Steven Ervay: Top 10 Local Albums of 2013

It’s mid-December and the 2013 calendar is quickly wrapping up. I’m sure you were unaware based on everyone’s ‘year-end’ lists coming out. Well I’m no exception. I have opinions too, and I want you to hear them!!! Followed are my top picks from KC area bands from 2013.

10. Empty Moon – Fourth of July

Clearly Lawrence-bred Fourth of July’s most bitter, heart-wrenching album. Keeping in suit with Fourth’s typical melancholy lyrics, Empty Moon is set apart by a more folksy appeal than earlier albums. The eight-track album marked the beginning of the band’s hiatus. They’ll be back…I hope.

9. The Few, The Proud, The Strange – Not A Planet

Not A Planet’s debut LP was no disappointment. The lengthy indie-ridden album is full of quirky tunes and a definitive sound.

8. No Country For Old Musicians – Reggie and the Full Effect

Ok, so James Dewees (Reggie and the Full Effect) is technically based out of New York now, but his roots lie in Liberty, MO. He was the drummer for Coalesce, for a time, played keys for the Get Up Kids, New Found Glory, and My Chemical Romance, as well as some other projects. Considering he recorded a portion of this album with Ed Rose at Black Lodge in Eudora, this is a KC album. The tracks range from rock-oriented songs about Korean revenge films, to techno tracks about wizards. There are a few serious songs in there… a few. The albums features the likes of Mike Iero, Matt Pryor, Allison Weiss, and Adam Lazzara.

7. Destruction in Yr Soul – Hospital Ships

Hospital Ships has an incredible knack for creating gut-wrenching, dreamy songs. This album is no exception. It’s a chill-mood record, with some great lyrical work.

6. Little Leaves – the ACB’s

The garage-indie-rock band set a new standard for themselves earlier this year with Little Leaves. Boasting more chilled out songs than prior releases, the album is almost like a brand new ACB’s…in a way.

5. Postcards from Kansas City – Mac Lethal

Accompanying his book, Texts From Bennett, was this charming little EP. Yes, it’s an EP, but long enough to be an album, with eight-tracks featuring dark and gloomy overtones, upbeat songs about hangovers, and Chamillionaire.  Hello from Kansas City with these postcards from paradise.

4. Change Your Name – Maps For Travelers

Maps For Travelers made waves with this album, their freshman release from punker label No Sleep Records. This album seemed to make a lot of KC-themed lists, and for good reason. The band truly showcases everything it is made of on this one.

3. Wrist Slitter – Matt Pryor

Matt Pryor is a personal legend for me. This album is his (technically speaking) fourth solo release. The previous albums all had a folk/country feel to them. Not Wrist Slitter. Wrist Slitter is a downright rocker, reminiscent of his glory days in the Get Up Kids. The album features tracks with Braid’s Bob Nana and Chris Conley, of Saves the Day.

2. The Ides – Me Like Bees

Me Like Bees made The Ides a killer album. It’s 15 tracks of raucous indie tunes. The fact that the band played the whole album all the way through at their record release show is a testament to their dedication. The songs are extremely intricate, and the band displays its narrative abilities.

1. South of the Mountain – Bears and Company

This album is simply incredible. Fast songs, slow songs, instrumental tracks, this album has it all. These KC boys  are on the verge of major success with this 10-track gem, and are currently touring various regions of the United States as well as Japan. If you’re at all into local music, you must check it out.

Several of these records can be found in the ‘LOCAL’ section of the store. Go check them out, they won’t disappoint.

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