20 Favorite Punk Records of the 2000's!
by, 02-07-11 at 10:09 PM (1462 Views)
I posted this on my tumblr a few weeks ago but I figured that I would share it here as well. Just a few notes first; 1. I want to avoid futile genre debates about what is punk and what isn't. 2. I tried to keep it to one record per band. 3. "Favorite" doesn't mean the same as "best." 4. I did this for fun so don't take it seriously.
20. Strung Out - Exile In Oblivion
Iíve always thought Strung Out balanced their technical and skate punk influences the best on this album. Actually, I think Strung Outís arguably the best band who plays this style of punk. Such a great combination of hooks and shredding. At least for the most part.
19. Lucero - Tennessee
It was tough narrowing down which Lucero album to pick but I had to go with Tennessee since I think itís what defines their sound best. They play a great brand of alt-country music with plenty of influence from bands like Jawbreaker and Social Distortion to give it a punk edge. Luceroís always had somewhat of a big following in the punk community and with good reason. Ben Nichols has a voice that can take all of your sorrows and then drown them in whiskey, especially on this record.
18. The Gaslight Anthem - Sink or Swim
The Gaslight Anthem have really taken off in the latter part of the decade and this is where it all started. Itís probably the only one of their three records that could be considered ďpunkĒ but itís excellent regardless. They have always been a band that wears their influences on their sleeves but on Sink or Swim you can hear more Against Me! and Bouncing Souls influence rather than Otis Redding and The Rolling Stones. Gaslight have gained a lot of recognition and praise for their albums after Sink or Swim, but this will always be their best, in my mind.
17. Rise Against - Revolutions Per Minute
I know everyoneís got their own strong opinions on Rise Against but most people seem to agree this has always been their best and definitely a stand-out in Fat Wreckís catalog. Itís one of the most raw, emotional and powerful melodic hardcore records to come out of this decade.
16. Strike Anywhere - Exit English
Speaking of great melodic hardcore records, this is another one that fits the description well. Thomas Barnettís always been one of the better vocalists in punk and he really shows it here. I also think it can be agreed that Strike Anywhere make some of the best use of gang vocals ever.
15. Social Distortion - Sex, Love & Rock ní Roll
You wouldnít think a band coming eight years off their last album would deliver something this good but Social D definitely did just that here. Itís also kind of surprising that one of their later records would be the one of their most punk-driven albums considering the direction some other bands go.
14. Crime In Stereo - The Troubled Stateside
While I enjoy all of Crime In Stereoís other records, this is them at their best. Itís hard to beat fast, intelligent melodic hardcore. It also contains their best songwriting, without a doubt.
13. The Loved Ones - Keep Your Heart
This is seriously one of the best pop-punk records released in recent time. Just one constant hook after another and it never gets old no matter how much you want to hate it. Not sure whether itís Dave Hauseís vocals or Spiderís excellent bass lines that keep it going. Probably both and more.
12. Bad Religion - The Process of Belief
Now this is how you make a comeback record. Some of the fastest Bad Religon songs are on this record along with a lot of great melodic punk tracks (ďKyoto Now!Ē ďSorrowĒ). When it comes to newer Bad Religion, I always try to judge it based on how it stands out in their discography and I think The Process of Belief stands out very well. I also think Greg Graffin sounds fantastic on this record, too.
11. Latterman - No Matter Where We GoÖ!
These guys should really get back together because nothing Iron Chic, Shorebirds, RVIVR, etc. release will ever match up to this record. Itís probably one of the most upbeat records Iíve ever heard before and can always put me in a good mood. Itís also pretty unique for itís genre and has left a pretty big influence on some bands. Just look at The Menzingers. To make a bold comparison, I would say it sounds like Avail meets The Bouncing Souls and how doesnít that sound appealing?
10. No Trigger - Canyoneer
Theyíve only released one full-length but what a great one it is. Probably one of the best mixtures of melody and intensity from a punk band that Iíve heard in awhile. Theyíre also pretty damn talented musicians as well so that also helps make this record more enjoyable. Like Keep Your Heart, I havenít been able to get tired of it no matter how much I listen to it. I feel like most of the ďheavyĒ pop-punk bands around today try to emulate this sound and they just fall flat in comparison to it.
9. Dillinger Four - C I V I L W A R
Here we see probably the best band to come out of the Midwestern punk scene and one of the pioneering bands of the sound. Why are they at #9 instead of 1? Itís because Midwestern Songs of the Americas came out two years too early. In all seriousness, I felt that this is the strongest record of the three they released this decade, at least lyrically. Their overall sound hasnít weakened one bit over time.
8. Bouncing Souls - How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Modern skate punk (for severe lack of a better term) at itís finest. This is where Bouncing Souls got a little more serious with their music from a songwriting standpoint and it definitely worked for the best. I know people say they get better with every album but I think they sound the best here. A lot of great lyrics, souring choruses and some fun, pointless songs throw in as well. Oh, and gang vocals. Plenty of those too.
7. None More Black - This Is Satire
Way more diverse and unique than itís predecessor, File Under Black and about 5 times better. Yep, I said it. Iíll admit that it takes a few listens to get into and it sort of comes off sounding like a pop-punk band trying to sound like The Clash but itís definitely a lot more than that. A whole lot more.
6. Propgandhi - Supporting Caste
Iíve been constantly bringing up how well a lot of these bands are at songwriting and Propgandhi definitely are among the top in that category. Supporting Caste took everything that was great about their previous two records and made what was one of the best albums of 2009 with Supporting Caste. The musicianship is outstanding and Chris Hannahís vocals sound the best on this record, too. I always love bands that make me think and sing at the same time and Propagandhiís always had that effect on me.
5. AFI - The Art of Drowning
Iím sure everyone knows how good AFI once were. When they wrote some amazing lyrics, when Davey Havok had one of the best voices in punk and AFI released this record, which is in my own mind, a classic. The Art of Drowning is what all dark punk records should sound like, in my opinion. If it wasnít for ďBattledí I would consider this record very, very close to flawless. I also think itís a very unique and creative record to come from a punk band. You wonít hear many other albums like it.
4. Alkaline Trio - Good Mourning
Iím probably going to get killed for not picking Maybe Iíll Catch Fire but I donít care. Good Mourning is where Alkaline Trio balance their pop and punk tendencies almost perfectly to make a record which which can really define their sound. Like, if someone had never heard an Alkaline Trio song before, I would put on something like ďContinentalĒ or ďIf We Never Go InsideĒ to give them an idea of what they sound like. Sure, itís more polished and the lyrics might be kind of goofy (they always have been, really) but I think itís the best representation of their sound. Sometimes better production is a good thing and it is in this case.
3. Against Me! - Reinventing Axl Rose
Iíve always preferred As The Eternal Cowboy but thereís no doubt that this record definitely had more influence on punk. It definitely got a lot more people interested in folk-punk and itís probably one of maybe 3-4 records from that genre that I love. Thereís my attempt at bad humor for the night. Itís a fun record to shout along to no matter what youíre into, thatís for sure.
2. Hot Water Music - Caution
Hot Water Music have, in my opinion, the best rhythm section in punk rock. I canít think of too many better bassists than Jason Black and both itís hard not to love the improvised instrumental sections that Chuck Ragan and Chris Wollard come up with. Then thereís the dual vocal attack that they seem to deliver better than most bands. What exactly separates Caution from the rest of their discography, though? Well, itís probably their most accessible album but in the end it comes down to two words; Trusty. Chords.
1. The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever Told
I think Iíve stated countless times on here how much I love this record. It really captures everything about the Midwestern punk scene at the time and turns it into this brilliant album. I also love how it kind of tells a different story each track and they somewhat blend into one another. Itís also where I think The Lawrence Arms found a perfect sound for them. They were criticized a lot for being Jawbreaker clones on their first few albums but they really stepped away from that here and came into their own form. The Greatest Story Ever Told is one of the most creative and well-done records to come from the last decade and I will stand by this statement. It really shows people how creative punk rock can be from a songwriting standpoint than just three chords. I would throw out an example track or two but itís really best when listened to as a whole so Iíll suggest that instead. Iím going to say it, itís the Dear You of the 2000ís.