Tag Archives: C.H.E.W.

The Best Albums of 2018: #40 – 21

best of 2018 40-21Let’s be honest for a second: No one clicks on these lists for the introduction. I don’t blame them! This is usually just the place where some routine throat-clearing goes, before we get to the main event. It’s also the place where I confess to the amount of anxiety involved with putting together a list like this—last year, I said, “Right now, there’s probably someone in their bedroom in Buenos Aires, making a record on their computer that is going to end up on next year’s list. So as comprehensive as we’ve tried to make this list, we realize that, even at 100 albums, we’re only scratching the surface of what’s available.” Guess what? That’s still true in 2018. That said, the albums that made the cut, to us, represent the breadth and scope of the many worlds available to discover on Bandcamp, and feel like the best musical summation of the last 12 months. When we make this list, we’re not only trying to assess the year’s best music, we’re also trying to tell the story of 2018, album by album, song by song. As always, being a part of Bandcamp Daily in 2018 was a true joy; we took a look at Extratone, the world’s fastest musical genre, got familiar with the New Face of Death Metal, and spent time with artists like Yugen Blakrok, Suzanne Ciani, and Kamaal Williams. Once again, the world of music is bigger than any one list can possibly contain, so consider this a starting point on the neverending journey to discovering new sounds, new scenes, and new voices. Alright, that’s enough throat-clearing. Let’s get to the list.

—J. Edward Keyes, Editorial Director

Best of 2018 Schedule:
December 10: #100 – 81
December 11: #80 – 61
December 12: #60 – 41
December 13: #40 – 21
December 14: #20 – 1

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The Best Punk on Bandcamp, October 2018


Bandcamp has long been a home for DIY punk and hardcore from around the world, touching all of the myriad subgenre styles and helping to translate the simple effectiveness of cut-and-paste to the digital age. For October’s edition of the best punk releases on Bandcamp, Kerry Cardoza features the dark post-punk of Madrid’s Rata Negra, the feminist frustration of Chicago’s CT-85, the visceral intensity of Singapore hardcore band Sial, and more. Continue reading

C.H.E.W. Prove It’s Possible to Produce a Perfect Hardcore Punk LP


Photo by Emily Quirk

During a polar vortex, guitarist Ben Rudolph and drummer Jono Giralt drove a van that contained a motorcycle, a dog, and various musical instruments from Orlando, Florida to Chicago. As they tell it, they “couldn’t go faster than 10mph for two days, and were counting all the flipped trucks. When we got to Nashville it was -13 degrees.” Bassist Russell Harrison had done the same move the previous year—without the blizzard. The goal was to play in a band with a friend who had moved north for school. However, when Giralt met vocalist Doris Carroll through a mutual job at a dog daycare, the lineup for a different band was serendipitously completed.  

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Five New Chicago Punk Bands to Know and Love



Chicago has a long history of excellent DIY punk—the city was home to Naked Raygun and Bhopal Stiffs in the ’80s, Los Crudos and Charles Bronson in the ’90s, and The Repos and Raw Nerve in the ’00s, just to name a few. Still, it has an equally long history of being overlooked in favor of its coastal peers when it comes to the greater canon of U.S. punk and hardcore.

Well, enough is enough. In the past year or so, Chicago has been on a marked upswing in terms of producing exciting new bands that can easily go toe-to-toe with popular coastal punk bands. Whether they feature people who have been at it for years in other projects, or individuals who are new to the city’s punk scene, these new bands continue to breathe life into Chicago punk. Here are some of the newcomers that demand your attention.


We live in a post-Hoax world, where stomping, mid-paced hardcore punk is still a dominant form of mosh fuel. There are plenty of bands in this style that aren’t especially memorable—then there’s Lowhangers.  Their first recording, Ulterior Motives, gifts us eight tracks of ear-splitting hardcore punk that, while fairly straightforward much of the time, also takes a fair amount of influence from noise rock, powerviolence (think the parts of No Comment songs in between the fast stuff), and sludge. These influences are incorporated with a deft hand, which is what makes this band work so well.  In the midst of a hard-hitting riff, a guitar part will appear that sounds like it could be on a Scratch Acid song, or feedback from a His Hero is Gone interlude. Add raw, vicious vocals into the mix and the result is a very promising first recording.

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