told me. Will fix this as soon as I have the time.


    Posted on 13-Jul-09 at 15:22 | Permalink
  12. Kount Jizznack

    Listening to Crippled Youth actually makes me want to listen to Crucial Youth.


    Posted on 14-Jul-09 at 04:12 | Permalink
  13. Yeah, the sleeve came out funny for these (you’ll notice the line underneath “Crippled Youth” on the front cover, too) – I’m pretty sure it was the printer who screwed it up.

    The sleeve was a pain in the ass for this record- some copies of the first pressing went out with only a paper sleeve made on a copier, because the real sleeves were late coming back from the printer.

    I’m thanked in two places on this record! It must be a great record!


    Posted on 16-Jul-09 at 07:26 | Permalink
  14. Joe Crucial

    I had the pleasure of going to see Crippled Youth in Albany early on. At the time most of the band members must have been 15 years old and unable to drive. Yes, their moms did drop them off at the straightedge hardcore matinee gig (I’d like to say it was Volvo – but I don’t remember). A couple years later, we did a gig with them (they were “Bold” then and we played “K-Mart mosh crew”). They seemed to be a good-natured bunch of guys.

    As many of the commenters have stated – This EP is beautiful in its lyrical simplicity and naiveté and is still very catchy. It was very inspirational for Crucial Youth as it strips down the straightedge hardcore to its most fundamental core. Often we would be working on a song that was becoming relatively complex. I would come back to the benchmark of “Positive Scene” and know we were on the wrong path and scale the song back to its bare roots.

    Over 20 years later, I still hear: “I don’t know what your scenes like, or if it’s really cool, I just know what my scenes like and I think it f’n’ rules, It’s a positive, positive, positive scene.”


    Posted on 28-Jul-09 at 21:41 | Permalink
  15. Dan De Pasque

    I wish I heard this years ago. Always thought this would be some dumb beatdown-hardcore record. I can’t keep a straight face when listening to it. I like it for probably the wrong reasons.


    Posted on 17-Sep-11 at 01:24 | Permalink
  16. Tomasso

    Because I’m catalogueing all my shit on Discogs right now, I’m holding my copy of the record in hands right now. I’ll have to second Brushback’s comment about the first copies going out with a xeroxed cover (no lines under Crippled Youth on those!). I remember meeting one of the girls running New Beginnings (Kristina? – don’t recall) back in 86 in Amsterdam and a few other places as she was doing the eurorail thing. She had brought like 30 copies of the 7″ with her with the xeroxed cover because the cardboard cover hadn’t come back from the printer in time (probably because of the things Brushback was hinting at). On the last night she left the remaining ten copies with me to sort of spread the word. Now, that’s a collectable for the Straight Edge crowd.


    Admin Reply:

    These pretzels are making me thirsty (for milk).


    Posted on 31-Mar-13 at 10:48 | Permalink

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