In direct confrontation since 2014 with the adversities, prejudices, and general apathy that corrode the North American hardcore scene, in an obvious reflection of the very society that gives it its home, this (now) trio from Philadelphia – after the departure of Ruben Polo following accusations of abuse – entered the pantheon of the genre of this century with Diaspora Problems on the giant Epitaph. A sharply-worded manifesto of intent by a band that in counter-current to the white homogeneity that still lingers within hardcore punk, where the risk of becoming a token is as real as it is readily assumed by the band themselves. Awareness both of the rupture with the canon and of the inevitable agglutination of that same position, Diaspora Problems exposes in unstoppable verbiage, full of references, a very acid sense of humour and a disarming honesty of the inevitable contradictions, longings, and expectations that set fire to discontent – half quoting Refused’s debut – and try to make of that confrontation an engine for change.
An album that opens a panoramic vision on the supposed limits of genre, in the wake of past classics like Refused’s ‘The Shape of Punk to Come’, Blood Brothers’ ‘…Burn, Piano Island, Burn’ or, quite recently, Turnstile’s ‘Glow On’, Diaspora Problems underlines all the coordinates of the incendiary and brief petards of ‘The Nigga In Me’ and ‘Songs To Yeet At The Sun’ in a more concise, complex, but equally direct whole. To the jugular. Featuring guests like BEARCAT or Mother Maryrose and widely praised everywhere from Wire, to Pitchfork or Kerrang, ‘Diaspora Problems’ gives a sonic replica to the fury and message in Pierce Jordan’s lyric, evoking bits of rap, rough electronic notes, the chaos of grindcore and metallic breaks, in a constant frenzy that draws the necessary hooks to fix itself in the collective consciousness. Because that is what this music lives for. To turn rage into a communal call. BS