Friday, September 18, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
51. Sum 41- All Killer No Filler
Originally the list was going to be “50 Albums That Changed My Life” but I decided to give this one a sentimental spot at 51. Yes this album is incredibly generic, sometimes the lyrics are pretty embarrassing and the only reason this band got so big was that they were essentially a Canadian version of blink-182. This does not mean that the album is bad. It is super catchy. It’s a perfect example of pop-punk circa 2001, which was the type of music that got me into to music in the first place. Plus “Pain for Pleasure” makes me happy because I’ve always had a soft spot for hair metal. The main reason this album is on here is that it is the first CD I went out and bought by myself. Through this CD I discovered a plethora of other music by reading the thank you list (one of the reasons I love buying CDs still). Without this CD who knows how I would have ended up.
50. Iron Maiden- Somewhere Back In Time
Like I just mentioned, I have a soft spot for 80’s metal/hair metal/glam metal whatever you want to call it. Usually this consists of putting on Poison at a party because it’s funny while you’re drunk. But I legitimately really like Iron Maiden a lot. I mean yea, sometimes their lyrics can be a little lame/stereotypical of progressive bands, BUT DUDE, they pretty much created that stereotype! Main reason for liking Maiden: they fucking shred. Every member in the band just kills their instrument. Steve Harris is one of my favourite bass players and definitely one of the all time greats. This is a “Greatest Hits” collection and I’ll admit that I’m not a big enough fan to throw a regular album up on here. But it doesn’t change the fact that I love every song on this CD.
49. Streetlight Manifesto- Somewhere In The Between
I was absolutely huge on Streetlight when I was 15 or 16. Then after a while I just listen to them because I had played out “Everything Goes Numb” so much. I kind of wrote them off because I couldn’t really listen to that album anymore. Then this thing came out about four years later. All I really needed was some new songs by the band. Granted they don’t really break any new ground on this album every song sounds like a “Streetlight song” but that don’t means it’s bad. The new addition of Pete McCullough on bass was incredible, his bass-lines are often the focal point of the songs whether people realize it or not. As always Tomas Kalnoky has a lyrical orgasm all over this album. It’s another chapter the storyline of very good albums that kind of blur the line between ska, punk, classical and countless other types of music.
48. H2O- Nothing To Prove
For some reason I always confused H2O with Madball. I guess it might have been because they’re really tight and both out of the same scene. But anyways I had no idea that H2O had such a melodic sound until I heard “1995” while they were hyping this album before it came out. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. It took me awhile to come around to Toby Morse’s style of delivery but you once you “get” what the band is going for (may sound juvenile for an NYHC band, but give me a break) they’re a whole lot of fun. Some people would look at the lyrics as simple or crude but I would call them honest, dude is just saying what’s on his mind, in the best way he can. I find that unless you’re in the right mood, H2O’s other albums can drag on. Not this one. Ten tracks. All of them rip.
47. The Police- Greatest Hits
I think it was the rumours that The Police were getting back together that made me get around to checking more of their stuff out. Once you realize that there is more to the band than “Roxanne” and “Message in a Bottle” they’re pretty cool. The coolest thing about the band for me is how they brought reggae into the mainstream, where it hadn’t really been outside of Jamaica and The UK before. Granted it was a British-affluent-Caucasian version of reggae, but hey, who’s complaining. Stuart Copeland is a great drummer, Andy Summers does neat things with the guitar and Sting sings over some filthy bass-lines. Plus they have some good songs about girls, which I’m always a sucker for.
46. Goldfinger- Hang Ups
There is only one reason that I own this album. That reason is that “Superman” is a track on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. It was in grade 5 and I was incredibly impressionable. I kind of wrote the album off and pretty much only listened to the first track. In high-school I got heavy into ska music, so after hearing this album again it sounded a lot better than it did in grade 5. The album got another life when I really looked into it further and noticed how good the lyrics are. Relationship songs always seem cliché when you’re younger, but then some stuff happens to you and then those songs become your favourite. John Feldman is a good pop songwriter, but in an older tradition. He owes more to pop song writers of the 60’s than anyone else. The albums got some fast songs, some mid tempo pop songs and some ska songs. Sometimes all mixed into one. Goldfinger also has this way of everyone’s voices in the band harmonizing together for background vocals that I love and don’t really see any bands use. They don’t use it so much anymore, but it’s all over this record. Always a fun listen and one of the best summer albums.
45. Daggermouth- Stallone
I first heard of Daggermouth when I was going to see them open for Set Your Goals. I first passed them off as an SYG rip-off but that was only after a half-assed listen and seeing them live. But their live performance definitely impressed me. Plus they covered a Descendents song and you don’t really have to do much more than that to get me in your good books. But anyways, I got some free mp3s off the internet and really enjoyed them but forgot about them. At a Living with Lions show they played this album as the house music and I loved it. I eventually picked up my own copy and adored it. This is a pop-punk/hardcore band in the truest sense of the word. They could easily tour with New Found Glory but at the same time be perfectly in place at a show with Bane. Their vocalist Nick Leadly has his hardcore shout down pact but at the same time can carry a tune for a big chorus. One of my favourite parts of this record is guitarist Stu McKillop’s playing. He definitely goes beyond the usual pop-punk guitar licks to add catchy riffs that stay in your head as much and the lyrics do. I also relate to the lyrics heavily. The band eventually went on hiatus because Leadly has to be checked into a hospital for major depressive disorder. Obviously his struggles with it come out in the lyrics and I was having a bit of a rough time when I bought this record, so it grabbed me. This band really needs to get back together. Oh and “Sing It Again Rookie Biatch” has the best breakdown that this genre of music has ever seen. Best way to end the record.
44. The Flatliners- The Great Awake
The Flatliners have been a very important part of my life. The Toronto ska scene during high-school was who I was and The Flatliners were really the band at the center of that. It was at show where they were the second band on that I really realized they were something special. The first band had really sucked, but The Flats came out and really put on a great set. I realized that I had never seen them put on a bad set in all the times I had seen them. They gradually grew and grew, culminating in a signing with Fat Wreck Chords. I anticipated this album probably more than any other that I can remember. At first I was put off because it marked such a departure in their sound, ditching the Suicide Machines that had marked their first album and adopting a sound that fit in well with the second generation of bands on Fat now. But the album really grew on me. The song writing is hands down much better on this album. I eventually started to discover more “real” pop-punk bands that I had heard a lot of talk about but never really come around to. These bands are definitely the type of bands that influenced the writing of this record, so it was a part of that. I’ll never be able to hate on The Flats. For one they put out nothing but great music and they’ve been as big a part of my life as anything else. I’ve seen them 23 times and counting and they’re still great.
43. Bayside- Bayside
For some reason I always confused this band with the band Blindside, who really suck. But I saw that Bayside were going to be opening for New Found Glory at the date I was attending so I checked them out. I was pleasantly surprised at the sort of macabre pop-punk that I found. “Shudder” became an album that I really enjoyed. At the time, I was really bummed out and in a bad place, so the depressing nature of their lyrics really hit home and grabbed me. Eventually that situation got a lot worse and I got their self-titled CD because of the track “Don’t Call Me Peanut” that I had heard off it. The lyrics on this album were even more depressing and it really stuck with me. Some of the songs might come off as over the top to a new listener, but sometimes that is the only type of thing you can listen to because it really sums up how you feel. While their newer work is a lot closer to the tradition of Chicago emotional pop-punk their older had a different style to it that, I guess, could be described as closer to the more mainstream “emo” that got popular a few years ago. But seriously, this band is just so much better than all those bands that got big. Anthony Ranieri is an absolute dynamite song writer and all the lyrics on this record are just winners. Guitarist Jack O’Shea just rips. Most of the songs on this album have absolutely killer guitar solos on them and he throws a lot of stuff into the verses as well. In short, good lyrics+face melters=awesome.
42. Blink 182- The Mark, Tom and Travis Show.
Yes, this live album is probably over-dubbed in a lot of places. But between Blink’s banter (which is definitely my type of humour) and the finest cuts off my two favourite Blink records (minus Peggy Sue and Carousel from Cheshire Cat) who’s complaining? I always feel that Mark’s song writing gets lost in the grandeur of Blink- 182. Dude is seriously really good at writing songs about girls and has definitely written some of my favourite love songs. It kind of represents the high-point of Mark-Tom chemistry and has a very high nostalgia factor for me. Blink was one of the first bands I got into and this record lets me celebrate the good part of their catalogue (not hating on TOYPAJ though) and laugh my ass off at the same time.
41. Andrew W.K.- I Get Wet
Much more than just a “party album”. It puts you into a good mood every time you listen to it, no matter how bummed out you are. Even when I was super down in the dumps last year (seems to be a trend), every time I heard the guitar riff at the beginning of “It’s Time To Party” I had to smile. This record is just a tour de force of positive energy. It definitely has a unique sound. The guitars, bass and guitar are for sure heavy and a metal influence is there, but at the time the major chords give a poppy sound. Andrew definitely yells and screams more than he sings and somewhere in all of this is a lot of 50’s rock and roll style piano playing. It really works though. Like really well. It’s like a self help album in some weird big loud piano heavy rock sort of way. Come on, you just can’t hate this music.
40. Jimmy Eat World- Bleed American
I’ll say without embarrassment that “The Middle” was the song that got me into music. Before that it was whatever was on, I don’t really care. But when I heard “The Middle” it inspired me to start liking bands and I realized that music was a powerful thing and something that I really enjoyed. The other singles didn’t hit me the way that “The Middle” did and they definitely are different in style, so I kind of forgot about them. Then as my musical tastes expanded and I heard people talk about Jimmy Eat World as an important force in 90’s emo I bought “Bleed American”. It took a little while for the album to hit me in the right way, but man it’s awesome. Again, there are pretty good songs about girls on it and I still think the guitar solo on “The Middle” is the best one I’ve ever heard. Who knows what I’d be like if that song hadn’t directed me to music.