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We're Still Here


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We will not disappear, will not fade away. We are always here, never-ending, infinite. We’re not stopping. We’ll never quit this collective, a version of therapy for ourselves and anyone who feels in need to scream their lungs out for one more day of living. We’re still here.
If I tell you I’m ugly, will you sell it back to me? Make me picture perfect? Tell me I’m worth it? Big eyes, cartoon teeth, and sci-fi fantasy save me from real-life agony, candied crowns on distorted queens. That’s me starring on the big screen. Glowing skin, perfect veins, and daydreams spread a virtual plague. Can I fit into this frame? Can I fit through this doorway? Will you fuck me to make me feel like I’m worth anything? My hair is falling out. I’m sweet like candy. My skin is breaking out. I’m sweet like candy. Crooked teeth and cavities, I’m sweet like candy. Looks that kill, looks that kill, I’ll rot like candy; I choose decay.
You’re numb. You must be not to feel anything but greed. Killing spree, priced-out and forced-out families to get ahead in society. For what? For fear of the other? For fear of helping someone with nothing in return? People need security, not jobs. Instead, you kill and pass the blame. For fear. When it's a struggle to live, you're making a killing. Wages won't increase at the rate of rent, so what the fuck do we do with that? It takes a special kind of evil to be so comfortable, overwhelmingly fucking our resources for human suffering. You're the scum of the land, lured by our hands to make you watch while we burn your house down.
Welcome to the chaos. You have rung a bell that can never be unrung. There is no serum left. We’re all suffering statistics; who’s next? The abuse that this body has suffered is sharp and soft. Notorious Organization of Sissies In Revolt. Behead the prophet! Behead the profiteer! My loose leaf proves you lose; leave, bad latitude.
Waste not want not for those washed upon, botched common ground plots. Waste not want not - for not foremost lies that they taught. Blessed be the fruit that you bought. Fraught waste, not want for not. Guess I just wasn’t informed, withheld to incise a division. Sorry, I couldn’t have made it. Divide up the rest of ambition. America’s dream has some flaws, and dreams disarray out in writing. I’ve let you all down in your time here. I just wish you could know that I’m trying. Waste not when time forgot me in place. Like anyone else in my lot, see; we waste not, want for no delusions of feeling like we’re unique, so I walk to find ground that’s right for my feet. Waste not want not; waste not want not. What’s sold? Who’s bought? Ough!
Stop calling the cops. You talk about feeling safe. Safe for whom? Everyone, or just you? Your definition's outmoded and racially coded. Looks like we backed the wrong horse. Who's supposed to keep us safe from the occupying force?
Walking thru a biohazard zone with a fist full of onyx. Call me paranoid. Call me what you will, but I got a funny feeling. Fuck the rules. It's HIRS and Ghösh. It’s family, fucking up a track, melting off your face. Be careful around us unearthly freakshows. You know we don’t care. You know we don’t pose. HIRS and Ghösh, it's motherfuckin' Judgement Night, comin' in hot, hell-spawning demons, wild for the night. We're driving limousines into the guillotine with diesel-powered machines and every day is Halloween. I dance with the Devil; I tangle with Cthulhu; I'll knock you out on a dare and ghetto-blast the moon, boo. I wanna holler and frolic. If you real, you don't flaunt it. All the youth are catatonic. We in the streets and out the closet. We're slayin' posers. It's motherfuckin' Judgement Night.
Lexaprozacoloft Invade my pupils and sex drive and take all of my trauma. jk! I’m zombied with open wounds. Won't let it heal. Salt the earth. Nothing will grow. Deep cut. Give into pain. Can't get past hurt. Feel nothing but shame. Spit on the floor. Let it bleed. Can't do this anymore. It’s draining me. Check, check, check. Hey, kids, pay top dollar for that poison. Medicate to a state where you'll find enjoyment. "Everything's a process, just try and trust the doctors." Fuck that, fuck them, and fuck the damn kid that gave me black eyes given out in plain sight. Never feeling good inside, never even one time. Yea, life can get you low and down, but never let it take you out, even when you got black eyes given out in plain sight. Never feeling good inside, never even one time for all your life.
We’re looking forward to getting into the arms and company of angels, our friends, favorites, lovers, and family. Come here and get x’s and o’s. These hearts collaborate and beat as one through noise and art, through chaotic passion and fun. Come here and get x’s and o’s. Don’t fear or fret; we’re here for you. Come here and get x’s and o’s. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo.
You’ve cast me in the movie of my life as myself and keep trying to write me happy. They say, “We want to make relatable characters. People don’t pay for stories that make them uncomfortable.” I say, “Do what you want, but the scenes people will talk about are when the soundtrack is swelling and the audience is watching through their fingers,” as I flick matches from my tongue and ask, “You wanna see a trick?” Watch how I can make myself burn then dance on the ashes like it’s nothing, like I was born of burning, like this is every day.
Starry-eyed earthbound litter floating gracefully through chaos and beauty, no meaning to being but being. Who's fucking idea was this? Well, I'm here now, I guess, so what now? Cells reborn collapse. A blacked-out future, a thankless game, a spinning wheel cuts loose your thread, turning and winding, splitting at its ends, becoming a simple, senseless unraveling.
So anyway, from my recent page, here’s my last request, my final buttoned pushed, your last experience. Leave me dejected again, discontent with the time I’ve since spent, so I etch new patterns into my bones. Communications are a waste when there’s no counterweight holding me in place. The words so vapid, vain, and vitriolic with nothing from you for anyone to gain. Turn the daily page. Everyone looks back, no return, collapsing, never turning back. No more looking back. Breakdown, select delete, empty trash bin.
These sheets are too heavy to breathe. I keep trying, but I’ll never ever leave. I’m sleeping in, not coming out. I’m giving up and falling down. Depression has me chained to this mattress, cotton-polyester blended coffin, living the dream one waking nightmare at a time.
Wish I had just one more playdate, one more lifetime, not only thoughts. Pushing daisies, filling plots, whatever you call it, I’m tied in knots. Life is love and always slipping. Hearts are beating, ticking clocks. Heartbeats, ticking clocks. Life is a privilege; death is not. We say goodbye.
An introduction to a new era of peace and cooperation, conflagration, constitution. Loyal opposition, the only proven solution, while the true believers stayed behind and locked arms around the most precious things we know. Society won't be happy. Humanity won't have dignity until the last capitalist is hung by the guts of the last bureaucrat scum.
Ignite, show their faces; set the tapestry on fire. You’ve dripped merely a few feet away from my pew, and what isn’t a plank in my eye is completely out of view. Weaving a picture from the threads of lies caught up in the image, can’t see what’s inside. They coagulate like milk fat from the chew. Shedding sun spills spoils on 99 percent of you. Wipe up the drippings with crumpled faces of fathers, burning the rest not blood dressed, with no care nor bother. Take down their artifice, ten thousand threads. count the dead, you’re outspent, armored rotten burlap. It reeks in here, at the root, at the core. there’s no feed, there’s no giver, there’s no creek, there’s no savior. A frayed edge burns a coil in the breeze. Silk spins in the desert of our dreams. It hangs in the doorway.
We’re feeling drained, used up, and waifed. Half-empty, now spilled, unable to retain. We’re tired. We’re tired. We are so tired. We’re exhausted. We’re every adjective that keeps us from leaving our bed, keeps us from existence, hoping for light and replenishments so that we can move on and share them and feel like ourselves again. We’re still here. We’re still here. We’re still here. We’re still here. We’re tired, but we’re still here to offer help to the more depleted and defused. We’re still here. We’re still here. We’re here for you, searching for fuel for my cells, but it's all been burned to fumes. I just want to hold my head up and keep my eyes open. What gets me there feels in the distance. The knots that hold are coming loose, but I will grasp the fray.


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 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.

“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 Here is 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 Collective knows 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.”

- bio by Pierce Jordan


released March 24, 2023

Mixed by Steve Roche & HIRS at Permanent Hearing Damage.
Mastered by Will Killingsworth at Dead Air Studios.
Live photo by Chris Suspect. Art by Rosemary Engstrom @rosemarysbabee
Saxophone recorded by Justin Bendell. Additional sax brainstorming by Edward Phillips. Copyediting by Jessica Joy Mills. Get Better Records #153


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HIRS Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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