You Should Be Listening to HIRS

A few weeks ago, Philly-based musical collective HIRS (sometimes referred to as the longer name of The HIRS Collective) released their latest full-length, We’re Still Here. It’s a hard record to talk about in succinct terms because of its scale, but We’re Still Here is a behemoth of a hardcore/grind record that pulls from every corner of heavy music and then some.

On the album, HIRS are joined by a staggering list of collaborators: more than 35 musicians and vocalists spread across the album’s 17 tracks. A lot of the names are instantly recognizable—Soul Glo’s Pierce Jordan, Converge’s Nate Newton, plus members of Full of Hell, The Body, Gouge Away and Escuela Grind appear. Others are more surprising, like Garbage’s Shirley Manson, My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero or Circa Survive singer Anthony Green. Despite the fact that most of these musicians, even the extreme ones, come from fairly disparate backgrounds, the core sonic palette of seething grind and explosive hardcore remains strong. The HIRS Collective throw a lot of ideas at the wall and most of them stick, always finding new ways to break up album’s aggressive parts.

That spirit of collaboration is in every part of We’re Still Here. It’s easy to be pessimistic about the world, but as HIRS explained when they announced the record, yet they are still here, making heavy music with fellow musicians and a community they believe in.

“We always want to go the pessimistic route and be like ‘We’re only here out of spite’ but really, we are spite. And we’re going to do the work and to be as happy as possible for as long as we can. We’re here to say ‘Fuck you, what we want to do is go on tour with our friends and hang out with them. We want to have all the positive, wild experiences. We want to contribute to the actual community of people around us. We want to connect with everyone who comes into our world.”

As a self-produced record put out by a label the members of HIRS help run, We’re Still Here is about as close to a pure document of the music community around the band as one can get. There’s no one flavor of heaviness on We’re Still Here but that’s what makes The HIRS Collective a force to be reckoned with.