Smash Your Head On The Punk Rock: DYS - Wolfpack

Boston straight edge hardcore kids create a mini army of angry youth!

Boston hardcore remains one of the most interesting, vibrant and violent scenes in punk. The early days of Boston hardcore are defined by the This Is Boston Not LA compilation, which features many of the all-time great local acts like Gang Green, Jerry's Kids and The Freeze. The Boston scene was very Straight Edge back in the day, and notably violent. Boston punk kids were known to rumble with Red Sox fans after dark. 

One of the bands not on that seminal compilation is DYS (short for Department of Youth Services). DYS released one true masterpiece of a hardcore album - Brotherhood - before slipping over to the metal side of the equation. Thrash and punk have always been tightly connected in Boston, and DYS is one of the great crossover acts.

This recording of Wolfpack is one of my favorite songs of all time. The chugging buzzsaw guitars, Dave Smalley's vocals and the lumbering beat just send me. The lyrics are amazing ("Every kid... every kid's my brother here!") and I think the song captures the best communal elements of early hardcore, when the scene could be a refuge for kids who didn't fit in anywhere else. And DYS was a particularly great example of that because they were just kids when they formed - Smalley was just a teenager, and nobody in the band really knew how to play their instruments. 

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