Arguably one of the leaders of the second wave of straightedge in the mid-'80s, Youth of Today was a New York-based band started by ex-Violent Children members Ray Cappo on vocals and John Porcelly on guitar. Rounding out their lineup in 1985 with Graham Philips on bass and Darren Pesce on drums, Youth of Today recorded and released their debut EP, Can't Close My Eyes, on Positive Force, a well-known straightedge mainstay. Philips and Pesce exited shortly thereafter, and lineup changes abounded until a five-piece settled long enough to record the band's first full-length offering, 1986's Break Down the Walls. Again, the band had more lineup changes after the release and subsequent tour for Break Down the Walls, and in 1988 a four-piece Youth of Today consisting of Cappo, Porcelly, Walter Schreifels on bass, and Sammy Siegler on drums went into the studio to record their follow-up full-length, We're Not in This Alone (1988). By 1990 Youth of Today had decided to call it a day and released a farewell 7" EP on Revelation (soon to become the leading light in the next wave of straightedge). Now known as Ray 2 Day, Cappo formed the Krishna-core band Shelter, which Porcelly eventually joined as well. 2004 saw Youth of Today play some reunion shows in America as well as Europe.
Ray Cappo - John Porcell - Graham Philips - Darren Pesce - Craig Setari - Richie Birkenhead - Sammy Seigler - Walter Schreifels - Mike Judge - Tommy Carroll - Drew Thomas
Interviews and Reviews
If you like your hardcore very fast in sharp bursts of explosive guitars, chaotic drummage and some of the finest vocal work of all time then look no further than New York's very own YOUTH OF TODAY, one of the quintessential straight edge bands to grace the scene. Recorded in the fall of '86, quite a few years after the seeds of hardcore had been sown by countless other groups and attitudes, 'Break Down The Walls' was an instant classic, an unrelenting positive assault which screamed furiously about unity, purity and a better tomorrow, and still sounds fresh today. These ideals that have since formed the basis of practically every subsequent hardcore band's existence were rarely tackled with such conviction and spirit as Ray Cappo's most significant project, YOUTH OF TODAY.
You can analyze all you want but when it all comes down to it, you want an admirable record to get your teeth into, and 'Break Down The Walls' is such a record. Thirteen break-neck anthems tightly restrained in barely twenty minutes is the stuff that dreams are made of, perfect for a short attention span to say the least, but it also leaves some interesting after thoughts and pleasant echoes, making this amazing album one that will simply refuse point-blank to leave the stereo. Apart from the breath-taking music itself, one of YOUTH OF TODAY's most notable aspects was the gravelly vocals of front-man Cappo, which were truly unrivaled. Less of a man, his outbursts resemble a previously caged animal that had been prodded and teased with morsels of food before being released in a whirlwind of wrath, especially on tracks like 'Make A Change', 'Thinking Straight' and the palm-mute laden 'Honesty'.Devastating in its execution and challenging with its impact, 'Break Down The Walls' is a truly mind-blowing record that will rest proudly in any hardcore collection. Debuts don't come much greater than this.
PASTEPUNK.com, Review by "Slick" Nick.