The Brokedowns have been a staple of Chicago punk for pretty much as long as I can remember. The first time they blew my mind was back in 2002, the year they formed, when my high school band played a show with them at an Elgin skate park that’s since been shuttered. Over the years, their musical peers have come and gone as the members of the Brokedowns entered adulthood, complete with families and careers, while somehow continuing to get better and better as a band.
Sick of Space, the Brokedowns’ fifth full-length—and third for Chicago punk label Red Scare Industries—comes out on Friday, May 18, and it might be their best yet. Engineered, mixed, and mastered by Meat Wave’s Joe Gac, Sick of Space combines a slamming rhythm section with the band’s signature over-the-top melodies and hollered vocals. In a genre often distinguished by its boneheadedness, the Brokedowns write surprisingly politically poignant lyrics (which are also funny as hell), and they do it again here—just another way they take the hallmarks of gruff ‘n’ drunk midwestern punk rock and elevate them. It’s what the Brokedowns have always done, and they’re the best at it.
The Reader is happy to premiere Sick of Space‘s first single, “Pardon the Light,” in the form of a lyric video put together by Red Scare founder Tobias Jeg.