PHILADELPHIA — While many mark the end of another year with champagne and tipsy renditions of ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ Philadelphia punks know the year isn’t truly over until local polymath Chris Morton releases his annual ranking of the 10 best bands of which he is a member.
Morton, a multi-instrumentalist attributed to at least 38 area bands listed as either active or “on hiatus,” claimed the list started out of necessity. “I was getting pulled in so many different directions, and I can only focus on 15 or so projects at a time,” he said. “I had to figure out where to aim my creative juices.”
His year-end review has a guaranteed, built-in audience of bandmates who keep close tabs on the rankings.
‘I wish I didn’t care about his dumb list,” said Meghan Girard, guitarist for Wendybird, one of Morton’s six cowpunk bands, “but I can’t say it doesn’t disappoint me that we didn’t make the list this year — especially since we had a pretty decent two-week tour together.”
Portmanteau, Morton’s oldest band, reportedly squeaked in at number 10, with the trallpunk band Snapped Angus just ahead at a close nine. Disemboweled Landlords (garage punk), Singin’ In The Pain (hardcore), and Kosher Kubrick (art punk) round out the bottom five.
“5th place is going to be a controversial pick,” said Morton, taking a slight break to build suspense, “because Chortle Whore is really just a parody of my anarcho-punk band, Roam Chompsky. Chortle is just a fun group to play with — Roam takes themselves way too seriously. So Chortle Whore takes it.”
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Coming in 4th was the synth punk/rapcore outfit Process Of Elimination, with another surprise pick in gypsy punk band Shank Sinatra & The Shorn Women in 3rd. However, Morton’s powerviolence trio Deep Vein Thrombosis, which held the crown three years running, was dethroned by Formal Fallacy, a skate punk band created by Morton in the fall of 2015.
“This was the hardest year yet. All of my bands are amazing,” posted Morton in the comments section below his original post, “and I want to give an Honorable Mention to my boys in Nocturnal Evictions! I may have only been in the band for just under a month before you kicked me out, but damn you guys were good for that one month!”
Morton is planning to take a few weeks off to record a solo album and begin his next list, “Bands I’m Looking Forward to Starting In 2017.”
Article by Dan Kozuh @k0zuh. Photo by Kat Chish.