Porcupine Credit: Brian Santastefano

Chicago hardcore five-piece Porcupine use society’s fetid underbelly like a renewable energy source—they must know they’ll never run out of cruelty to drive their outrage. Their new album, The Sibyl (New Morality Zine), opens with “Pederasty,” sung from the point of view of an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse who’s still haunted by trauma; its nonstop barrage of vicious drumming and guttural riffs sharpens the plainspoken anger and grief in the desperate lyrics. Porcupine know that the hostility in their music has power, but they’re also aware it could drown out their vision if they ratchet up its intensity too far—and the ricocheting grindcore blastbeats on the raging “Unauthorized” and “Funeral Grief” push right up to the line between “unbridled” and “out of control.” They also throttle back for the reflective burner “The Kingdom of Heaven,” a much longer, slower song where Porcupine’s ferociousness invigorates a drawn-out shoegaze melody that lunges into an acidic climax. The band are learning to translate hardcore aesthetics into new musical territory and growing more capable of exploiting their potent possibilities.   v