Friday, August 26, 2005

Dear Alternative Press:

Dear Alternative Press:

I'm sitting here scratching my head, trying to figure out how Trevor Kelley pegged Richie Birkenhead as one of "punk's earliest turncoats" in the most recent issue of your magazine (AP #206, page 114)? First, Mr. Kelley made a reference to the "lilywhite" Birkenhead taking his band, Underdog, into a reggae direction. Considering Underdog had exactly 1.5 Jah-friendly tunes, I find that conclusion a bit exaggerated. The .5 in that equation, a song called "Mass Movement," has a reggae intro and outro, with a very good hardcore song connecting the two in the middle. To this day, it is one of the best attempts by a hardcore band to fuse two totally different music styles together. The song shreds, as about 2000 kids that showed up to see Underdog play at the 2005 Positive Numbers Festival will attest to.

And then there was the reference to Birkenhead's progressive metal band Into Another. Were Into Another a hardcore band? No. Did they appeal to A LOT of hardcore kids? Absolutely. Did Birkenhead bring a lot of his Underdog fans over to the darkside with him? Absolutely. Neither Brian Baker nor Pat Dubar (also mentioned in your article) can say the same about either of their bands (Baker's Junkyard and Dubar's Mindfunk). To this day, Baker & Dubar are still held up as the examples of all that is unholy and unhardcore. Richie Birkenhead was never lumped into that crowd, nor will he ever be.

Also, Pat Dubar was Uniform Choice's singer. And the change throwing incident (which occurred at the legendary Anthrax club in Connecticut on the Staring Into the Sun tour) was a joke played by the locals -- friends of the band according to drummer Pat Longrie.

You really need a hardcore kid working over at that magazine of yours. And no, Johan Bayer doesn't count.

I have Spoken,

Ronny Little

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