It started with Start Today. Gorilla Biscuits’ 1989 seminal hardcore album was the first CD I bought. There had been cassettes and records before that, but once Compact Discs became a thing, I followed my big brother to the local record store and dug through the alphabetized racks. Gorilla Biscuits had a funny name, written out in colorful letters. The band’s mascot cartoon character on the back drove it home. I was 12 or 13 years old and had no idea what I was about to get into.
“What do you mean that it’s time, time for me to grow up?,” vocalist Civ bursts forth in the opening stanza. “I don’t want any part / It’s right to follow my heart.” I had never heard a sound like this—pulverizing guitars, the urgent call and response—it felt important. And staring down the road to adolescence, I knew exactly what Civ meant. He longed for a past that I had just discovered. I wanted to know everything about hardcore.
The R-star logo on the back of that album was how you knew it was real. Revelation Records. If this label could give me a record as powerful and pure as Start Today, what else was waiting for me? I went down the line: Judge. Youth of Today. Chain of Strength. Bold. I collected and shared these albums like baseball cards and comic books, but took them to heart like Bible study. I gravitated towards friends who understood the music, and if somebody didn’t get it, I converted them or left ‘em behind.
I didn’t even attend my first hardcore show until a couple years later and that’s when it all congealed. It’s funny because I was a Southern California hardcore kid in the mid-‘90s on a steady diet of newer, metal-infused hardcore like Strife, Earth Crisis, and Botch. I had missed the New York hardcore glory days by a decade, and wasn’t even on the right coast. But, Revelation’s bands provided the foundation for my attitude, philosophy, and ethic—of which I carry to this day, in my life and work. To truly appreciate The Hundreds is to recognize its hardcore upbringing—the spirit of camaraderie, to stand up and stay true. You can trace those roots directly back to that CD with the funny name and the Revelation Records stamp.
The Hundreds X Gorilla Biscuits by Billy Sidebyside releases today. Available HERE.
This essay was originally published June 23, 2017, when we released our third Revelation Records collaboration.
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The Hundreds X Gorilla Biscuits is available now! The “Hardcore” Champion Reverse Weave pullover hoodie comes in black, royal blue, and orange colorways. Features the The Hundreds X Gorilla Biscuits logo at front chest, and embroidered "C" logo patch at cuff. Artwork by Billy Sidebyside. Link in bio.