Iowa Hardcore provides more than good music

Ben Sadkowski/Sports/Photo Editor

The thing that I love most about Cedar Falls does not reside within its appearance, and certainly not with the people that reside here. What makes me fall in love with this town is the existence of a vibrant hardcore music scene that provides a frustrated young male with an outlet for all the frustrations that life brings.

A visitor to this town or this state would not conceive the idea a large, underground hardcore music scene would thrive within its borders, and yet there it is. The name for this entity is Iowa Hardcore, and it provides a community of hardcore music lovers and musicians to come together.
The actual phenomenon of Iowa Hardcore has spanned back for years, with its brightest star most commonly being labeled as the band Modern Life Is War, which unfortunately disbanded in 2008.

In its most bare-bones description, Iowa Hardcore is a DIY (do it yourself) network of venues across the state of Iowa, manned by a wide range of teenagers and young adults that not only form their own bands and attend shows, but work to bring in bands from other states to come play alongside their own bands. Through this, new relationships constantly flourish and connections with play in Iowa.

I view Iowa Hardcore as a cultural phenomenon. Through sheer love of music people work to keep the genre of hardcore flowing not only within, but through the state of Iowa. People surrender their houses and garages to become venues because of a lack of official spaces and provide traveling bands with places to stay, even if it can’t be more than the floors of their living rooms. Traveling bands pool their money together to simply get on the road and perform as much as possible, often earning little or no money at the venues that they play at. I ask myself what can possibly keep something like this together, and the only sensible conclusion that I come up with is that it is nothing but a love of the energy that surrounds travel and music. I know the wonderful feeling that accompanies escaping Cedar Falls and the dread that accompanies my return, but the pain is dulled if I know that I did not waste my time while I was away. A band that did all it could on the road will have far fewer qualms about coming back to the monotony of life at home than one that didn’t. If life is lived to the fullest while one’s away, then the hell that comes from the monotonies of working at a nine to five job for minimum wage is a lot less painful than it would be otherwise.

What actually occurs at shows is something I suggest that you experience, rather than having me explain it to you. In my own experiences I leave the venue covered in both my own sweat and that of others and at times a bruise or two to commemorate that beautiful night. Moshing occurs without fail, but don’t confuse it with senseless violence, if for violence at all because rarely do people get hurt. Taking a sterile view at it, it appears that I am attacking invisible assailants with fervor, but the reward that comes with it is indescribable. Of course I may get hit and hurt, but I can say that there is a primeval reward in the sensation of getting kicked or punched that stretches back to my caveman days. What’s funny is that no one intends to hurt me, I just happened to be in the way, and the same applies to anyone that I hit. Forgiveness is nearly immediate.

Iowa Hardcore can be labeled as a mere social community, but it is one that I identify with the most strongly and one I can say supports me as I support it, however small my role may be. I can’t possibly disagree with the statement that “modern life is war,” but what I have been given to combat that is more than I could ever ask for.

Class of 2014

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