...it was 1986, and a new era was dawning in underground music. Punk’s energy was waning, and metal was on the rise. Many punk bands were moving toward a more metallic sound, melding their radical politics and D.I.Y. approach with metal’s musical chops and low-end heft. For some bands the transition went off without a hitch. For others, though, it was akin to choosing sides in a civil war. Discharge, one of the most influential bands in punk history, chose wrong.
Most kids today don't see any distinction between hardcore and metal, but hardcore in 1986 wasn't REALLY trending to metal. Not at all. A year earlier, HC had become stalled, mired in its short-loud 'n' fast redundancy, so the smarter early-'80s HC bands, which were still together into the mid-'80s, began to stretch out a bit. Which meant some bands like Die Kreuzen and Honor Role slowed down and wrote songs differently. END OF STORY; looking to a band like Ratt for inspiration was NOT the case. So, when it came to Discharge, in 1986, no expected them to cross over like they did. They'd seriously become a hair-metal band, like Ratt; they dressed in shitty rock clothes, had poofy hair, and their new songs were EVERYTHING the opposite of hardcore. Before crossing over they sounded like THIS: Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing. On the other side they BECAME this:
Uh. Yeah. So weak.
Tho' it never factors into my life now, I still have VERY little love for this record. Among some friends of mine, of a certain age, Grave New World is still a point of contention. Perhaps there are moments, kinda, but it's just not a great record; it smacks of late to the game wanna-be NWOBHM. It is too bad Discharge didn't follow Corrosion Of Conformity's crossover style: go metal-ish, but stay HEAVY, and don't become the asshole OPPOSITE of hardcore. But they did and it killed the band. Oh well.