In Retrospect: The Best Albums We Missed While We Were Away (Part 1: Dylan’s picks)

Welcome back, friends! It’s been a while. Almost three years, in fact. It goes without saying that a lot of great music has been released in Dying Scene’s absence. To coincide with our little website’s “resurrection”, we’ll be highlighting some of the best albums we weren’t here to cover. Who knows? Maybe you missed some of them, too! Today’s list comes from longtime DS writer Dylan, aka “Screeching Bottlerocket”. Look forward to more entries in this series from some of our other contributors down the line.

Giant Eagles – Second Landing

The pride of Rotterdam, Netherlands, Giant Eagles have been pumping out extremely catchy, synthesizer-laden pop-punk for a while now. Their debut album Giant Egos was released in 2014, and their sophomore effort Second Landing arrived in 2020. The latter is without a doubt my favorite album of the 2020’s so far. The production is excellent (just listen to those fuckin’ synths!), and the songwriting is somehow even better. If you’re a fan of 90’s pop-punk and looking for a change of pace, I cannot recommend Giant Eagles enough.

Standout tracks: The entire album, especially Evil Robot Nation
Buy it: Mom’s Basement Records (USA) / Shield Recordings (EU) / Stardumb Records (EU)

Kill Lincoln – Can’t Complain

After going on a hiatus of their own for a few years, Washington, DC ska-punk band Kill Lincoln released their comeback album Can’t Complain in 2020. And what a comeback it was! This record seems to have officially put the band on the map, if the constant stream of represses it has received is any indication (seriously, they’re having a hard time keeping this thing in print). It is their most polished release to date, and they seem to have really honed their brand of bouncy pop-punk infused ska. Can’t Complain is a very fun record, and the perfect soundtrack for your summer.

Standout tracks: Greetings from Inner Space & Last Ditch Denial
Buy the record: Bad Time Records (USA) / HHV (EU)

Chaser – Dreamers 

Not many bands release their best music 20 years into their career, but Chaser isn’t like most bands. The Orange County melodic punk veterans made their triumphant return in 2018 with their first album in eight years, Sound the Sirens. They followed that with 2021’s Dreamers. I can safely say this is the definitive album of Chaser’s career thus far. It’s just really fucking good; melodic, fast, hard hitting skate punk. The cover art is awesome, too! Chaser is firing on all cylinders and isn’t slowing down any time soon.

Standout tracks: Good Times (just listen to that bassline!), The Ripper, Always With You & See You at the Show
Buy it: Sound Speed Records (USA) / Thousand Islands Records (Canada) / SBÄM (EU) / Pee Records (Australia)

The Putz – Rise and Shine

I’ve long been a fan of Indianapolis’ The Putz. Like most of the band’s previous work, their fourth full-length Rise and Shine checks all the boxes that I look for in a great pop-punk record. It’s a relentless 35 minute barrage of downstrokes, charmingly simple songwriting, and countless earworm hooks. If you told me this was a long-lost Lookout! Records release, I’d be inclined to believe you. This is a fantastic, well rounded album from one of the best pop-punk bands in the game.

Standout tracks: She’s a Brat, Kicked Out, Numbskull & Invitation Only
Buy it: Eccentric Pop Records (USA) / Stardumb Records (EU)

Victims of Circumstance – Five

One of the longest tenured bands in the Tampa Bay music scene, and the first local band I fell in love with, Victims of Circumstance delivered their aptly titled fifth album Five in 2020. It had been six long years since the ska-punk veterans’ last full-length No More Heroes, an album that would stay in my car’s CD player for months at a time. The good news is, the wait was worth it! Five is essential listening for any third wave ska fan. This album is brimming with grooving mid-tempo songs with chunky basslines, hard-hitting guitar driven punk anthems, and everything in between.

Standout tracks: Tonight We’re Getting Loud, Enemy, The Edge & Ready to Go
Buy it: vocska.com (CD) / Bandcamp (digital)

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