Youth of Today

Break Down the Walls

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Youth of Today's debut full-length, Break Down the Walls, sounds like standard New York hardcore, but the enormous influence that this disc had on the straight-edge movement is almost immeasurable. Each song is a fast-paced punk slugfest, geared toward the group's angry young male fan base. The performances are sloppy but fierce, and the message is a predictable anti-establishment rant. Positivity, clean living, and the benefits of a fully vented spleen are stressed to a raw extreme, thus establishing a hardcore blueprint for the many artists who followed Youth of Today's example. Highlights include live favorites like "Make a Change" and "Stabbed In the Back." Ray Cappo maintains his vocal intensity throughout all 13 tracks (coming in at around 20 minutes), and the band follows suit with passionate performances. A must-own for straight-edge enthusiasts and New York hardcore scholars, Break Down the Walls is generally considered one of its genres all-time greats.

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