An A-to-Z Glossary of DIY Punk & Hardcore Subculture Terms

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  • ACAB - ACAB is an acronym that stands for “All Cops Are Bastards” (also known as “All Coppers Are Bastards”), originating from the working class movement in the United Kingdom. What does ACAB mean? The slogan “All Coppers are Bastards” emerged in the 1920s in the United Kingdom. However, it wasn’t until the 1940s that English workers […]
  • Anok - What does Anok mean? Anok is an alternative way of spelling ‘Anarchy’, first used in the early anarchist peace punk scenes in the UK. The word ANOK is made up of the syllables ‘an’ and ‘ok’, pronounced ‘okay’, which results in ‘an-okay’, or the British pronunciation of anarchy. The term was used in various flyers […]
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  • Bent Edge - Bent Edge, or Curved Edge, arose in the early 1980s as a counter-movement to the Straight Edge subculture and scene. What is Bent Edge? Bent Edge, also known as Curved Edge, refers to a reactionary attitude that emerged within the DIY hardcore punk scene in the early 1980s. It developed as a counter-movement to the […]
  • Burning Spirits - Burning Spirits is a subgenre of hardcore punk emerging from the Japanese hardcore scene post-1988. It combines fast hardcore punk beats and harsh vocals, often intertwined with a triumphant, uplifting sound. It’s marked by heavy metal influences, including NWOBHM-adjacent guitar solos. Notable bands include Tetsu Arrey, Death Side, Bastard, Forward, Judgement, Crude, Paintbox, Mustang, and […]
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  • Crasher Crust - Crasher Crust, sometimes referred to as Third Wave Japanese Crust, is a distinct style of protest punk music. Raw, chaotic, and immersed in noise, its name stems from the pronounced use of crash cymbals in the drumming. The term was introduced by the early 1990s Osaka-based band, Gloom. What is Crasher Crust? The hallmark of […]
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  • Egg Punk vs. Chain Punk - Egg Punk vs. Chain Punk comparisons emerged as online memes on Instagram around 2017. While Chain Punk bands channel traditional punk vibes, Egg Punk bands, often called “devocore” due to 1970s new wave band Devo’s influences, incorporate a diverse mix ranging from garage punk to synthpunk and post-punk. What is Egg Punk / Chain Punk? […]
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  • Finncore - Finncore refers to the Finnish hardcore punk movement of the early 1980s. Iconic bands that represented this sound include Kaaos, Rattus, Lama, Totuus, Riistetyt, Terveet Kädet, Kirous, Bastards, Aivoproteesi, Antikeho, Mellakka, Äpärät, Uutuus, Appendix, Kansan Uutiset, and Tampere SS, among others. What does Finncore sound like? Drawing inspiration from Swedish hardcore and British anarcho-punk, Finncore […]
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  • Kaca Punk - Kaca Punk (pronounced “ka-tsa pank” and written in Greek as “κατσα πάνκ”) is a subgenre of Greek hardcore punk. Central to kaca punk is its raw production value and a certain disdain for musical equipment quality. The genre often forgoes technical precision, embracing instead a raw energy accentuated by biting lyrics that voice anti-consumerist perspectives. […]
  • Kittencore - Kittencore refers to a distinctive vocal screaming style within the screamo and emoviolence scene, characterized by high-pitched screams, often attributed to voice mutations experienced by singers, usually between the ages of 16 and 18 years old. History & Evolution of The Genre The term Kittencore gained popularity through its usage on screamo internet forums such […]
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  • Mincecore - Mincecore is a niche subgenre of grindcore with an emphasis on musical simplicity, a DIY ethic and a political message of anarchism and anti-oppression. The term mince-core was coined by Belgian band Agathocles in the late 1980s and has since been used by numerous bands around the world. What is Mincecore? Mincecore emerged as a […]
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  • Nardcore - Emerging in the early 1980s from Silver Strand Beach, Oxnard, and Port Hueneme, Nardcore represents a vibrant fusion of hardcore punk and the skateboarding culture of Southern California. The term combines “Hardcore” and “Oxnard” and was popularized by Ishmael Hernandez from bands Dr. Know and False Confession. What is Nardcore? Nardcore is a hardcore punk […]
  • Neocrust - Neocrust, often dubbed as “Neo-Crust” or “Emo Crust”, is a subgenre under the vast umbrella of hardcore punk, distinguished by its dark, melodic undertones. Although the term occasionally meets skepticism within DIY punk circles, its impact is undeniable. Labels such as France’s Stonehenge Records and Germany’s Alerta Antifascista have been instrumental in popularizing this style. […]
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  • Orgcore - Orgcore originated as a term from the online community and conversations around the PunkNews.org website, also known as “The Org”. The melodic punk bands favored by their readers remained faithful to independent labels and embraced DIY ethos. Rather than pinpointing a specific musical style like pop-punk or emo, Orgcore broadly encapsulates bands admired by the […]
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  • Peel Sessions - The Peel Sessions were a defining feature of BBC Radio 1 shows, overseen by influential broadcaster John Peel from 1967 to 2004. Born out of restrictions imposed on the BBC by music entities, these sessions allowed bands to record four tracks at the BBC’s Maida Vale studios. Balancing between a live performance and a demo, […]
  • Pogo Punk - Pogo Punk is a distinctive subgenre that resides within the broader spectrum of Street Punk and Oi! music. It originated and gained prominence in the late ’90s and early 2000s, primarily through Japanese bands. What is Pogo Punk? Pogo Punk is a distinctive subgenre that resides within the broader spectrum of Street Punk and Oi! […]
  • Powerviolence - Powerviolence: A subgenre of hardcore punk that emerged in California in the late 1980s. It features a fast and frantic style with rapid tempo changes, blending intense blast beats with slower sludge breakdowns and often includes sound bites or noise. What is Powerviolence? Originating from California during the late 1980s and early 1990s, powerviolence stands […]
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  • Queercore - Queercore is a cultural movement that emerged from the punk rock scene in the mid-1980s, originally known as “homocore. It originated with the Toronto-based zine J.D.s. The term evolved into queercore to reflect a broader inclusivity as the movement expanded. Queercore arose in response to the marginalization of LGBTQIA+ individuals within both mainstream gay culture […]
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  • Sasscore - Sasscore, also known as White Belt, is a subgenre of hardcore punk and metal that emerged as a response to the prevailing masculinity within the scene. Initially used to describe a post-hardcore style, it draws influences from various genres outside of punk. What is Sasscore? Sasscore, also known as White Belt, is a subgenre of […]
  • Stenchcore - Stenchcore refers to the distinctive, metallic style of crust punk that emerged in the 1980s. It was pioneered by influential bands such as Amebix, Antisect, Hellbastard, Deviated Instinct, and Concrete Sox. These bands combined the radical political and aesthetic elements of British anarcho-punk with the evolving sounds of extreme metal at the time. The term […]
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  • X-ing up (To X-up) - X-ing up denotes the practice of marking hands with X symbols, symbolizing the Straight Edge subculture. The tradition began in the late 1970s to identify underage attendees at punk concerts. The association of the X symbol with a drug-free lifestyle was reinforced after the release of The Teen Idles’ Minor Disturbance EP and Minor Threat’s […]
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  • Zine - A zine (or fanzine) is a small-circulation, self-published work of original or appropriated text and images, often reproduced on a photocopier. Zines are usually handmade or printed in small numbers and often have a DIY (do-it-yourself) aesthetic. Zines can cover a wide range of topics, including politics, art, music, poetry, personal experiences and more. They are […]