Born out of the early Washington, DC hardcore punk scene, Straight-Edge has a strange history. It can be traced back to songs written by Minor Threat vocalist Ian MacKaye. Those songs, "Straight-Edge," and "Out of Step," outlined MacKaye's personal feelings on the hedonism of the day, and the rules were simple: No drinking, no drugs, no smoking, no casual sex. (Over time this would eventually include both vegetarianism and Veganism.) MacKaye eventually backed off, stating that he had not meant to start a movement , but the ideas resonated loud and clear through the national hardcore punk underground, and other disaffected punks got involved and started scenes in New York, Los Angeles and Arizona (to name a few). Longevity was achieved with straight-edge's peak in 1988, with bands like Youth of Today, Seven Seconds and Gorilla Biscuits making the music more accessible by taking the basic hardcore riffs and adding melodic and metallic tones. While the musicality of straight-edge carries many of the simplistic angry structures of hardcore punk, the agenda of the lyrics has many facets, ranging from the original rules, to embracing social and political issues like pacifism, animal rights, civil rights, etc.
Other Styles in Punk/New Wave