What is Nardcore?

Nardcore is a hardcore punk movement that came out of Southern California in the early 1980s, originating in Silver Strand Beach, Oxnard and Port Hueneme. This suburban community not far from Los Angeles was a hotbed for skateboarding and hardcore punk bands at the time. The term is a mash-up of the words ‘Hardcore’ and ‘Oxnard’, and was first coined by Ishmael Hernandez of Dr. Know and False Confession.

Nardcore Bands

Early bands in the Nardcore scene included Ill Repute, Dr. Know, False Confession, Agression, Rat Pack, Stalag 13, Habeas Corpus, RKL, and Scared Straight. Most of them featured in the classic Nardcore compilation released on vinyl by Mystic Records in 1984. This legendary hardcore compilation was curated by Ill Repute’s Tony Cortez and heavily influenced by the crucial 1982’s This is Boston Not LA.

Mystic Records founder Doug Moody and Mystic Promotion Director Mark Wilkins were responsible for all the early promotion and shows all around California. Mystic not only released many of those bands onto vinyl, but also promoted the Nardcore scene as a whole.

While most of the Nardcore bands were early pioneers of skate punk, the Nardcore scene was a great mix of Discharge and UK influenced hardcore punk, thrash, speed metal, crossover, straight edge and fast hardcore punk.

In 2020, Indecision Records released the 36-track Nardcore for Life compilation LP with both classic 1980s and a new blood of Oxnard bands keeping the flame of hardcore punk and skateboarding alive.

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