What is hardcore? Is it tattoos? Hoarse vocals? Male bonding? Or is it just massive amounts of ass-kicking distilled into musical form?
On the Rise would have to pick that last one. With kinda-sorta members of Agnostic Front and Maximum Penalty as part of the lineup, Rise has both the credentials and the chops to deliver Clubber Lang-style mud-stomps on stage. There have been historic ass-kickings, from the Visigoths sacking Rome to the fire-bombing of Dresden, that may have been more brutal than On the Rise's show at the Creepy Crawl is going to be, but you wouldn't want to be in the middle of them. But in the middle is exactly where you'll want to be at this show: the eye of the hurricane.
Hardcore can be a dispiriting genre, with its rigid formula of pounding drums and shouting. And On the Rise doesn't really transcend its style so much as embody it. It knows when to go melodic and a little metallic (just enough to be interesting) and when to go full-bore berserker rock-&-goddamn-roll (all the rest of the time). And they know to keep the lyrics strong and rebellious, without delving into the specific politics that splinter the already small hardcore scene into so many invisible shards. From anarcho-vegans to neo-Nazis, hardcore music appeals to people who want to do something right now, goddamnit. Fortunately for us, On the Rise focuses on the politics of ass-kicking, plain and simple.