Stress Positions Walang Hiya cassette

From the prolific and diverse Chicago hardcore scene comes STRESS POSITIONS and their 2022 debut cassette Walang Hiya (“No Shame” in Tagalog). Musically, STRESS POSITIONS play fairly straightforward hardcore with lots of fun surprises thrown in—check out the noise at the 40-second mark on “Lust for Pleasure,” or the screeching halfway point of “This Land.” Vocalist Stephanie Brooks has a brutal vocal delivery that oscillates between shredding and shrieking, only slowing down to softer singing on an occasion or two. All of that said, the title track “Walang Hiya” is the standout here. Opening with ringing guitars before blasting off, it’s a three-minute punk odyssey condemning the white Catholic takeover in the Philippines and its destruction of indigenous culture there, specifically in regards to the treatment of women and their right to make choices about their bodies. It’s a bold song and a subject matter that doesn’t seem to be touched on often, at least not this specifically. By the time the repeated chorus of “Ayako sayo!” (“I don’t like you!” in Tagalog) comes along, the cover art depicting a Catholic priest being burnt at the stake by three Indigenous people feels a lot more profound. Highly recommended.