Soul Glo + Zulu
wsg Playytime, Cemetery Girl
Friday, October 6, 2023
6pm Doors / All Ages
If you gave Soul Glo a snapshot of what was in store for them in 2020 at the end of their first practice in 2014, you might put the space time continuum in flux. If you were to tell vocalist Pierce Jordan and guitarist Ruben Polo that everything that they had spent their first month as a band joking about, playing shows with artists from punk vets Paint It Black to Kurt Cobain’s favorites Flipper; from Memphis underground legend Tommy Wright III to platinum producer Pi’erre Bourne, were to actually happen, they might ask you if your hands were as fast as your jokes were. Despite the constant barrage of setbacks, from member changes, to financial strife, to run-ins with the law, Soul Glo has both repeatedly defied the kinds of odds that would fold lesser bands, not to mention their own standards for what they believed they could endure. Simultaneously, stopping or slowing down has never exactly been on the table for them, either.
“When we were stranded in Missouri, we started to weigh out the pros and cons of relocating there. We weren’t just about to leave our mans,” Jordan says. “Songs started getting crafted out there that we still have in the chamber.”
That said, their next release, Songs To Yeet At The Sun, serves as a perfect respite from the silence in between LP’s and the current lull in live performances that the band has become known for nationwide. The five song blessing gives a further insight into the frankly deranged production of bassist/producer Gianmarco Guerra, who served as the sole producer and one of three engineers for the record. Songs like “(Quietly) Do The Right Thing” and “29” continue to show Soul Glo’s affinity for speed as a vehicle for their aggression and messages, while songs like “I’m On Probation” and the previously released “Mathed Up” shows the bands love of chaotic-yet-atmospheric noise and the most popular rhythmic vocal styles of today’s current rap on top of the pummelling heaviness of the drums of TJ Stevenson. The band continues to showcase the rhythmic synergy existing between the entirety of the ensemble throughout the record, while the song “2K” features the straightforward rap production that peeked through on crowd-favorite songs “31” and “32” on the bands previous record The Nigga In Me Is Me, and also features a verse with instantly quotable lines from Richmond, VA artist Archangel.
All things considered, in a year where it feels as though quite literally anything could happen at any given moment, a record like the one that Soul Glo shorthandledly refers to as Yeet, one that features a violent and compelling sonic fusion that only they are capable of, is deeply necessary to times in which we currently find ourselves. In times where we are simply trying to survive from one minute to the next, one day to the next, it feels good in its own way, less lonely perhaps, to have music that reflects that uncertainty and fear.
Known for their blend of hardcore and powerviolence, Zulu is pushing the boundaries of those sounds into new territory on their forthcoming album, A New Tomorrow. Formed as a solo project by vocalist Anaiah Lei in 2018 and then joined by guitarist Braxton Marcellous, the Los Angeles based band has since been rounded out by guitarist Dez Yusuf, bassist Satchel Brown and drummer Christine Cadette. A New Tomorrow (Flatspot Records) serves as the band’s first full-length, following EPs Our Day Will Come (2019) and My People..Hold On (2020). Taking on the task of self-producing the record, the band immersed themselves in collaborator Zach Tuch’s (Dare, Trash Talk) studio in the valley. After spending months toying with different instrumentation and samples, and pulling influences ranging from reggae to death metal, the result is an eclectic 15 tracks.
Zulu builds a sense of community throughout A New Tomorrow that is also apparent at the band’s fun and chaotic live shows, which have been almost non-stop for the past year. Sharing the stage with acts ranging from Sasami to Comeback Kid, labelmates Scowl and Buggin, to playing an array of festivals like Denmark’s Rokslide and LA’s Sound and Fury. 2023 will be no different as the band is already booked for a tour supporting Show Me The Body and festival appearances across North America and Europe.
With the release of A New Tomorrow and expansive tour plans, Zulu are looking towards a bright and busy future.