It is often taken for granted that hardcore punk is—and perhaps should be—the domain of the young. Young adulthood is a scary time for most of us, and what better way to express one’s youthful angst than by identifying with a music scene that embraces those feelings of alienation and confusion?
I don’t think I would have made it through adolescence with my sanity intact without records like Black Flag’s Damaged and Minor Threat’s Out of Step. Those albums provided me with a useful outlet for my youthful rage and, perhaps more importantly, made me realize that I wasn’t the only one feeling so, well, out of step. At a time when one’s identity is incredibly unstable, any sense of community becomes paramount, and hardcore punk became the one place where I felt truly accepted.