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This year seemed to be more of a “quantity” over “quality” kind of year. While there were a TON of releases this year (when browsing over my record collection, I think I pulled out over 30 records I bought that came out this year alone), only a few of them were slightly better than average, and not that many stuck out as truly great. So, below is my list of the 10 records that came out this year that I just couldn’t get enough of (as well as some other stuff, as well).
10. IRREVERSIBLE – Age
Kill the Peace Records – www.killthepeaceatlanta.com
These guys are an Atlanta based Sludge/Metal band much in the vein of Isis and Pelican. I would definitely stay on the look out for these guys, because the way they are headed, there are going to turn A LOT of heads in the months to come
9. The Falcon – Unicornography
Red Scare Records – http://www.redscare.net/
Really, as long as a record is better than Angels and Airwaves “We don’t Need to Whisper,” then it gets consideration for the top 10. I think someone at punknews.org summed it up best when they described this record as ska with acoustic guitars and “Oo’s” and “Ah’s” as opposed to horns.
8. Plus 44 – When Your Heart Stop Beating
It was incredibly refreshing to hear both Mark and Tom on record again. I think most of the reason why I liked this record so much more than AvA is simply because Plus 44 didn’t have to tell the world they wrote a great record. They simply recorded an album and let it speak for itself. It certainly isn’t ground breaking and wont leave a forever lasting impact on the music industry, but, at the same time, it’s a lot better than the AvA record, and that’s all anyone seems to care about when talking about these two bands
7. Cursive – Happy Hollow
Saddle Creek Records – www.cursivearmy.com
I kind of miss the days of the sad and lonely Cursive records. Happy Hollow is definitely a change of pace, lyrically, but its still a fantastic record. However, that being said, I will still take the most recent Good Life record over this Cursive record most days of the week. Just throwing that out there.
6. Hanalei – Parts and Accessories
THICK Records – www.hanaleisounds.com
Brian Moss may be, in my opinion at least, one of the most underrated song writers of our time. His ability to leap, bend and transcend genres simply amazes me; I’m not sure how you go from playing in a average Chicago punk band (the Wunder Years), to a post-punk indie rock band (the Ghost) to a folkish electro-pop solo project (the first Hanalei record), to a full blown folk-rock-pop band in the span of less than 7 years, but Moss has done it and done it very well. This record is a true testament to what an incredible songwriter he is
5. Park – Building a Better___
Lobster Records – www.myspace.com/park
Park, so it would seem, can do no wrong. Not one Park record sounds like another, but, somehow, they have managed to maintain the Park “sound.” While I think something was lost in this record, some of the gaping and sincere brutality in the lyrics for one, musically its still a fine piece of work. And that’s not a shot at Ladd’s lyrics on this record, because they are top-notch as usual. But, one of the thing I absolutely adored about “It Wont Snow Where You’re Going” was the incredibly brash lyrics.
4. Wrister – Chuckle Chuckle Motherfucker
Alaska Records – http://www.alaskarecords.net
I know there is something kind of contrived about putting a record from your label in your top 5, but I could really care less. Wrister is one of the most genuine bands I have ever come across, and every song on this record screams of that notion.
3. Latterman – We Are Still Alive
Deep Elm Records – http://www.myspace.com/latterman
I get into these guys too late, but, oddly enough, at the right place at the right time. While I just stumbled across these guys a mere 2 months ago, this record has not left my CD Player since. Punk rock needs more bands like Latterman.
2. The Lawrence Arms – Oh! Calcutta!
Fat Wreck Chords – www.thelawrencearms.net
I cant write an objective review of these guys. Since I was in the tenth grade, the Lawrence Arms have been one of the few consistencies in my life. This new record was incredibly impressive, and really, is one of the few records that came out this year that I think people will still be talking about in 10 years.
1. The Bronx- The Bronx (II)
Island – http://www.thebronxxx.com
I don’t really have much else to say about the Bronx other than they are how Rock n Roll should be. No pretense or no gimmicks. Just some dudes playing stripped down rock with gritt.
Set Your Goals – Mutiny!
- These guys just managed to gimmick their way into the honorable mentions. I don’t like the term “guilty pleasure,” but that’s kind of what these guys are.
The Draft – In A Million Pieces
- I don’t know, I think the band lost a lot of their fire without Chuck. Its still a fantastic record, but, I’d kill for another “No Division” or even “Caution.”
Punchline – 37 Everywhere
- Losing their other main contributing vocalist was a huge killer for this band. They still write really solid pop/punk tunes, but they’ve lost a lot of their spark without the insane three-layer vocal harmonies.
The Hope Conspiracy – Death Knows your Name
- Best metal/hardcore record of the year. Plain as that
Worst record of the year
Angels and Airwaves – We Don’t Need to Whisper
- From now on, the “Gone Overboard Award” will be named the Tom DeLonge award. I, like almost all of my friends and almost anyone in our age group that grew up with punk rock, at one point in my life, loved the shit out of Blink-182. “Dude Ranch” is still one of my 5 favorite albums of all time. While there were a lot of bad albums released this year, none of them make me cringe or laugh out loud like “We Don’t Need to Whisper.” Funny story, I had my iPod on random and “It Hurts” came on, and after it was over, “Depends” by Blink-182 came on. Who is Tom kidding, really? and before you ask, i keep the AvA record on my iPod for the same reason that i keep records like Hopesfalls "A Types," and that reason simply is "i dont know."
Brand New – The Devil and God are Raging Inside of Me
- I thought the Demo’s that leaked for this record were a million times better than anything on the actual record. These guys just grew up and matured musically way too fast. They did what took Tom DeLonge like, 10 years to do. And both their records are still just kind of “meh”
Against Me – Americans Abroad
- I don’t think the performance on this live record could have been void of any more emotion. Half-assed tempo and all around the general antithesis of what Against Me was once all about
New Found Glory – Coming Home
- I just don’t think the world needs another NFG record. If a couple of them would have broken off and made this record, it would of made a lot more of a dent, or at least been a little more memorable. Like, if Blink-182 would of released “We Don’t Need to Whisper,” everyone would of thought it was a joke. That’s kind of how I feel about this record.
10 Songs that did not appear on any of the above mentioned records that were released in 2006, and when played just by themselves are still better than Angels and Airwaves “We Don’t Need to Whisper”
10. “At this Velocity” – Thursday
- If only for the first 45 seconds of the song. That 45 seconds alone, still better than 45 minutes of AvA
9. “Sanctity of Brothers” – Unearth
8. “Breathe In” – The Loved Ones
- Only because 100K doesn’t count, because it was originally released on their first EP last year.
7. “Makedamnsure” – Taking Back Sunday
- I only made it through “Louder Now” maybe once all the way through, and as a whole I thought it was a pretty forgettable record. This song was definitely the bomb-track
6. “Seeing Double at the Tripple Rock” – NoFX
- I liked this song a whole lot more when I realized that Paddy’s tattoo reads “How Much Art Can You Take.” Learn something new every day at the Fest V.
5. “They Like their Turtle Necks Ribbed” – A Wilhelm Scream
Again, 30 second song, better than the whole AvA record.
4. “Jane” – The Loved Ones
This song got stuck in my head for almost three consecutive months.
3. “All night Long” - Lifetime
It’s fucking Lifetime!
2. “16, 16 Six” – The Drips
I was real stoked that a band featuring two members from the Bronx was releasing a record was coming out, and while, it was a good record, I haven’t even thought about it till right now. Great song though.
1. “Diver” – A Wilhelm Scream
- No fucking question about it. If I could of, with good conscience, put a two song 7inch on my top 10 records of the year, I would of. I definitely think that if someone wants to hear the best of the best as far as punk rock in 2006 goes, this one song is a shining example
Ten “Hot” Bands in 2006 that I didn’t even give a chance
10. Cute is what we Aim For – What a fucking terrible band name
9. Cobra Starship - Not since Spinal Tap has a band only existed because of a Movie
8. Saosin - Meh
7. The Matches - Mark Hoppus is a pretty alright musician, and Blink-182 is one of my favorite bands of all time, but, Producer? C’mon. the guy can’t sing live. How is he suppose to produce a record?
6. Cartel- These guys don’t represent Atlanta.
5. The Format - My friend Joey Williams told me this was the best band since the Beatles, and I laughed out loud. And I don’t even like the Beatles
4. Paramore - Waiting for the hot girl lead singer fad to die out.
3. Hellogoodye - Who?
2. Forgive Durden - Again, Who?
1. Panic! At the Disco - Whooooooooooooo caaaaaaaaaares. No one will be talking about this band in 3 years.
Looking Forward to in 2007
A new A Wilhelm Scream record. Watching the implosion of Fall Out Boy (I mean, c’mon, its bound to happen. Especially when P!ATD has taken over their spot a top the pop-punk super group pedestal). New Smoke or Fire. The Fest 6. New Lifetime! No more Angels and Airwaves records/news (I really hate that band). Everything that’s happening and coming out in the Atlanta scene. Working with new bands and writing new material, blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda…