WNUR Underground Archive Project

1982: Fast ’N’ Loud

Bad Brains

Bad Brains - Bad Brains

In attempting to pick apart the spread out scene of American indie rock of the 1980s throughout this project, we could dedicate an entire subsection to the hardcore scene. Between the west coast, New York, midwest, east coast, and southern geographic locales, there exists a variety of distinct hardcore styles. WNUR dedicated an entire rock show program to the discovery and playing of hardcore music, aptly titled “fast ’n’ loud.” As the fast ’n’ loud program fell out of fashion the records from the show were added to the rock show stacks. As you can see on the left side of this first Bad Brains single, ‘FAST N LOUD’ adorns these records as both a marker of history and of genre. This self-titled 12’’ single anticipates Bad Brains’ famed debut record and contains classics like “I” and “Sailin’ On,” mixed together with a dub b-side. 1982 and this record represent a shift in the collection with a sudden increase in the number of important hardcore releases. In addition to Bad Brains, we see records by Bad Religion, Anti-Nowhere League, Anti-Pasti, Chron Gen, D.O.A. and the Dead Kennedys enter the collection in 1982, all with the ‘fast ’n’ loud’ emblem. While there are fast ’n’ loud records in the previous years, they are few and far in between. The explosion of interest in hardcore and the sheer number of noticed releases in the genre in 1982 point to a shifting station culture and a popularization of hardcore as the forebearer of the American indie rock tradition. In the history of hardcore, 1982 is a middling year, with Black Flag’s Nervous Breakdown coming out in 1979 and Minor Threat’s formation in 1980. While these are the histories many have drawn with seminal releases, examining collections like WNUR help to adjust and create actual histories of distribution and popularity and point to a reality of hardcore’s beginnings on a more collective national stage in 1982.