Taking Meds released one of our favorite punk albums of 2023 with Dial M For Meds–which vocalist/guitarist Skylar Sarkis also gave us a track-by-track breakdown of–and now Skylar has given us his list of his favorite albums of the year. It includes Dazy, Spiritual Cramp, Restraining Order, Angel Du$t, and more, and as is always the case when Skylar writes something up like this, it’s well worth a read. See what he had to say below.
Coming up for Taking Meds: they’ll open the NYC stop of the Sweet Pill/Equipment tour on May 9 at Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Skylar Sarkis’ (Taking Meds) 10 Favorite Albums of 2023
Dazy – OTHERBODY
This is my AOTY, no contest. No one is able to take the best elements of ’80s Manchester stuff and ’90s Britpop and filter it through an American lens like James. It gives it a character that is uniquely its own. Plus, the lyrics are good.
Spiritual Cramp – S/T
Another incredible band that wears their influences on their sleeve but are still unmistakably themselves. Every song has a different feel but it all fits together perfectly. “Herberts On Holiday” is a standout track.
Restraining Order – Locked In Time
I’ve seen this band live so many times and it never gets old. They will definitely go down in history as one of the greats. They can’t write a bad song. They fit on every bill. Long live Restraining Order.
Get With This – Love In Your Lip
I just got into this band recently. It’s hardcore dudes making a very different genre of music, which almost always results in excellent material. This music is legitimately sexy. It’s real rock n roll. Listen to everything they’ve released, it is all good.
Public Opinion – Heaven Sent
I know this is a single but I don’t care. This is their best material to date. I love “Dry Clean Only” even more than the title track, which is saying a lot because both songs absolutely rock. They are one of my favorite current bands and truly excellent live.
Webbed Wing – Right After I Smoke This…
Webbed Wing are the kings. In addition to Dazy, these guys make the exact kind of music I’m trying to listen to. I once referred to them as “The Lemonheads with balls.” I don’t think this record sounds like The Lemonheads but I stand by the balls part. The use of country-style leads on this and the last release is done so tastefully. The songwriting is always on point. What a great band.
Angel Du$t – BRAND NEW SOUL
I remember when the singles were being rolled out for this record, I was like “oh shit, they’re coming HEAVY with this one.” The record did not disappoint. Without getting too corny about it, I think Justice Tripp is one of the realest artists of our generation. A lot of really good artists in this specific corner of the music world are great at being intentional but struggle to be authentic. Justice is the MOST intentional and the MOST authentic. Everything he’s been involved in has been totally unique and extremely real. Anyway, the production on this record is crazy. The playing on this record is crazy. Regardless of what you’re expecting going into it, it’s going to surprise you.
High Vis – “Society Exists / Stationhouse Demos”
I didn’t listen to enough new post-punk this year, but I’m glad High Vis came across my radar (a sentiment that I think was shared by many in 2023). I got to see them twice and both times were at festivals, which can be notoriously bad places to see bands for the first time. It doesn’t matter what the stage sound is like, High Vis will absolutely rock no matter what. They can’t be stopped by a drum mix that is too loud or a poorly mic’d guitar amp. It’s pure, raw energy. Also, they dress cooler than every band in America, full stop. I loved “Blending,” but I think this particular release leans into the moody corner of post-punk that I like best.
White Reaper – Asking For A Ride
This is another band that I didn’t check out until this year. When I heard “Fog Machine,” I was so stoked. It has a chorus that instantly stuck with me. I can’t explain it, but it makes me feel the same way the real banger Superdrag songs do. This band has a lot more 70s rock n roll in it, which also really works in their favor. The guitar solos are awesome. I still need to see them live, hopefully I get to do that in 2024.
Collateral – Demo
I had to have my demo of the year on the list. Collateral are from Florida and they make the exact kind of hardcore I like. Fast and pissed, but still drawing heavily from the NYHC that succeeded all first wave US stuff. I saw them in Syracuse and haven’t stopped listening since.
All 4 All – Demo II
I am biased because I started playing second guitar in this band recently, but I am not on this release so I still spent a lot of time with it as a fan. Syracuse hardcore, no bullshit, fun as hell.