Kentcore’s best albums of 2022


The year 2022 brought a plethora of new music into all scenes. Members of the Kentcore staff have chosen their favorite album released this year. 


Lochlan: Viagra Boys – Cave World

“Cave World” is an album inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic and early man that pairs punk-Esque social commentary and crustaceous absurdism. It is the first album released after the death of the founding member Benjamin Vallé in late 2021. The album, written during the early COVID-19 pandemic, draws inspiration from far-right conspiracies about COVID and the vaccine. As the name implies,  “Cave World” looks into our prehistoric relatives and the first humans. 

“Cave World” is my top album of the year because it’s an easy and fun listen but also acts as social commentary. It’s just punk enough to make you feel real cool when you listen to it but goofy enough to make you chuckle. The lead vocalist Sebastian Murphy demonstrates a skillful range in style through the album going from TV-evangelists sermons to total chaos. I think the best way to consume this album is through music videos on YouTube or their recorded “Shrimp Sessions,” also on YouTube. 

I first got introduced to Viagra Boys through Kentcore alumn Ben Pagani. At first, I figured it was a novel band with a few funny songs. I started listening to the band more and more as they released singles from this album. I listened to the album all through the Summer, and it made up most of my punk playlist by the Fall. 

Honorable Mention: People in the Daytime: He was Dressed in Santa Suit 


Chris Capuozzo: Arm’s Length – Never Before Seen, Never Again Found

Arm’s Length’s first full-length album can be described with two words: Pure bliss.

“Never Before Seen, Never Again Found” could not have come out at a more perfect time for me. The album’s messages about grief, losing love, self-pity, trauma, and learning how to heal yourself helped me through a time this fall when I thought my personal matters were going to make me crumble. 

This album to me is the epitome and evolution of the emo/post-hardcore sound. Punchy and beautifully haunting chords build up to groovy choruses and powerful breakdowns that are backed by dark, emotionally moving lyrics. Some songs move slower than others, and one is even backed by a violin (Muscle Memory). In my opinion, Muscle Memory is the best song on the album. The lyrics tell the story of not appreciating the people around you before it’s too late. It is extremely emotional through the instruments.  They tell the story throughout the song. The lyrics are just the icing on the cake.

The lyrics punched me in the gut the first time I listened to this song. Opening up songs with lines like, “So when days feel the same, I can paint on a face for amusement.” (An ideology of depression. Being happy and positive for others, but deep down the pain is ever remnant…) and “Please come back home to me. End all of my dog-whistling” (The idea of missing someone and not being able to move on. However, you are still reaching out, hoping for a chance they come back.), shows how the build-up of these lyrics can really break listeners, as it did for me. It is a constant reminder of realizations that we never knew we needed to hear. More so, the truth of what broken people need to hear to be healed and move forward in life, not backward. 

This album is an amazing listen for those who need that beautiful moment. But, it is an amazing listen for those who want to satisfy the inner emo inside of them.

Honorable Mention: Varials – Scars For You To Remember


Colten: Ants From up There by Black Country, New Road

By the time I had finished listening to Ants From Up There on the night it was released, I already knew that it was one of the best records I would ever hear in my life. I looked at my list of favorite albums ten minutes after it ended and I impulsively placed it as my third favorite of all time. I thought I might be overhyping myself, but to this day it has not budged from that position.

Everything about this album is beautiful, from the instrumentals layering themselves in rhythmic discordance on Haldern to the cinematic piano intro of The Place Where He Inserted The Blade, which is immediately followed by the best-written verse this year; the first line alone made me cry on my second listen.

Basketball Shoes, the album’s twelve-minute closer, is the best song of all time — and I don’t even think it’s a competition. Normally, I would relisten to a song if I’m going to write about it, but I can’t do that now because it would leave me in a catatonic state for the rest of the night.

It’s hard for me to get myself to listen to this album because it’s the most potent musical experience in the past decade of my memory. Sometimes I’m afraid to listen to it because of the emotional impact it has on me every time I try. No other album has the same grasp on my psyche as Ants From Up There.


Cassie: Hellfire by Black Midi

There was an abundance of great music that was released this year. However, only one album was superior in my mind, and that’s Black Midi’s third studio release, Hellfire. Their previous releases Schlagenheim and Cavalcade throw you into their metallurgic yet mystical world, Hellfire doing that times a million and lighting you on fire. The band’s popularity has exploded thanks to their gritty attitude, the non stop tours, and a certain ambiguity they possess. Hellfire shows a sterling sense of growth among the band. There were outstanding moments on the album but the three track run of “Sugar/Tzu,” “Eat Men Eat,” and “Welcome to Hell” flow perfectly into each other and set up the world of Hellfire. Morgan Simpson (drums) displays his best work yet on Sugar/Tzu, shooting out rapid rhythms towards Geordie Greep (vocals and guitar) who slams them down into the center of the ring while announcing the match of the fictional Sugar and Tzu. Eat Men Eat has Cameron Picton (bass and vocals) singing a sort of modern shandy, telling a tale of a husky, drunk, and (a possibly) cannibalistic captain. My favorite Black Midi songs are when Cameron is on the mic, his soft spoken voice can quickly turn into biting laments. Welcome to Hell was the first song released as a single, teasing the upcoming album. tell that Greep’s vocals have become more polished as the band keeps releasing music; Even though I miss the wailing screams he gave on Schlagenheim, his cawing has only gotten smoother and faster, and Welcome to Hell proves that. I cannot get enough of Black Midi’s Hellfire, and I’m craving for even more of their abstract symphonies. 


CRASH by Charli XCX was a contender for my pick of album of the year, this album being one of her best releases yet. I’m a sucker for a good pop album and Charli knows how to paint a fresh and shiny coat of paint on the genre. Her previous record, how i’m feeling now, was a breath of fresh air; With metallic production from Dylan Brady of 100 gecs and vivid vocals, there was no stopping the popstar when it came to experimentation. However, CRASH does an excellent job of mixing her previous sounds together into the most authentic Charli XCX sounding album ever. Songs such as “Yuck” and “Used to Know me” make you want to sway your hips and smile, and “Constant Repeat” will truly stay on repeat in your head. CRASH was by far the best pop album that was released this year.

An album that was overlooked in 2022 was Quelle Chris’s Deathfame, and I got the pleasure to tell him so after he opened for Black Midi in October. Quelle Chris is known for his clever wordplay and gruff vocals, which he displays in an array of emotions. His previous records display his vulnerability quite well, but none can compare to Deathfame. I remember listening to this album in full for the first time on a three hour drive back from Detroit, and needing a fix for unique rap I turned to Quelle Chris. Little did I know that the album would have me stopping at a rest station so I could ball my eyes out. Quelle Chris is a master of working over any kind of beat and turning it into his own; The piano heavy production on the album sang a chord to one of his most popular, yet somber songs “Sudden Death.” My favorite song off his new album,“How Could They Love Something Like Me,” pulls you into Quelle’s hidden loneliness as he gets caught up in the business of life, shakily pondering his success, accompanied by distorted vocals. If you are looking for rap with a soft and smoky sound, check out Deathfame.

As far as local albums go, Kent’s beloved People in the Daytime celebrated this year’s winter solstice by dropping a very special Christmas collaborative album called HE WAS DRESSED IN A SANTA SUIT. The band has once again created a colorful project that’s completely other-worldly, this time giving you a sense of Christmas joy which you’ve never experienced before. The record’s opening track, “HE WAS DRESSED IN A SANTA SUIT” takes you by the hand and jumps into the band’s very own winter wonderland. People in the Daytime are amazing at making a first impression; Not only will they catch your attention with jams and noises at the beginning of their shows, but their self titled album’s first track, “Men in Suits (With Painted Faces)” captivates you, teleporting you to the world of People in the Daytime. The next track, “WONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME” cools you down as we hear the band’s take on a classic 80’s Christmas song. The cheerful energy from this song is plentiful, John Polace (keys and vocals) and Evan Schonauer (guitar and vocals) going back and forth singing their hearts out with joy. Owen Barba (percussion/drums) and Anthony Liotta (bass) cool us down at the end of the track with some drum and bass inspired grooves, accompanied by nods to Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas Time is Here,” which is later covered by Schonauer under his alias, Crasulture. 

The best part of  “HE WAS DRESSED IN A SANTA SUIT” is the collaborative aspect. The holiday season is the time to get together with the people you love, and this album represents that warm and fuzzy feeling to its fullest. I’ve never been a huge fan of collaborative albums, but I can’t help but put that bias aside and put on this record. Hearing Harborer’s playful cover of “SNOW” makes me want to jump outside and spend the whole day frolicing in the snow; On the other hand, Bloodhounds’ take on Joni Micthell’s “RIVER” slows us down, painting a picture of the more somber side of Christmas. People in the Daytime not only welcome us into their winter wonderland, but introduce us to a whole universe of Christmas done by creatives. 

Our staff would like to thank you for enjoying our content this year, 2022 was a year full of growth. We cannot wait for what 2023 will bring us, stay tuned!