A Brief History of Conservative and Libertarian Punk RockSubmitted by john jay on Fri, 05/16/2014 - 23:18
The heavy metal magazine Decibel recently announced a new inductee to the "Decibel Hall of Fame," an honor reserved exclusively for "extreme music's most important albums." That inductee was Cause for Alarm, the breakthrough 1986 album by the New York City band Agnostic Front.
It's a good choice. Although Agnostic Front is best known for playing hardcore, a caustic musical offshoot of punk rock, on Cause for Alarm the band added a massive dose of thrash metal to the mix. The resulting sound combined the best of both genres and left its mark on punks and headbangers alike. The record deserves the kudos.
But Agnostic Front made more than just musical waves in its heyday. As Decibel notes, the band would also "outrage P.C. talk show hosts with its controversial lyrics." Foremost among those hosts was daytime kingpin Phil Donahue, an outspoken liberal who denounced the lyrical content of "Public Assistance," a song where Agnostic Front attacked the welfare state. (Sample lyric: "Uncle Sam takes half my pay so you can live for free.")