Showing posts with label Harm's Way. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Harm's Way. Show all posts

Mar 7, 2018

San Antonio Hardcore + Some New Blood From Baltimore's Queensway

by Robert Dean

Last night, I cruised down to San Antonio to catch the Harm’s Way and Ringworm show at Jack’s Bar and was pleasantly surprised. Being only my second time seeing a show in San Antonio, I gotta give it up: San Antonio’s hardcore scene is world class. Those kids are passionate, fun and foster a sense of community I haven’t seen since my Chicago days.

I grew up in Hardcore, attending shows around 16 years old at Off The Alley, VFW’s, the Arlington Heights Knights of Columbus, the Darien Sportsplex, and the much-lauded Fireside Bowl just to name a few venues. Living in New Orleans and later Austin, the scenes are unique, and each offers something different, but in comparison to San Antonino, it’s not even close. I tip my cap to the excitement, interaction, and fever of those kids. Definitely made my heart happy to see the positivity and everyone hanging out talking vs. Austin’s scene where everyone immediately splits for the bar. Creeping 37 years old, I’ve been going to shows as long as some of those kids have been alive. I made me unbelievably happy to see that the scene still holds strong.

Harm’s Way never ceases to impress. For 30 minutes, they slammed through tracks off their various e.p.’s and their two latest records, Rust and Subhuman. Energy throbbed throughout the room and kept the spirit of the show moving. For my money, the highlight of the night was Baltimore’s Queensway. Initially, my friend and I were planning on ducking out for a bit to grab some food, considering we’d just driven an hour and a half to make the show. We were walking through the venue when we caught the first song of Queensway and immediately stopped, both recognizing these dudes were going OFF. 

Nothing is better than a tight hardcore band, 100% engaged with the crowd, giving their all to the crowd and doing more than just playing outward to the room. Queensway was engaged, poised and destroyed. Jack’s Bar’s reception and throbbed in support and it was clear they’d won the majority of the attendees over by the end of the first song. Having never heard of Queensway, I was taken aback by not only their tightness but their constant energy. 

They made a new fan last night and from here on out, I’ll do my best to champion their music to my friends looking for straight ahead hardcore. If San Antonio was any litmus of what these boys are capable of, watch the fuck out. And a word to San Antonio, I’ll be back to dance alongside y’all. 

Feb 26, 2018

Chicago's Harm's Way Rips Out Hearts and Souls on Their Newest, Posthuman

by Robert Dean

I’m just gonna make this review as easy as possible: The newest Harm's Way record is like a chainsaw to the face. Evolving beyond their fast, straight ahead hardcore roots, Harm’s Way is forging into water explicitly held by tried and true metal bands and ripping the seams off the baseball every step of the way. Despite its early release this year, Posthuman will be a hard record to top for its sheer violence, riffs, and brutality. 

While their prior release Rust was a step toward the direction of full-on “metalcore” Posthuman straddles both the lines of a band that can hold their own with Sick of It All, but also wreck shop opening for Max Cavalera. Harm’s Way has found a way to take the best Roadrunner riffs of the late 90s and early 00’s and package them together, but without abandoning credibility to tread new artistic waters.

The songs on Posthuman aren’t formulaic and instead try out a lot of different time signatures and thematic styles. It’s a formidable mixture of violence mixed with the history of Chicago’s tougher than leather hardcore style. Having grown up in Chicago’s hardcore scene, I couldn’t be more proud of Harm’s Way carrying the battle flag for my hometown. (I saw them open for Soulfly playing the Nailbomb record and after finding out they were from Chicago, I immediately walked over to their table and gushed. I know I looked like an asshole. I don’t care.)

Posthuman is a complex, yet a beautiful mixture of ideas that should not work. Somehow Harm’s Way pulls Posthuman off. One minute, there’s a clear Godflesh or Nailbomb influence and just went you think the band will do something lame, they go harder than the previous track. Harm’s Way isn’t a one trick pony, if anything they’re capable of releasing crushing metal records, but also maybe dropping some straight industrial EP’s a la what Trent Reznor has been doing with Nine Inch Nails as of late.

"Dissect Me" is a perfect of example of crushing riffage but at the same time shows a clear influence by bands like Ministry or Skinny Puppy. Chicago’s industrial history with Wax Trax is present in the DNA of Harm’s Way, even if the band doesn’t realize it. While the metal featured on display is ridiculous, there’s so much going on throughout Posthuman, that it’s a tease for different looks into the band’s bright future. 

"Human Carrying Capacity" is the best hardcore song of the last ten years, hands down. Sorry Code Orange, sorry Knocked Loose. Harm’s Way has released a record that’s worthy of headliner status and should bring plenty of asses into the club to swing on posers. Get ready world, these dudes have arrived.


Posthuman is available on Bandcamp, Amazon, etc.


Related Posts with Thumbnails