Of all the early, first-wave hardcore bands—Minor Threat, Black Flag, Bad Brains—Negative Approach were by far the most terrifying. Their ugly, self-titled, regressive 1982 debut hasn’t mellowed with age: The record’s 10 songs remain an abrasive, unsettling artifact from an era when the genre was deemed unsalvageably harsh. While most every other act from that moment has since been assimilated into the malls and high-school lockers of modern pop culture, NA remain irredeemable: When their recent reunion tour came to New York, it was as part of last year’s marginal No Fun Fest, the annual Brooklyn demonic-noise gathering. John Brannon, the band’s vocalist, is still a grunting, growling, severely intimidating presence, even after twenty-some years. Shout for “Nothing,” on which a teenage Brannon once howled, “I’m running out of time!” Who knew this band would get so much of it?

Wed., May 14, 9 p.m., 2008

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 6, 2008

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