Russ Hockenbury Album Cover

Russ Hockenbury

The good, the bad, and the ugly of 2006:

Top Releases of 2006

30. Rookie of the Year - The Goodnight Moon
29. Street Dogs - Fading American Dream
28. Brand New - The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
27. Burns Out Bright - Save Yourself A Lifetime
26. Russian Circles - Enter
25. Takota - The Ivory Tower
24. Across Five Aprils - Collapse
23. Engineer - Reproach
22. Sleepaway - Sleepaway
21. None More Black - This Is Satire
20. Cale Parks – Illuminated Manuscript
19. Man Man - Six Demon Bag
18. Gasoline Heart - You Know Who You Are
17. Fucked Up - Hidden World
16. The Format - Dog Problems
15. The Hope Conspiracy – Death Knows Your Name
14. Owen - At Home With Owen
13. Folly - Resist Convenience
12. ActionReaction - 3 Is The Magic Number
11. Moneen - The Red Tree
10. Headlights – Kill Them With Kindness
9. The Forecast - In The Shadow of Two Gunmen
8. Margot & The Nuclear So & So's - Dust of Retreat
7. The World Inferno Friendship Society – Red-Eyed Soul
6. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Broom
5. Call It Arson – The Animal Strings Album
4. Set Your Goals - Mutiny
3. husband&wife – Operation: Surgery
2. New London Fire – I Sing The Body Holographic
1. The Never – Antarctica: A Storybook Record

ExplanationConcept albums are quickly becoming cliche, but The Never's take on a country boy that finds a nuclear bomb and has to return it to the city is something special. The orchestral pop is sure to please both fans of Paul Simon and the more indie credible Rilo Kiley. The North Carolina act paints lush sceneries befitting the Roald Dahl-like illustrations and kiddie-lit poetic verse of the accompanying storybook. It works.

The What Comes Up… Award: (Got old fast)

Hit The Lights – This Is A Stick Up, Don’t Make It Murder

The Mark Hoppus Vs. Tom Delonge Trophy:

Mark, barely. Frankly though, I’ll be shocked if we’re still talking about either of their current bands five years from now.

Top Metal/Hardcore Albums of 2006

The Hope Conspiracy – Death Knows Your Name
Folly – Resist Convenience
Engineer - Reproach
Fucked Up - Hidden World

Biggest Disappointments

Saves The Day – Sound The Alarm
Brandtson – Hello, Control
The Transit War – Miss Your Face
Latterman – We Are Still Alive

ExplanationSaves The Day get weirder and less appealing to me with every release. Brandtson 2.0 may finally get the band the recoginition they have so long deserved, but Hello, Control alienated many of their most loyal fans. Talk about a sophomore slump, Miss Your Face was a huge step back from the irresistably catchy without being dumb, Ah! Discordia. Latterman was a victim of their own hype. No matter how good We Are Still Alive could've been it wouldn't have been able to live up to No Matter Where We Go's surprise success last year.

Best Label:


ExplanationSo what if that Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin disc was a re-release. Even if we have to technically leave that one out of the mix, the Illinois-based label still put out stellar discs from Headlights, Owen, Cale Parks, and The Like Young. It's no wonder those pretentious music blogs worship the compass as they do.

You’re Getting Annoying:

Sufjan Stevens

ExplanationYou can't walk without tripping over this guy in the indie music world these days. Everything Sufjan releases is so epic. I mean, a 5 disc Christmas release with a 42 page booklet? Only Mel Gibson is more deluded in his own sense of grandeur.

If You Only Watched One TV Show in 2006, I Hope It Was This One:

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia

ExplanationCharlie Kelly is the best TV sitcom character to come along in a few years, Danny Devito is funny again, and all those Hopeless Records stickers on the walls of Paddy's Pub make for one helluva drinking game.

What the Hell happened to?

1. Webzines
2. Eisley Darringer
3. Lobster Records

ExplanationThe webzine is dying and in its place the music blog is arriving. Personally, I can't stand blogs because I think they are too much about the bloggers and not enough about the things people claim to be blogging about (music, politics, etc.). Webzines, just like the print zine (which is all but dead) were started out of a love for the music and wanting to impact the scene in some way. In other words, keep hope alive.

Most Anticipated Releases for 2007:

1. Bayside
2. Lifetime
3. A Day To Remember
4. Langhorne Slim
5. Drew Danburry
6. Look Mexico

If You Love These Bands, Then You'll Love:

American Football - Look Mexico
Pedro The Lion - husband&wife
Les Savy Fav - Foreign Islands

Worst Band Breakup:

The Like Young

Best Band Reformation:

Liars Academy

Thanks and here's to a great 2007!
This review is a user submitted review from Russ Hockenbury. You can see all of Russ Hockenbury's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 6 of 6
01:40 AM on 12/21/06
is a brain in a vat
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12:46AM's Avatar
best reviewer imo.

lots of unfamiliar stuff on here for me though. but there's some solid choices.
12:30 PM on 12/21/06
Blake Solomon
We're no saviors.
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Blake Solomon's Avatar
Look Mexico put out an amazing EP, thanks to you, I heard it.
12:42 PM on 12/21/06
Registered User
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No Avatar Selected
I gotta check out that Never record. I love those kids! Great list, dude
01:39 PM on 12/21/06
Registered Member
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phaedrus's Avatar
This gave me a lot of good bands I might have missed out on, thanks. Also I love the husband and wife cd.
04:37 PM on 12/21/06
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iwasahero's Avatar
hahaha your view on Sufjan cracked me up.

Even though he is one of my favorite artists, I would tend to agree.

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