There were times in my life, when I had an almost erotic relationship with ARTICLES OF FAITH. To me, this band represented everything that Hardcore should be (or could be), when I first heard the colossal “Wait” EP and the epochal “Give Thanks” LP.Â Sometimes, I make it seem too easy, methinks, when pointing out how close to each other the NWOBHM (& the Metal it span off) and the Punk & Hardcore movements were. Sure, there are many overlapping aspects, but when you stretch out the extremes of both “worlds”, you will also see what separated them. This EP here is one of these markers, at least as far as the music goes.
But then again, how could you lump AOF together with a band like NEGATIVE APPROACH? On the one hand, you have intellectuals with music instruments (and the capacity to use them and create many different patterns of emotionality), on the other, you have a bunch of hooligans, stiff on their instruments, one-dimensional and, frankly, a bit daft in demeanor and expression. Yet they both breath the same air and produced some of the most impressive music of the 20th century.
Catchy, yet powerful music like no other band would play it, that’s what ARTICLES OF FAITH pulled off on their first EP already, with lyrics of an often literarily quality. And a sense of urgency that will forever drop my jaw. “This is it”, I thought back then and whenever I put up any of their records over a quarter of a century later (with, maybe the exception of the final album), I immediately find myself catapulted back in an emotional state which no other form of music (speaking of Metal here) could ever have for me. To tell the truth, I’m sometimes worried that with every year passing, I might lose more of the energy it takes to expose myself to the intensity, the barrage of a band like ARTICLES OF FAITH. This is music for the youth, not for old people. “What we want is free” was yesterday – what we want now has a price tag on it, mostly, and I don’t even care about that anymore.
The moments of intensity are the manifest physical experience of the retro-thesis: Hardcore was a movement of short endurance. Everything that followed was and is the futile attempt of recreating the social and aesthetical impact it had. It wasn’t “capitalism” or the media industry that killed it, as I too used to think. It never was outside these segments of reality, it just pretended it was, as every form of youthful rebellion lives from that illusion and creates momentum from it.
Â«I supposeÂ», Vic Bondi wrote in 1991, Â«the new interest in early American Hardcore is a sign that the ethos of Hardcore is making a comeback; that the human message at the center of Hardcore is making a comeback, that the human message at the center of Hardcore will find a new, unique voice, a new viability. I hope so. Because, if not, if the interest in this music is nothing more than nostalgia, nothing more than a sentimental embrace of youth, than Hardcore is truly an artifact, and nothing more than another style of music with which to kill time. – My faith is to the contrary.Â» (printed on the insert of the “Core” LP). It’s crazy to think that 20 years have passed by since Vic wrote these lines. Where are we now?