Shoutout: Kharma

(Image credit: Errick Easterday)

As a spot on the internet that aims to be an informational source on Midwest hardcore, Kharma is a band that has been sorely missing from this blog.

Kharma, in the few years they have been playing shows, have done more to revive the Chicago hardcore scene than a lot of other bands have been able to do in years. Walking into a show in 2016, be it pop punk or hardcore, the band’s first merch designs were plastered on the chests of at least five to ten people in any given venue. Kharma is a band that the scene they come from finds an immense amount of pride in. Being young kids from the suburbs of Chicago, they create good, heavy music that the people of their community can relate to. Any time I've ever seen them play, hardly anyone in the crowd is standing still.

Their 2016 album, Survival (named on my releases of the year post here), boasted a range of topics from enemies, to relationships, to police brutality. While the topic of fighting and being tough is standard for a hardcore band, heavier bands have often strayed from the good ol’ fashioned topic of heartbreak. “Desire” captures this in a way that makes you feel like a little less of a pussy for moping around about a lost love, while also not resorting to the usual corny, threatening tone that an emo or pop punk song would take.

Most importantly, their criticism of the police in songs like “12” is poignant and important. Kharma’s frontman, Jordan Moten, writes their music and lyrics. Moten is a young black male, and a majority of his bandmates are also young men of color. Using the band as a platform, they have made their disdain for the law enforcement system heard, and they have given representation and a voice to so many young people of color in hardcore. Listening to music that you can relate to and going to shows are effective ways to let off steam, and their short, passionate sets are a much needed outlet for their fans’ frustrations with the world.

In December, the band collaborated with Delinquents and Backbone for the Midwest Young & Restless Split, contributing two songs. One of these, “S.O.L,” has an accompanying music video filmed by photographer Errick Easterday, which is featured above, as I think it’s an awesome example of just how pumped Kharma’s fans get at their shows.

As for recent times, in March, they finished up a short tour with Guttersnipe and Backbone, and have been playing various shows in the Midwest a few times a month since.

On Monday, they released two songs from their upcoming sophomore LP, Moment of Violence. Peep their Bandcamp down below and see what I’m talking about, and if you like what you hear, pick something up from their merch store.


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