Philadelphia has produced some incredibly enjoyable punk rock bands over the last decade. But whilst the emotional, heartland storytelling emo of Beach Slang or Restorations are great, they aren’t really ever going to scratch that itch for something a little more abrasive.
Enter Soul Glo. Smashing through the calm like Animal from The Muppets getting pissed up and finding a snare drum at a funeral, the Philly quartet have emerged as an essential antidote to the safe, polished and controlled excuse for punk rock that is served up with depressing regularity these days.
Comparisons to hardcore legends Bad Brains are hard to escape. The boisterous pace, frantic riffs and vocalist Pierce Jordan’s rapid, rabid, broken yelping are so reminiscent of Bad Brains frontman H.R. as to give clear indicators that Soul Glo are well versed in early hardcore, with Black Flag and Beastie Boys also evident in the mix.
But where things get really exciting is when the quartet decide to dive even further back and way forward in the search of something really original. The sax that peppers the album sounds as timeless and wildly untamed as the legendary work of Steve Mackay on Fun House by The Stooges, and when they dip into modern hip hop, they create a legitimate punk rock equivalent to what the likes of Scarlxrd has done with trap metal.
In terms of creativity, the only peer in the world of punk rock that Soul Glo have right now would be Turnstile, who also are frighteningly adept at melding myriad different styles, but whereas Turnstile have been embraced by those outside of punk rock, with their tunes to dance to, tunes that will put a smile on your face, Soul Glo make no such concessions, their edges still impressively visceral.
They are unquestionably a band to embrace, but, whilst wielding this much raw energy, also one to cower from.
Diaspora Problems is out March 25 via Epitaph