Entries in Punk (1)

Best Albums of 2013

Kelsey's been spending the past few weeks trying to figure out what she's going to list for her top albums of the year over on Violent Success, the music blog that she's an editor and contributor for. I've come up with a short list of my own from discussing what's actually come out this year that I've been listening to. Assorted punk rock goodness of 2013 follows.


The past year and a half has seen me begin to embrace a newfound obsession with surf-influenced punk rock coming out of LA. The debut LP from FIDLAR, takes the mellow fuzz of surf punk and cranks the speed and energy way up. Most surf punk shows I go to are pretty tame with people enjoying the music. Last time I saw FIDLAR live, the kids were climbing on the rafters and 2 girls dressed as nuns (it was halloween) were not pulling any punches in the pit. The energy matches the name, which stands for "Fuck it dog, life's a risk."

Audacity: Butter Knife

Audacity is the band that originally made me realize my love of surf punk with their album Mellow Cruisers, which would become my anthem for the summer last year. This fall brought about the release of their third LP, Butter Knife. It's a bit more laid back than their previous efforts, which is complemented by some really great song writing on guitar with catchy riffs that really tear through the speakers. It all fits together into an incredibly well rounded album that I've been listening to a ton in the past month.

Smalls: Expecting the Worst

This little 4 song EP has made me excited to see what's next for this relatively new pop punk band from LA. They're my new hope for some fresh pop punk in the vein of Daggermouth or Set Your Goals. I first heard what is possibly the best song of the four, Game of Kings, on Act Your Age, a punk rock podcast out of Vancouver, that I've been listening to since its inception. Game of Kings took me by such surprise that I literally paused it to look them up halfway through the song and start syncing the album to my phone from spotify. I'm also very upset with them because they're about to go on tour through my hometown in Indiana but aren't making the effort to come up to Chicago.

The So So Glos: Blowout

I have a long history of seeing The So So Glos play basements and abandoned theatres in Fort Wayne to crowds of only a few dozen people. They somehow captured the hearts of a rag-tag assortment of punks and metal heads in my hometown with their punk-influenced indie stylings. Which is why I was surprised to see them drop an album that Pitchfork reviewed, and even liked. And then I went and screwed up and didn't get tickets soon enough to a sold out Chicago show with Desaparecidos. What's great about Blowout is that despite their newfound publicity after years of staying strong as a relatively unknown group, is it stays true to their style. Dreamy songs of life in the city, with faster riffs coming in at just the right time, and great lyrics over the top of it all.

Night Birds: Born to Die in Suburbia

This album really caught me by surprise. I picked it up on a whim at the record store, having never really gotten into Night Birds previously. What I got was an incredible album that is both poignant and clever. For some reason this band is in my imagination what FEAR would be like if they were a modern punk band influenced by the likes of Dillinger Four instead of an 80's hardcore band.

Direct Hit!: Brainless God

I started listening to this pretty late in the year. After seeing them play in the rain on the last day at Riot Fest, I decided they warranted a further listen and got really hooked. It's fast, offensive, and catchy. What more can you ask for from a pop punk band?