It's hard to add much more discourse to Negative Approach that hasn't already been ruminated over a million times in hundreds of the fanzines, blog posts, and the very minds of failures everywhere alike. Treading the line between overstatement and hackneyed writing, Negative Approach define American 80s hardcore to such an extent that conjuring "80s hardcore brute" in your mind will point you nearly perfectly in the right direction to John Brannon's vocal delivery, albeit certainly less immediate, severe, and convincing than the real thing. Belting out lines like "you try to make things work and gain something / it's all no use it's all worth nothing" are as catchy as they are boneheaded, and work on such a primal level. Anyone who's spent any time in the slime knows.
Before I undertake the embarrassing task of drawing a lofty lineage of who what and wheres among hardcore influencers and influencees, establishing a thorough taxonomy of airborne viruses found in scummy basements and VFW halls, connecting-red-yarn-on-cork-board style -- I mean have you heard what passes for a Die Kreuzen comparison nowadays??? -- I'll pose these questions as an objective notetaker, absolving myself of the aforementioned embarrassment. Does "Why Be Something That You're Not" not sound like the alcoholic father of basically every Crossed Out riff? Does "Lead Song" not sound like it would sit comfortably between your favorite Gravity Records offerings? Have hundreds of bands in the past few years alone not thrown out the idea of covering "Ready To Fight" even just for a night? It's hard not to ask these questions of a band so clairvoyant as Negative Approach. Their filth has trickled down so steadily for the better part of four decades that they're virtually synonymous with North American DIY punk, for better or for worse.
I'll just finish by saying still, to this day, after hundreds if not thousands of listens, it leaves me wondering how such a trajectory can be wrought from this 9 minute recording. The first seconds spell disaster. It sounds like it's gonna fall apart before it even starts, yet they always find themselves at the end of the record, shouting their name into the void, chiseling away at the basement walls of your mind, inspiring dead-eyed dweebs to write contrived and unhelpful -- oh hell, just listen and find out.