What is Orgcore?
Orgcore is a non-serious term for the way certain melodic punk bands are discussed online and reflects a collective taste of an online music sphere. For that reason, Orgcore is not a genre (like pop-punk, emo or screamo) and doesn’t reference the music directly.
Essentially, Orgcore stands for the type of bands favored by the readers of PunkNews.org website (founded in 1999, referred among fans as “The Org”). The type of bands that sound similar to the pop-punk/skate punk craze at the time but didn’t get mainstream recognition and stayed true to the independent record labels & DIY ethics instead. Typically, these bands took their influences from melodic punk like Jawbreaker, British band Leatherface, post-hardcore, alternative rock, folk punk, bluegrass and Americana, but also from ska, ’90s emo, and other genres.
In the beginning, the so-called Orgcore bandwagon was mostly concentrated around Gainesville, Chicago, Richmond, New Jersey, and New York City, with the biggest event being the annual The Fest in Gainesville, FL, featuring most of the central bands in the scene. Essential labels in the Orgcore scene include No Idea Records, Asian Man Records, Red Scare Industries, Dead Broke Rekerds, Recess Records, etc.
Beardpunk & Gruff Punk
Often used in a derogatory and mocking manner, internet users also coined the term “beardpunk” in reference to the usual readers of PunkNews.org website and bands playing The Fest typically having beards, wearing flannel shirts, and drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) brand of beer.
Another synonym for Orgcore, “gruff punk” refers to the throaty vocal style characterizing most of these bands, it’s what usually separates the Orgcore crowd from the “whinier” vocals of more overproduced pop-punk. The gruff punk vocal style ranges from melodic hardcore like Lifetime or Kid Dynamite, through more traditional punk rock like Gunmoll to more post-hardcore sounding bands like Planes Mistaken For Stars. It’s well represented at The Fest.
Origins of the Orgcore term
Apparently, the term orgcore was first used by a user called “Fuzzy” in the comment section of punknews.org in March of 2006.
In 2007, Orgcore was popularized by illustrator Rob Dobi’s infamous YourSceneSucks website and subsequent book, devoted to mocking a wide variety of hipster, geek and alternative lifestyle stereotypes at the time. The so-called “Orgcore punker” was featured among 37 other scenesters.
this grizzled scene veteran often works in the music industry but he can’t stand anything associated with it. he tends to be apathetic toward anything and everything, with the exception of the recent hot water music reunion or his yearly excursion to the fest in florida.
he daydreams endlessly about moving to gainesville or richmond where he can participate in the scene firsthand, but for now he is stuck behind messageboards. this modern day lumberjack often aims to be “first!” on punknews.org and wishes death upon any band that seeks financial help after flipping their van.
while his fashion might not be as over-the-top as other scenesters, he’s just as identifiable with his signature scraggly beard, cowboy shirt, jade tree alumni tattoos, and swamp-like smell.
bitter and beaten, his days of stage dives and high fives are long since over. the orgcore punker is left drowning his sorrows over chuck ragan singles and a case of pbr. recently, after being dumped, his sense of apathy reached a new high; he announced to his ex that he was going to get a sandwich.
’90s Pre-Orgcore: Jawbreaker, Leatherface, Descendents, Screeching Weasel, Pinhead Gunpowder, Atom and His Package, All, Lifetime, Avail, The Blood Brothers, Superchunk, Knapsack, Samiam, The Weakerthans.
OG “Punknews” Orgcore: Dillinger Four, Hot Water Music, Alkaline Trio, Kid Dynamite, The Bouncing Souls, Strike Anywhere, Bomb The Music Industry!, American Steel, Smoking Pipes, This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb, Small Brown Bike, The Lillingtons, The Loved Ones, The Falcon.
Mid-to-late-’00s Orgcore: The Lawrence Arms, Latterman, Gunmoll, Against Me!, The Flatliners, The Ergs!, A Wilhelm Scream, None More Black, Paint It Black, Andrew Jackson Jihad (AJJ), Streetlight Manifesto, Shinobu, Tigers Jaw, Teenage Bottlerocket, Banner Pilot, Paul Baribeau.
2010 – 2020s Orgcore: The Gaslight Anthem, The Menzingers, Off With Their Heads, Arms Aloft, RVIVR, Iron Chick, Lemuria, Dead To Me, The Copyrights, Nothington, Bridge And Tunnel, Title Fight, Joyce Manor, Polar Bear Club, Into It. Over It., Spraynard, Screaming Females, Witches With Dicks, Pathetic Use of Potential (PUP), Worriers, Red City Radio, Restortations, Night Birds, Boilerman, Unfun.