In the 1980s, the New Jersey hardcore scene was represented by bands like Adrenalin OD and Bedlam who wrote songs about fast food and foul-smelling old people while kicking out an extremely suburban weisenheimer vibe. Although these bands were great, it seemed by the late 80s, their style was becoming a bit stale. As the ripple caused by Youth of Today down on the Lower East Side seemed to drift out into different pockets of the country, my friends and I wondered when Jersey would finally get with the program considering the close proximity we had to New York. Somewhere in the fall of ‘88, the demo tape of South Jersey’s Turning Point ended up in the mailbox of neighbor Tim McMahon and we finally felt there was a band that would be ourrepresentation for where our heads were at during that point in the game. Equal measures Youth of Today and Breakdown with lyrics about friends breaking edge and backstabbing you; it ticked all the boxes!
Photo: David Brown
Once we got to see them live, interview them for the fanzine Tim and I did Common Senseand get to be friendly with them, it felt like something was building in our area. Soon enough, Enuf, Release, Second Thought and other bands began to build a straight edge hardcore scene in New Jersey and I have to say it was one of the most creative periods in my life and one where I finally truly felt part of a community. And I would trace it all back to first hearing the crashing hi-hat that starts out “To Lose”, the opening track off Turning Point’s demo in Tim’s basement. Let’s hope you’ll be able to slice off a little bit of that excitement and inspiration upon hearing it over thirty years later.