With a non-traditional range of influences including metal, grunge, and jazz, Belmont’s candid lyrics and faintly dissonant sound on albums such as their 2018 self-titled debut make the output of labels like Jade Tree and Deep Elm a touchstone. The ambitious Chicago trio continued to explore the outer reaches of pop-punk, metal, jazz fusion, hip-hop, and math rock on 2022’s Aftermath.
Vocalist Taz Johnson formed Belmont while still in high school, with former members of his previous band. After a series of personnel changes, the lineup solidified with the addition of drummer Brian Lada, guitarist Sam Patt, and bassist Alex Wieringa. They spent months recording their debut EP and building up hype online, and their hard work was rewarded when they sold out the first date of their very first tour at a 250-capacity venue. The EP, Vicissitude, was self-released digitally in January 2015, catching the attention of young local label Mutant League Records, who signed them and put out their second EP, Between You and Me, the following year. After intensive touring, the band set aside most of 2017 to work on their debut album. It was recorded by Jason Inguagiato, an old college friend of Lada’s, who collaborated heavily on the songwriting during production and was ultimately invited to join the band as their second guitarist. The eponymous album, released in August 2018 and preceded by the singles “Hollowed Out” and “Albert,” saw Belmont broadening their sound with a smorgasbord of subtle influences from genres as diverse as prog, hip-hop, jazz fusion, alternative rock, and metal. Those influences continued to expand on 2022’s dynamic and forward-thinking Aftermath. Produced by Andrew Wade (A Day to Remember, Neck Deep), the LP served as the group’s official debut for Pure Noise.