Top 10 Bands from Illinois



Yup, here we go with another random list. This one is fairly simple though, basically just the top 5 bands that are from the State of Illinois. Most of the list is made up of bands from the Chicago area, which made it to where I could almost just do a top bands from Chicago list. However, there are a couple of bands not in Chicago that are from Illinois that definitely deserve to be mentioned, hence the list encompassing the entire state.  Anyway, here is the list, in a pretty random order.

Screeching Weasel
Fronted by Ben Foster, this on again off again collection of revolving pop/punk musicians aspires to be the Ramones. Ben, who names himself Ben Weasel, started the band in 1986 in the upper suburban reaches of Chicago in a place called Highland Park. Essential albums by this band would include Boogadaboogadaboogada! (1988), My Brain Hurts (1991), Anthem For a New Tomorrow (1993), Bark Like a Dog (1996), and Baby Fat Act 1 (2015).
Interweb Links: Official, Facebook, Twitter, Wiki

Smoking Popes
Formed in the early 1990s, the Smoking Popes were made up of the 3 Caterer brothers. They sound somewhat of a cross between Morrissey and the Buzzcocks. Strange combination? You’re right, you would have to hear it to understand. The Popes disbanded in 1999 but reunited in 2005. Essential albums for this band would be Get Fired (1993), Born to Quit (1995), Destination Failure (1997), Stay Down (2008), and This Is Only a Test (2011).
Interweb Links: Official, Facebook, Twitter, Wiki

Cheap Trick
Who can honestly say they don’t like Cheap Trick and mean it? These guys are practically legends. They’ve been around since the mid-70s in Rockford and haven’t shown much signs of slowing down yet. They have released nearly 20 albums in their almost-30 year career, starting with their self-titled album in 1977. Their latest album, Bang, Zoom, Crazy…Hello was released in 2016.
Interweb Links: Official, Facebook, Twitter, Wiki

Naked Raygun
This band was formed in 1980. They disbanded in 1992 and then got back together in 2006. They have released 7 studio albums and a few EPs. Essential albums would be Jettison (1988), and Raygun…Naked Raygun (1990).
Interweb Links: Official, Facebook, Wiki

The Methadones
This pop-punk band was formed by former Screeching Weasel alumni Dan Vapid (Dan Schafer) in Chicago in 1993. They’ve released 5 studio albums: Ill at Ease (2001), Career Objective (2003), Not Economically Viable (2004), 21st Century Power Pop Riot (2006), and This Won’t Hurt (2007). A compilation was released in 2010 by Asian Man Records.
Interweb Links: Facebook, Wiki

Dan Vapid and the Cheats
Another band put together by Dan Vapid that started up in Chicago in 2011. They have released 2 studio albums, a self-titled album released in 2012 and Two, released in 2013. They have also released two splits, one with the Jetty Boys in 2012 and another with Masked Intruder in 2013.
Interweb Links: Official, Facebook, Twitter, Wiki

This Chicago band was formed in 1990 by former Naked Raygun guitarist John Haggerty. They have released 3 studio albums, Strong Reaction (1991), Earwig (1994), and Cha Cha Damore (1997), all of which were released on Quarterstick Records. A couple of EPs, Three Chord Monte, released in 1990, and Fore, released in 1993, are also definitely worth a listen or two…or three…
Interweb Links: Facebook, Wiki

Rise Against
This melodic hardcore band was formed in Chicago in 1999. They have released about a half dozen studio albums. Essential albums to give a listen to would be Endgame (2011), Appeal to Reason (2008), and Lost Forgotten Songs, a collection of B-Sides and Covers, released in 2013.
Interweb Links: Official, Facebook, Twitter, Wiki

The Copyrights
The only band on this list from southern Illinois, this band was formed in Carbondale in 2002. Essential albums would be Mutiny Pop (2006), Make Sound (2007), and Report (2014).
Interweb Links: Facebook, Twitter, Wiki

Alkaline Trio
Formed in McHenry in 1996, this band, consists of Matt Skiba, Dan Andriano and Derek Grant. They have released 8 studio albums, 3 compilations, and a slew of EPs and splits. Essential albums would include Crimson (2005), This Addiction (2010) and My Shame is True (2013).
Interweb Links: Official, Facebook, Twitter, Wiki

Honorable Mentions

The Blues Brothers
Big Black
The Lawrence Arms
Smashing Pumpkins
The Lucky Eejits


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