Chicago’s Broken Prayer burst onto the scene in 2013 with one of the freshest and most original sounds in the punk scene, combining full-bore hardcore, jittery synth-punk, and a dark pop sensibility into a blend that, while not exactly seamless, is nothing if not distinctive. Two years later and they’ve delivered a follow-up record that proves they’re still one of the most exciting bands around, embracing originality, modernity, and earnestness where so many bands are content with a detached and ironic retro sensibility. Stylistically, Misanthropocentric continues along the lines of the first LP but pushes at the boundaries of the band’s sound, making the hard parts harder, the noisy parts noisier, and the catchy parts even catchier. Through the din Scott Plant’s brilliant lyrics remain the centerpiece; I can’t think of a single other current punk lyricist who can be so direct and blunt without ever descending into cliche. As you can probably tell, I think quite a lot of Misanthropocentric, and if you’re the kind of listener who is both musically adventurous and a committed punk lifer I think you will too.