Monday, November 2, 2009

Arthur Smilios on "Victim In Pain"

Arthur with GB at the Anthrax, Photo: Brian Boog

"Victim in Pain" is undoubtedly, one of my top five hardcore records, ever; pure hardcore, before they started doing metal. How long is it? 25 minutes? It's a quick sonic bludgeoning; a raid on your village and it's over before you know it happened, yet, for some reason, you're grateful. You want it, again and again.

I would listen to that record, constantly. It was the whole package: Civ and I have discussed how we'd stare at the gatefold for an eternity, wishing we could be as cool as Roger, with his tattoos and the chain around his waist. Agnostic Front, quite simply, WAS New York Hardcore; still is.

Is there a better opening track than "Victim In Pain?" ("We Gotta Know," from "Age of Quarrel" is the only one that compares.)

Late 80's GB era Arthur, Photo: Jen Buck Knies

The lyric, "Remember we're a minority and every one of us counts," still gives me chills, to this day; or,

"Society's rules have made me cruel,
I'm just the opposite, ain't no fool.
The way I act, the way I dress,
Doesn't make me strong or best.
Soon they'll find the reasons why
I'm open-minded and not blind."

That was downright anthemic to a 16-year old misfit, rebel-in-training. I had finally found my people: other disaffected freaks, seething with anger and youthful energy. They were blatantly anti-establishmentarian; the entire package; a perfect confluence of music, lyrics and personalities.

I know it sounds trite, but it's true: Punk/Hardcore saved my life. "Victim in Pain" was a major part of that process.

Remember, "There's no justice, it's just us. Blind justice has screwed all of us." Truer words have rarely been spoken, Roger.

For a Better World,
Arthur (Still in awe of Roger, Vinnie and the boys).

Arthur and that YOT Youth Crew 88 longsleeve at the Anthrax with GB, Photo: Brian Boog


Anonymous said...

Arthur is one of the few people in the old NYHC scene that was truly a gem and always treated me well. I regret not getting to talk to him when GB played that reunion show in Atlanta a few years ago. - Dave K.

Anonymous said...

Smilios takes the words out my fucking mouth. Man, when was 16 and i saw that gatefold i ran out and bought myself a pair of boots n braces. I woulda shaved my head too but id already done that after buying Damaged.

Brett Hardware said...

I never realized that Youth Crew 88 was a longsleeve. Wow.

Anonymous said...

now that is a man who knows how to use his words. that was some great writing and i could not agree more. there's no justice...

Brushback said...

Yes, great post.

Anonymous said...

Please let us all agree here and now that no one will ever use the word "confluence" again. It's right up there with "pushing the envelope" and thinking outside the box.

toni miret said...

in my record player "victim in pain" is about 15 minutes. the greatest new york hardcore punk album ever and the shortest. the age of quarrel is a great album too, but it's in a different time and style. rat cage records was a good label and this is the best record they made, along with the beasties polly wog stew ep (another fuckin' great record). roger vuelve pronto a espaƱa!!!!.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't have said it better, myself.

Anonymous said...

dave's right... just got to know arthur from seeing him @ shows & he was always friendly etc...

a good guy in a crew of mostly genuine assholes.