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American Hardcore

Back in the 1980s, the fucked-up values of Reaganomics inspired a hardcore punk movement that retaliated with the loudest, ugliest and angriest sounds it could make. This wasn’t just music. As churned out by Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Black Flag and other bands, it was assault with a eadly weapon. Based on the 2001 book by Steven Blush, Paul Rachman’s raw and riveting documentary traces the rise of of hardcore punk through Los Angeles, Boston, D.C. and the Big Apple. It uses archival footage to show the slamming action onstage and features interviews with the ikes of Henry Rollins and Ian MacKaye to show the influence the music exerted before it was devoured by its own flame. Messed up as it is, you can’t tear your eyes away from this explosion of brutal sounds and images.

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