by Hüsker Dü (Zen Arcade, 1984)
While always attempting to distance themselves from the hardcore punk genre there is no getting away from the fact that most of their music is pretty much hardcore punk. The speed and aggressiveness of Hüsker Dü's music dominates. However, this American three piece do set themselves apart from the more typical hardcore punk bands by acknowledging more mainstream rock and even paying more attention to song creation and melody. On this 1984 concept album about a boy running away from home, the band give proof to their reluctance to be classified as entirely hardcore with snippets of psychedelia, piano interludes and acoustic guitar.
As a live favourite before the release of Zen Arcade, 'Something I Learned Today' starts with intensely spitting drums which are joined in quick succession by a rumbling bass line and thrashing guitar chords. Once altogether, crashing cymbals complete the urgently pugnacious sound. The song takes from the generally accepted model of punk rock and hardcore punk where the rhythm of the vocal delivery runs concurrently with the drum beats and for every spiky shout of a lyric come a drum thud and cymbal smash. For all the violent thrashing of the song, it ends in a rather calm way, fading out with tinkling notes on the guitar.