Patrick Kindlon had a busy 2020. His band Self Defense Family used the tour-less year to empty their vaults and put lots of previously unreleased material on Bandcamp, and his band Drug Church released the great single "Bliss Out" in early 2020 ahead of their tour with Thrice, mewithoutYou, and Holy Fawn (one of the tours that was able to happen before the world shut down). He also launched a new band with Regional Justice Center's Ian Shelton, Sex With A Terrorist, and released a demo with them.

With the year coming to a close, we asked Patrick what his favorite albums of 2020 were, and he included Ian Shelton's band Militarie Gun, as well as some other cool stuff, and as you'd probably expect if you follow Self Defense Family on Twitter or listen to Patrick on the Axe To Grind podcast, he had a lot of interesting stuff to say and did not hold back any of his opinions. Read on for his list...

Militarie Gun - My Life Is Over
Ian from this band and I compete for who can record more songs per year, so I don’t wanna encourage him. But this is a strong record of a type I don’t have much contact with in 2020. I lost the plot on noisy indie. The stuff I’m always told to check out is great in the way Fugazi is great. Unassailable. Capable. 'Good.' But… distant in some way. ‘Emotionally unavailable’ is how I’d describe it, if I was trying to date these bands. But MILITARIE GUN is tactile and present. Emotionally responsive and giving. Swipe right.

Colonial Wound - Untitled
The vinyl came out this year, so I’m counting this as a 2020 release. Cry. This is a modern update on that too-many-cabs shit from the mid-00s but done P E R F E C T L Y.

Jay Electronica - Act II: The Patents of Nobility (The Turn)
I supposed this is a leak? Semi-official product? Is it on streaming? I dunno. I downloaded it from some site that made my computer act weird after. But it was worth it. In 2020 when ‘album’ has essentially no meaning, there isn’t the same need for mood we may have had in the past. But it’s nice when you trip over some. The mood is established and maintained.

Terminal Nation - Holocene Extinction
I’m late to this one, as I’m coming to it after catching it on year-end lists. But better late than never, and I’m grateful I stumbled over it. Metal with spots of crust. Maybe some dabs of death metal, but I don’t like death metal and I like this. So, whatever. Hold on, lemme end this like a review from MRR in 1999: “They don’t like America; they do like head banging. Heavy.”

Morrissey - I Am Not A Dog On A Chain
Feel how you want. This old man is taking more chances on records than the musical nub cakes trying to cancel him. Is it good? Well. But it's interesting and in 2020 that's more than I got from most.

R.A. The Rugged Man - All My Heroes Are Dead
This is the strangest man in rap. The level of self-awareness present on this record is unmatched. I am enjoying some of the ‘grown man rap’ revival that people tell me is taking over the world, but this is old man rap that on its own merits is quite a bit better.

And that’s it for me. I liked other records, but this isn’t a charity. This year was clarifying in some ways. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels like a change is imminent. Look how many old acts are on my list. That’s not sustainable. We have to give a bit of a mulligan to young acts as they were likely afraid to release in a year they couldn’t tour. But, even so, there’s a problem here. The hustle is too transparent. Even two years ago, you could release an unrealized collection of bullshit and as long as press tied it to a dramatic personal story or slogan, you could fake the festival circuit. But it’s only the limping legacy media outlets that push that stuff now. Phoebe Bridgers and Facemask Country was too big for people to not try it themselves this year. We’re about to get the country/folk/AC/etc version of the Rolling Stones disco record from acts who were playing middling indie rock just last year. But, I imagine, after that washes to the sea along with fake noise, we’ll get a new slate of acts with some real intent. My guess is that after the past few years of bands groveling for approval and self-flagellating for being on 4Chan when they were fourteen, we’ll get some genuinely edgy music from fun nihilists who refuse to be lumped in with apologizers. And I’m still having fun here, but if I’ve gotta get outta the way for some little dickhead who is at least 3/4 an artist under his $100 Whitehouse shirt… well, I had a good run.


Listen to some of the music Patrick's bands released in 2020...


Browse our Best of 2020 tag for more year-end lists.

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