Middle Class (band)

The Middle Class were an American punk rock band established in 1977 from Orange County, California.[1] The band consisted of Jeff Atta on vocals, Mike Atta on lead guitar, Mike Patton on bass, and Bruce Atta on drums.[2][3]

Middle Class
OriginSanta Ana, California, United States
GenresPunk rock, hardcore punk, post-punk
Years active1977–1982, 2011-2014
Past membersMike Atta
Jeff Atta
Bruce Atta
Mike Patton
Matt Simon


Michael Azerrad states that "by 1979 the original punk scene [in Southern California] had almost completely died out." "They were replaced by a bunch of toughs coming in from outlying suburbs who were only beginning to discover punk's speed, power and aggression";"dispensing with all pretension, these kids boiled the music down to its essence, then revved up the tempos...and called the result "hardcore", creating a music that was "younger, faster and angrier, [and] full of...pent-up rage..."[4]

The band's Out of Vogue record is widely regarded as the first hardcore punk record,[5][6] a view supported by author Steven Blush in his book American Hardcore: A Tribal History.[7] The band themselves have also been called the first hardcore band.[8][9]

The band pioneered a shouted, fast version of punk rock which would shape the hardcore sound that would soon emerge. The band achieved success in the hardcore punk scene of Southern California. Their first shows were in 1978 in various Los Angeles clubs and ballrooms.

Their only LP, Homeland, is completely different, a skittering and complicated wonder that compares to the records of the Pop Group. The song "Listen" became a staple on US college radio in the mid-80s.

The band reunited in 2011, with Matt Simon replacing original drummer Bruce Atta, and played sporadically until 2014 when guitarist Mike Atta died of kidney and lung cancer, on April 20, 2014, aged 53.[10][11][8] Mike Patton and Matt Simon continued to play together in the band Eddie and the Subtitles.[8]


Studio albums
  • Homeland (1982)
  • A Blueprint for Joy: 1978-1980 (1995)
  • Out of Vogue: The Early Material (2008)
Various Artists compilations


  1. ^ Pajot, S. (January 7, 2011). "American Hardcore's Steven Blush Talks the Middle Class, Youth Culture, and Loud Fast Riffs". Miami New Times. Retrieved Aug 9, 2017.
  2. ^ Coker, Matt (December 5, 2002). "Suddenly In Vogue". OC Weekly. Retrieved Aug 9, 2017.
  3. ^ Robinson, Ward (June 20, 2011). "The Middle Class: We're Going To Get Beat Up Again". L.A. Record. Retrieved Aug 9, 2017.
  4. ^ Azerrad, Michael (2001). Our Band Could Be Your Life. Bay Back Books. pp. 13–14. ISBN 9780316787536.
  5. ^ Rettman, Tony (Oct 15, 2015). "More Than 35 Years Later, Here's a Video for Arguably the First Hardcore Record Ever". Vice. Retrieved Aug 9, 2017.
  6. ^ Zabrecky, Rob (Oct 22, 2015). "Over 35 years later, the first 'hardcore' record gets a music video—with tap dancing". Dangerous Minds. Retrieved Aug 9, 2017.
  7. ^ Blush, Steven; Petros, George (Oct 1, 2001). American Hardcore: A Tribal History. Feral House. p. 19. ISBN 9780922915712. Retrieved Aug 9, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c Ritchie, Ryan (September 22, 2010). "First Hardcore Band Ever: Middle Class Reunion 100 Percent On". OC Weekly. Retrieved Aug 9, 2017.
  9. ^ Long, Kristi S.; Nadelhaft, Matthew (September 2, 2016). America Under Construction: Boundaries and Identities in Popular Culture. Routledge. ISBN 9781138201408. Retrieved Aug 9, 2017.
  10. ^ Hamby, Taylor (April 21, 2014). "Mike Atta, Punk Legend, Passes Away From Cancer". OC Weekly. Retrieved Aug 9, 2017.
  11. ^ Rabe, John (April 23, 2014). "RIP Mike Atta: Hardcore punk founder, guitarist for OC band The Middle Class". KPCC. Retrieved Aug 9, 2017.

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