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Thursday Discussion: The Best Drive-Thru Records Albums

Posted by - 01:13 PM on 01/26/12
Chances are, if you're over drinking age and you've been visiting this website for a while ... you're part of what I'm coining the Drive-Thru Records generation. For a large group of us - this label defined a good portion of our formative years. Reading over the past couple threads about the label showcases just what an attachment so many of us had with this label and their bands. This connection is part of the reason I think so many people are confused about just what the fuck happened to a label that seemed on top of their game. And there's obviously an emotional attachment to the music. These were the records that defined our lives. The albums that became the soundtracks to summers. That shaped our musical journey; changed our tastes. Hell, there are probably countless people that lost their virginity to these bands. I can picture it now ... I mean, Finch is just the perfect baby making music.

Going off of what Adam was writing about earlier, this was the label that I bought every release from - sight unseen. Hell, there was a time that even just signing to the label would mean I'd probably buy a t-shirt without ever having heard the band in question. That was trust. That was kool-aid-drinking-cult-like worship. And maybe it's that level of devotion that led to such backlash as more drama than an 80's band's "behind the music" special spilled out.

Yet, looking back - we've got a collection of records that become a chronological journey through my memories. Times and places set to music. Dreams, fears, loves long lost, all tied to a spinning piece of plastic. So, for today's "Thursday Discussion" piece - I've put together my favorite Drive-Thru Records' albums. Check out the list below - and please post your list and reasoning for each release in the replies. If you're new to the website, or missed this wave of bands -- I've included links to the rdio and spotify streams for each of the albums ... I highly recommend you check them all out.

Note: I've included the albums that were released MCA/Drive-Thru as well. And for the most part I tried to only included one release from each of the bands on here. I usually went with either my favorite release - or the one that first introduced me to the band (in NFG's case). You can check out most of the label's releases here for reference.

1) Riverfenix - Riverfenix
NoteBefore they were FenixTX - they were Riverfenix. I've got this original album sitting in a box somewhere, and it was one of the first bonding moments I had with my roommate in college. He was from Poway, knew of the band, and I knew pretty quickly we were going to be good friends. He was the best-man at my wedding. This record is just full of pop-punk melodies that smell like summer and the beach. Most people probably remember the FenixTX album their first introduction to the band - but I'll always remember the version with horns and a more raw sound.

Listen: Spotify - Rdio

2) Midtown - Save the World, Lose the Girl
NoteGOD I WISH I COULD HATE YOU .... could there be a better opening line to an album? I remember being handed this album in high-school by a friend. I spent an entire lunch listening to it with headphones, took the rest of my lunch money for the week, and found it at a record store on the way home. That's where my Midtown obsession began - and this album, to this day, can get me off my chair with that opening song. Some days I dream Cobra Starship never happened - that Midtown reached Fall Out Boy level heights, Chocolate milk pours from all of the faucets, and life is good.

Listen: Rdio - Spotify

3) A New Found Glory - Nothing Gold Can Stay
NoteBlink-182 and MxPx were the bands that changed my life. They were the bands that completely shifted the music I was previously spinning, and turned it into something else. But New Found Glory were the band that none of my friends knew about. They were that band that I saw rise from obscurity to playing on MTV. They were that band that I was telling everyone about, back before the website, before the pop-punk wave. I skipped school the day their self-titled came out - drove to three different stores looking for it - and regret nothing. "Nothing Gold Can Stay" was my introduction to the band ... and besides Blink and MxPx - this band's albums flat out define the last two years of my high-school life. The original "Hit or Miss" video (with Corey Feldman) was the first time I heard the band, probably on BlankTV ... and pop-punk was never the same.

Listen: Rdio - Spotify

4) Rx Bandits - Progress
NoteThese guys always seemed like the odd men out on the label. I loved their first release as well; however, this was the album that first showed me that change can be a good thing for a band. That what you expect when you first listen to a new album -- doesn't have to be the only way to hear it. I spent a lot of time with this album, really trying to get it. That's something I think we've lost in an era when we can just download or stream something different if we don't like an album on first listen. I kind of miss the times when you bought an album - and then were basically forced to spend time with it and see what shook out.

Listen: Rdio - Spotify

5) The Starting Line - With Hopes of Starting Over EP
NoteI went back and forth over going with this one or SILYMI. The reason I ended up going with the EP is because of the entire story and history behind my falling in love with it. Now kids, please gather around: When Grandpa Jason was first starting out on this whole website thing, he used to use this thing called "AIM" ... it was like Facebook messenger, but a crappy AOL program with ads and really annoying sounds. On this "AIM" gadget, I made a lot of friends. One of those was the owner of "We the People Records" -- I remember him sending me a song by this band called "Sunday Drive" and saying, "this is the next New Found Glory."

He was right.

They changed their name to The Starting Line, signed with Drive-Thru Records, and released this EP. The cover song "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" was a staple on virtually all my mix-tapes for the next few years. I think it was one of my most used tools to get someone into the band. Put on the cover song while hanging out ... they start singing along ... "hey, who is this" -- "oh, it's this band called The Starting Line ... check out their new album."

Listen: Rdio - Spotify

6) Finch - What it Is To Burn
NoteOne helluva album. I liked the EP; I loved this album. From the artwork, to the production, to the passion, to the live show. This was like a "Fisher-Price: My first screaming album" gateway drug. From Finch I found The Used, Glassjaw, Thursday, Taking Back Sunday, Thrice ... and countless others. They helped shape an entire wave of music that swept through our scene. I was too young to really see what was going on during that time - to see the changes happening around us - I just loved the music. Loved the songs. And Finch's debut was one of those albums that, in hindsight, really helped shape my musical taste. Helped expand it. Helped introduce me to something new, different ... and exciting.

Listen: Rdio - Spotify

7) Home Grown - Kings of Pop
NoteI was already a Home Grown fan ... so when this signing was announced, I basically shit myself. One of my favorite bands at the time, releasing an album on my favorite label at the time: holy shit. The year it came out, some friends and I went down to Mexico for spring-break ... this was the soundtrack. Summer in California? I can't think of a better album to play with the windows down and four friends screaming every line.

Listen: Rdio - Spotify

8) Allister - Last Stop Suburbia
NoteIn my opinion, this was the band at the label at the top of their game. They were releasing hit, after hit, after hit. And Allister's "Last Stop Suburbia" just defined that era. 2002 was the pinnacle. Dual vocals? Catchy as shit? Check. Check. I've got a sneaky suspicion the most popular pop-punk bands today still wish they could release an album this good.

Just go play "Somewhere on Fullerton" -- you know you want to.

Listen: Rdio - Spotify

9) The Movielife - Forty Hour Train Back to Penn
NoteAnother band I was a fan of before they signed to DTR ... but their Drive-Thru release just might be my favorite from them. It definitely has some of my favorite songs on it. For me, this album is all about sophomore year of college. I can smell that fucking dorm room just listening to "Jamestown." And with that year, means: this album - that girl. I've got memories tied to music for my entire life ... and this one is a big one. There was a time when I would say The Movielife were my favorite band ... and it was through them that I found out about another band that changed my life. A little band called Brand New.

: Rdio - Spotify

10) Something Corporate - Leaving Through The Window
NoteFlying back home from my first year of college: this album was the only thing I played. A massive, massive transitional time in my life. What did I want to do with my life? Changing majors. Family. Relationships. Everything felt like a mess, but I could always get lost in my headphones. This is one of the more emotional albums for me in my collection. If there ever was an album of therapy, for me, this is up there. Listening to the first track now ... I can smell the atmosphere in that plane. I remember flying home to a girlfriend that was sleeping with my bestfriend. I remember staring at that damn "fasten seat belt" sign blinking over my head. I remember knowing that as long as I had music ... life was going to turn out ok.

That's music. That's what this means to all of us.

Listen: Rdio - Spotify

There are so many albums that could be on this list. The thing is, as I started looking over the list - I had to include so many of the early releases, that I wasn't even able to get down to Steel Train or Houston Calls. I had no room to include TEN or HIPV, and I had to leave out that Senses Fail EP. I have great Halifax stories too. Shit. I really wanted to include the DVD release, but just flat out ran out of room. Looking over them as I put this together led me to hit play multiple times on songs from the past. I've put together a playlist of some of my favorites that you can find in the replies. What an era ... a generation of Drive-Thru kids.

Now it's your turn ... I hope the nostalgic drive down memory lane can give you similar feelings.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 789
01:13 PM on 01/26/12
Jason Tate
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01:14 PM on 01/26/12
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They even had their own stage at Warped.
01:18 PM on 01/26/12
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The only thing I would add on is Hidden In Plain View's Life in Dreaming.
01:19 PM on 01/26/12
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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NFG's S/T, Movielife's 40 Hour Train Back To Penn, SoCo's LTTW, and Finch's What It Is To Burn were the main four for me.
01:19 PM on 01/26/12
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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The only thing I would add on is Hidden In Plain View's Life in Dreaming.
good call, great underrated record
01:20 PM on 01/26/12
look at my cliche avatar
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Finch for me
01:20 PM on 01/26/12
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Life In Dreaming is one of my all time favorite records. I still listen to it pretty much daily. "Hot n' Sexy" is one of the best songs that band ever recorded and it should have been on the full album, not just a b-side. If you haven't heard it, you are missing out. HIPV at their best.
01:20 PM on 01/26/12
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Movielife, and finch were huge albums for me in highschool. Good stuff.
01:20 PM on 01/26/12
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Hidden in Plain View-Life in Dreaming
Senses Fail- Let It Enfold You
Halifax- A Writers Reference
The Early November- The Room's Too Cold

All classic 'New School' Drive-Thru Records albums. I still regularly listen to 'Last Stop Suburbia' 'What It Is To Burn' and any Midtown record. I can't write enough good things about this labels catalogue. When they were good they were good. My musical taste today is in great part due to the albums I bought with a Drive Thru sticker on it.
01:20 PM on 01/26/12
wall e
Leaving AP at 20k posts.
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Adding to that list:

The Early November - For All Of This
Dashboard Confessional - The Swiss Army Romance
The Starting Line - Say It Like You Mean It
Hidden In Plain View - Life In Dreaming

I love all the classic Drive Thru albums, you just get this wave of nostalgia when you put them on.
01:20 PM on 01/26/12
Geoff Lou
Recovering Lurker
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01:21 PM on 01/26/12
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Cheers, Jason. RX's Resignation would be at the top of my list.

Fun fact - I bought that RiverFenix CD when they opened for Blink at the E factory in 99 or 00, that was the first time I ever saw the drive-thru logo. I played that album to death.
01:21 PM on 01/26/12
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god the rx bandits were the best fucking band.
01:21 PM on 01/26/12
Why do you stay till you see blood?
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Houston Calls - A Collection of Short Stories

The only one I can think of besides the obvious classics listed.

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