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Crossover the Edge: Where Hardcore, Punk And Metal Collide written by Alexandros Anesiadis

Review by Gary Hill

At quick glance, this seems  like a book that has a lot of photos and perhaps not a lot of substance. Well, you can't believe your first impressions. Yes, there are plenty of cool bits of memorabilia captured in photographic form throughout the book. That's just the icing on the cake, though.

The book itself is extensive and well-researched. It documents the merging of metal and punk. I can remember the early days in the 70s and 80s when there was a fierce rivalry between the two musical forms. I never really understood it, though. The two styles had a lot more in common than they did things separating them, at least once you got past the "uniforms" the tribes. I can remember that in the early 80s I was in a garage band that intentionally worked to merge the two sounds. We covered everything from The Scorpions to The Circle Jerks. Our goal was literally a merging of the sounds of punk and metal. We were not the only ones, but in those days it really was swimming upstream. I remember being met with a lot of derision from both sides of the fandom...often with the metal heads calling us punks (and not in a good way) and the punks calling us "dirt heads."

So, while it seems that the two styles were destined to merge, and Alexandros Anesiadis argues that such a merging actually started in the 1960s. You really can't argue with that conclusion when you read the examples he cites. That's the thing. This book is scholarly and rather massive. He really documents the whole merging of the scenes and important players. I know when I say "scholarly," it probably turns off some potential readers. It is scholarly, but it also shouldn't feel intimidating. Yes, reading cover to cover will take some time. It is a massive book. The way it is broken up, though, you can take it in smaller dose pretty easily.

I have always found this rivalry and then merging to be a very intriguing piece of the history of rock music. I'm glad to see that it has been discussed and chronicled in a serious book. This is the kind of thing that should be used as a text book in music history classes. Yet, it's something that makes for an interesting and enjoyable reading experience.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

 
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