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Negative Approach

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Detroit, United States (1981 – 1984, 2006 – present)

Negative Approach is an American band. They are considered one of the pioneers of hardcore punk, along with bands like Minor Threat, Bad Brains and Black Flag. Formed in Detroit, Michigan, Negative Approach existed from 1981-1984, and now again from 2006-present. Like most hardcore bands, they were little known in their day outside of their hometown. They are now idolized in the Detroit underground and the punk subculture, considered to be one of the elite bands of the “old school” era, and continue to be influential.

NA’s brand of hardcore was savage and nihilistic, exuding frustration, alienation and rage. This was personified in the band’s vocalist John Brannon, an intimidating and intense young man with a shaved head, piercing stare and belligerent attitude. His vocal style and stage presence set the standard for those that followed. NA’s musical style was based on Detroit icons The Stooges, British punk rock (especially Discharge) and Oi! music (Blitz, 4-Skins, et al.), although from the start their sound and demeanor were considerably more aggressive and brutal than that of their influences.

Negative Approach was formed in August 1981 by John Brannon and Pete Zelewski, supposedly after seeing a Black Flag/Necros show. The first NA lineup consisted of Brannon on vocals, Rob McCullough on guitar, Pete Zelewski on bass and Zuheir on drums. Not long after, Zelewski left the band to form The Allied and was replaced by Rob McCullough’s brother Graham. Zuheir was later replaced by Chris “O.P.” Moore. The lineup of Brannon/McCullough/McCullough/Moore would remain unchanged until NA disbanded.

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