One of the major bands on New York City's straight-edge hardcore scene, Youth of Today followed most of the genre's thematic conventions - disciplined self-reliance, integrity, left-wing politics, and the evils of meat, alcohol, and drugs - but did so with plenty of inspiring musical energy. Lead vocalist Ray Cappo (also known as Ray 2 Day) shouted over music anchored by guitarist John Porcell that generally alternated between lightning aggression and slower, heavier sections designed for moshing.

Youth of Today debuted in 1985 with an EP, Can't Close My Eyes, and released its first full album, Break Down the Walls, in 1986; both were remixed and reissued in 1988. That year's We're Not in This Alone proved to be Youth of Today's strongest and most listenable musical effort, but the band broke up shortly afterward. A self-titled, three-song EP of the band's final recordings was issued in 1990; Cappo joined the Hare Krishnas and formed Shelter, a so-called Krishnacore band, while Porcell formed a new group called Judge. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide