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Memes, Synths & Breakdowns: The Definitive History Of Crabcore

Jack Rogers
Jack Rogers 20 July 2018 at 23.38

A joke that became a genre. A genre that became a legend. A legend that lives on. This is the definitive history of crabcore. 

For those unfamiliar, crabcore stems from the pose made when a breakdown is being chugged. The player of said breakdown is so into it that they cannot help but bend their knees as low as they will go and take on the shape of a crab. Any side to side and jumping action isn't compulsory but it is encouraged. 


There is only one band that should come to mind when you are talking about the birth of crabcore. Attack Attack!

The term crabcore was coined directly from the video for the band's classic 'Stick Stickly'. A perfect cocktail of autotune, brutality and fist pumping synth, this is where it all started. 


Many laughed at the concept of crabcore. They thought it was a joke and something not to be take seriously. It became a fun game to play in the middle of the pit for example, scuttling around and attacking other crabs before a breakdown came back in. But then more and more people clocked on and realised just how hard it was to not take on the stance of a crab when a sweet breaky d hit. A new phenomenon was born. 


Though still a dirty word to some of the boring purists of the scene, crabcore became bigger than ever. More bands accepted the meme for what it was and ran with it. Afterall, if you can't have a bit of fun while playing music then what's the point?

Asking Alexandria kicked off their career with some serious meaty riffs. 

Jamie's Elsewhere, featuring a certain Aaron Pauley of now Of Mice & Men fame, gave the underground a wake up call. 

Abandon All Ships made crabcore ready made for the club scene.

As did I See Stars with their buckets of synth fulled bops. 

And Woe Is Me, in both incarnations, dealt out the heat that you couldn't help but bend your legs to. 

Brutality was in, and it sure felt good. More and more bands were letting the breakdown take over and moshpits had never been busier. 


The legacy that crabcore has carved out over the last 10 years is something that will live long in the memory of all those who moshed through it. Yet more and more brilliant bands continue to demonstrate the ethos in 2018. 

Fit For A King blend some even heavier elements into their cocktail of chaos.

 Ice Nine Kills may have been going for absolutely yonks but they've really perfected their theatric crabcore sound in the last few years. 

Chelsea Grin may have had a few personnel changes but are dealing out straightfire right now. 

And Crystal Lake are taking the genre into exciting new directions, one highkick at a time. 

So there you have it. Crabcore lives on no matter what you think. 

So go forth, practice your squats and bust out everything you have learned at the next rock concert you choose to attend. We will be watching.

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