Well, well, well. It’s that time of the year, folks. That time when music publications are essentially obligated to put out some sort of mid-year “Best Of” list.
This year, instead of doing some long-winded top 50 whatever list talking about all the records you already love from Bring Me The Horizon, The Maine, I Prevail, Motionless In White, Periphery, Frank Iero, Emarosa, Chon, Amon Amarth, American Football, Angel Du$t, PUP and more, instead we decided to take this opportunity to highlight the underrated albums we really think more people need to check out.
Now before we start, let us explain our concept of what “underrated” means. If we walked up to you and a group of friends and asked, “Hey, have you guys checked out the new ____ yet? It’s incredible,” and your response was “Who?” or maybe, “I didn’t even know they were still a band anymore,” that’s what we consider underrated – the idea that more people should know about how fantastic something is instead of the new Post Malone or whatever.
To check out our picks for the 10 albums we think need a little more time in the spotlight, be sure to see below.
Employed To Serve - Eternal Forward Motion
If you’ve yet to succumb to the greatness of Employed To Serve, welcome to the party. With the release of their new head-jarring Spinefarm Records release Eternal Forward Motion, there is zero doubt in our minds that this is the start of a promising and long-lasting career for the UK noisemakers. After just one listen to the ear-splitting breakdown on “Dull Ache Behind My Eyes,” you’ll agree with us too.
Notable Tracks: “Eternal Forward Motion,” “Force Fed,” “Reality Filter”
Whitechapel - The Valley
Usually when it comes to deathcore, artistic storytelling generally isn’t the first thing you think of. But with Whitechapel’s latest LP, it’s difficult to find any other way to describe their masterful album The Valley. While the idea of Phil Bozeman showing off his clean singing voice might turn some Whitechapel fans away, the true listeners will tell you this is easily Whitechapel at their most diverse and absolute best.
Notable Tracks: “When A Demon Defiles A Witch,” “Brimstone,” “Third Depth”
Secret Band - LP2
If you’re wondering how a new album from Secret Band may have slipped under your radar, that’s probably because it was released as, well, a secret. So before you beat yourself up for not knowing that Dance Gavin Dance’s Jon Mess, Will Swan and Matt Mingus unleashed yet another sludge-tastic banger under their covert side project, instead, press play and enjoy the powers of Secret Band.
Notable Tracks: “Bloomer,” “Lightning,” “Black Dolphin”
Cursed Earth - Deathbed Sessions
Seven tracks. Eight guest features. What is there not to like about Cursed Earth’s new hardcore mixtape Deathbed Sessions? Following the departure of frontwoman Jazmine Luders, the Australian act has enlisted some of our scene’s best vocalists to construct a pulverizing bone-shattering release that is sure to get your blood pumping and your fists moving.
Notable Tracks: “Fear,” “Torch,” “Tyranny Forever”
Unimagined - Friendless
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: If you’re in need of new music from Pierce The Veil and realize it’s not coming anytime soon, Standby Records’ Unimagined is the perfect band for you. Purposely stepping in as a post-hardcore placeholder for all in need of something like 2010′s Selfish Machines, Unimagined truly let their Warped Tour-friendly influences run wild all over their debut five-track EP Friendless.
Notable Tracks: “Too Dead To Dance,” “Something Borrowed, Something Blue,” “She Was Scared of Storms”
Yours Truly - Afterglow
After just one listen to Afterglow, it’s clear Yours Truly has the makings to be the next pop-punk breakout act similar to fellow Australians Stand Atlantic. With the anthemic and infectious “Circles,” “I Can’t Feel” and “High Hopes,” frontwoman Mikaila Delgado will have you singing along just like the first time you heard Paramore’s All We Know Is Falling.
Notable Tracks: “Circles,” “I Can’t Feel,” “High Hopes”
Free Throw - What’s Past Is Prologue
If Free Throw’s What’s Past Is Prologue doesn’t bring a tear to your eye at least once throughout its heartfelt and sincere 12 tracks, there might be something wrong with you. While the album may be masked with humorous references to movies like Step Brothers and Nacho Libre, the band’s latest journey into self-reflection is an eye-opening record that everyone needs to hear.
Notable Tracks: “Smokes, Let’s Go” “Tail Whip, Struggle” “The Corner’s Dilemma”
After The Burial - Evergreen
While this album might fall on plenty of people’s “Best Of 2019 So Far” lists, we have it featured as underrated for one reason and one reason only: More people need to listen to After The Burial. It’s that simple. For the fans who get it, you understand the greatness of this band. For the people yet to jump on the Evergreen bandwagon, this is your chance to make up for your mistakes and fully dive into the band’s unmatched musicianship.
Notable Tracks: “Behold The Crown,” “Exit, Exist,” “In Flux”
The Damned Things - High Crimes
You might be asking yourself how a record featuring members of Fall Out Boy, Anthrax, Every Time I Die and Alkaline Trio is considered “underrated.” But when it comes to The Damned Things’ first new album in nearly 10 years, we feel as though it still hasn’t garnered enough attention. Serving as the perfect rock revival album opposed to all the copy-and-paste wannabe rock records floating around these days, High Crimes is a beautifully constructed LP from start to finish. While 2010′s Iconoclast laid the foundation for what this supergroup is capable of, the band’s latest absolutely blows the door down leaving endless possibilities.
Notable Tracks: “Cells,” “Carry A Brick,” “Young Hearts”
Cokie The Clown - You’re Welcome
Coming in as easily the most depressing record on our list, Fat Mike’s new solo record isn’t for everyone. You’re Welcome isn’t an easy listen (nor is it meant to be) as the NOFX vocalist/bassist dives into some of the deepest and darkest subject matter he has ever covered – which says a lot considering NOFX’s 35-plus year career. Whether it’s “Swing and a Miss,” “Negative Reel” or “That Time I Killed My Mom,” Cokie The Clown’s latest is as heartwrenching as they come.
Notable Tracks: “The Queen Is Dead,” “Negative Reel,” “Punk Rock Saved My Life”