Stand as one! Our weekly riot of Lower East Side New York City hardcore punk antics continues, pulled from the pages of Tony Rettman’s big, meaty NYHC book.

Cause for Alarm was formed at the start of the 1980s under the name Hinckley’s Fan Club, with Rob Kabula on bass, Alex Kinon on guitar, and Billy Milano on vocals. Before long, Keith Burkhardt took over on vocals and the band became Cause for Alarm. Their self-released eight-song 1983 7-inch EP is classic ripping hardcore punk, faster and more metallic than most NYHC bands at that time.

Keith Burkhardt: “We became a pretty popular band in our scene quickly, so we decided to make the dream. You know, ‘Let’s put out a 7-inch!’ I sang all those songs on that 7-inch with one take. I didn’t know I was allowed to try a couple times… I was in a gallery where Alex Morris from Murphy’s Law was doing an art show. It was a drawing of two English police officers dragging a Northern Irish protestor… We stuck all those pictures together, put together the dedication list, and that was it. We printed up five hundred of them.”

C.F.A. tried moving to San Francisco, where they slept in the empty beer vats in a former brewery with fellow transplants D.R.I.

Rob Kabula: “In those abandoned beer vats, they’d have these crazy parties. We would go to a soup kitchen every day to eat. It wasn’t like a New York soup kitchen; it would be filled with punks and musicians.”

After one year, Cause for Alarm returned to New York. Alex Kinon and Rob Kabula joined Vinnie Stigma and Roger Miret to form the revamped Agnostic Front incarnation responsible in 1986 for the band’s second album, titled—you guessed it—Cause for Alarm.

Pick up the whole head-cracking neighborhood of NYHC mayhem! Read Tony Rettman’s NYHC: New York Hardcore 1980–1990.

NYHC: New York Hardcore 1980–1990, by Tony Rettman




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