BEST ALBUMS 10. mewithoutYou - It's All Crazy! It's All False! It's All A Dream! It's Alright
In my opinion, Brother, Sister was a much better album. It's All Crazy just never seemed to have the passion of the last few. I was just waiting for the songs to pick up, but they never really did. The album grew on me after a while, but I never fell in love with it.
9. Take It Back! - Atrocities
With Nick taking over vocals, most people were disappointed with TIB's new sound. With stronger lyrics than ever and a more creative musical output, it was easy for me to enjoy Atrocities for what it was and not compared to Can't Fight Robots.
8. P.O.S. - Never Better
Since I've been making these lists, I can say for sure that I've never included a hip-hop album in my "best-of" lists. I'm not a big fan of hip-hop, period. P.O.S. is different. He's innovative, catchy, immensely talented, and basically the man. A lot of people say he sounds like Eminem, but I can say that P.O.S.'s lyrical content is 100% better. I can't really describe why I got into Never Better, but I think it was all the little things; the "real-ness", the cool beats, and his punk rock humility that highlighted this good album.
7. Frank Turner - Poetry Of The Deed
Having just gotten Frank Turner's first album, Love Ire & Song, getting his second album Poetry of the Deed wasn't high on my to-do list. But then I saw him open up for The Gaslight Anthem in Minneapolis and I knew I had to venture back to the merch table and pick it up. It was really cool to see that Frank was watching his own merch on such a big tour and it was great to talk to him. He told me "I hope our paths cross again" and I definitely agree. Pick up this album if you like folk rock, punk rock, english boys with banjos, sing-along anthems, or the acoustic guitar.
6. As Cities Burn - Hell Or High Water
Goodbye, As Cities Burn. At least you put out an album before you called it quits. And it's a good one. Almost completely moving away from post-hardcore, Hell or High Water is an album of Cody Bonnette's strong lyrics and passionate vocals, but this time, coupled with bluesy and progressive rock.
5. Deas Vail - Birds & Cages
This is an album full of beautiful pop music that does more to vary the songs than "All the Houses Look the Same". I'm still having a hard time figuring out the lyrics, but the every aspect of the music is perfect enough that I can take my time.
4. Gasoline Heart - Nostalgia Ain't What It Used To Be
Man, Louis DeFabrizio is honest. Angry, sometimes depressed, and honest. I don't know if Gasoline Heart will ever release an album that rivals You Know Who You Are, but I really hope Louis keeps trying. This album is getting there. I honestly think he is the most untalented musicians who still writes great songs. Rock and roll, etc.
3. Quiet Science - He Calls Me Diamonds
I've been following this band since they were (more or less) A Denver Mile and this album (maybe it's just an EP) is the best thing they've released. Quiet Science's sweepy, poetic, Floridian take on britpop will get them far. Check them out if you like Sleeping At Last, The Myriad, or Future of Forestry.
2. Manchester Orchestra - Mean Everything To Nothing
I almost chose this as my #1. Attempting to sound like an album reviewer, I'll call this urgent, yowling indie rock. They've perfected the stripped down sound while their songs remain complex and dynamic. I can't wait til they come through Iowa again on a headlining tour.
1. The Swellers - Ups and Downsizing
Woooo! Their second album + my first time hearing them = love at first listen. I wouldn't have gotten this unless they put all the songs up on myspace. Every songs on here is good, most are great. I haven't heard such a well-done pop-punk/rock album in a loooooong time. Get it, or at least check them out. My #1 band to see live right now.
Dear Landlord - Dream Homes
Bomb the Music Industry! - Scrambles
Austin Lucas - Somebody Loves You
There were a lot of awesome EPs released this year. So I'll go top ten.
1. Abandon Kansas - We're All Going Somewhere
2. Here's My Chance - You Had It Coming
3. The Envy Corps - Kid Gloves
4. Saintseneca - s/t
5. The Riot Before - Fists...Out of Sockets
6. Geronimo! - A Different Kind of Greatness
7. Farewell Continental - s/t
8. Lipona - Pigeonholed
9. We Are the Union - The Gun Show Must Go On
10. Paint It Black - Amnesia
Albums I Really Need To Get
Polar Bear Club - Chasing Hamburg
Showbread - The Fear of God
Thrice - Beggars
Paramore - Brand New Eyes
Tegan & Sara - Sainthood
2008 Late Pass (the best albums from 2008 I didn't get until 2009)
Good Old War - Only Way To Be Alone
La Dispute - Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair
Frank Turner - Love, Ire, & Song
Fucked Up - the Chemistry of Common Life
Inspired by the new feature, I decided to put together my list of Absolute Classics. These aren't my favorite albums ever, this is the list of albums I think every AP.netter should own. That partially rules out a lot of stuff that wouldn't be very universal (ska, christian, metal, etc.)
Motion City Soundtrack - Commit This To Memory
The Get Up Kids - Something To Write Home About
The Gaslight Anthem - Sink Or Swim
MxPx - Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo
The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever Told
RX Bandits - The Resignation
Refused - Shape Of Punk To come
Modern Life Is War - Witness
Piebald - We Are the Only Friends We Have
Brand New - Deja Entendu
Streetlight Manifesto - Everything Goes Numb
Radiohead - OK Computer
Against Me! - Reinventing Axl Rose
Fugazi - 13 Songs
The Appleseed Cast - Two Conversations
And I agree with:
Less Than Jake - Hello Rockview
The Clash - London Calling
In the past few days, I've been watching their "Pink Couch Sessions" videos. They bring in the best bands in the New York punk-related scene and awesome folky bands from all over the country. Some of my favorites were Good Old War, The Riot Before, Bomb the Music Industry!, and Bridge & Tunnel.
If You Make It also features a lot of bands' albums for free download.
These guys go to my college. Their latest album is awesome and available for free.
For fans of ambient music and indie pop. Maybe Appleseed Cast meets Deas Vail. I am definitely a bigger fan of the ambient stuff, but they transition back and forth pretty flawlessly. It's strange how no one in this town really knows about them (horrible scene).
The newest album from Quote Unquote Records is Laura Stevenson and the Cans - A Record. The songs are totally anchored by Laura's smooth voice, layered over itself in smart harmonies. Her voice has a Regina Spektor-ish quality, but these indie pop songs don't hold the same amount of blatant hipsterism. I could totally see a punk band writing these songs. Get it. It's free.
I wanted to get more involved with AP.net, so what better way than to blog my Best of 08 list?
Top Albums of 2008:
10. Showbread – Nervosa
I’m not gonna lie, I’m having a hard time listening to Showbread’s new double-album. Few of the songs really hold the same attention that their earlier stuff did. It might be because it’s supposed to be a story and it might be because the mixing makes the vocals and lyrics hard to understand. Nervosa is the stronger of the two albums.
09. Brave Saint Saturn – Anti-Meridian
I got this album at the very end of 2008, and while I haven’t had much time to listen, I know that it was really solid and the songs will become classics soon for me. It’s a good ending to the trilogy. Now I’m ready for that Five Iron DVD.
08. The Riot Before – Fists Buried In Pockets
I don’t have much to say about this album. The Riot Before just wrote a hugely important album in the folk-influenced punk world and no one’s paying attention. The Gaslight Anthem should pay a little attention.
07. Children 18:3 – Children 18:3
Children 18:3 have always been the solid regional band to me that I couldn’t really get into, but when this album came out, I was drawn in the rest of the way. Are Tooth and Nail’s punk days coming back?
06. Less Than Jake – GNV FLA
Comeback! Less Than Jake brings it back to their style of old and in turn, writes one of their best albums ever. And since I wasn’t into them in the 90’s, this is real good stuff to me. Thank you guys.
05. The Envy Corps – Dwell
Another album with a lot of redone songs, The Envy Corps are near-perfect songsmiths. I’m not sure how to think about them being back in the studio. While Wires & Wool is an awesome song, another brand new one, Welcome To the Gold Rush, is the weakest on the album.
04. Take It Back! – Can’t Fight Robots
This album was a big feature of a lot of old Take It Back! songs I love with completely improved production on their Facedown Records debut. While Take It Back! isn’t doing anything out-of-the-box in the world of hardcore punk, the songs on this album are distinct and catchy enough to set them apart. I hope with their recent line-up changes, Take It Back! can repeat next year with a killer follow-up.
03. The Gaslight Anthem – The ’59 Sound
I have to admit that this album was a slight disappointment for me. After the perfect Senor and the Queen EP, I was expecting a little more from The Gaslight Anthem. While I can say (with a sense of elitism in my heart) that I was into them before they were a steam-powered hype train, that’s not what this is about. Everything that I love about The Gaslight Anthem is here, but to me it feels a little formulaic, a little oddly-produced, and a little stale. With that said, this is still one of the most solid collections of songs from the year and a few of them really blow me away. I couldn’t stop listening.
02. House of Heroes - The End Is Not The End
I waited three years for a new album from HOH, only being treated to a few songs in that huge gap. The problem with such a long wait between albums is that expectations are constantly greatened. This album did not disappoint in the slightest. It never slows down or loses power. Every song is equally distinct and memorable. If it weren’t for those darn Driver F boys, this would easily top my 2008 list.
01. Driver F - Chase The White Whale
This album WAS 2008 for me. From the minute the songs went up on Driver F’s myspace and I didn’t know how I felt about the “new sound” to the day my band was unexpectedly asked to play some shows with them to Dec. 31, this album held my attention and secured its place as one of the best I’ve heard in a long time. It’s ridiculous how much Driver F has grown. Chase the White Whale is a genre-defying, intensely personal archetype of modern rock.
Paint It Black – New Lexicon
The Myriad – With Arrows, With Poise
Gnarls Barkley – The Odd Couple
The Bronx – The Bronx (III)
Sigur Ros - Međ suđ í eyrum viđ spilum endalaust
Best EPs of 2008:
1. The Gaslight Anthem - Senor and the Queen
2. Hearts of Palm - The Bridge
3. Deas Vail - White Lights
You know how some albums would be perfect if the number of songs were wittled down to a 4/5-song EP? These are those EPs.
Albums I still want to get from 2008:
Anberlin – New Surrender
Jonezetta – Cruel To Be Young
Dillinger Four – C I V I L W A R
Polar Bear Club – Sometimes Things Just Disappear
The Loved Ones – Build & Burn
Good Old War – Only Way To Be Alone
The Hold Steady – Stay Positive
Fucked Up – The Chemistry of Common Life
The Killers – Day & Age
Starflyer 59 – Dial M
Copeland – You Are My Sunshine
2008 Mixtape: SIDE A
1. Driver F – Remember When That Train Wrecked Our Lifestyle
2. Iron Chic – In One Ear
3. Dirty Tactics – Bleeding Gums
4. Paint It Black – The Beekeeper
5. Brave Saint Saturn – Starling
6. The Faint – The Geeks Were Right
7. House of Heroes – By Your Side
8. Denison Witmer – Life Before Aesthetics
9. Take It Back! – All That Keeps Us Strong
10. Less Than Jake – Settling Son
11. The Gaslight Anthem – Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts
1. Wires & Wool – The Envy Corps
2. Cheap Girls – No One to Blame
3. Deas Vail – White Lights
4. The Bronx – Past Lives
5. Sweet Diss and the Comebacks – Clap Clap Your Hands
6. Gnarls Barkley – Going On
7. Hearts of Palm – Farewell Valentine
8. Children 18:3 – A Chance To Say Goodbye
9. Sigur Ros – Ara batur
10. Lakes – The Heart Is An Anchor
11. The Myriad – A Thousand Winters Melting
12. Showbread – The Beginning
Well, there you have it. I'd love some comments if you feel like giving them. Tell me why my taste in music sucks and stuff.