'Famine' Record Release Show

Paint It Black

Pegboy, Radiator Hospital, The HIRS Collective

Saturday, November 04
Doors: 7pm | Show: 7:30pm


Since forming in 2002, Philadelphia’s Paint It Black have rewritten the rules of hardcore punk with each new release. Across three full-length albums and three seven-inch EPs, the four-piece of vocalist Dan Yemin, bassist Andy Nelson, guitarist Josh Agran, and drummer Jared Shavelson have been crafting concise, incisive statements that meld hardcore’s fury with a nuanced lyrical perspective. On Famine, the band’s upcoming 12-inch on Revelation Records, Paint It Black shows all sides of itself, returning as inspired—and inspiring—as they were a decade ago. 

Famine is the product of years of plotting, planning, and prepping, with the goal of making the most impactful statement possible. In many ways, Famine is a record about the blurring between history and mythology, especially as it pertains to the current moment in America. On Famine, Yemin explores the stories we grew up being told—the truths, the lies, and everything in between. Yemin’s vocals, as charged as ever, sound like a decade’s worth of frustration has finally boiled over, allowing him to dissect the rose-colored tellings of American history with surgical precision. Similar to this exploratory lyrical approach, the music on Famine creates richer textures out of pieces rarely found on hardcore punk albums, as distinct struts shift between pummeling pieces and melodic touches in ways that continually take the listener by surprise.

Throughout the eight songs that make up Famine, Paint It Black proves that the most potent hardcore punk releases are ones that come from a space of vulnerability, honesty, and authenticity. It’s what makes each moment on Famine feel vibrant and vital, just like Paint It Black has always done.


Founding Naked Raygun member John Haggerty left the band around 1990 due to the their inactivity. He recruited his brother Joe to play drums, and along with former Bhopal Stiffs members Larry Damore and Steve Saylors, Pegboy was formed. They debuted the same year with an EP, and followed up with a full-length a year later. The band released three full lengths of genre defining melodic post-hardcore before mostly disbanding in 2000. Notably, the EP Fore featured Steve Albini on bass.

Though pretty much inactive, Pegboy do get together once a week to “practice,” as well to play the occasional show in Chicago. This very special occasion marks the band’s first east coast appearance since 2009!


Kick out the jams motherfuckers.


The HIRS Collective rely on an ethos of de-individualization. It is their strength, and their love. Through co-opting the anarchist phrase “No Gods. No cops. No masters,” as a ‘fuck you’ to the disingenuity of too much art and life of the capitalist world at large, the group introduced themselves as humanly as possible. Yes, there are individuals who make up this band/Collective/organization. Yes, the politics are in play, which a listener might likely expect from a group that comes from the leftist punk rock world that boasts community, acceptance, and radicalism. However, these are the foundations the HIRS Collective itself. As such, the Collective watched these community virtues and ideologies change through overuse and abuse and holds to them more tightly because of it.

“Those words still have meaning, but they have no weight. They have no power. Everyone has softened the blow of those words.”

After thrice releasing 100-song albums and countless splits and collaborative records, the HIRS Collectivehad 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.

“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.”

Completely self-produced (like always) and completely self-managed (the Collective is also a driving force behind Get Better Records,who are handling the release) the HIRS Collective’s We’re Still Hereis a statement of bravery and irascible resilience that will be one of their many entries into an already unmatched career whose influence has already started to affect young musicians the nation and world over. The HIRS Collectiveknows its strength and is meeting the realization of its power with measured intention.

“We don’t think we can destroy every single negative structure, but we can dismantle them within ourselves. And if we have the chance to destroy it, let’s fucking go. But we aren’t going to be given any power from anyone else and have to take it for ourselves.”

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