Editor’s note: In this crazy year devoid of local shows, discovering new favorites hasn’t been easy. We asked a few friends, colleagues and scene contributors for some of the Chicago-area bands who cut through the noise and truly won them over in 2020. Today, Jacques LaMore, the voice behind the Chicago area’s Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast and host at Wake N’ Jake at WFAV 95.1-FM, shares one of his favorite finds from this year.
First off, I’d just like to say thank you to Brian Shamie and Chicago Sound Check for asking me to be a part of this! I’ve always been grateful for his support of Pop-Punk & Pizza Podcast.
I discovered SO many new artists and bands in 2020. It wasn’t that the artists themselves were new, just new to me. One of the new bands I discovered was World War Me. I had heard or seen their name floating around on different flyers for local Chicago shows, but didn’t know anything about them. I received an email one day from their lead vocalist, Stephen Krypel, inquiring about being a guest on Pop-Punk & Pizza. The band was about to release a new single called, “Stunner.” Since the single wasn’t available for me to listen to yet, I looked them up on Spotify to hear previous releases. I can’t remember what song I listened to first, but I really liked it. I figured, well, if this is what their older material sounds like, I’m sure the new single will be great as well. So I went ahead and scheduled a podcast recording with Stephen. It’s episode number 122 if you’d like to listen to it.
When “Stunner” was released, I instantly fell in love with the song. Unlike their previous releases, I felt like the song injected some more of that basic pop-punk fun we all know and love. The subject matter of the song is actually serious. It’s about dealing with the ups and downs of a toxic relationship. However, Krypel and the rest of World War Me, turned that negativity upside down to transform the song into a pop-punk anthem that everyone can easily sing along to. If you ask me, that’s what pop-punk is best known for. Writing about terrible situations and making them fun.
If you haven’t given World War Me a listen, and you’re a big pop-punk fan, you’re missing out. If you mixed All Time Low with My Chemical Romance, the result would be World War Me. That’s my opinion at least. I’m excited to hear what the band releases in 2021.