Discharge were a seminal British hardcore band from the early 80s who basically invented an entire genre: the D-beat sound. According to Wikipedia, the D-beat refers to the fast drum beat.
Grungey, loud, fast, and with simplistic lyrics about the horrors of war, complete with black and white photos of wartime atrocities. The Swedish and Japanese go nuts for this shit, and there are hundreds of copycat bands with names like Disfear and Disfear (and Disarm and Distraught...).
Discharge also mastered the punk look with the spikey jackets and spikey hair. Their first seven inch was a masterpiece, featuring a photo of a spiky jacket with the bands name.
Their early material defined a genre of hardcore. Most of the songs were under the two-minute mark, and their lyrics were along the lines of "fuck this fucking fucked up system!!"
By about 1983 they decided that they really wanted to be Iron Maiden, and so started playing heavy metal.
1982's "Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing" featured some total metal tracks like "The More I See," which was covered by Metallica "The More I See.", and my personal favorite, "Born To Die In the Gutter." I think I actually prefer their metal stage. It's a little more interesting than the punk stuff. And funnier. That's pretty much the path most hardcore bands took in the 80s anyways. The problem with hardcore is that it's so simplistic that the second you learn to play your instruments you outgrow it. The two choices for hardcore bands are either to break up after releasing a few perfect 7 inches (see: Minor Threat), or going in a more metal direction (see: DRI, Cro-Mags, most NYHC bands, Victory and Revelation Records...) Discharge are still around, still mohawked, and still playing aggro music to crowds of sweaty socially awkward boys. It's a living.
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