This month, Mark Jenkins looks at the homegrown harDCore sound, which flourished in the early 80s and whose influence continues. To hear selections of the music discussed, dial 202/334-9000, then punch in the four-digit codes when prompted. (Pr. William: 690-4110.) Comments? Dial 3393. Around 1980, two years after British punks the Sex Pistols self-destructed, the harsh, high-speed rock called hardcore punk first arose in Washington. The local sound obviously owed plenty to both blunt L.A. contemporaries like the Circle Jerks and Black Flag and of more sophisticated Britishers, including Wire and the Ruts. But the scene soon defined a distinctive identity -- hyperactive but precise rock with an anti-hedonistic stance -- and even a unique tag: harDCore. The original harDCore scene disintegrated in just a few years, but its legacy can still be heard in D.C. and beyond. Two bands, Minor Threat and the Bad Brains, pioneered much of the harDCore sound. The members of the latter, a few years older and much more practiced than the other D.C. punkers, brought unprecedented dexterity and breakneck speed to the style, as is demonstrated by their signature song of the period, "Banned in D.C." (2800) Though the all-black quartet was never actually banned in D.C., it did move to New York, where success has been intermittent. Its latest comeback attempt, under Madonna's Maverick label, ended when lead singer H.R. attacked an audience member earlier this year. Minor Threat lasted only three years, but the quartet's influence is still felt. The powerful delivery of singer Ian MacKaye can now be heard in his artier current band, Fugazi. MacKaye and Jeff Nelson, the Threat's drummer, continue to operate Dischord, Washington's premier punk imprint and one of the country's leading independent-rock labels. And Minor Threat's anti-drug song, "Straight Edge," (2801) still inspires punk-rock fans to abstain from artificial stimulants and depressants. There were many other harDCore bands in the early '80s, and most of them released for Dischord. The Untouchables, Faith, Void, State of Alert, Government Issue and Youth Brigade made crude but intense music and (generally) broke up soon thereafter. The members went on to form such punky bands as Ignition and Jawbox, and, later, more pop-oriented outfits like the High-Back Chairs and Manifesto (now Clear). Meanwhile, State of Alert singer Henry Rollins, one of the best-known of harDCore's founding fathers, moved to L.A. to sing for Black Flag. After a lull, 1985 saw a renaissance: MacKaye joined with former members of Faith to form Embrace, which refined Minor Threat's sound and stance on tracks like "Dance of Days" (2802). And Rites of Spring introduced a new romanticism and an almost-lyrical two-guitar sound in songs like "For Want Of" (2803). Three years later, MacKaye and Rites' singer Guy Picciotto allied to create Fugazi, the most durable, successful and compelling Dischord band ever. While steadfastly refusing to sign to a major label, Fugazi has built an international reputation through six discs of powerful, funk-buttressed punk and world-wide tours. On songs like "Repeater," (2804) the interplay of the quartet's rhythm section, guitars and voices create a powerful tension (and, sometimes, release). Also in the mid-'80s, former Minor Threat guitarist Brian Baker founded a pop-punk quartet, Dag Nasty. The band's tuneful songs, such as "Things That Make No Sense" (2805), presaged the music of California punk popularizers like Green Day and Bad Religion. Baker is now a member of the latter group. Last year, Dischord acts Jawbox and Shudder to Think made their major-label debuts, partially depleting the label's ranks. But bands like Lungfish, Holy Rollers, Hoover, and Slant 6 have partially filled the gap. Girls Against Boys, most of whose members were once in Dischord's Soulside, have also signed a major-label deal. The band never recorded for Dischord and is now based in New York, but such songs as "Kill the Sex Player" (2806) further the D.C. sound. So does Weight, the latest album from Henry Rollins; on songs like "Liar," (2807) he and ex-D.C. guitarist Chris Haskett give harDCore's declamations a funk-metal update. The influence can be heard farther afield. Sonic Youth's 1992 album, Dirty, was clearly inspired by Dischord; it features MacKaye on guitar and a cover of "Nic Fit," (2808) a song by the Untouchables. New York's Quicksand modeled its sound after Fugazi's, while the new album by CIV, another New York quartet, borrows both MacKaye's spirit and delivery for "Soundtrack for Violence" (2809). Some 15 years after the members of Minor Threat graduated from Wilson High School, harDCore is anything but provincial.Mark Jenkins Class texts: 2800: from Attitude: The ROIR Sessions (In-Effect) 2801: from 1981: The Year in Seven Inches (Dischord) 2802: from Embrace (Dischord) 2803: from Rites of Spring (Dischord) 2804: from Field Day (Giant) 2805: from Repeater (Dischord) 2806: from Cruise Yourself (Touch and Go) 2807: from Weight (Imago) 2808: from Dirty (DGC) 2809: from Set Your Goals (Lava/Atlantic). CAPTION:Minor Threat's Ian MacKaye in the heyday of harDCore. Below, Fugazi at Ft. Reno in 1991.