Kunk (Drag City)
If The Clash and Rancid had a child—a moody, angsty child—it would be Dope Body. Since 2008, the local quartet has been refining its sound with gusto, power, and fury. At times hard-core heavy metal, at others ’90s garage grunge—but mostly pure punk rock—the band’s sound is always raw, rough-and-tumble, and mosh-pit ready. Amidst clashing hi-hats, thunderous drums, plugging bass, and shredding guitar, Andrew Laumann’s distinctive vocals rumble from hoarse choruses, as in “Goon Line,” to deep, dark verses, as in “Obey.” Our favorite might be “Down,” a shimmering digression from their meatier headbangs. It calls out to the brooding teen inside us all.
Al Rogers Jr. & Drew Scott
Get to know Al Rogers Jr. Whether he’s being named one of The Sun's 10 under 30, mingling with the crowd at Sowebo, or getting down at The Crown, the young artist has a fresh style that leaves you wanting more. On his new project with Blacksage’s Drew Scott, the self-proclaimed lover/creator/dreamer conjures up his own world, “Luvadocious,” where God is a woman, “love isn't feared,” and “pursuing your passion is accepted.” His dynamic wordplays are backed by Scott’s skilled beats, culminating in a sort of experimental, chill-wave hip-hop. Rogers swings his voice like freestyle jazz, dancing between playful, fast-paced spits and soulful, sexy swoons, and he skips the tired, typical raps (women, cash, cars) to approach grander questions (love, life, himself). Each quest is imbued with spirit and swagger, spreading the feel-good vibes that he likes to call swooz. Even the slow songs make you move along.