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Top 10 Kansas City & Lawrence LP's Of 2015

This year the Kansas City area released an immense amount of new music. I took the liberty of digging through most of it for you and picking out the best. Below are my top ten favorite full-length albums and mixtapes from local artists in the past year, along with a few honorable mentions. I truly believe there is something for everyone here. Enjoy.

-Dark Ages - "Vapor"
In 2015 Dark Ages decided to call it a day, but not without one hell of a final album. "Vapor" is the Kansas City punk band's strangest, moodiest release thus far. The band channeled '80's punks Die Kreuzen and a few others in the making of this angry, swirling piece of wax. Hardcore didn't die along with them, but Dark Ages sure could've convinced you otherwise.

-Bloodbirds - "MMXVIII"
Much like their friends in Dark Ages, Bloodbirds released their second LP and broke up in 2015. "MMXVIII" throws one mid-paced post-punk track after another at you along with some brain-melting soloing. Shorter songs like "Line Array" are full of sheer frustration, while longer songs like "Did You Say" gave the band the chance to show off some of their psychedelic tendencies.

-Sie Lieben Maschinen - "June Gloom"
Steven Tulipana and Josh Newton have been in many bands over the years, but Sie Lieben Maschinen may be one of their best.  On "June Gloom," the duo jumps straight to full-length, which is understandable considering the experience of the two. The album is full of oddball post-punk jams, some off-kilter, others groovetastic.

-Rev Gusto - "Burnt Out Friends"
Rev Gusto has been around for years, the product of friends making music together in high school. Honestly, they never really impressed me. Until Now. "Burn Out Friends" shows a newer, more mature Rev Gusto. The album is full of well thought out, but still exciting indie rock tunes. Psych rock-influenced "Surf City/Mind In A Cage" is a jangly, upbeat summer anthem.

-Deaton Chris Anthony - "BB"
Deaton Chris Anthony is the alter-ego of Andrew Lovgren, a local skater, filmmaker, and musician. On "BB," Anthony sings R&B love songs for the internet generation over his own beats that seem to be influenced by the music that plays in the sad moments of the show Full House. To make things even weirder, I'm also told he is out of town right now on a Mormon missionary trip. So Kansas City, will you be his "Wi-fi" or his "Wifey"?

-Lion - "Disquiet"
While KC/Lawrence hip-hop hasn't quite taken off yet (it's coming though, I can feel it), local beatmaker Lion is trying to make it happen. This full length album is instrumentals only (minus one track with a guest vocalist and some sampling) and that's not even a problem. Vocals would only distract from the smooth, nocturnal nature of the project. Lion has emerged as one of the most savvy beatmakers in the area, which is also evident on his collaborative project with Barrel Maker.

-Not Like Igor - "This Is Just To Say"
"This Is Just To Say" is the first full-length album by these local emo dudes. Ranging from melancholy acoustic moments to very loud melancholy screaming moments, "This Is Just To Say" is everything you really need from a Midwestern emo album. Catch them opening most of the shows at Records With Merritt.

-Stik Figa / L'Orange - "The City Under The City"
While not technically from Kansas City or Lawrence, Topeka rapper Stik Figa qualifies for the list based on the amount of shows he performs here. "The City Under The City" was produced entirely by L'Orange, a Tennessee beatmaker who has also recently dropped an album with hip-hop legend Kool Keith.

-Weaver - "Last Name Pancho"
Weaver (a.k.a. Weave Pancho) is a Lawrence, Kansas rap artist. On this hour long project he tirelessly spits creative rhymes about smoking weed and enjoying life. The mixtape plays as an excellent soundtrack to a daytime acid trip or a late night smoke session with your friends. "1Time" is one of the sunniest, catchiest hip-hop tracks of the year.

-Madisen Ward & The Mama Bear - "Skeleton Crew"
Hip Kansas City's favorite mother-son folk duo released their debut album "Skeleton Crew" this year. The duo's infectious, soulful tune "Silent Movies" made its way onto airwaves nationally early in the year and the two only picked up steam from there, selling out large theaters and small, secret shows alike.

Honorable Mentions
-Tidecruz - "Someone"
-Emo Side Project - "You Know What Sucks? Everything"
-Ravenna Golden - "Girl Gone Wild"

Check back next week for our favorite local EP's of 2015!

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