The Hirs Collective have released what will undoubtedly be the most collaborative and star-studded punk record of the year. They recruited members of My Chemical Romance, Thursday, Circa Survive, Garbage, Touché Amoré, La Dispute, and more to feature on We’re Still Here, which dropped this past Friday.
In a beautifully written bio about the group, Pierce Jordan of Soul Glo (who also features on this record) describes this ambitious project: “After thrice releasing 100-song albums and countless splits and collaborative records, the HIRS Collective had already begun to realize their next frontier through 2020’s highly collaborative ‘Friends. Lovers. Favorites.’ Since then, the band has doubled-down on prioritizing the love of creation over the expansion of an artist’s public identity, and through the act of expansive collaboration, the HIRS Collective brings ‘We’re Still Here’, an immersive album featuring over 35 musicians and vocalists across 17 tracks. The name of the game is world expansion, cultivating true senses of community, and making sure that an idea can never die because it will have spread beyond the mind and powers of any single person. Once you work with the Collective, you are the Collective.”
This album contains 30 minutes of pure brutality, with punishing hardcore punk serving as the medium for harsh truths to be delivered with as much rage as possible. The Hirs Collective express the resiliency required to survive as a marginalized person; their raison d’être as a band reads as such: “The HIRS Collective exist to fight for, defend, and celebrate the survival of trans, queer, POC, black, women and any and all other folks who have to constantly face violence, marginalization, and oppression.” We’re Still Here is simultaneously devastating, empowering, hideous, gorgeous, sarcastic, sincere, hopeless, and hopeful. It’s an apt soundtrack for any given day of trying to make it through our continued descent into dystopia.