Motown goes hardcore

Band of thrashers: (clockwise from bottom right) Joey Steel and his gang of motown rockers Calder, Filthy Phil, Mike Moose, Matt D., and Brian Kleve take classics and make them hardcore.
Photo by Geraud Krawezik

Motown has never been so hardcore.

Mellifluous melodies of Motown and the thrashing guitar and machine gun drums that characterize hardcore come together when Joey Steel and the Attitude Adjusters go on stage.

Lead vocalist Steel says both genres are all about raw passion.

“Motown was the most passionate music ever made,” said Steel, whose band is performing at Hanks Saloon on Feb. 22. “I always thought that if bands like the Temptations had started in the ’90s they would have been a hardcore band. When I heard these songs, that’s how I heard them: as hard tunes.”

The artists rearrange classics like “Tears of a Clown” and “Heard it Through the Grapevine” into ferocious hardcore tracks as way of honoring, never insulting, these old favorites.

The Attitude Adjusters have a three piece horn section, an arrangement atypical to hardcore music, as part of their dedication to staying true to the soul of the Motown.

“We wanted to bring positive tunes to the scene. I love music that you can smile and be happy to, and convey a message,” said Steel. “I wanted to see a hardcore crowd that was smiling and dancing.”

Joey Steel and the Attitude Adjusters for Moosehead’s Birthday Bash at Hank’s Saloon (46 Third Ave. at Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill, www.exitfive.com/hankssaloon). Feb. 22, 8 pm, $7.

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