AlbumsNovember 29, 20115,827 views

Insted Proud Youth 1986-1991

Our score 7

by Cory

With a lot of kids getting into hardcore through metal-core bands on Headbangers Ball, it's nice to see that labels are still interested in representing the roots of hardcore and the attitudes and messages it once embodied. The release of the Insted discography was particularly welcome to me, as Insted were a band I had frequently heard of, but never heard. Insted released two albums and an EP, the most notable being 1990's "What We Believe," a long-forgotten gem in the Epitaph Records catalog. All the previously released material is represented here, as well as their original demo and five previously unreleased songs. Insted can fairly easily be described by comparisons to contemporaries like Uniform Choice, 7 Seconds or Minor Threat. I'd like to say that there's something that sets them distinctly apart from other bands of their ilk, but I can't. Like most of these bands, some of their songs are the sort of straight-edge hardcore anthems that can endure forever, while others are relatively forgettable. At times, Insted's ultra-positive lyrics come off as nearly naive, but the sincerity with which they are delivered is undeniable. In fact, the sort of open-mindedness and hope for a better future that Insted expresses is as relevant now as it ever was, with hardcore being bastardized by the mainstream, transformed into a fashion and a trend. The quality of songs here ranges from pure gold ("For The First Time","Proud Youth") to good ("What Is True","Blind") to less than stellar ("Give Thanks","Choose For Youself"). The production quality of the songs however, stays relatively steady, aside from the demos. I'm not sure how people can be so interested in hardcore demos, as I have yet to hear a hardcore demo song that sounds as good as a respective professionally recorded version. These demos are no exception to that rule, but they aren't terrible. I suppose in the name of completeness, they were a necessary inclusion, but after the first thirty-five tracks, there isn't a whole lot of necessary listening. Bottom Line: This record is a conveniently packaged piece of hardcore history. While it might not be as essential a disc as the Minor Threat discography, it is certainly a must-have for any hardcore fan and an excellent display of old school hardcore at its most positive. Hardcore would benefit from more bands like Insted and your CD collection would benefit from more CDs like this one.


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