Thursday, March 22, 2012

Balance - European Hardcore Music Book Review

"‘Balance: European Hardcore’, by Tom Barry and photographer Sophia Schorr-Kon, documents he modern European hardcore scene and the people behind it. The book features striking photography of shows and portraits of influential musicians. Alongside these images, the authors provide insights into the informal rules that give order to the international movement—for example, all lyrics are written and performed in English—allowing readers an insider’s perspective on the enduring but underdocumented music scene."

In all honesty I was very unimpressed with the book overall. I have plenty of respect and fondness for the bands and the genre overall but forty dollars (suggested retail price) for what is basically a photo essay with catch phrases on how "Hardcore is my life" is a bit ridiculous. The photo on the cover is the best of the entire book and that really isn't saying  much. The photos from live shows don't seem to capture the energy, emotion or fire of a thriving scene. The candid photos fail to evoke the character of the subjects or provide any insight to the viewer.
People involved with that particular scene might have a different outlook having been involved with the music. However, as an outsider I didn't very compelled to investigate it further.
If you think this is something you might be interested in. I'd recommend going to your local punk record store or place that sells independent releases and take a good look for yourself. To order this online or to walk out of the store with a sealed copy under your arms  would seem fool hearty and something you might end up regretting. In my very humble opinion this isn't worth the admission to a local VFW show.  James Damion
Buy it here

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