Thursday, September 4, 2014
Battery – “Leave it Behind” from Whatever it Takes (1998 Revelation Records)


This is one of those albums that I love maybe more than I’m comfortable admitting. In sophisticated circles, the admission that one really likes a nineties straightedge hardcore record, especially one that was emblematic of the prevalent nostalgia for the youth crew era of a decade prior, makes one appear a little daft.

But damn, I like this record a lot, warts and all. This song starts off a bit sloppy, and the vocals are sometimes a bit weird, but what I always loved about this band was their willingness to be emotionally vulnerable in a scene that was all about bragadoccio and tough guy bullshit. “Leave it Behind” is a good example of this. The lyrics aren’t poetic by any means (though they try at times: the story’s getting older/and the weather’s getting colder), but they’re real. They tell the story of someone going off to chase their dreams, to make sure that they life they live is lived on their own terms. The refrain I do not want this on a list/of things I never did” captures that need to move on, even if it means cutting ties or going through difficulties along the way.

If punk rock matters, and I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately, then it needs to include ways for people to make the world better by making their own lives better. Positive hardcore anthems like this one help to keep that spirit alive, and I’m grateful for it. Maybe the music is a little formulaic, but sometimes a pick slide is just the thing to help you to make that next positive decision.