Bored Suburban Youth

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BSY live show, c. 1987

Bored Suburban Youths (also known as BSY) was among the hardcore punk bands that rose up in the Southeastern United States in the "second wave" of the 1980s. Along with bands such as Bedlam Hour, Mass Appeal and The Sex Mutants, BSY contributed to the nascent punk scene in the decidedly un-punk environs of the politically and socially conservative New South.[1]

BSY logo on Kenny Jolt's touring kit.
BSY logo on Kenny Jolt's touring kit.

Inspired by an early 1980s Black Flag show in Columbia, South Carolina, Bored Suburban Youths was formed by a group of local high school students. The original lineup consisted of John Hathaway (guitar), Troy Tague (drums) and Shannon Burgess (bass). An early lineup featured John Dickerson on vocals. Later, Darren Walker fronted BSY as a throat-shredding screamer in the tradition of Henry Rollins.

The definitive BSY lineup was Hathaway, Tague, Walker, Steve Sonic (guitar) and Brian Molin (bass). The band’s work of this era is best captured in the Live at the Drama Lab recordings; another live recording featuring this lineup appears on the compilation lp "Method To Our Madness" issued by Phantom Records in 1986.[2] Sonic joined BSY after the disintegration of seminal Orangeburg, South Carolina punk band Red Menace, which had blazed trails of its own in the early 1980s. Later lineups of BSY would feature two other former members of Red Menace: Kenny Jolt (drums) and Carl (bass).

Like many punk bands of the time, BSY burned out in a few years, but they made an impact on the Southeastern US punk scene by building up a loyal grassroots following and embracing all-ages venues in the region. To this end, BSY would play anytime, anywhere. This DIY ethic led to shows in barns, lodges, galleries, record shops and even high school theatres.[3]

An 8-song 7" record posthumously released under the name "Red Menace: Farewell Suburbia'' marked the end of the band in 1988,[4] but BSY’s missionary dedication to the punk ethic gave rise to a vibrant alternative music scene in South Carolina and spawned other original bands spanning many musical genres.

  1. ^ MAXIMUMROCKNROLL, Issue 37, June 1986
  2. ^ American Hardcore Book Dot Com, 24 Hours of Hardcore
  3. ^ The Columbia Record, August 8, 1986 page 9B "Art Event Tonight at G.R.O.W Cafe"
  4. ^ MAXIMUMROCKNROLL, Issue 58, January 1988