Ralph Renna’s Crash Course in Troy-Core History

Editor’s Note: This is an editorial piece from a long time personality within the Troy and Capital Region scene, Ralph Renna. Ralph’s involvement with local music dates back over 30 years, including the “Capital Underground with Ralph Renna” Internet radio show.

As I am writing a lot these days, many of these great memories are coming back to me, I would like to share them all with you. Most of this topic matter I will touch down on in my first book, coming out this year. We should start today’s lesson with “What is Troy-Core?

Well, the way I saw it, was like this. A few of my close friends were the beginning.  They were getting involved in skateboarding, and going to punk rock, underground hardcore, and metal shows in the ’80s in Albany and New York City.  They were my best friends and still are today, but I was still stuck on classic rock and hair metal. Stubborn in my ways when it came to music until I attended my first hardcore show in 1988. It all changed from there and I had a lot of catching up to do on the already thriving metal and thrash scene, let alone the underground hardcore, punk music movement from the early ’80s. Albany-Style bands like Wolfpack, Terror Cake, Substance, and Fit for Abuse, were heavily supported by Troy, since our friends played in some of the Albany bands. Those Albany shows are where it all started for most of us, as we were all influenced by mostly New York Hardcore bands who played Albany… a lot.   

Then one day a Troy-Core logo and a skull was stenciled with spray paint on a few leather vests and now people knew.  That’s all it was, yes a rough crowd,  some shit talkers and troublemakers,  but respect was earned and an identity was born.  We were all just kids and we were proud. We had a place or thing to call our own. Some would say or disagree it was over before it began, but a lot more of us believed differently, including supporters and fans!  Any and every hardcore and metal bands consisting of all, one or just a few people forming at this time was labeling themselves Troy-Core. The style of music we made. At first, Troy-Core was looked at as a bad thing or violent punks at shows, but it had grown into something our generation was proud to be a part of.  I decided then I would put all my efforts with, radio involvement and club connections, to bring Troy-Core to the masses as best I could.  Not by myself, but with the music (we the people) of Troy were creating.  I was grateful and fortunate enough to have rode this wave of our generation.  Troy Bands started having our own shows from basements to driveways, keg parties, Studio K and eventually the legendary South Troy Community Center and Hudson Duster.

A few bands from North and South Troy New York that started it all for me were Cranial Abuse, Dead End, Final Terror, Rude Awakening and Direct Attack. These bands eventually evolved into other bands in the 1990s with the formation of Stigmata, Flat Broke, Salamander Puke, Iky Mo, Stand Still, All Fall Down, Uproar, Harbinger, Epitaph, Withstand, Drown, One King Down, Point Blank. Born again in the mid 90’s Troy-Core exploded world-wide with War-Time Manner, Dying Breed, Burning Human, Politics of Contraband, Execution Style, Last call, Download of Aggression, Up Against, to name a few. In the late  90’s to 2015 spawned more hardcore, death metal, hard rock, punk and metal, like Oversoul Seven, Ill Remembered, Dead Rabbits, Detriment, Wasteform, Street Sweeper, Black John Wayne, Murderer’s Row, Dead And Dying, Angel Dust, All For Revenge, Nephallum, Addicted to Pain, Let Go Daylight, 357 Justice, Brick by Brick & Tyranize. I will never remember them all without gathering the  Troy-Core committee for an official vote.   Troy-Core bands have toured all over the world, because they have sold records all over the world. and even influenced bands all over the world.

I made my start in 1988 by playing all these bands on the radio, booking them, writing about them, or whatever I could do to help. Self-proclaimed manager of  Flat Broke. I didn’t actually join a band until in 1994  playing bass for Politics Of Contraband with some experienced veterans in the Troy-Core scene was a challenge at first but I got it. 1996 forming Last Call and moving over to vocals. In 2009 starting Black John Wayne on vocals and 2011 Let Go Daylight on guitar and vocals. I would say Last Call of all the bands I was in had the most impact by flying the Troy-Core flag high.

Check out our homemade, unfinished Last Call documentary below.  I will post more links and videos in days and weeks to come of all the above mentioned. Thank you to all who made Troy-Core what it is today! More Troy-Core stories are coming with the book!

Last Call, “The TroyCore Years – All They Gave” Discography

Originally Published on 315music.com, used with permission.

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