We've taken a look at the bands that dominated the '90s with chart topping singles and one hit wonders, but this week, we're doing something different.
The term "orgcore" may have you scratching your head more than a cultural institution like Green Day, but it's always been my favorite subgenre of punk. Let us turn to Urban Dictionary for a helpful definition:
Orgcore: Mockingly derived term referring to an assortment of punk rock bands, most notably from but not limited to such subgenres as folk-punk, melodic hardcore and pop-punk, acclaimed by message board members frequenting the website punknews.org.
It's a loose term, but most of your buddies that are stoked on Against Me! probably dig Strike Anywhere and Bouncing Souls as well. The typical fan sports a beard and flannel, and keeps a PBR nearby, but it's important not to confuse orgcorers for hipsters: the facial hair is non-ironic (for the most part) and the music is considerably better.
Orgcore punks and hipsters do share a few behaviors. Don't throw me under the bus yet, you know there's some truth to this. Both of these cheap beer guzzling beardos almost exclusively rely on one site for music news (Punknews or Pitchfork) and max out their credit cards planning for a big festival every year (The Fest or Coachella).
You've undeniably seen the orgcore punker at a show at one point. "This grizzled scene veteran often works in the music industry but he can't stand anything associated with it. He tends to be apathetic toward anything and everything, with the exception of the recent Hot Water Music reunion or his yearly excursion to The Fest in Florida," according to Your Scene Sucks. The Orgcore Punker was one of the site's first scenesters, but the description is still pretty true. Hot Water Music has since gotten back together again and put out a new album a few weeks ago.
Fortunately for the Orgcore Punker, reunions come often. Last year, Descendents and Kid Dynamite were among the most hyped acts at FYF Fest in downtown Los Angeles, and both bands were as great as expected. As much as I hate to admit it, the wait was worth it. So in theory, when Jawbreaker decides to get back together, the 16 year wait would be totally worth it. (Yeah, it's a long shot, but who knows.)Here's 11 minutes of glee for any Milo Aukerman fan.
To the ire of somebody living on the opposite coast, most of these reunions take place close to a band's hometown. Case in point, Lifetime is overdue for some west coast love.
The orgcore subgenre is nice because it encompasses so many bands. There's no set style to the jokingly named genre. Bands like The Gaslight Anthem and Andrew Jackson Jihad don't really sound alike, but they're both kinda sorta punk bands that attract people who drink their cheap beer and go crazy.
Unlike the indifference portrayed in the Orgcore Punker stereotype, people go pretty crazy at Phoenix shows. From falling in love with The Lawrence Arms at Modified Arts years ago to seeing Andrew Jackson Jihad tear it up at Crescent Ballroom, the genre is still alive and well, it just has a growing beer belly.
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Whether or not you are dressed like a lumberjack with a half-sleeve tattoo, or you're wearing your high topped sneakers and your sailor tattoos, orgcore is just good old fashioned melodic punk. Some of the singers have super raspy voices thanks to years of smoking, others scream at you, but most encourage sing alongs.
Starter albums recommended for your listening pleasure:
Against Me!, Reinventing Axl Rose American Steel, Rogue's March The Gaslight Anthem, Sink or Swim Hot Water Music, A Flight and a Crash Jawbreaker, 24 Hour Revenge Therapy The Lawrence Arms, Apathy and Exhaustion Lifetime, Jersey's Best Dancers Whatever Punknews recommends.