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maanantai 28. syyskuuta 2009

Bending to stay straight (An essay about Straight Edge)

Since I first started to lean towards hardcore, it has been pretty clear to me that the subculture in question is about more than just music.
Hardcore, to me, isn´t a certain musical style for if it were it would be very hard to define.

For example, most of the metal fans would see a band like Point of No Return as straight up from their alley musicwise and yes, maybe they are. Besides that, though, PoNR are probably more about what hardcore really is than many of the western bands who fetish on using more strict definitions of that term.
Also, one can copy all the riffs from bands like Discharge or Conflict and still not be anywhere close to the urgency of those two groups. The urgency, that at least in great part, probably came from them feeling strongly about what they were singing about.

If I am being subjective and provocative about the whole labelling-thing here, be it for the cause of the message.

Point of No Return is a hardcore band all the way and they tackle with some very important issues over strong and energetic music. Sure, I differ with some finer and even larger points with this band as opinions go, but I feel we share a common yearning for JUSTICE and LIBERATION. Our beliefs may be different in some areas, but we are likely to share many views on practical implications, such as our interest for building active small communities and the respect for people who do not necessary own huge amounts of money or land but who have the inspiration for change.
We may have very different backgrounds in life; me coming from a very priviledged north European country and those guys probably having to face more concrete injustice in their own lives
day by day than I ever will. Still, I feel we share the common need to get dignity for our lives. Dignity that does not come from material circumstances (though we fight to better them for all of us), but from higher values.

It is because of feeling this common bond to these guys, that I want to thank them for inspiring me in my own struggle.

Below you can download an essay that came with the vinyl version of the Point of No Return-album “Imposed freedom…conquered freedom” that was released by the german label Scorched Earth Policy. The essay is called “Bending to stay straight” and it offers inspiring views on Straight Edge as a tool for social change, all coming from a perspective of a woman from Southern America.

Get the album and also get their other full length “Sparks” that has been released by Liberation in Brazil and Catalyst records on US and the self-titled 7” they released on Catalyst records.

And no, I do not know what hardcore is about. Go and define it yourself.


Great song from their 7". This one is still in english, but later they decided to use their mother tongue, partly in favour to their local culture over the dominance of anglo-american language.

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