For what it's worth, here are the top 10 releases that meant the most to me growing up:
Rx Bandits -The Resignation
This album was a game changer. If Progress was the appetizer, this was the main course. The music took me for a trip that required MANY repeat listens before it finally clicked. Hearing "Overcome" for the first time awoke feelings inside me I didn't know existed. To this day it still gives me chills. My social and political awareness at that point was just beginning to take its roots, but this album, and that song in particular, solidified the foundation.
New Found Glory - Self-Titled
This was the first Drive-Thru record I ever heard. Needless to say -- I was hooked. Not many opening tracks have come close to hearing "Better Off Dead" for the very first time. "Dressed To Kill" and "Hit or Miss" would become my anthems during freshmen year despite never having been in any relationship by that point. This became one of the very few CDs that I absolutely destroyed on my Discman from having played so many times.
Sidenote: I first got a chance to see them during Warped Tour '02 on the main stage and shortly thereafter on the Honda Civic Tour. Despite the excitement this should have brought me, I was pissed both times that they were playing so many songs from Sticks & Stones. I'll never forgive myself for that stupid mentality about a band's older stuff being their best. That would stick with me for years until I realized just how lucky I was to have seen so much of what would eventually become their back catalog.
Midtown - Living Well Is The Best Revenge
With NFG's self-titled being the soundtrack to my freshmen year, Living Well snuck up to largely represent sophomore year. I can't recall a band from this scene since Midtown that had such balls-to-the-wall rock music accompanied by three-part harmonies. One piece of shinfo I remember was this became Tate's album of the year for 2002. If I recall correctly, this was the only one that stuck with him through the year despite other seminal scene classics being released that year by Finch, TSL, TEN, and a group called Taking Back Sunday.
Finch - What It Is To Burn
As many others have said, this was my proper introduction to aggressive music that could hold a melody. While Incubus, Deftones, and embarrassingly enough, Limp Bizkit, were the first groups I listened to with elements of screaming in them, it wasn't until Finch that I became floored by it. If it weren't for Finch I may not have ever gotten around to Thrice, Thursday, ETID, FATA, The Used, Glassjaw, and countless other bands that heavily incorporated it in their music. This band was poised to conquer the world at the time.
The Movielife - Forty Hour Train Back To Penn
"If my mind's the weapon....MY HEART'S THE EXTRA CLIP". This remained my mantra for years; and a staple of my AIM profile. The one-two punch of "Face or Kneecaps" into "Jamestown" is something very few records have been able to reproduce since. Again, this brought me more into the fold of aggressive music, but with more melody and harder hitting at times than Finch. They remain one of the few DTR bands I never got to see live, which pains me to say.
Home Grown - Kings of Pop
I first got to see these guys open for Mest at the Ranch Bowl back in 2002 and had never taken the time to really check them out. Their live show instantly made me a fan. They brought the humor and the stage prescence of an arena band to a then dilapiting stage inside a bowling alley. This record is full of hooks and riffs that many of today's bands still have trouble replicating.
Fenix*TX - Lechuza
Talk about hooks -- this album had them down pat. I still find myself humming the melodies of "Threesome" and "A Song for Everyone" from time to time despite having not listened to the record in years. This is another band that had the world at their fingertips, but never got around to cashing in on it. Their initial success is a testament to Drive-Thru sticking around and signing the kind of bands they did. If it wasn't for them and NFG, Drive-Thru's story would be much different.
Something Corporate - Audioboxer EP
I remember first hearing "iF U C Jordan" on the local radio station, 89.7 The River, during a segment called 'Turn It or Burn It'. Depending on the number of votes it received, the station would either "turn it" (add it to its rotation) or "burn it" (disregard it). Luckily, this was turned. At the time, I thought this was going be a huge track and SoCo were going to go on to take over the world. Of naivety, but it's true. Drive-Thru's bands all had the potential to blow up because they were of such seemingly high quality at the time. Anyway, this was the first band I was the first of my friends to know about and spread the word on them to whoever would listen.
The Starting Line - Say It Like You Mean It
This album took on a whole other meaning since I didn't begin playing it in constant rotation until after I began going through the break-up, get-back-together phase with my first serious girlfriend during my sophomore and into junior year of high school. One thing I'll always believe is that the original recordings of "The Drama Summer" and "Cheek To Cheek" far surpass the overproduced quality of them on the record. There was just so much more feeling in Kenny's voice. Not to mention those songs deeply defined that first love
Senses Fail - From The Depths Of Dreams EP
"A gaping hole...SHOT THROUGH MY HEART". Two of the first songs I learned to play on guitar were "187" and "Handguns & Second Chances". This EP continued where WIITB left off for me. Again, it was largely attached to high school relationships, "187" in particular, but the mark it left on me can not be stressed enough. When I got ahold of this during the summer of '03 I spun it more than Deja Entendu, which I had trouble wrapping my head around at the time. I can't believe how I bought into the criticism of that album around then about it being too much like Bright Eyes. How times have changed.
When it comes down to it, some my closest friendships were forged through a shared appreciation of this music growing up and going to countless shows together. I've lost track of all the shows I've been able to catch over the years, but it was largely because of the passion Drive-Thru's bands presented that made music mean so much more than anything else in the world to me. Thank you for everything guys. You have no idea how many lives you touched in such a relatively short span of time.
Nothing mattered to me more than the bands on Drive-Thru growing up. Nothing. I bombed PowerPoint presentations, failed exams, skipped church (Catholic school!!) all on account of my daydreaming about meeting Andrew McMahon, quoting the Drive-Thru DVDs, checking in on them on MySpace, writing out their lyrics on my brown paper bad book covers and reading The Early Novembers message boards where Joe Marro would make me pee myself without fail: “Does the pope shit in the woods?”. I still don’t know what the Holocaust was (kidding) and I have no idea the exact function of a protractor(fuzzy) because of Drive-Thru.
After two years of college I was like “Damn, as it turns out I don’t want to actually be a licensed dental assistant. I want to work for fucking Drive-Thru. Deuces, assholes, I’m going to Californ.I.A” So I moved to California… not know that Drive-Thru was actually taking its last wheezing breaths while I was making the drive out from Minnesota. Whoops, shoulda looked into that
I enrolled at MI to study music business and tried like hell to get an internship at the label but, as they were dying, no one was around to answer their phones or emails. So through a friend living in the L.A. area, I began interning for someone who had worked at Drive-Thru about 5 years prior, which I did not discover until about a month of working for him. Close enough though, right?
Through him, I met the guy who used to run the video department at Drive-Thru. He’s incredibly sexy. WINK!
So thank you Drive-Thru for giving me songs that make me want to fucking weep, punch, dance, laugh etc., for helping me find all of my greatest friends, for being the bestest road-trip buddy, for making me want more than to be a dental assistant (not that that's not cool!), and for steering me toward my soul mate.
You were just too good.
Also: The Early November and the Starting Line need tour this year since TEN is back together. It is my dream.
TEN and TSL! Yes ive been thinking the same thing since they have both gotten back together. I would probably do anything for any type of large drive thru reunion tour
10. New Found Glory "Sticks and Stones"
9. Home Grown "Kings of Pop"
8. Midtown "Living Well is the Best Revenge"
7. Fenix TX "Lechuza"
6. The Starting Line "Say it Like You Mean It"
5. Something Corporate "Leaving Through the Window"
4. Finch "What it is to Burn"
3. Fenix TX "S/T"
2. New Found Glory "S/T"
1. Allister "Last Stop Suburbia"
Honorable Mention Awesome DTR bands: The Early November, HelloGoodbye, Houston Calls, the Movielife, Steel Train, Senses Fail, RX Bandits
I'm 30 now but when I was in college 10 years ago these albums were the soundtrack.
I know I'm late to the party, but after reading through a substantial amount of this thread, I felt I had to add in my two cents. First, for my own top ten Drive Thru releases, in no particular order.
10. The Starting Line - "With Hopes of Starting Over EP"
9. Midtown - "Save The World, Lose The Girl"
8. Finch - "What It Is To Burn"
7. Rx Bandits - "Progress"
6. A New Found Glory - "Nothing Gold Can Stay"
5. Allister - "Last Stop Suburbia"
4. Something Corporate - "Leaving Through The Window"
3. The Early November "For All Of This EP"
2. Senses Fail - "From the Depths Of Dreams EP"
1. Dashboard Confessional "The Swiss Army Romance"
I can't thank absolutepunk enough for being one of my go to websites when keeping abreast of the scene and whatnot. Drive Thru Records became the soundtrack of my high school days. For a fair amount of time during that period, I followed their discography almost religiously, buying up any release from them. Heck, my first proper "show" I went to was a Finch, The Starting Line, Brand New, and Autopilot Off show at The Glasshouse in Pomona. At that first show, I knew I had found the music that was going to shape my life at that time. At that time, everyone was amped on Finch, having just released "What It Is To Burn", I believe. The entire place stayed basically static during The Starting Line and Brand New. I was jumping up and down, screaming the words out to "Three's A Charm" during The Starting Line's set, and everyone else was just sort of there, standing. Needless to say, these were great times.
Shit, I remember buying those Drive Thru Records DVDs, and playing along to them on the guitar and pretending like I was rocking out on stage at Warped Tour too. Drive Thru Records and this whole era, basically opened my eyes and began my evolution of musical taste. Prior to that, I was pretty much a backpacker, loved Rawkus Records, all that underground hip hop and all that. Shit, even used to breakdance and freestyle. After getting introduced to Blink-182, New Found Glory, Rufio, and others, I picked up a guitar and never looked back. To me, this era birthed my understanding of the "summer pop punk anthem". So many great summer memories of rolling the windows down and being in the car, blasting some Drive Thru record song or similar, not having a car in the world and simply enjoying the moment. This era always reminds me of a simpler time, when the worst thing that could happen was a broken heart.
Such a good nostalgia trip reading through this thread.
Remembered that on the 2005 Nintendo Fusion Tour I bought a $40 scalped ticket just to see TSL perform more than a 30 minute set. Looking back on it I probably would have paid $50 if I had had the money at the time.