April 1st, 2014 by Tim


In 1986, when I was first discovering punk and hardcore, I got my hands on a cassette of Youth Of Today’s -“Break Down The Walls”. As a 12 year old kid, up until that point, everything punk to me seemed to be about chaos, anarchy, violence, destroying the government, getting wasted, self destruction, looking as outlandish as you possibly could, etc., none of which appealed to me much. Sure I liked the music, but I couldn’t really gel all that much with the message and the image. When that tape of “Break Down The Walls” crossed my path, I suddenly found something that I identified with. The message was positive, rational, inspiring and simply made sense in every way. I remember looking at the cover photo and the lyric sheet photos and thinking to myself, unlike a lot of the bands that I liked at the time, “these guys don’t look like freaks”. Not that I was a jock at all in 1986/1987, quite the contrary actually, I was 100% skateboarder, but Youth Of Today’s image seemed like a legit light in the dark at that time, an image I could see in myself, they were almost the outcast’s of the outcasts. Still to this day, I look at them as the perfect hardcore band, the band that changed and defined my life and millions of others, whether they realize it or not. Say what you want about them, but you can’t deny the massive impact they’ve left on the hardcore scene and people in general.

And by the way, if you’re Straight Edge, vegetarian, like any of the bands on Revelations Records or pretty much any Straight Edge Hardcore band of the late 80’s, chances are that you’ve been affected by Youth Of Today’s influence. I honestly don’t think people understand just how massive of an impression this band left. When Youth Of Today came through the bigger cities in America, most of those scenes were never the same. Youth Of Today weren’t just another hardcore band or just another Straight Edge band, they’re impact was next level and chances are, a lot of the bands you like, would have never existed without Youth Of Today.

“And this flame will keep on burning strong” – Tim DCXX


  1. ShayKM Says:

    Nice to see a bit of meaningful editorializing here. This site needs more of this! Push the SE, push it hard!

  2. colin.tappe Says:

    yoooooo, well put! I first heard Break Down the Walls about a decade after it came out, and it had such a huge impact on me, sonically and lyrically. At that point I had never heard a sxe band play such a raw, ugly, ferocious style of hardcore. Too often YOT get dismissively lumped in with the “generic posicore” (not that there’s anything wrong woth that) that came in their wake, so I still think BDTW doesn’t get its due as a wild, unhinged USHC record in its own right. Nor do people acknowledge as much the confrontational politics in the lyrics. It’s just a perfect album I want to listen to forever.

  3. John Cowell Says:

    I remember reading once (was it on here?) about Dan O’Mahony always lamenting the fact that “Break Down the Walls” wasn’t a song he wrote.

  4. Ingo Says:

    Great article! NO MORE made me go vegetarian back in the late 80’s. Great band!

  5. Donny Says:

    Danbury ct hc pride

  6. Daniel Says:

    I bought We’re Not In This Alone and Evilive together ,one day after school in 8th grade. I was a heavy metal kid starting to get into punk. I remember putting the YOT cassette on and just being blown away by the speed,aggression and positive lyrics. The only downfall to me at the time was the YOT tape was to short. I remember thinking I just spent 8 bucks on this thing and it was over in twenty minutes. Most of my metal cassettes we’re at least twice the length. Funny how years later I listen to most records thinking now there too long.

  7. Skatepunx586 Says:

    For some reason I love drinking beer and listening to Minor Threat or some other straight edge band. I never got to the point to where I looked like a Discharge street punk, but I could never really identified myself with those straight edge bands. When I look at bands like Gorilla Biscuits or Youth Of Today the first thing I thought of was a jock. The dudes in those bands reminded me of some douche bag I’d see at the gym, with a super short military style haircut, a champion sweatshirt, and some Nike Air Max’s. Sure; Blitz and Blood For Blood have songs about drinking beer and getting fucked or Final Conflict and Discharge have a lot political songs about nuclear war and the affects of it, but I think the general rebellion is still there. Maybe that’s something all of us still can agree on.

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