Start Today - (1989)
Vying with Minor Threat for the title of "The Godfathers of Hardcore" are Gorilla Biscuits, and Start Today is the record that demonstrates their merits. Presented with both humor and energy, this is the record that proved straight edge kids knew how to have a good time, and that they had some pretty good musical ideas as well. Focusing on the hyper rants of lead singer Civ, and pushed along with loud and chunky guitar riffs by Walter Schreifel (later of Quicksand), the record sees the band tackle topics ranging from pets to friends and even to pride in the hardcore scene. It's certainly not without its politics, but the tone is surprisingly light, and Civ is clearly giving his opinion more than he is trying to convince others of anything. From the trumpets that announce the record's start, which are immediately followed by a chugging guitar chord, Gorilla Biscuits never really let up on the listener. Unlike so much of what the group influenced, there aren't a great deal of slowed-down musical interludes and unintelligible screams, though the band's tasteful use of the half-time "mosh part" makes it clear where they might have steered some of their copycats wrong. Start Today is a terrific representation of the beginnings of hardcore music, and for those involved in the scene it is certainly required listening.