Music – Movie Review: The Godfathers of Hardcore

Agnostic Front are an American hardcore punk band often cited as the pioneers of the New York hardcore scene. Formed in 1980 by guitarist Vinnie Stigma, the band saw numerous line-up changes especially on vocals but eventually Roger Miret took it on in 1982 and has remained constant since.

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It is Vinnie and Roger who are the focus of this documentary, The Godfathers of Hardcore. This is not a documentary about Agnostic Front, instead it’s a documentary about a pair who have changed people’s lives. A pair who have made an impact and helped in ways they can scarcely believe all while staying completely grounded and true to their roots.

You don’t have to be a fan of the band to enjoy this movie as it is a great learning experience. Not just about Agnostic Front but the hardcore/punk scene of the 80s in New York. We see this through the eyes of Vinnie, an absolute character who lives life his way and Roger, a quieter family man carrying the weight of his past on his shoulders.

Both are lovable in their own way and the insight given into their youths, their lives and what drives them now is fascinating. Vinnie in particular when his documentary was made was 60 years old. 60 years old and still playing hardcore punk in sweatbox clubs and bars. Incredible.

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The Godfathers of Hardcore focuses on the positives but doesn’t shy away from the negatives either. We see the ups and downs of both men and the problems they have had to overcome all while maintain their relationship. A relationship that extends way beyond band-mates or friends, these two are brothers.

It’s hard to not get choked up as Vinnie contemplates life without Roger after he has a mild heart attack.

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Perhaps the best thing about this documentary though is how it shows just how important hardcore was and is for so many people. The scene saved kids, the scene gave people something to be part of and the scene welcomed everyone and all.

See this film.




The Godfathers of Hardcore
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