I’ve long established that anything dropping courtesy of New Morality Zine is worth your time. Seeing as we’ve got an increased amount of that intangible commodity, there’s no excuse to miss The Sibyl, the new EP from Chicago’s Porcupine.
The band’s chaotic melange of hardcore and all ends of the extreme music spectrum properly converged on the brief but blistering The Underground Man in 2019. The band bookended the following year with exemplary splits with Prouns and Prison Suicide.
These alliterative collaborations aside, the Windy City weirdos (I say that lovingly) have returned with what is quite clearly their best work to date. Having doubled down on their now trademark brand of chaos, there is still nothing straightforward about Porcupine.
Porcupine continues to walk a serpentine path and the hardcore world is all the better for it.
No Echo’s Song of the Day is lead single “Pederasty," a monstrous and bleak offering that rumbles to life after a choice audio sample. It immediately feels like an upping of the band’s musical ante, bolstered by their penchant for harrowing presentation.
If the teasers are any indication, the video is, fittingly, a waking nightmare. Included is an adventurous new sonic bent, pitting their rampaging hardcore punk alongside something a bit more wobbly and seasick. As evidenced by Suicide and SWANS covers, they take inspiration from all corners of extremity.
Opening with a noise rock-like bass slither and simplistic drum salvo, everything quickly coalesces into a rampaging barnburner. Incorporating everything from D-beat rhythms to fleeting blasts of grind, Porcupine’s biggest strength lies in their ability to embrace damaged and disjointed passages and somehow meld them together.
As violent and note-perfect the music itself is, it’s the vocal performance that’s utterly extraordinary. Managing a flair for the dramatic without being even remotely performative is no easy feat, yet here it’s endlessly captivating. Vacillating between a frenzied, off the rails scream to an instantly hushed run of pained pleas, it tells harrowing tales in the span of seconds.
Few bands manage to match the cathartic mania of their music like Porcupine. They maintain the implicit chaos of their sound, calling to mind the more genre-bending hardcore of Rorschach, Converge, Deadguy, and Hope Con.
One needn’t dig too deeply to fall headfirst into the horrid subject matter’s wormhole. Yet, despite the nihilistic anhedonia painted by the video, the band is far too powerful to fall prey.
Quills at the ready, Porcupine is back. The Sibyl is out now. Grab it and everything else on the New Morality platter. It’ll stick to yer ribs.