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Negative Approach

Detroit’s Negative Strategy, alongside Maumee, OH’s Necros, had been the undisputed champs of Midwestern hardcore in the first to mid-’80s. Tale offers it that vocalist John Brannon recruited drummer OP Moore as well as the acoustic guitar/bass group of Rob and Graham McCulloch in a skate recreation area sometime in 1981. Lead from the bald-headed Brannon’s hoarse wail, the music group concocted an intense sound without frills that alternated between violent and mean. This is first fully recorded in 1982 on the self-titled Contact and Proceed 7″. The music group released the greater metallic-sounding Tied Down 12″ on Contact and Go ahead 1983, but become extinct in 1985 as Brannon incubated the PARTY blues of Laughing Hyenas. Sadly lacking the greater widespread post-hardcore popularity of peers Ian McKaye and Henry Rollins, Brannon’s Bad Approach hasn’t obtained the later-day credited often accorded Small Threat and Dark Flag. Negative Strategy was certainly as important as those two rings, coming in contact with everyone from Poison Idea to Sonic Youngsters to Los Crudos, in addition to entire decades of hardcore enthusiasts in Boston and NY. The music group was also as unique and intense as any early-’80s punk clothing — the rhythmic crush developed by Moore as well as the McCulloch brothers is still an undeniable steel-toe to the facial skin. Touch and Proceed put together the band’s discography as Total Recall in 1992, an important listen for anybody who would like to understand hardcore.

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