Emerging from the original wave of Spirit Filled Hardcore (or SFHC) came southern California’s No Innocent Victim, AKA N.I.V. In contrast to their SFHC peers like Unashamed, Strongarm, and Overcome, who often integrated metallic influences that were becoming more popular in hardcore, NIV stuck to their old school roots with a “Loud Fast Rules” mentality. In fact, their old school approach to fast and heavy hardcore played a part in sparking a revival of the style, which eventually evolved into “tough guy hardcore,” essentially an update of that old school sound with added breakdowns and heaviness.
No Innocent Victim were incredibly outspoken about their faith in Christ. One might expect this boldness to limit their exposure or even respect in the secular hardcore scene, but it didn’t seem to hinder them at all. They signed with well-known secular label Victory Records for their third and fourth albums, along with sharing the stage with such heavyweights as Agnostic Front, Madball, Terror, Hatebreed, and others, all the while holding to their strong Gospel message.
The band was also known to collaborate with other bands for various projects, like Shockwave, Dodgin’ Bullets and Anchor (incidentally all based in and around Erie, PA). Members/ex-members have also turned up in bands as diverse as Born Blind, Gut Punch, Project 86 and Thieves and Liars.