Cornerstone - Beating the Masses (1995)
Okay, back to music for punching faces...
haha! In case you didnt know, I dont support actual face punching. Unless its consensual, of course. Frankly it hurts to punch someone face, so go for the gut if you feel the need to throw a punch. Now kickboxing, that is something I can get behind. Especially when its the Connecticut Crucial Kickbox as played by youth crew revivalists Cornerstone.
Cornerstone, or xCORNERSTONEx, as they were lovingly labeled, were a straight edge hardcore band from, yep, you guessed it, Connecticut. They played a great rendition of thrashy old school hardcore that wouldnt have been out of place in NYC in 1985. I am no youth crew fanatic. I am happy to stick with what I know when it comes to that scene, and that tends towards stuff released in the hey day of that style, but Cornerstone were somewhere near omnipresent in the CT hardcore scene. Being that I spent a decent amount of time at the Tune Inn in lovely New Haven I was able to see these guys open for a number of bands.
The first thing that struck me about these guys was that besides the singer, who liked wearing Champion sweatshirts ala Gorilla Biscuits, all the band members were younger than me. I was 17 at the time, so the band members mustve been around 14. Nonetheless, they played an infectious variety of hardcore that my ears were keen to. Like other youth crew style bands in the 90's, people slagged them for ripping the styles of so many bands the late 80's...even though those 80's bands were ripping the Cro Mags and Agnostic Front, somehow people miss the point that nothing is original... its only the conviction with which you play that sets you apart from all the other copycats. With that said, the key to Cornerstone's success, in my eyes, was that their songs were very short. A style like youth crew doesnt need to be much more than a minute long... 2 minutes tops or I am getting bored. So this 9 song, 14 minute recording benefits greatly from that aesthetic.
Add to all of this an awesome and crucial cover by Ernie from Token Entry / Black Train Jack and you have a great reminder of what makes hardcore great. At least in terms of aesthetics. When it comes to values I am happy to say that Cornerstone is also what you expect. Positivity, unity and sticking it to the man, the haters and the fakers. The lyrics are sung (screamed) in an intelligible way so you can be guaranteed to know all the lyrics while you kickbox with your friends.
Members went on to form Fastbreak around the same time as Cornerstone and they were pretty decent and I am sure many of you have heard of them by now.
I promised a post about the term "Punk". As cliche as it is, I still intend to do this. I got much busier this weekend than I had thought and work is picking up these days, so if you dont see me making many new posts, you can be rest assured that I havent given up, just tending to other business.
Hope everyone is good.
Tim / blend77