” “ – Soul Glo


If you talk to almost anyone about booking or playing shows in Philadelphia, 9 times out of 10, Ruben Polo’s name will get brought up. I first met Philly’s hardest working man when we played a show with the freshly defunct Secret Plot to Destroy the Entire Universe at the Horse’s Mouth (R.I.P.). It’s been a little while, but we finally met back up and played together with his new project, Soul Glo. Loud, chaotic, and unwavering don’t even begin to describe this band.

“Intense” would be an absolute understatement for ” “. Each track delivers crunchy and occasionally melodic rhythms beneath strongly personal and political yelling. Song-by-song, the lyrics reflect the unrest of being a person of color in America and having to deal with institutionalized oppression. This is a much-needed voice in hardcore or punk or any other sub-genre of music. Cutting through oversaturated, white-guy, macho bullshit and delivering a message that goes beyond friendship or loyalty or whatever other (lesser) bands write about. Soul Glo is a force to be reckoned with – don’t sleep on them.

1. “Guilty Of Being… Wait”
Soul Glo comes out of the gate strong with a D-Beat-sounding banger. Think Disclose, but not as washed-out and with better chugging.

2. “New Humanism”
One of the more melodic songs on this release, complete with guitar noodling and reverb. Packs a seriously large amount of lyrics into a minute and twenty-one seconds.

3. “Inextricable”
“I know some spots where they want the most cops/but that’s still gang shit, just with a different face.”

4. “Created in H.I.S. Image”
These are some of the more moving lyrics on ” “. A sense of distress comes over me when I listen to this song, but in the best way possible.

5. “Two Hits”
This song starts out a little like a late-’90s screamo masterpiece or a polished Wolves in The Throne Room track, but it is roped back in by a driving bass line and palm-muted guitar towards the end.

6. “Real Ass Life”
This unassuming song feels out of place as it starts out with the cleanest guitars you’ll hear on this record. But it’s an illusion: this song builds underneath and creates an atmosphere behind a sound clip of the prosecutor during the Darren Wilson case announcing that there was no indictment.

7. “Put Yr Head Down”
This is the first demo I heard by these guys and I knew immediately I wanted to hear more. 52 seconds of well-recorded, punishing backup vocals.

8. “Son of A Gun”
Driving, riff-heavy, vocal breaks. One of the best songs on ” “.

9. “But Fucking Why?”
“Macho manifestation/Macho man infestation.”

10. “Trigger Warning”
This song feels like a mix of post-punk eeriness and grindcore basics. Imagine a heavy Sisters of Mercy and a lighter Napalm Death having a baby.

11. “Violence Against Black Women Goes Largely Unreported”
“Violence” has a surprisingly two-step hardcore feel to it, while delivering a not-so-two-step message.

12. “The Movement Has No Head”
Just as punishing and driving as other songs on ” “, it feels sort of like an appetizer to the last track.

13. “Closer 2 Tha God”
Easily the best song on this record. The lyrics are jarring and uncomfortable, but I think maybe that’s the way all these songs were meant to come across and to bring light to certain truths that many people in this scene won’t ever have to face. To help better expose the injustices done to P.O.C. in our country.

Broaden your mind. Don’t sleep on Soul Glo.

Order ” “ on cassette (like, 20 copies left, so, hurry) via Girls Cartel Records here: http://www.storenvy.com/products/10982799-soul-glo

And if you are in Philadelphia and not a complete moron, go see them and Bleed The Pigs, and Kids on March, 2: https://www.facebook.com/events/642764845835826/

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