Here we are this Sunday night with the fourth and final installment of our Best of Springfield Music 2018 series. All of the finalists in these categories were voted on last month through a poll on our site. Tonight we bring you those top then Springfield albums/releases of 2018.
Check out albums #11-20 here.
Check out your top voted songs of 2018 from Springfield local bands here.
Check out your top voted Springfield shows of 2018 here.
Also you can read all of these write-ups in the January issue of Activator Magazine found a various locations around town!
1. Foam Fangers – Foam Fangers EP
With songs like “Talk To The Fanger”, “I’m A Jerk” and “Gotta Piss”, Foam Fangers have the old school “I Don’t give a fuck” punk attitude. Without even being a year old yet, Foam Fangers have spent the whole year of 2018 smashing their way through the Illinois punk scene, playing nearly every punk line up around the central Illinois area. They know how to write some catchy tunes, its hard to walk away from one of their set without humming along to the melody of “Capital City” for the rest of the week.. Keep an ear out for the Fangers in 2019, bigger things to come, I’m sure. -Michael O Hannain (MAC)
2. Master Bastard – Mouth Breather
You’re the outgoing governor of Illinois. You’re really sad that you got the mansion all ready to go and now you have to go home. You put on your leather jacket and skull belt buckle and hop on your Harley Davidson. What’s blaring out the speakers as you cruise down Route 66? Master Bastard. Great record from a great band that loves Motorhead just the right amount. Is it weird that I personally relate to this band because the guitarist is left-handed? -Mario Cannamela (Bottom Bracket, Graveswitcher, Livin’ Thing)
3. Telephone Junkies – 2001: A Honda Odyssey
The new 2 track ep “2001 Honda Odyssey” by The Telephone Junkies kicks off with exemplifying that when it comes down to it the mediocrity of an early 2000’s minivan will never outweigh all of its practicality. The song’s about acknowledging who you are and not giving a cr*p what anyone says about your dumb van. I will have to say the Junkies did a great job dynamically on this track. And then Armbrecht starts unleashing this guitar solo as if he’d just beat the boss in Guitar Hero 3. Definitely the best part is when they start to bring it back in from that incredible solo and throw it off a beat….very tasteful. The following and final track “3:02 of Self Pity” is pretty self-explanatory and a great listen for whenever you’re having one of those “off” days. But then there is yet another solo with not one but TWO guitar, I guess some might call it a duet. “2001 Honda Odyssey” was the groups second release and there is a noticeable amount of improvement all across the board. Kicks b*tt -Carter Bibb (Bottom Bracket, Prowess, Vonne)
4. Foot – Big
Foot caught my attention this year with their first iteration of hopefully more doomy droney post rock. The surreal (or real) cover art mixed with the punny name are certainly an appeal. I’ve listened to this numerous times working late hours utilizing the dark doomy armies marching forth from the wiggly air coming from my headphones. This record is certainly a cut above the sea of drone guitar projects and perfect for deep brooding or updating spreadsheets. I give it 4 steel toed boots -Jeff Black (The Radon Lounge)
5. Wolf Crick Boys – War & Peace
2018 proved to be a year of tragedy and triumph for the Wolf Crick Boys. The band was dealt a tragic blow when much-loved founding member and bassist Scott Leach unexpectedly passed away at the beginning of the summer. The band forged on. Within a month of Scott’s passing, the Wolf Crick Boys issued its stunning rebuke of modern country music in the form of “War & Peace.” That may not have been songwriter/bandleader Lucky Patterson’s central intention but, surrounded by arguably the best backing band in central Illinois, he’s done just that. These are songs of truth. Every. Single. One. Opening track, “We Act Brave,” takes the listener into the world of an active duty soldier with lyrical detail bordering on the uncomfortable. You can’t help but feel right there with him whether he’s on the battlefield or on the phone call to his girl. Another standout track, “Brickler Road,” takes the listener on a detailed tour of the writer’s past. Again, the listener can imagine bouncing around in an old, beat up pick-up with Lucky behind the wheel reeling off memories. “The Big S,” the band’s relaxed ode to the Sangamon River, takes the listener on a lazy river reminiscence. That’s just three of the songs. This is how country music should sound: vocals that suggest an aversion to hollowness of the big city, lonesome fiddles and guitars, and timeless songs. -Jason Perry (The Seething Coast, Resident Genius)
6. No Cash Value – No Cash Value
I have said it before and I’m saying it again right now: No Cash Value are the future of central Illinois punk. I don’t care if you like it, that’s what it is. That’s what is happening. No Cash Value bring a raw, earnest and powerful energy and enthusiasm to their music that reminds me of what punk can and should be. If you don’t smile and pump your fist when you hear “The Government Stole My Skateboard” then you’re a lost cause, man. -Mike Reisinger (Livin’ Thing, Eggman)
7. This Is A Stickup – Dumpster Dash EP
Meet This is a Stick Up! from Decatur, IL. TIASU is the world’s first dumpster punk band, bringing a unique blend of various punk styles into something vibrant and unique. It’s very loud and very punk. (Note: I paraphrased and/or flat-out stole some of that first line from Colin Uthe who produced/mixed/mastered the EP, but it’s goddamn perfect). The Dumpster Punk EP contains six tracks that tacle most of society’s present issues head-on, pulling no punches in the process. Personal EP highlights include “Comrade Teacher” and “Angsty Ave.” –Joe Copley (Designer, Activator Magazine)
8. Graveswitcher – Graveswitcher
Fast aggressive and menacing, these are three words I use to describe Graveswitcher. Personally, Graveswitcher is one of my favorite hardcore/punk bands in the 217. Combining the angry tones of hardcore and fast melodic punk style, they have the power to move a crowd like no other. Their 6 song EP draws from many different bands and genres and has that certain 217 sound that stands out from any punk or hardcore bands anywhere else. -Brice Jackson (No Cash Value)
9. Glower – Glower
Glower’s first release, a self-titled EP of 7 dreamy hits, gave us everything we were hoping for from 2018 post-punk. Listening to the voices of Kate Laine and Kristin Walker floating through the room reminds one that sometimes the simplest melodies are all we need. This EP is refreshing for those of us who need a little break from daily chaos. -Dani Sakach (Graveswitcher, Blushe)
10. Kenyon DeShasier – Together
Together is a brief EP from Springfield’s number one lofi indie boy himself: Kenyon DeShasier. Its opener, Together, is a chilled out love song with stripped back production and a piano solo. From there it goes into I Need a Little More Time, which is an unexpected but welcome R&B jam. The EP ends with My Cheddar Bay Biscuit, a funky jizz jazz track with pitched down vocals, almost reminiscent of Connan Mockasin. -Vincent Sgro (Foot)