The Best of 2023: Ryan Curtiss’ Top 5 Albums of the Year

God damn, 2023 has been a great year for music. Swifties found the true meaning of friendship; Blink-182 are proving that age is just a number (explain that to your arthritis), and KISS ended in a more graceful way than the Rolling Stones will. While the Eminem Fortnite concert may have been the best concert you’ve ever seen, and the new Post Malone album spoke to you the only way pop music can, here are some of my favorite albums (in no particular order) that you may have missed from 2023.

Thrice: The Artist in the Ambulance – Revisited

Released 20 years ago, Thrice decided to give this album another look over and blow it out of the park all over again. Waves of nostalgia, graced with years of redefining their strengths, explode on this re-recorded masterpiece. Dustin Kensrue’s voice is gruffer this time around, and while the instrumentals are essentially the same, the rest of the band evolved their tone and play style, redefining what this album is, what they can do, and what it means to the millions of post-hardcore kids who still love it 20 years later. 

Crime In Stereo: House & Trance

Crime In Stereo are killers in the hardcore scene. While their hiatus broke many hearts, they’re back and ready to keep the anthems going. House & Trance dances on the line of social commentary and personal worldview, delivering fierce instrumentals, caustic lyrics, and performing a great follow-up to their previous album I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone. This album is the perfect soundtrack to the dystopian reality we are living in.

Koyo: Would You Still Miss It?

Crafting hardcore anthems is hard, but Koyo make it look so easy on Would You Still Miss It?. Track after track of bangers make up this 11-song album, showcasing the talent of one of New York’s finest hardcore acts. If you haven’t listened to this yet, what are you waiting for? Koyo will have you screaming along to their songs in no time.

Sincere Engineer: Cheap Grills

Embodying the Chicago punk scene, Sincere Engineer absolutely crushed it on Cheap Grills. Every song is a faded photograph of memories that will get you to feel something. The album bleeds every type of emotion through the instrumentals and lyrics. Despite feeling down on many of the songs, it is looking like it’s only up for Sincere Engineer, and I can’t wait to see what they give us next.

Spanish Love Songs: No Joy

Heartbreaking, heavy hitting, and at times, morbid, are just a few ways to describe No Joy by the punk-emo group Spanish Love Songs. While they have switched gears on their newest album into a more indie sound inspired by ’80’s bands, it still packs a punch of emotions that will wash over you on every track. Spanish Love Songs knows how to write a good song, and that’s all this album is made up of.

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