Soul Glo Diaspora Problems Secret Voice
“Who gon’ beat my ass?” defiantly screams Soul Glo frontman Pierce Jordan on the opening track of the Philly hardcore band’s sophomore album, Diaspora Problems, as a tornado of buzzsaw guitars and tank-engine drums whirlwind around him. It’s a pertinent question: who in their right mind would oppose this total assault on the senses, this molotov cocktail in the face of all of 2022’s ills, be it racism, war, or patriarchy? Three out of four of the members of Soul Glo are Black, and yes, there are comparisons to Bad Brains to be made, both in the frenetic delivery and the political message. But reducing them to languish in the shadow of a band even as legendary as H.R. and co. would be doing them a disservice.
Given the current state of global affairs, people have been crying out for a punk renaissance. But it takes a record like Diaspora Problems to show that it’s an evolution of the genre, not a nostalgic retread, that has the potential to really do some damage. Melding rap and punk has always been high risk/high reward. On Driponomics, featuring Philly rapper Mother Maryrose, they perfectly blend the two into a scathing takedown of late-capitalist grind culture. Meanwhile, Five Years (And My Family) begins with an eerie synth line and takes a detour through 90s indie territory, before settling on a classic hardcore riff that wouldn’t be out of place at a DC basement party in the 80s.
Soul Glo may be experiencing diaspora problems, but in these blistering tracks, they’ve at least started to brew an antidote.