Influential straight edge hardcore / metalcore act RACETRAITOR played their reunion show at Cobra Lounge in their hometown of Chicago on October 22nd, 2016. Joining them on stage were EARTHMOVER, LIFES, YOUNG & DEAD and THROUGH N THROUGH. Check out the footage below, check back soon to see videos of other bands and be sure to head over here to read more about the reunion.
In 1996 Racetraitor began their brief but brutal assault on the local hardcore scene, using thrashy, grind-happy metalcore as an over-the-top vehicle for their political messages. Their polarizing shows were notorious for containing more rhetoric than music—they were largely made up of readings, guest speakers, and rants by front man Mani Mostofi and guitarist Daniel Binaei about racism, imperialism, war, justice, and veganism. Talk to any old hardcore dude today and he’ll be happy to tell you exactly how much he either loved or hated Racetraitor. By 1999 the band had called it quits, but their influence was still being felt: they planted the seed for a sprawling family tree of aggressive Chicago music that includes branches to big-time punk acts like Rise Against as well as Fall Out Boy—which was founded by Racetraitor drummer Andy Hurley and sometimes-bassist Pete Wentz. And when the band’s outspoken members eventually began to stray from the scene, they put their money where their mouths were and forged prolific careers in the fields of human rights, social work, public health, and international law. Considering the dudes are so deeply steeped in ideals—and not prone to gimmicks and sell-out moves—I was a little wary when they announced their first show in 17 years. But they’re making it clear that this isn’t a nostalgic cash grab but a chance to make their voices heard during an especially turbulent moment in American history. Along with this reunion show comes the crushing brand-new flexi-disc “By the Time I Get to Pennsylvania” b/w “Damaged” (Organized Crime), which might be the best music Racetraitor have ever recorded. — Luca Cimarusti of ChicagoReader