One of the main criticisms thrown at hardcore music - specifically the current era of the genre - is one of insincerity. The idea of using struggle as a false-front while in reality never having faced such opposition is one that’s routinely met with backlash from those searching for something real, something that resonates deeply and makes you feel understood. In the case of California hardcore band Zulu, sincerity has never been a question. With their first two EP’s, they quickly made waves in their own scene and beyond, painting a vivid picture of growing up black in America through the sonic lens of explosive, heavy metallic hardcore. With their first full length A New Tomorrow, they take everything that turned heads on those first two records and their live performances and amplify it on every level, exploring not just their pain, but also their triumph, through one of the heaviest hardcore records I can remember hearing in recent memory - both in musical muscle and lyrical content.
Musically, Zulu bring to mind the earlier material of California hardcore bands Ceremony and Trash Talk in it’s breakneck, furious pacing, pulling equal parts from classic hardcore punk matched with the intensity of powerviolence. They also pull in quite a bit of influence from metal and specifically metallic hardcore, with flourishes of melodic metal leads in the guitarwork and some absolutely insane breakdowns that hit with sledgehammer-like intensity. Frankly, some of the mosh parts in this record put most of the current crop of deathcore bands to shame, and are sure to illicit scorched earth style moshing at shows for years to come.
In addition to the relentless and hard-hitting material of the record, samples of soul songs can be found in between the chaotic metalcore salvos the band unleashes. This serves as both a breather between the intensity and as emotionally effecting segues into the heavier moments that are found throughout. Coupled with the midpoint instrumental melodic funk influenced “Shine Eternally” and mellow hip hop song “We’re More Than This”, A New Tomorrow is without a doubt one of the most dynamic and overall fresh sounding hardcore albums that’s dropped in recent memory. It’s even more impressive that nothing on the record ever feels out of place. Anger and triumph stand in equal measure, displaying a range of emotions that is rarely found in hardcore.
All of this is bolstered by outstanding production value, with every moment of A New Tomorrow jumping out of the speakers with ultra-crisp sonic clarity that makes hardest hitting moments on the record hit that much harder. Self-produced by the band with contributions and collaboration from producer Zach Tuch (known for his work with Dare, Touche Amore and Trash Talk among others), the album sonically represents a near perfect snapshot of the intensity that Zulu brings to their live shows, both in outright heaviness and attitude. Like the record itself, it’s a clear labor of love and a show of determination to make their unique mark on the hardcore scene.
Bottom Line: A New Tomorrow is one of the best debut LP’s from a hardcore band in recent memory, serving as both an introduction to the band for new listeners and a delivery on the promise found on Zulu’s well received EP’s. Both thought-provoking and emotion-invoking, and also properly representing the relentless and urgent nature of heavy hardcore, this record hits hard on every level and feels destined to become a modern classic of the genre.
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'Zulu, whose sincerity has never been questioned' *abolish white hardcore t shirts*
"Holy mother of shit, this is a joke right? This gimmick ass band is the worst thing out right now." Being a black person isn't a gimmick you absolute f*cking nerd lmao
f*ck you, Eliot. Worst reviewer ever.
"this record hits hard on every level and feels destined to become a modern classic of the genre." Lol. I'm just here for the comments.
Goo is gonna hate this
We wuz kangz core
I've like the singles ive heard so far so Ill be checking out the whole record.
This band is basically a meme, which the author apparently fell for altogether.
Lol @ all these mouth-breathing chuds malding over an album as if they're being forced to listen to it. Go back to defending the groomers in Blood For Blood while simultaneously calling queer people groomers for simply existing, nerds.
Still waiting for some idiot on either side to make this about politics.
ZULU are the homies 💪🏾💯
anonymous 12 hours ago 'Zulu, whose sincerity has never been questioned' *abolish white hardcore t shirts* Triggered by a T-shirt? What's the matter, Tipper Gore? Need a safe space to cry in while pounding off to Stormfront?
Lol, when you make a dumbass shirt with a dumbass statement on it, people will make fun of you. There's a difference between being triggered and making fun of a jackasses.
I bet they get an even higher score on pitchfork
Lol I guess when they sold out of those shirts, everyone must've been buying them ironically or something
What do the shirts say, "White Lives Matter?" " I Love White People?" "It's OK To Be White?"
Anybody who grooms children for sexual purposes is headed for the woodchipper, whether they identify as straight or queer
Brandon from Bleeding Through here. Black power.
All those shirts were scooped up by white kids trying to prove how woke they are. FOH Musically is this band is fine but if we are being honest a large chunk of the fanbase is there to virtue signal.
^Need a shirt that says "Zoomers for Zulu."
Musically it's ok. But if they really wanna act like Zulu and play out their fantasy album cover, they can join the real ones in South Africa. I'm sure the ANC is gonna love their naive minds. Otherwise they could just act like AMERICANS and sing about real problems America like poverty, corruption, corporatism, pollution, spendings on war. But yeah. Play the race card, it's easier
Marty from Zao here. It's refreshing that we're no longer at the end of alphabetized lists.
How do you even arrive at a score of 9 out of f*cking 10? I get everything is subjective, but it genuinely feels like there's something influencing the score whether it's the bands message, demographics, popularity, etc. First youtube video - Musically sounds like background music. There's nothing complex or fun about what they wrote. The dude in the red jacket also belts out some of the worst vocals I've heard in a long, long time. Ending feels like a wet noodle, no punch. Second youtube video - Starts off with some fun fast tempo (similar to tribe of the moon) but then just another bland riff that feels sluggish with no real emphasis behind anything. Do people wave their hands back and forth here like they're at a rap concert? Third video - a f*cking rap song, lol. If these 3 are supposed to be indicative of a 9/10 hardcore/powerviolence album, then I'm lost. I agree bands should shake stuff up, but this feels like it's blending too many non-hardcore elements at once.
Saddest bunch of whiny insecure sad little men in this comment section. Get a life you f*cking whiny chuckleheads, go listen to Varg in the woods and leave the rest of us alone. Great f*cking band, great f*cking album, and we LOVE music press publications that spread love and support throughout the scene, a high tide raises all Ships. Everyone else should keep their idiotic caveman opinions to themselves, go do something off the internet you f*cking trolls
Lambgoat simping with a 9/10…. Just trying to get us all to help this ai by identifying crosswalks and bicycles
This guy tries so hard to sound smart and deep but he's just a cringey dork. It must be lurkcity under a different name
"This guy tries so hard to sound smart and deep but he's just a cringey dork. It must be lurkcity under a different name" Nah he's too busy owning the website you spend your time anon posting on lmao
If they didn't go with outrage marketing from the beginning I'd give them a fair deal. After all the Wire is my favorite TV show and I have several black friends! But as the resident Code Orange fan/stalker I prefer my metal or metalcore to have no politics involved and that's my final answer.
ahahaahahahaha what a bunch of cucks
Yo this record is right up there with "Still Loves You". Prove me wrong.
Oh gosh, this is really bad music. I guess anyone can get recorded and signed these days.
Abolish talking in the movie theater
When your identity is your bands gimmick, you are now a gimmick. Like a 1900's world's fair attraction, you frame yourself in a context that only allows others to see you in the lens of your gimmick. If you don't want people to comment so much about your identity, don't make it your bands gimmick.
Wonder if anyone in Zulu HASN'T taken it up the ass
Blacks playing the whitest of white music, power violence.
9/10 is egregious. It has some standout moments but wayyyy too many "interludes" that come off as filler and take you out of the experience. 7/10 would be more than generous.
With the amount of racist hacks on here, this will be up to 1,488 comments in no time
California hardcore has turned into a huge gimmick
a 9 for this? just checked it out, nowhere near a 9.
9? From a 0-10 scale 5 is average. This may be a 9 for new shitty music listeners. Haha 7 at best. What the hell is going on with these writers here?
Zulu are great for representation and inclusion. With that responsibility also comes the necessary mention that this record is average at best, contains no riffs and pushes exactly zero boundaries.
These guys will be back working at Carl's Jr. in no time.
"California hardcore has turned into a huge gimmick" "Zulu are great for representation and inclusion. With that responsibility also comes the necessary mention that this record is average at best, contains no riffs and pushes exactly zero boundaries." All true. I'm a Californian and I have a long, storied hatred of our hardcore scene. It's just so inferior. Zulu is a sign of social evolution in the hardcore scene, and that is good, but this record is mostly soundclips and average breakdowns. The reviewer got confused and gave an obligatory 9. Here's hoping Zulu and lambgoat both get better at hardcore music.
Dudes who think being afraid of women makes them an "alpha" are pissed
The singer grew up in a rich family in a nice neighborhood wtf you guys believe this trash hype bulls#it
Guitarist for Zulu just wears stupid tiny ass shirts lol band blows
"California hardcore has turned into a huge gimmick" ^^^^ 100% East coast hardcore is corny but at least it's sincere. The Cali vibe feels false/tryhard as hell
Taking bets on the Singer of this band wearing neon A Day To Remember merch in high school
Poser shit lmfao I can guarantee these fools don't know anything about actual metal
Holy mother of shit, this is a joke right? This gimmick ass band is the worst thing out right now.