Kicking off the night was Chicago’s newest Hatebreed cover band, Enemysmasher. On the flier, it may appear random or out of place for a cover band to be on a non-cover band show bill, but it ended up being the perfect way to open the show. Playing through some of Hatebreed’s classic hits got everyone’s blood pumping and warmed up for the rest of the show while simply having fun.
Next up was the Bay’s very own, Outta Pocket. Simple and to the point, Outta Pocket brought their in-your-face sound filled with fast riffs that’ll snap your neck followed by mosh calls and bludgeoning breakdowns that’ll make you the first victim of the closest mosher next to you. For a band that started amid the pandemic, you would think they’ve been playing shows much longer due to their natural on-stage charisma and confidence. Outta Pocket is making a statement fast as a band to pay attention to with only up to go
Hold My Own followed keeping the show moving, both figuratively and literally. Coming off their latest self-titled EP release, Hold My Own delivers music that is simply 100% pure hardcore. No gimmicks, no bulls**t, just a culmination of the best aspects of hardcore music, fast-paced two-step parts, hard-hitting breakdowns, and down-to-earth lyrics to match. Hold My Own is a new band that you need to stop sleeping on and get your ass to a show to see to understand why the word of mouth is so strong about them.
While you might not have heard of Zero Trust yet, you’ve heard of their resume. Featuring members of Bulldoze, Skarhead, Homicidal, Coheed and Cambria, and more, Zero Trust is a unique mixture of hardcore and metal consisting of charging and melodic rhythms paired alongside powerful vocals and hooks with hard-hitting, emotional lyrics about the current political and social landscape we live in. Zero Trust is tough to place into a singular genre category and that’s exactly how they like it. After being in bands for so many years that are defining within their respective sub-genres, Zero Trust is fresh and new both to them as musicians and to us as listeners.
If you’re a fan of hardcore pre-the last 3 years, then you 100% should already know Homicidal. A band needing little to no introduction, Homicidal consists of members from Bulldoze, Skarhead, Train of Thought, Crown of Thornz, and more. Homicidal’s set was one of those sets where that internet video of the “old head” talking about coming out of moshing retirement actually came to life. This was a set where if you’re newer to shows you quickly f**ked around and found out just how chaotic and dangerous a show can get. Homicidal’s set brought me back to when I first started going to shows where every moment was pure adrenaline injected into your veins as the entire room moved side to side, people front flipping off the stage, and everyone pilling up on each other for the mic. The chaos didn’t end here as Homicidal had one more surprise in store. Perfectly described by hate5six (Sunny), “Homicidal having their Kev One tribute speech interrupted by a fight then going right into a Bulldoze rock block might be the most Bulldoze shit ever”.
The originators of slam, Internal Bleeding, followed delivering their iconic sound focusing on heavy grooves and slow, chromatic breakdowns. From the first note, you can see the over 30 years of experience showcasing itself from their on-stage charisma to their musicianship and how tight of a set they played, no delays or breaks, just 40 minutes of straight-up heavy-as-balls death metal. Death metal bands on hardcore show bills can sometimes end up being slightly awkward sets, so what immediately stood out to me was how the whole room was nonstop action from the first song to the last showcasing Internal Bleeding’s influence across multiple genres. Whereas, they aren’t ONLY popular within death metal, but also loved by people in other sub-genres, such as hardcore, demonstrating their 30+ years of influence and inspiration that is still being felt and seen today. There aren’t many bands out there that can say with full confidence their style and sound are still being reverberated and serving as inspiration today, but Internal Bleeding 100% can. Internal Bleeding’s set was one of my favorite sets I’ve seen recently so if you get the chance to see them whether it’s at a non-barricaded show or a big, billed venue, take the time to go see them, you won’t regret it.
For the next half hour, all of Cobra Lounge was the Chicago Sector. Chicago’s Sector released, in my opinion, the best release from Chicago of the year. Featuring influences from hardcore, death metal, and hip-hop, Sector’s latest album, The Chicago Sector, is 8 tracks of pure vicious, unfiltered hardcore that doesn’t hold back. Filled with some of the meanest, toughest riffs, breakdowns, and vocals you’ll hear on a hardcore record anytime soon, Sector delivers absolute neck-cranking, groovy hardcore like the classic 90’s NYHC sound that goes straight to your bones. Featuring members of Warhound, Bitter Thoughts, Silverhammer, MH Chaos, Mal Intent, Bodybag, Hold My Own, and many others I’m probably forgetting, Sector’s greatest asset is their experience, both on record and on-stage. You can tell this isn’t Sector’s first rodeo as they can be described as the atomic bomb of Chicago hardcore.
Sector’s new album and the release show brought me back to what it felt like when I first started going to shows filled with energy that I strongly feel is missing at shows post-pandemic. Absolutely unhinged, violent antics and behavior where it’s safer for you to mosh than to stand still and be made into a target. Yet, at the same time, a community filled with love and support for each other. If it wasn’t for the guys in Sector, and many others over the years, I wouldn’t be where I am now nearly a decade later. I wouldn’t even be writing this review for New Noise Magazine right now and having the countless amazing opportunities I have and will continue to have. Like the MH Chaos record release show a year ago, this show felt like a huge full circle moment seeing a room full of people I’ve known for years alongside new people who are just starting to come to shows really puts everything into a wider perspective. At the end of the day, hardcore isn’t the latest trends, hype sh*t, or what’s popping off online, it’s a community of people who all come from different walks of life coming together. This is what makes hardcore special from anything else.
Hold My Own