The year of the y2k panic!. We were about to head into a new millennium and all the wonderful things that would bring us……yea……The final year of the decade and for this project was a pretty darn good one as you’ll see. So let’s dive in and see what we have.
35.Rotting Christ-Sleep Of The Angels
Extreme metal from Greece and another one for the “I first heard these guys on Metal Hammer’s Killer Cuts cd”. Using keys and angelic quoir music to create a beautifully gothic atmosphere to go along with the slow paced metal makes for a moody, melancholic album in a genre that normally wouldn’t make my lists. That speaks to my opinion of it’s quality.
Highlights-“Der Perfekte Traum” “Delusions”
34.Lyte Funky Ones-LFO
Lol, this beat Foo Fighters….well the list doesn’t lie and I jammed the hell out of this cd way back when. Out of the sea of boy bands that flooded the music scene in the late 90s these guys were certainly the most underrated. Genuinely catchy pop songs.
Highlights-“West Side Story” “Girl On Tv”
33.Mint Royale-On The Ropes
The debut album from the big beat duo that mixes….well,….big beats and lighthearted, upbeat dance music. It’s lead single featured Lauren Laverne on vocals who is now a tv presenter but back then was a singer and had recently broken up from her pop rock band Kenickie. It’s a really pretty song too.
Highlights-“Don’t Falter” “Take It Easy”
32.Rage Against The Machine-The Battle Of Los Angeles
With two music videos directed from white hot political film maker Michael Moore, Rage were everywhere in 1999 as their third album hit the mark during the explosion of alternative music. Still banging music but in honesty, Tom Morello’s riffs were starting to become a little bit repetitive….which I know is crazy coming from a punk but it’s how I feel. Nonetheless it’s still a very solid album with a few standouts.
Highlights-“Guerilla Radio” “Sleep Now In The Fire”
Around the same time they started collaborating with Billy Bragg they released their best album…..I’m basing that on the ones I’ve heard so that’s not definitive…..I’ve heard maybe 3. Great indie rock from a band often accused of being boring and “the whitest band in the world” whatever that means.
Highlights-“I’m Always In Love” “She’s A Jar”
30.Static X-Wisconsin Death Trip
Static X stood out a little from their nu metal contemporaries by mixing crushing industrial drums with groove laden disco beats and Wayne Static’s distinctive and cartoonish growl. Solid stuff and a promising debut right in the centre of the nu metal bubble.
Highlights-“I’m With Stupid” “Push It”
29.Allister-Dead Ends And Girlfriends
An in credibly low budget debut from a very young pop punk band that shows a tonne of potential in amongst some not so stellar moments. The strong points lead to some incredibly catchy, quick songs. They would go on to realise their potential with their next album.
Highlights-“Jimmy’s Dreamgirl” “Jacob Thinks I’m Gay”
The title is a play on a review a critic had given the band saying their 15 minutes of fame were nearly up. Funny stuff, particularly as this album sent them through the roof popularity wise. The single “Every Morning” became a worldwide smash although they alienated some of their previous fanbase due to their easy listening, poppy sound. Gone were the rock and metal oriented songs in favour of laid back, easy listening beach songs that focused heavily on melody.
Highlights-“Even Though” “Someday”
Fronted by a highly successful Major League Baseball player which is incredibly odd for a band, never mind a punk band. The genre is usually filled with misfits and dropouts not big sports stars. He’s a fantastic singer too and the band are a great, rapid melodic punk band and they are pretty great lyrically too.
Highlights-“Working Class Whore” “Second Best”
26.New Found Glory-Nothing Gold Can Stay
The poorly produced, low budget debut from the then name A New Found Glory was self funded and eventually led to them signing with Drive Thru Records. It’s great what perseverance and dedication can do. Definitely rough sounding with whiny vocals and crunchy guitars, it shows the promise that they had with good songwriting that sounded different to a lot of pop punk bands at the time. They’d often play slower and mix up tempos more than their contemporaries and it was clear they had something special even from this slapdash album.
Highlights-“It Never Snows In Florida” “3rd And Long”
More great hardcore punk from the California legends that manages to be both aggressive and catchy. Raging guitar riffs and thunderous drum beats drive the music with Jim Lindberg singing in a surprisingly soft voice for a hardcore band rather than screaming and yelling.
24.The Get Up Kids-Something To Write Home About
Back when emo was decent and had a bunch of standout albums. Intelligent and heartfelt song writing, melodic song compositions and good harmonies make for a passionate and emotionally draining album. Emo done right.
Highlights-“Forgive And Forget” “Holiday”
23.Choking Victim-No Gods, No Managers
The only full length album released by the band became a massive hit in the punk scene and members would go on to form Leftover Crack. The band refused to put a barcode on the album as an anti capitalism statement and the record is full of aggressive left wing anti religious sentiments. A legendary album in the ska-core scene.
Highlights-“500 Channels” “Money”
The final album from the cult indie band with a massive following. It ended horribly too for the band with tensions finally coming to a head in 1999. It’s bizarre to think this is a band falling apart because it’s so well put together, tight and melodic. It just seems like they were all clicking but you never know what’s going on behind the scenes. Sad stuff but they left us with a hell of an album.
Highlights-“Carrot Rope” “Spit On A Stranger”
21.Dropkick Murphys-The Gang’s All Here
Boston Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys first album with the lineup that would become their main one for the years to come. The album is filled with the pub punk drinking songs about soldiers and tributes to work forces that you come to expect with them. Punk rock with Celtic instruments always makes for a pleasant mix.
Highlights-“Boston Asphalt” Devil’s Brigade”
20.South Park: Bigger, Longer And Uncut OST
Behind all the controversy that was surrounding South Park at the time and how they were “poisoning the youth” it’s easy to forget that the movie was one of the best musicals in years. Yes it was disgusting and filthy but creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone (particularly Parker” are big musical fans and also musically talented themselves so the songs were excellent and sounded like they could have come from any other musical had it not been for the subject matters. They would go on to produce the massively successful Broadway hit “The Book Of Mormon” which I was incredibly lucky to see in it’s first run and it’s by far the best piece of theatre I’ve ever seen.
Highlights-“Up There” “What Would Brian Boitano Do?”
19.Anti-Flag-A New Kind Of Army
More anti-establishment, anti-fascist punk rock from the loud, obnoxious but always melodic Anti-Flag. Singer/guitarist Justin Sane took over on vocals for all songs which would pretty much go on to be a staple of the band and his high pitched and heart felt wailing always drives home their message.
Highlights-“A New Kind Of Army” “No Difference”
18.Saves The Day-Through Being Cool
Another emo album? My mates must think I’m going insane but I’ve always said I respected emo in it’s early days I just hated what it became. It went from geeky, emotional punks to a bunch of kids dressing up as Robert Smith and not making music anywhere near as good as him. Anyway Saves The Day were one of the elite emo bands back then and this album has great, emotional and heart felt punk style songs.
Highlights-“Holly Hox, Forget Me Nots” “Shoulder To The Wheel”
You’re damn right!. One of the best pure pop albums of all time and I’ll stand by that until I can’t stands no more. So many catchy songs on this album with good, pure writing of love songs that stood miles above most of the other pop offerings of the time. It’s also the album that broke the group up as musician Daniel Jones struggled with the fame it brought them while the far more extroverted singer Darren Hayes loved it and fit right into that world. Unfortunately it was just too much for Jones and they were too different to deal with the same kind of schedule and obligation s that the label demanded.
Highlights-“The Best Thing” “I Knew I Loved You”
16.Type O Negative-World Coming Down
Known as the darkest album the goth metal band wrote…..and that’s saying something…..Pete Steele’s lyrics revolved around the deaths of family members and friends that had happened recently. There’s also interludes of short snippets depicting ways the band members may die. One of them is sinus and has the sound of coke being snorted and the heartbeat speeding up, the others are liver and lung. Depressingly prophetic as Steele would die at the age of 48 after battles with alcohol and cocaine addiction. The hulking 6 ft 8 behemoth was always known as a funny, likeable man and is sorely missed in the metal community.
Highlights-“Everything Dies” “Pyretta Blaze”
15 (Tied).Feeder-Yesterday Went Too Soon
After impressing with their debut “Polythene” Feeder started to breakthrough with their follow up. Grant Nicholas’ strong song writing skills were always given praise by the likes of Kerrang magazine and the public started to cotton on with the release of this classic.
Highlights-“Yesterday Went Too Soon” “Insomnia”
15 (Tied). Mike Ness-Cheating At Solitaire
The Social Distortion frontman and punk rock legend took his ever increasing roots-music influence and channeled it into a solo album. It still has the melodies and lyrics of the band’s albums but with a softer touch the more introspective lyrics have a chance to breathe a little more and so hit home in a more emotional way with a voice of a man who has been through some harsh stuff. A great solo effort.
Highlights- “Don’t Think Twice” “Dope Fiend Blues”
14.Insane Clown Posse-The Amazing Jeckel Brothers
Whereas the previous album focused more on a rock backdrop for the duo to rap over, this album went back to a more hip hop feel with cameos from the likes of Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Snoop Dogg. Although there is a lot of humour in there, it’s far less front and centre than previous albums with a lot of incredibly dark and angry subject matters. This was at the height of their notoriety and popularity with them making many appearances on WCW wrestling shows and getting a large following with very little help from the label and radio stations. A few years before the gigantic juggalo backlash but critics panned it as they did with everything they released as it was the cool thing to hate on.
Highlights-“Mad Professor” “Play With Me”
I still very clearly remember a news report the day after this was filmed showing Metallica fans denouncing them for having the gall to perform with an orchestra…..ugh pussy orchestra with their…..instruments and such. That must have happened to Metallica about 20 times in their career from making a music video to signing to a major label to making Load and Reload……fair enough on that last one. It was a very bold and unique move from the band and one that paid of as it’s still such a different experience listening to thrash songs with an orchestra behind it.
Highlights-“Master Of Puppets” “Battery”
12.MF Doom-Operation Doomsday
The debut album from the former KMD rapper/producer with the super hero gimmick (which is awesome) is fantastic. There’s varying styles and beats that go to show how good a producer he is and the variety is really the strong point of the album. It also helps that he can flow for days.
Highlights-“Hey!” “Gas Drawls”
11.Me First And The Gimme Gimmes-Are A Drag
More covers from the punk rock supergroup this time with the theme of show tunes. Faaaaabulous and some excellent choices, some very famous and others more obscure but nearly all of them end up sounding fantastic with that skate punk speed.
Highlights-“Science Fiction Double Feature” It’s Raining On Prom Night”
The second album from the reunion Misfits with Michael Graves on vocals is more of the melodic, over the top old school horror schlock punk that made American Psycho such a fun album. Gloriously cheesy and filled with singalong anthems.
Highlights-“Hunting Humans” “Pumpkinhead”
This is where a promising Australian band plagued by constant comparisons to better bands truly found their voice. Singer/guitarist and songwriter Daniel Johns was 19 when this was recorded and that blows me mind. Intricate guitar work, meaningful lyrics and a big epic feel to the album belies his age for sure. Topics such as his anorexia and depression make up a lot of the writing subjects so it’s not the happiest album in the world.
Highlights-“Emotion Sickness” “Anthem For The Year 2000”
8.Limp Bizkit-Significant Other
By far the much maligned rap metal band’s best album and was brought out during the period where everyone below the age of 20 thought Fred Durst was cool. Then a year later when their bigger album came out and we heard him talk a lot more……and it all started going south for ol’ Freddy. Nonetheless this album is more focused on the hip hop side of things which is where Durst is at his best and although he’s completely shown up by Method Man on one track, his style fits the music. Wes Borland’s inventive guitar playing, John Otto’s rhythmic back beat (a year before he took it to the Mathews Bridge) and Sam Rivers’ intelligent bass licks show the band at their best. It even ventures into avant-garde and post modern areas at times. I remember being on Boys Brigade camp at the time and bought it on cassette and would play it non stop in the bus on my ghetto blaster. Good times.
Highlights-“Re-arranges” “Just Like That”
7.Fenix TX-Fenix TX
Not too long after this album was released I saw them open for Blink 182 and bought their cd instantly. It must have been an interesting time for them as Blink were blowing up at the time, in fact the venue had to be changed for the Scotland gig because demand was so high. Anyway I met a couple of friends at that gig and we all said to each other that they blew Blink off the stage in terms of performance. They would release another album with a darker tone and musical differences split them up for a few years. I saw them headline a show for that second album with RX Bandits supporting and you could tell the tension between the band on stage, it was an odd atmosphere. Anyway, rambling aside they were an ace band and this album was fantastic.
Highlights-“Speechless” “Jolly Green Dumbass”
Being a fan of horror movies and metal when I first saw this band I was intrigued instantly. I mean come on, look at them!. Gimmick or not they look amazing and this huge squad with horror masks beating each other up and thrashing out nu metal jams connected on a mass scale as a couple of years later they were one of the biggest bands in the world. Singer Corey Taylor’s ability to go from crooning to growling at the drop of a hat was impressive and the impressive drumming skills of Joey Jordison adds to a wall of noise to bang your head to.
Highlights-“Liberate” Spit It Out”
5.The Ataris-Blue Skies, Broken Heart….Next 12 Exits
Brilliantly produced by Joey Cape of Lagwagon fame and containing the energetic pop punk about love that The Ataris excel in. They were always known as the sweethearts of the punk scene back then as their songs were always very heartfelt and singer Kris Roe emoted perfectly about girls picking arseholes over him and other relationship problems. It’s so sad to me that they became a generic rock band after a couple of albums after this. One of my best friends to this day bonded over this album. We were at a summer camp in America, him a handsome Aussie, me a snot nosed Scot and we started randomly chatting at a party when I was playig guitar and he told me he loved the song and we chatted for hours about punk rock. The power of punk I tells ye…..it brings people together.
Highlights-“San Dimas High School Football Rules” “Your Boyfriend Sucks”
4.Lit-A Place In The Sun
My absolute summer album of 1999. Full of mostly feel good songs to get a tan to….which admittedly is pretty difficult in Scotland. Up tempo pop rock hits that stray into pop punk territory at times and spawned the massive hit “My Own Worst Enemy”. Fronted by charismatic 50s greaser twat A Jay Popoff with his brilliantly bearded brother Jeremy on guitar they bash out simple but very memorable summer songs to sing along to.
3.Hi Standard-Making The Road
Third album and third appearance for the Japanese legends with a front cover featuring the film Yojimbo by director Akira Kurosawa……which is awesome in itself. I love this band more than a little bit with their rapid, fun and exciting punk rock songs in broken English which adds to the charm. Talented and with great chemistry, they charge through their music with a smile on their faces and it transfers to the listener.
Highlights-“Teenagers Are All Assholes” “Brand New Sunset”
2.Blink 182-Enema Of The State
The “sell out” album….blah blah whatever. Like I said with their previous album Blink 182 were always destined for the top as they just connected with kids in a way other bands couldn’t. Bands like Pennywise and Bad Religion supported them in their rise to the top and if they are accepted tby two of the premier punk bands of all time then that says something. Yes the childish humour is present but so are some excellent punk rock songs. It just has a much glossier production than previous albums. Even though I can’t stand their output from 2004 onwards I am honest in these lists and I will never deny the impact something had on me as a kid/teen and this album gave me lots of pleasure. I still much prefer Dude Ranch for it’s more raw feel but there are some great songs on here.
Highlights-“Dumpweed” “Going Away To College”
1.The Bouncing Souls-Hopeless Romantic
The first number one spot for one of my favourite bands and the one where they started to really find themselves as they messed around with different tempos and sounds. It still has that excellent, energetic punk rock spirit that seeps from the record. Passionate love songs in a fun, upbeat style and singalong anthems about John Hughes movies are the order of the day and they’ll always be in my heart and that’s why they top this strong list.
Highlights-“Kid” “Hopeless Romantic”
Well that’s it!. My little project to go back to the 90s is over but I’m going to keep going and do either the 80s or the 00s next. Let me know what you’d prefer and we’ll take it from there. As always thanks a lot for checking the list and keep being good to each other. Love yooooou. x