The Detroit suburbs were the location of one of the first important hardcore punk scenes that swept underground America in the early 1980s. By the end of 1981 the new style sometimes known as "Midwest Hardcore" had exploded across North America and Detroit was one of several important regional centers fostering its spread. Two of the earliest Suburban Detroit hardcore punk bands were the Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan band The Holes and Grosse Pointe Park band Degenerates.
Many small clubs popped up hosting hardcore bands. The Golden Gate, The Falcon Lounge, the Freezer Theater, Kurt Kohls' Asylum, and The Hungry Brain (named after the club in the movie the "The Nutty Professor"). A crucial venue for hardcore fans in Detroit was known as Clutch Cargo's, named after a limited-animation TV series. It featured such bands as Black Flag, Fear, X, and the Dead Kennedys, who played the venue while on tour, while the Necros, Negative Approach, L-Seven (not to be confused with L7) and other local and nearby regional bands also appeared. A present club sharing the same name exists today, but in Pontiac, Michigan and with a different booking policy. The venue was formerly located in a large, former athletic club in Detroit. As Clutch Cargo's often had shows for 18+ fans, many younger hardcore fans either never attended the site due to age, or even knew of it due to their tardy introduction to the subgenre.
The Hungry Brain, situated in a former second-hand store in Delray, Detroit, had been forced to relocate several times and by 1985 found a permanent home at a run down old hall on Michigan Avenue deep in the city of Detroit called the Graystone Ballroom. Bands that started at the Hungry Brain, like political hardcore stalwarts Forced Anger, often opened for many West Coast touring punk bands, including 7 Seconds, T.S.O.L and Minor Threat, at the Graystone. The band published the fanzine, "Placebo Effect", which produced several compilation tapes featuring upstart punk bands from all over Michigan. Many Graystone gigs were captured by Back Porch Video, a video project of Dearborn public schools run by Russ Gibb (DJ of "Paul is Dead" rumor fame and previously known as the impresario of the Grande Ballroom) and aired on local public-access televisioncable TV.
The band Cold As Life developed a loyal following right up to their demise in 2001, even surviving the murder of their frontman Rawn Beauty. Other important bands of that time period were the Almighty Lumberjacks of Death (A.L.D.), fronted by the charismatic and deep voiced Jimmy Doom.