Picture this: you're driving along with some friends listening to your Ipod when a song comes up on shuffle. Something classic, that you haven't
listened to in what feels like years. You turn up the volume, everyone is singing, you feel 16 again.

The following list is just that: a compilation
of albums that I couldn't stop listening to for days and embody everything I love about music. Read them, research them, listen to them, discuss them.

10. Defiance, Ohio- The Great Depression
Defiance, Ohio is a six piece folk-punk group from the midwest, showcasing banjo, fiddle, cello, double bass, and more. The Great Depression, their sophomore album released on No Idea records, is a real classic. Its political undertones are carried over catchy melodies mixed with nostalgia and optimism.

9. World/Inferno Friendship Society- Red-Eyed Soul

W/IFS is the culmination of a bunch of punk-rock musicians that have turned to world music. Red-Eyed Soul is a masterpiece album: catchy songs, masterful production and re-recordings of older songs. Not to mention that anarcho-camaraderie that gets everyone singing along and picking up their feet.

8. The Bouncing Souls- How I Spent my Summer Vacation

This album is the punk-rock anthem of our generation. Hands down. Every song is pure gold: simple, catchy nostalgic, and embodying the freedom of a summer vacation with no responsibilities.

7. Endless Mike and the Beagle Club- The Husky Tenor

Discovering this band was like finding a 20 dollar bill in an old pair of jeans. Hailing from Johnstown, PA, Endless Mike grabbed my attention immediately with a song off of a split 7" they released with Mischief Brew, Wingnut Dishwashers Union, and Guitar Bomb. "The Husky Tenor," was released in 2006 and features a whole boatload of instruments. Its politically charged lyrics satirize everyone's personal complacency. In other words: I care, just not enough. Prepare to laugh, cry, and be inspired.

6. The Promise Ring- Nothing Feels Good

Simple, and perfect. Two lines of lyrics per song. Heart-wrenching guitar riffs.
(this is how all reviews for this album should look)

5. Guided By Voices- Bee Thousand

Guided by Voices was a band from Dayton, Ohio, and fronted by the infamous Robert Pollard. Pollard has written at least a zillion songs, some of them great, some of them not-so great. "Bee Thousand," recorded on a four-track in 1994, contains 20 of these "great" tracks. No song exceeds 3 minutes, and the transitions are choppy, but with all this aside, there are some real beautiful and uplifting songs with strange and eerie lyrics.

4. The Get Up Kids-Something to Write Home About

This one brings you right back to middle school. It is perfect melodic punk rock with exactly the right formula. It is emotional, fast, and uplifting.

3. Jawbreaker- Dear You

The final Jawbreaker album ends up number 3 on my list. No, it is not like other Jawbreaker albums, but man does it hit you where it hurts. There's nothing like listening to "Dear You," when your down, and who isn't down once in a while? Its melodic, and slow but still retains the grungy early emo sound that Jawbreaker is known for.

2. Brand New- The Devil and God are Raging Inside of Me

Brand New had to make this list. This band can do anything, and they certainly did it again with TDAGARIOFM. It is a dramatic maturation from Deja Entendu, their sophomore full-length: heavy where it needs to be, slow and heart-wrenching where it isn't. The lyrics are less angsty, and more tortured, dealing with issues that where way above the heads of the little pop-rock band that Brand New used to be. This album will tear you apart.

1. Owen- At Home With...

Putting "At Home With Owen" first on my list was not hard to do. No longer a guilty pleasure, or a bedtime musician, this was THE album anyone could put on the drive home. Owen is the solo project of Mike Kinsella, the renowned Chicago emo-music pioneer, and "At Home With..."is certainly his masterpiece album. It is twinkly, beautifully orchestrated, and features lyrics that will break your heart. If you haven't heard it, you are missing out.


Shawn Massak said...

Some of these choices were really surprising.

1) I have never met anyone other than you who has liked "At Home With" more than "I Do Perceive" or furthermore who has an Owen album in their top 10 but not American Football.

2) Brand New? Really?

We are certainly in agreement on the Promise Ring, the Getup Kids (though I have a weird affinity for On a Wire), and Defiance, OH.


Philippe LeSaux said...

Accident Prone off Dear You still gets me after all these years.

Great list

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