DS Staff Picks: Top 10 Albums Of 2013 – Ben (Midwest Punk)


Hey all, I’m Ben (Midwest Punk), and this is a list of my top 10 albums of 2013. That’s me in the red Fat Wreck Chords shirt and blue Isotopes hat (pictured with my friends from the Fat Wreck Wiki, who played a big part in my discovery of much of this music).

I love lists, but it’s a painstaking process to make them, because I know I left out some albums that absolutely deserve to be here. Plus, this is only a list of full-lengths, leaving out a lot of really good EPs/singles.

Here are some of my “honorable mention” picks, in no particular order: The Flatliners – “Dead Language,” Five Iron Frenzy – “Engine Of A Million Plots,” Bad Religion – “True North,” Old Man Markley – “Down Side Up,” and Galactic Cannibal – “We’re Fucked!”

I’d also like to give a special shout-out to Todd and Debe at Clearview Records for what I would rank as my top overall release of 2013, the Teenage Bottlerocket box set. Amazing!!

With all that said, here‘s my official list.

10. Jetty Boys – “Let ‘Er Rip”

I was caught off guard by this one. I had only heard a song or two from Jetty Boys before picking up this album. In the end, I’m glad I gave these guys a chance, because “Let ‘Er Rip” is a great record!

 

 

 

 

 

9. The Murderburgers – “These Are Only Problems”

I don’t have a whole lot to say about this album, it’s just damn good, all the way through!

 

 

 

 

 

8. Swingin’ Utters – “Poorly Formed”

Here’s another gem from these long-time punk staples.  It’s not my favorite album of theirs, but it’s still a very solid release.

 

 

 

 

7. Off With Their Heads – “Home”

Straight out of my home town, these guys to me are the epitome of punk in the Midwest. They just keep on pumping out great punk music, and “Home” is no exception.

 

 

 

 

6. Lipstick Homicide – “Out Utero”

Straight-up fast, loud, fun punk rock. I must admit, I heard these girls (and Luke) live before I really started listening to them, and I think that’s a good thing. Their live shows are fun and furious! So much so that I’ve seen them live four times in the last two months. “Out Utero” is exactly what I expect from Lipstick Homicide, and it’s just plain great!

 

 

5. Well Aren’t You Precious – “Awwwwww”

You likely haven’t heard of these guys, but you really should change that. To me, punk is about hanging out with friends, having fun, doing what you want, and not worrying what others think. This album symbolizes all of that, with some hard, fast punk, some “jazzy,” fun music, some serious songs, some silly songs. It’s all here, and it all fits together so well. Full disclosure: these guys are from the town I live in, but that in no way affects my opinion, or how awesome their music really is!

 

4. A Wilhelm Scream – “Partycrasher”

Admittedly, I’ve never been a big fan of A Wilhelm Scream. It’s not that I don’t like their music, I just never got into it really. “Partycrasher” changed all of that for me. “Boat Builders” is the perfect opening track, and everything builds so well off that.

 

 

 

3. Implants – “From Chaos To Order”

Some of my favorite bands of all time are 90s skate-punk bands, like NOFX, Lagwagon, Ten Foot Pole, Strung Out, and Pulley. If you didn’t know already, Implants features members from the last three of those bands, so it’s hard for me to not like them. I had high expectations when I heard about this new band, and their debut album far exceeded those expectations. If you’re a fan of the 90s Fat Wreck Chords/Epitaph sound and you pick up one record this year, I highly suggest you make it this one.

2. Various – “The Songs Of Tony Sly: A Tribute”

Being a fan of No Use For A Name (and probably even more so of Tony Sly’s solo work), this compilation is about as good as it gets. Some of my favorite bands of all time are on here, singing some of my favorite songs of all time. Tony’s amazing songwriting skills shine in this release, no matter how the music was portrayed by the other bands/artists. It somewhat pains me that I didn’t make this my top album of the year.

 

 

1. Direct Hit! – “Brainless God”

This album is basically complete punk/pop-punk perfection in my book. From start to finish, “Brainless God” flows like one great story, and it’s nothing short of a masterpiece. I listen to the entire album several times per week, and it just doesn’t get old. So go listen to it, love it, and thank me later.


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