Faith​/​Void album cover

The Faith , Void

Dischord Records

The split release is a staple in hardcore, and the album known simply as Faith/Void remains the gold standard: 12 songs apiece from two early heavyweights in the Dischord scene. The strength of the pairing is that the two bands represent utterly distinct approaches to the genre. The Faith match Alec MacKaye’s aggrieved snarl with speedy, power-chord-heavy bursts, performed by a trio of musicians (guitarist Michael Hampton, bassist Chris “Bald” Kirschten and drummer Ivor Hanson) who would later join Ian MacKaye in Embrace. The quartet are masterful when sprinting to the finish line — as on “Trapped,” which tackles the classic hardcore theme of friends you just can’t count on — but even more compelling when they pace themselves, like on “Confusion,” which boasts midtempo passages that feel borderline psychedelic, complete with hypnotic textural riffing and reverb-heavy vocals. Columbia, Maryland’s Void, meanwhile, are all seething energy, with a perpetually flailing rhythm section, John Weiffenbach’s frothing-at-the-mouth vocals and, in Jon “Bubba” Dupree, a startlingly original guitarist who suggests a prescient blend of the Stooges’ Ron Asheton and avant-jazz shredder Sonny Sharrock. On songs like “Who Are You??” (featuring a wild Dupree noise solo) or “Ignorant People” (with its weighty, metallic breakdowns and chaos-courting midsection), they sound like they’re trying to at once perfect hardcore and rend it apart, which they more or less do on “Explode,” the album’s glorious mess of a closer. Taking in all of Faith/Void, it’s easy to hear why it’s been a punk-rock talisman for a broad array of accomplished artists, not just hardcore partisans but the likes of Bill Callahan, the Hold Steady’s Craig Finn and even Kurt Cobain, who listed it as “Void/Faith EP” on a posthumously published inventory of his top 50 albums.

Hank Shteamer

Who also suggested

If you select your preferred streamer here, we will save your preference and link to that platform if possible. This can always be changed in the Settings menu.

Apple Music

If you’d like to prioritize Bandcamp if available, tap the Bandcamp logo.

Since some albums are only available on one service, you’ll still see logos for other services if the album is only available on that service.