We knew where we stood with hardcore: It was punk rock, but a "harder" version. Hard — easy to understand. It did exactly what it said it would do. Then came post-hardcore, then grindcore, then metalcore. And do you know what? That was okay too. It was easy to follow. Post-hardcore, by definition, was an extension or evolution of hardcore. Grindcore was heavier, incorporating blast-beat drumming. Metalcore, as it suggested, saw hardcore crossover with metal.
Nowadays though, the genre-naming trend may have become core-rupted. You can pretty much flick through the dictionary, put any word in front of “-core” and voila: a new musical genre is born. Maybe this serves to narrow everything down in an Internet age where we need all of the help we can get in selecting new bands to which to devote our precious ears. Or maybe this subdivision just over-compartmentalizes an already-marginalized music scene.
We recently received a press release about a band out of L.A. called Hit Bargain that was described as “queencore.” This, they said, “sits at the intersection of queer, queening and hardcore.” This sounds very cool, but does this stylistic differentiation really require a whole new sub-genre tag?
Let’s delve into the madness: There's crunkcore (dirty screamo raps), deathcore, foxcore (otherwise known as riot grrl), hatecore (Nazi bullshit that you don’t want anything to do with), Krishnacore, mathcore, nardcore, Nintendocore (yes, it's true), queercore, raicore, rapcore, skacore, taqwacore (which, awesomely, is linked to Islam), and thrashcore.
Ready to add a new -core to the list? Denver punks Trick Punch have been around for four years and have recently been describing their band as “Colorado beercore.” Why? Well, they love beer.
“It’s really kind of a Do It Yourself thing, at least for Trick Punch,” drummer Kyle Blesch says. “Even more than that, it’s not really about a sound, a style or a genre; it’s about being honest with whatever music you want to play. What we do is whatever we’re feeling at the time. We just pop open a beer, start drinking and throw out some music.”
If you're curious about a deeper sonic definition of beercore, but there apparently isn’t one. “All of our songs sound different – that’s just how it is,” Blesch says. “We don’t have an agenda – there’s no ambition outside of tricking our friends to come out on random nights to some Denver dive and just have a blast. We probably have more fun than anyone that’s actually there, and that’s what it’s all about. There’s no clothes or style, we just tend to identify with punk rock. It’s about being yourself and having a good time doing it, even if there’s no one around.”
According to Blesch, the only other band that might describe itself as beercore is fellow local act One Time Crime. As is often the case with these sub-sub-sub-genres, beercore is possibly a scene that consists of only two bands. It doesn’t even connect to the blossoming Colorado beer scene.
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“We call it beercore because we love beer,” Blesch says. “All kinds and everything. We’ve talked to a couple of different breweries to see if they’re interested in doing something with us, and no bites yet. But it’s more that we like to drink beer and it’s great music to drink beer to. It’s definitely a Denver thing though.”
Yes, it sounds laughable but in the case of Trick Punch and beercore, that seems to be the point.