Years before I got into the much harder stuff, the hardcore highs and post-grunge lows there was Full Collapse.
Now, it was not like Thursday was the first band to ever cross my ears with a guitar but there was definitely something exciting there for EpiFat teenage James. I realize the contrast of aggressive vocal outbursts with softer harmony fueled sections is definitely nothing fresh or exciting in 2013 (or then if you had a beard and were cooler than me), where nu-screamo has become the ‘downfall of us all’ but at that time in my life it was a revelation.
Frontman Geoff Rickly had a significant and specific influence on me. By matching engaging and highly quotable lyrics (“DISCARD THIS MESSAGE!….”) with a punk rock ethos Rickly quickly (LOL) had me for the first time reading the lyric booklet from front to back. He even had me really analyzing a writers work for the first time outside of English class. I liked to chuck a mosh but I also loved Ricklys outrage at what America did to those poor Indians!
Almost like an artwork gaining appreciation and value after the artist passes away, it seems any form of success related to dollar signs or music history was reserved for its music offspring, enjoyed by bands in fringe genres spawned from Full Collapse and its contemporaries.
Coming in last on this list should not be a slight against Full Collapse, I can still listen and appreciate this album today and get a lot more than simple nostalgia from the trip. This ensures I will never get withdrawals from my gateway album.
I have not been listening to nearly enough music of late and I thought maybe it was time to try something drastic, like a music blog!
SO, I am going to try something really dumb and work out, at present, what my all time favourite 10 albums of all time are (ALL TIME!). If you have ever tried to marginalize something you are passionate about into a short list like this then you know already how hard this is. Its like the Royal Rumble of emotions and memories trying to chokeslam their way to number one.
The only way to accomplish an impossible task like this is with some rules. These kinds of crazy late night lists definitely need strict guidelines (if not to eliminate a couple of your cheesier favourites or impossible to fault albums that missed this list) to stand any chance of completing it and mine are as follow.
Firstly I refused to list any band twice. Most of these bands (Alkaline Trio, Brand New Jawbreaker, The Lawrence Arms and The Weakerthans) I have discovered could have all quite easily made two entries into this list with numerous releases I adore.
Secondly, I painfully made the decision to be a jerk to more recent albums that rival the 10 on this list as potential all time favourites. Some of these include The Flatliners Cavalcade The Wonder Years The Upsides, Balance & Composures Separation, A Wilhelm Screams Ruiner, Fireworks Gospel,The Menzingers On The Impossible Past and La Disputes Wildlife. Each of these albums and probably many more that are escaping me right now could potentially make their way into my top 10 in the future. Just know I could not have justified using this rule if I went for the top 20 like my heart pleaded for me to do. What a bitch.
Lastly, on topics of the heart again, I decided to avoid including any albums from bands I regard as friends or have any personal direct influence regardless of how fantastic they are. If any of you are reading this, I love you too much to put others above you on any list <3
Anyway without further ado, I begin my countdown of my top ten albums. This was really hard. SHUT UP!