I’m feeling rather inspired tonight so I thought I’d write a post on one of my favourite bands of all time you’ve probably never heard of. I’m not trying to come off as a “massive hipster” when I say that, and you probably know frontman Aaron Scott’s latter bands and projects if you’re in to decent punk rock anyway, but what you may not know is the existence of De La Hoya: a straight-up punk band from Brooklyn, NY who burst on to the scene in 1997 all the way through to 2002. To quote the bio on their MySpace; “Oscar Rodriguez asked singer Aaron Scott to start a band just 10 minutes after meeting, neither of them had any idea they were initiating what would become of the most respected bands in the Northeastern DIY hardcore/punk scene. They joined up with bassist Carly Guarino (owner of Crap Records) and drummer Jaime Villamarin (ex-I Farm) to form De La Hoya in the heart of New York City.”
And they’re incredibly rad. Seriously.
Their first EP, 1999’s “Has No Credibility” is without a doubt the record of that year. De La Hoya were giving the finger to the government years before it was cool, with the angsty youth of Aaron Scott spilling his thoughts on how to change the world and why we need to take down the institutions, why it’s so important to “do what you want to do” and “fulfill your dreams” and why it’s okay to say “fuck you too”. It’s damn good down-to-earth songwriting that anyone is bound to find relevance in. The energy packed into this record is phenomenal - nations are under gun, passport control lines spewing national hate and there’s even time to tell how “last night sucked” and that you should never throw your life away all packed into 11.6 minutes.
Then there’s the full-length, 2001’s “DANCE! Techo Mega-Mix Vol. 42”, the record which proved it’ll never snow in New York again and that the only good thing about childhood was running home so that you wouldn’t miss your Optimus. This is pretty much the birth of modern melodic punk rock and everybody’s missed it. Catchy hooks, angsty lyrics, rad vocals – it’s all you’ll ever need from a band and Aaron delivers.
I think you’re going to want to need this.
There's even a record I haven't fully heard yet - in 2002 they released "Wipe The Slate Clean... Now Let's Begin", an EP featuring the song "Charles" I've uploaded below. As De La Hoya matured, they lost their DIY lo-fi garage punk roots but started forming melodies you'd assosicate with the likes of Million Dead and Rise Against. But the magic is still there. Pamphlets, factories, art - Charles wants to know how to sing the song and he definitely sums up this band entirely.
If you're even remotely interested in the early nineties emo/punk/hardcore scene, you NEED to listen to this band. It's where it all began. It's fist-punchingly good. In the air, of course.
MP3: De La Hoya - Charles
BUY: Their records are currently out of print but I'll update this post with a link to their discography CD when it's released!