This band is one of the best-kept secrets that Chicago has to offer. They've been around for quite a bit and have only released EP's. This full length is fantastic and I don't know how to describe it. Bluesy / mathy post-punk. I'm not very good at describing it and I'm sure others who have heard this are in the same boat as I am.
Magnetic Eye Records
While technically not an album, this 4 song EP clocks in at 20 min which is longer than some full-lengths so I think it's a valid choice. Like if Alice in Chains played stoner metal. Pete Grossmann is in the band, and he records all the Eradicator stuff, but I'd put this in my top 5 whether he's in the band or not. Super catchy and fun.
I've never played a show with Shane and his band, but I'm a fan of anyone who decides to just do their own thing and try to piece together a band from it. This is their 3rd record and it's fantastic. If you're a sucker for Marked Men-esque stuff like I am this will certainly tickle your fancy.
I was late to the party on Ezra, who has been at it for a long time doing solo and full band work. Like the last record, this one is fantastic and swivels across multiple genres. The track Thermometer from this record makes you want to bounce around the house all day.
Forge Again Records
My good buddy Justin Wexler, who also helps run X-Ray Arcade with me in the Milwaukee area, put this record out on his record label. This is a quintessential Chicago noise record / Nirvana worship in a good way. Very catchy and even though this came out a month ago, it's a definite repeat listener and worthy of a year-end list.
Sacred Bones Records
I'm sure this will be on many year-end lists. This one took me by surprise as my good buddy Matt Sears turned me on to this record. It's reminiscent of 90's TVT Records, but sounds like nothing you'd hear from that era. Oddly catchy yet subtly mathy. Job well done on this record.
Screaming At Traffic
5. Mobina Galore : Don’t Worry
New Damage Records
Mobina Galore have been home town buds for a long time, and I’ve been loving seeing all the great things they’ve done over the years. With great riffs, chorus’ you can sing along too, heavy lyrics, this is the most mature album Mobina have released to date. “Don’t Worry” check the box for everything I want out of a record. Look forward to seeing what they do next. Favorite song: “Escape Plan”
This album has been on constant weekend/party rotation since it came out. I feel like my band and I could sing this whole album front to back from how many times it’s been played in the van over 2019, and I’m not even close to sick of it. Straight up pop punk bangers that bounce between tongue in cheek and being totally earnest, sometimes in the same 3 minutes. Love drinking to this album. Favorite song: “Drinkin’ Days”
Pure Noise Records
I don’t know if this is cheating because it’s not a full album, but to hell with it. It’s my top 5 after all, and Spotify algorithms seems to have screwed Spanish Love Songs out of my “Wrapped 2019” list. I’ve listened to these two songs almost as much as every other album on this list combined. I have a special place in my heart for depressing, honest lyrics, and SLS pack these two songs chalk full of them. Another one of my favorite lines of the year comes from the song, Losers; “And my bleak mind says it’s cheaper just to die.” Favorite song: “Losers”
Get Party! Records
This album is fucking beautiful. The lyrics are deeply and heart breaking-ly personal, and I mean that in the best possible way. From talking about mental illness, to failed relationships, I feel like the sentiment of the album can be summed up by one of my favorite lines of the year; “Covered in sweat and my own puke, ‘kay I know I disgust you, and I know we don’t explode, we burn out like a smoke tossed out the window”… Oof. Thank you Stuck Out Here. Favorite song: “Bore Me”
1. PUP: Morbid Stuff
What can be said about PUP and Morbid Stuff that hasn’t been said already? Catchy hooks, some bizarre time signatures, and shout along choruses made Morbid Stuff a shoe in for my album of the year list. I’ve always loved everything this band has ever put out, so it probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me that I would include it in my Top 5. Favorite song: “Closure”