Fan poll: Top 5 hardcore bands right now | Revolver

Fan poll: Top 5 hardcore bands right now

Nope, Turnstile didn't make the cut
knocked loose coachella 2023 GETTY, Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Coachella
photograph by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Coachella

Hardcore is booming right now. Turnstile are out touring with blink-182 and playing late-night TV shows, attracting eyes to a scene that's always been vibrant since the dawn of the 1980s, but is undoubtedly thriving now more than usual.

Beyond Turnstile, bands like Knocked Loose, Drain and Sunami have become proper headlining acts, while a whole ecosystem of young groups — some heavy, some punky, some catchy, some abrasive as hell — continue to kill shit on the local and regional levels.

We asked Revolver readers to pick the single best hardcore band going right now, and the responses encompassed dozens of notable acts of all hardcore stripes. However, the top five vote-getters are ranked accordingly below.

5. Kublai Khan

Texas mosh commanders Kublai Khan have always bridged the gap between several types of 'core music, but hardcore feels like the most apt description of their sound. In the early 2010s, they were ahead of the curve in the way they integrated brutal deathcore breakdowns into bulky, Hatebreed-style anthems, and all these years later, Kublai Khan's cache in the broader scene is stronger than ever. Hell, even celebrity actress Kate Beckinsdale gets down with them.

4. Sunami

In a few short years, Sunami have gone from San Jose locals to one of the biggest hardcore bands in the world. Their knuckle-dragging demo and spate of EPs (including a 2021 split with their Bay Area brothers in Gulch) earned them an audience for their knowingly ignorant spin on bludgeoning beatdown, and then their virally insane live shows made them icons on hardcore TikTok. With a crushing new album under their belts and a recent sold-out U.S. tour, Sunami's star only keeps rising.

3. Drain

Along with Sunami, Drain are one of several Bay Area hardcore bands who've exploded in popularity during the 2020s. Fronted by ex-Gulch drummer Sammy Ciaramitaro, the Santa Cruz unit play a springy, thrashy style of hardcore that's as mosh-inducing as it is wildly anthemic. Every show they play is packed with stage-divers smacking pool noodles, and the songs on this year's Epitaph Records debut, Living Proof, have been eaten up by fans. Drain are world-class.

2. Soul Glo

There's no other band in hardcore like Soul Glo — and there never has been. The Philly group play an arresting blend of screamo, hip-hop, jagged hardcore and no-bounds noise-rock that burns righteously on record, and ignites like a fucking inferno in the live setting. When he's at his A-game, there simply isn't a more compelling frontperson (or lyricist, for that matter) in the genre right now than Pierce Jordan. It's good to see fans giving Soul Glo their well-deserved props.

1. Knocked Loose

Turnstile are so big right now that they almost feel outside of hardcore, making Knocked Loose the biggest band in the scene. Clearly, Revolver readers also think they're the best the genre has to offer right now. The Louisville demolition crew have been consistently converting true believers since their snarling 2014 EP, Pop Culture, leveling up their breakdown-battered sound without ever toying with clean vocals or watering down their attack.

In fact, the group's most recent output — 2021's destructive A Tear in the Fabric of Life EP and this summer's pair of singles — includes their heaviest songs yet. Sure, they've got a fall tour with Motionless in White ahead of them, and even metalhead popstar Demi Lovato wants a piece of their action, but Knocked Loose's credibility in hardcore isn't faltering. If anything, their die-hards are only growing more loyal.