Minor Disturbance is a near ten-minute fireball that uses raw percussion, shouting vocals and an emphasis on anger to produce one of the shortest, but most memorable sounds of hardcore of the 1980’s.
With the combined efforts of Nathan Strejcek on vocals, guitarist Geordie Grindle, bassist Ian MacKaye, and Jeff Nelson on drums, Teen Idles was a youth organized force to be reckoned with that made a combined effort to destroy all that stood in their wake. From the very start with the self-titled track “Teen Idles,” They launch into a two-stepping frenzy of instruments that move in a varied range of movements while keeping a consistent push forward. The interesting thing about Teen Idles and most of the bands of this era of hardcore punk music is the length of their tracks; not a single track lasts over two-minutes with the exclusion of the live recorded closer “Too Young to Rock.” The transitions from track to track move in a brief segue of silence, or sudden punches through to the other side that leave no rest for the wicked.
With blazing tracks layered in gasoline like “Get Up and Go,” “Sneakers,” or even “Deadhead,” the tracks are similar to Minor Threat’s approach of destroying and dipping out of the scene as quick as possible. This is also where Teen Idles differentiates itself from the social normality of hardcore as in certain tracks like “Deadhead,” or even the following track “Fleeting Fury,” Teen Idles are able to provide a gentler, and almost dazed style of play that breaks the consistent attacks and makes for a wonderful interlude. This is going to only be present for a minute or so as Teen Idles then jumps right back into the pits of fire.
Even with the animosity of Minor Disturbance, Teen Idles are able to provide a beautiful look into the hardcore scene and shows the foundation of Dischord Records. The teen pioneers made their way with heavy tracks like “Getting In My Way” which focus on the moshing and destruction, but then also taking a slowed approach to certain tracks like “Deadhead” where the crowd can relax. This is also apparent on the track “Too Young to Rock” which is lo-fi, disgusting, and sounds like it was recorded in a basement, these three key factors all attribute to the very love of hardcore that so many adapted to be their own.
Hardcore gave the youth a home to express themselves and destroy their masters. Teen Idles paved that way through the kicks and screams and the genre was never again the same. The heavy hitting percussion, the constant change ups, and the downright fantastic amateur playing style all makes for a monumental record in one of music’s greatest movements.