A friend once pointed out to me that hardcore is one of the only derivatives of rock & roll that isn't rooted in black music. More specifically, the songs are generally not grounded in blues-based chord progressions the way that other extreme musics like heavy metal or even 70s/80s punk rock are. For better or for worse, that ultimately brands hardcore as a very white (and obviously, male) artistic expression with only a few notable exceptions.
Young guys in hardcore bands often grow up to become old guys who revel in their youthful identities the same way that athletic never-weres or failed actors regard memories of high school football or theater club. It's a very nostalgic mindset, and as we all know, nostalgia is usually the death knell for creativity. This is definitely not the case for Daniel Higgs, who was once a member of the DC hardcore band Reptile House, went on to blow minds for more than a decade as the frontman for (decidedly non-hardcore) Lungfish, and who more recently has adopted a wholly unique persona as a solo artist with deep roots in Christian mysticism and metaphysical naturalism. His recent work is incredibly soulful and dynamic, not to mention way beyond anything else sprung from the fast-n-loud realm, regardless of how many generations removed. Observe this stirring footage of him performing "Hoofprints on the Ceiling of Your Mind" to a sparse audience in Austin, Texas.
Higgs' new album, Say God, is available on Thrill Jockey Records.