Many of the towns I've lived in over the years didn't really have a hardcore scene to speak of. It usually consisted of one or two good hardcore bands set adrift in a sea of melodic punk. You could see the pain in their faces as they watched their friends go apeshit over every new pop-punk band that came to town. Meanwhile, they struggled for an audience, as they would end up playing with Christian metal bands since no one else would book them.
It wasn't until I moved back out to the Bay Area that I found a hardcore scene that really piqued my interest. A lot of other places have better melodic punk, better garage rock and better indie rock, but (as fas as I'm concerned) the Bay Area has the best hardcore bands I've seen in years. Take REPLICA, for instance. I kept missing their shows for months. I would either walk in to a show as soon as they hit their last note or just miss them altogether, but everyone is always talking about how good they are. I bought their tape without ever seeing them and I was blown away. REPLICA is everything I like about hardcore. They are nothing like MINOR THREAT (at all), but they took me back to that feeling I had when I first heard hardcore. It's intense, ripping and destroys everything in its path. From the first crushing guitar riff of "Sycophant" to the last desperate growl of "Sandy Bottoms", REPLICA pulls me back into the world of hardcore for only five short minutes, but makes me wish that I had never placed that scene on the back burner for all those years.
When I was on tour in Europe, my friend Flo asked me if there were any new Bay Area bands that I really loved. I looked at the ground for a short second and then replied, "REPLICA!" When we got back in the van, I blasted their demo on the stereo and before it was even over, Flo wanted to know how to get in touch with them to put out a record.