Released in early January 1979, the debut seven inch EP by Santa Ana, California’s Middle Class is considered by many punk historians to be the first “hardcore” record.
That is to say, it was the earliest release that displays a stylistic shift from what was known at the time as “punk rock” to a shorter-faster-louder style of playing that would come to be associated with the burgeoning hardcore scene. It is certainly ranked among Black Flag’s Nervous Breakdown EP (released late January, 1979) and Bad Brains “Pay to Cum” single (released June of 1980) as the earliest stylistic harbingers of “hardcore.”
While the Middle Class are certainly less known and regarded than their contemporaries Black Flag and Bad Brains, their importance to the late 70s California punk scene should not be dismissed. Now, more than 35 years after its release, the title track from their Out of Vogue EP may finally get some recognition.
Classic independent LA punk label, Frontier Records, have released a brand new music video for the song. Instead of cobbling together some grainy super 8 or primitive video footage of the band, the bold directorial choice was made to have a middle-aged man tap-dance to the song on a sidewalk.
The dancer in the clip is Rob Zabrecky, who will be known to many of our readers as the singer of the (fucking great) 90s band Possum Dixon.
Zabrecky also happens to be one of the best magicians I’ve ever seen live, in addition to being a vocalist and (exquisite) dancer.
Certainly this is what no one expected, but the aesthetic fits the idea: OUT OF VOGUE.
We don’t need your magazines
We don’t need you fashion show
We don’t need your TV
We don’t want to know
We don’t need we get our fill
It’s esoteric overkill
It’s a shiny new aesthetic
Get us out of vogue
Everything about this performance SCREAMS “out of vogue”: