The legacy of punk music is a vast and extensive list of aggression, community-based organizations, and a focus on originality and identification. Minor Threat is not just another addition to the vast majority, they are one of the corner marks of music and there can not be a conversation about punk music without bringing up Minor Threat. Their influence not just scratches the surface of other hardcore musicians, but also spans a way of life through present musicians of varying genres that take what Minor Threat did in such a short span into consideration. Changing the game is not easy, but it was Minor Threat that really took the mold and made it their own through using complete and total control of emotions in their music to make one of the best compilations of songs known to a generation, and even to man today.
Minor Threat’s First Two Seven Inches or rather, First Two 7” came along with an inspiration to make a record that wanted to be made. It was the lovechild of explosive energy and a lust to step away from the mainstream, making their own path in the incredible world that is the music industry. With Ian MacKaye on the lead vocals, Brian Baker on the bass, Jeff Nelson on the percussion, and Lyle Preslar on guitar, Minor Threat became both iconic and synonymous with the hardcore movement that spanned in the 1980’s. By seemingly becoming a movement overnight, Minor Threat basked in the glory; making a historical chip in both the movement of hardcore and in music history. With crushing tracks of relentless force, “Small Man, Big Mouth”, “In My Eyes”, and “Guilty of Being White” became incredible stepping stones and while the album never graced any billboard charts, it did not have to as it became a legend around punk fans and was respected by all.
From the start, Minor Threat is violent and takes a stand-offish approach. Only after truly reading into the lyrics and starting to understand what Ian MacKaye was trying to convey with his words, is it then realized that Minor Threat was about expression to a group that had no expression. The first tracks and the entire record of First Two 7” is about giving the voiceless a voice and truly managing to change a generations’ way of thinking. Minor Threat did not force their ideals, but they wanted to make them known and did that simply by making as much noise as possible. From the track, “Out of Step” where Minor Threat expresses their disapproval of doing what was surrounding them at the time, MacKaye angrily explains, “I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t fuck, at least I can fucking think. I can’t keep up, can’t keep up, can’t keep up, Out of step, with the world.” Minor Threat’s aggression is one of the catalysts for their wonderful sound, but is also the abrasive distinction in all their lyrics. Punk rock’s lyrical style is usually angry and guided at the wrong of the world, Minor Threat takes this mantra and makes it their own.
Even through covering a track on First Two 7”, Minor Threat takes their own spin on “Steppin’ Stone” and brings the Paul Revere & the Raiders’ track into a modern age. They use blinding percussion, raging strings, and screams to illustrate one of the best anthems that would eventually reign as a punk symbol of honor. From Minor Threat’s abrasive sound to their callous outlook on the world, they still are one of the supreme leaders of punk and have spawned more than just a minor movement with their music.