New Jersey hardcore
Evolution from punk rock
New Jersey had many early punk bands, circa 1975–1979, including horror punk pioneer, punk and hardcore punk band, The Misfits. Many of these fledgling early punk bands then heard many sounds such as garage band proto-punk in the late 60's early 70's. During this time the Misfits had also made the transition in to hardcore punk and toured and gained national exposure, during a time when other punk and hardcore punk originators such as Black Flag, Bad Brains, and Minor Threat also toured and gained national exposure.
1980–1985: The first wave
New Jersey had developed several regional, overlapping hardcore punk scenes by 1981–1982. In the first wave of hardcore punk many bands played roots hardcore punk. Others started experimenting with mixing different influences and sounds or both. Some in the process, pioneered hardcore punk subgenres such as metalcore. Others helped to pioneer and further develop fledgling hardcore punk subgenres such as horror punk, skate punk and crossover thrash. During this period several New Jersey-based record labels were formed and released albums specializing in hardcore punk. The most prominent were Buy Our Records of Union County and Mutha Records of Monmouth County as was Punk Rock Records 1983 and Northern Front Records in 1987 in Bergen County as well as Headache Records in 1985.
- The Burnt: formed in Midland Park, New Jersey in 1978. Would move to form The Wretched Ones and Niblick Henbane
- The Front Line: formed in Paterson, New Jersey in 1979. Would move to form U.S. Chaos and Agnostic Front.
- Cause For Alarm formed in Fair lawn, New Jersey in 1981. Would move to form U.S. Chaos and Agnostic Front.
- The Radicals: formed in Paterson, New Jersey in 1979. Would move to form U.S. Chaos and Agnostic Front
- Mental Abuse: formed in Lk Hopatcong, New Jersey in 1983.
- Mental Decay: formed in Paterson, New Jersey in 1983 members of Adrenalin O.D..
- Rosemary's Babies: formed 1980 in Lodi
- The Undead: formed 1980 in New Milford
- Adrenalin O.D.: formed 1981 in Elmwood Park
- Samhain: formed 1983 in Lodi
- Hogan's Heroes: formed 1984 in Toms River
1986–1990: The second wave
During the mid and late 1980s, hardcore bands continued to experiment with their sounds, most taking their cues from the first wave and other national scenes. Some would utilize the crossover thrash/skate punk influences started in the first wave and, during the late eighties others also eventually incorporated more melodic sounds similar to the early emo scene developing in D.C. Others drew influence from specific areas such as New York or the California scene.
- The Wretched Ones formed 1987, sported all pre NJHC insignias on releases.
- Niblick Henbane formed 1987,Elmwood Park sported all pre NJHC insignias on releases.
- Headwound, formed 1990, Midland Park, New Jersey, Headache Records.
- Mucky Pup: formed 1986 Bergenfield
- Turning Point: formed 1988 Moorestown
- Rorschach: formed 1989 Ramsey
- Dog Eat Dog: formed 1990 Bergen County
- Lifetime: formed 1990 New Brunswick
1991–1999: The third wave considered low posture 3 chord rich kid metal
During the early and mid 1990s, as hardcore was passed down, bands continued to experiment with their sounds. More than most bands taking their cues from the first and second wave, and National scenes. Drawing influence from many genres and subgenres. Hardcore punk, heavy metal, and metalcore were some of the popular vocal and musical influences.
- Mouthpiece: formed 1991 Mercer County
- NJ Bloodline: formed 1992 Elizabeth
- Deadguy: formed 1994 New Brunswick
- Fury of Five: formed 1994 Asbury Park
- Heckle: formed 1994 Bridgewater
- Bigwig: formed 1995 Nutley
- E.Town Concrete: formed 1995 Elizabeth
- Ensign: formed 1995 New Brunswick
- Nastasee: formed 1996 Bergenfield
- Nora: formed 1996 Highland Park
National and international recognition
As these scenes started to grow and gain popularity, so did the bands that emerged from these scenes. By 1988 some first generation NJHC bands such as Hogan's Heroes and by 1990 some second generation NJHC bands such as Mucky Pup, signed to larger national labels and became internationally recognized. By 1994 some first and second wave worldwide bands were releasing material with Japanese, American and European labels drawing more international attention to the NJHC scenes, such as 1994 J!mco Records' Japanese release Snowboard Addiction - Fun Ride' which features Hogan's Heroes. In 1995 Dog Eat Dog were voted Breakthrough Artists of the Year at the MTV Europe Music Awards. This also drew more international attention to NJHC. By 1996, third generation bands such as Fury of Five were pushing NJHC through extensive touring, recording and outspokenness of NJHC.