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Oakland’s Kowloon Walled City return after six years with a noise-rock masterpiece

Oakland’s Kowloon Walled City formed in 2007 as an intense postmetal outfit who tipped their hat to fellow Oaklanders Neurosis, who’d helped pioneer the fusion of hardcore and sludge. During the 14 years since, the band have slowly pulled back on the aggression and fury, settling into creeping, deliberately paced noise rock. Kowloon Walled City’s […]

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Chicago band Porcupine explore hardcore’s potent possibilities on The Sibyl

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; […]

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Hardcore, metal, and punk bands unite for Shut It Down: Benefit for the Movement for Black Lives

When Racetraitor formed in Chicago in the mid-90s, their uncompromisingly antiracist politics weren’t always warmly received in the hardcore scene, but after their breakup in 1999 their influence continued to spread (especially once drummer Andy Hurley joined occasional Racetraitor bassist Pete Wentz in Fall Out Boy in 2003). More than a decade later, the burgeoning […]

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Xibalba plunge into new depths of metal and hardcore on Años en Infierno

Named after a Mayan term that roughly translates to “place of fear,” Southern California trio Xibalba have been blending strains of metal and hardcore for nearly 14 years. They’ve increasingly leaned into their Latino heritage (they sing in both Spanish and English) and their death-metal influences, while expanding into new moods and song structures; on […]

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The joke’s on you if you miss out on misfit hardcore duo Urochromes

After Urochromes posted the video for their frazzled ripper “Hair So Big” to YouTube this spring, a commenter promised, “Before I die I will give Gilbert Gottfried a Urochromes record.” I like to think Gottfried came up because Urochromes’ debut performance (captured on the band’s 2016 compilation Anthology) features front man Jackie “Jackieboy” McDermott unloading […]