2001, The year the world changed forever and not for the good. Let’s not focus on the negatives though, despite racial tension and many many needless death we had some good albums released….so YAY ….I guess. Let’s see what made the list then shall.
35.Jimmy Eat World-Bleed American
The emo band’s breakout album back when emo was decent and not what it became in the mid 00s. I never paid much attention to it at the time as I was pretty against the emo movement as it was pushing the scene I grew up with aside and taking over but now I’m mature (lol) enough to look at it for what it is I can appreciate what a good album it is.
Highlights-“Sweetness” “The Authority Song”
Another album I didn’t pay much attention to at the time due to my dislike of Eminem due to a certain feud he had going on at the time. Fight Music had such a great video giving homage to The Warriors which is a movie I love. I always really liked proof as an MC too so I eventually went back and checked it out. It’s a really good album with the group bringing their game.
Highlights-“That’s How” “Fight Music”
33.Dynamite Boy-Somewhere In America
One of the bands keeping the 90s punk sound alive into the new millennium and never got nearly the breaks they deserved. Better than a lot of the bands doing a lot better than them in the genre but such is life. Great harmonies.
Highlights-“No Way Out” “Little Bobby”
The legendary Canadian thrash masters proved they still had it in 2001 with this brilliant metal album that showed flexibility in styles and speeds. The production on the guitars is a little iffy with overly crunchy guitars but the music itself is filled with awesome riffs.
Highlights-“Battered” “The Perfect Virus”
31.Propagandhi-Today’s Empires, Tomorrow’s Ashes
Super fast and aggressive punk rock from the Canadian left wing activists. I should love this band because I agree with so much of their stuff politically but they are not the most likeable band from interviews I’ve seen so it does put me off a bit. Musically they are incredibly talented and their lyrics are fantastic and this was the pinnacle for me.
Highlights-“Today’s Empires, Tomorrow’s Ashes” “Natural Disaster”
30.Cappadonna-The Yin And The Yang
The unofficial tenth member of Wu Tang Clan makes his second appearance with his second album. Impressive lyrical flow and tight production as usual from Wu Tang and their affiliates with plenty of guest appearances to add to the variety.
Highlights-“Revenge” “Save The Children”
29.Dashboard Confessional-The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most
The follow up to Swiss Army Romance was a big deal for a band as it really broke them out and they became incredibly popular. The heartfelt acoustic emo hit home with a large audience and like I said last time this band and in particularly the singer left sea of soaking wet emo girls drowning the alternative music scene.
Highlights-“The Good Fight” “The Best Deceptions”
28.Alicia Keys-Songs In A Minor
In 2001 a stunningly beautiful and ridiculously talented 20 year old lass came on the RnB scene and became a massive star. It still blows my mind that she was 19/20 when she wrote and recorded these songs, well most of them anyway as there’s an excellent Prince cover in there. A great collection of melancholy songs with Keys playing piano and singing beautifully. ….20 years old!
Highlights-“Fallin'” “How Come You Don’t Call Me”
27.Dropkick Murphys-Sing Loud, Sing Proud
Everyone’s favourite plastic Paddy band, The Murphys always have a great energetic sound with their Celtic instruments and driving punk rock guitars and beats. They mixed it up a little more for this one with ballads, comedy songs and their bread and butter fast punk rock songs.
Highlights-“Forever” “Heroes Of Our Past”
26.Me First And The Gimme Gimmes-Blow In The Wind
The punk rock supergroup are back with more covers and the gimmick this time is they are all 60s hits. You know what you’re getting from the band and if you’re into their brand of 90s punk then it’s right up your street. Taking classic songs and turning them into upbeat, rampaging punk rock bangers is always something that I’ll be on board with.
Highlights-“Different Drum” “Who Put The Bomp”
25.Blink 182-Take Off Your Pants And Jacket
Although I clearly enjoyed this album it was the beginning of the end for my love of the band. You can hear the creative tension in the music with a disjointed mix of post hardcore influenced emo in some doses along with their usual fun and fast paced punk. There’s still definitely plenty to like in here it’s just for people who were following them at the time you could feel the strain and it came to be as they later admitted as much.
Highlights-“Every Time I Look For You” “First Date”
24.Pulley-Together Again For The First Time
Fast paced, melodic and credible punk rock from a straight forward and underrated band. I’ve always loved baseball star and punk rock hero Scott Radinsky’s voice as it carries a lot of gravitas and holds a tune so well. Really solid album.
Highlights-“Hooray For Me” “Same Sick Feeling”
23.Michelle Branch-The Spirit Room
Holy balls I fancied this girl so much as a teenager…I mean I still do. Michelle is a great songwriter and everyone knows by now from these lists that I’m a punk that loves good pop music if it’s done right. Miss Branch does it right and she was 18 when this was released. Just a wee lass and releasing bangers like this is a hell of an achievement.
Highlights-“All You Wanted” “You Set Me Free”
22.Leftover Crack-Mediocre Genrica
Super hardcore crust punk and ska from members of the disbanded Choking Victim. Street level punk from guys who live the lifestyle to the extreme with their extreme left wing anti capitalist anti-everything outlook and lyrics condemning homophobia, racism and other socio-political subjects. They originally wanted to call the album Shoot The Kids At School……ooft. Epitaph asked them for another name hence the generic title.
Highlights-“Atheist Anthem” “Nazi White Trash”
Another band who were struggling internally with their musical direction which led to a strong but disjointed second album. There are still signs of growth and the incredible promise shown from their debut still exists but there are definite signs of musical tension with some songs lacking focus and direction. The strong points of the alum are incredible though and the production is ace.
Highlights-“Katie W” “A Song For Everyone”
20.Saves The Day-Stay What You Are
One of the last bastions of the original emo movement and an excellent example of what the genre could produce when it had the heart and soul other bands pretended to have. Definitely less punky than their previous albums but that’s a deliberate move in an attempt to show off more growth and play around with chord structures and styles. Melancholy and energetic with enough memorable hooks to last a lifetime.
Highlights-“Jukebox Breakdown” “Freakish”
19.Sum 41-All Killer No Filler
At the tail end of the pop punk phenomenon (the good one anyway) Sum 41 became a huge hit with their first official full length album produced by punk legend Jerry Finn. There was something different about the band as they would incorporate rap (badly but humorously) and metal to go along with their snotty teen punk sound. As mentioned last time they hit the list Brown Sound’s guitar skills were often on display and he helped them stand apart from others in the genre.
Anyone who watched Van Wilder starring a young Ryan Reynolds will no doubt have heard this album already as nearly every bloody song was in the movie somewhere. Power pop rock at it’s finest with Tim Pagnotta’s smooth voice backed by four chord melodic rock destined to put a smile on your face.
Highlights-“Saying Goodbye” “Crashing Down”
17.Hi Standard-Love Is A Battlefield
Well….screw my rule about no E,Ps making the list. This was the Japanese punk legends’ farewell and I’ll be damned if I’m not putting it in here.They recently reunited and are bringing out a covers album which I’m over the moon about but this was here last release at the time of writing and it’s been far far too long.
Highlights-“My First Kiss” “Catch A Wave”
16.Masta Ace-Disposable Arts
Masta Ace is a massive influence on Eminem and it’s clear to see why with his sublime storytelling and unusual delivery. The production on this album is incredible with brilliant use of samples and beats that showcase Ace’s skills in full. The Boogeyman diss track “Acknowledge” is from this album and the Brooklyn rapper was in inspired form.
Highlights-“Enuff” “Take A Walk”
15.Good Riddance-Symptoms Of A Leveling Spirit
The melodic hardcore band hit their peak both creatively and commercially as this popular album saw the band flirt with the mainstream for the first time. A fantastic album from a band on top of their game with a furious pace and socially aware lyrics.
Highlights-“Great Leap Forward” “Libertine”
14.Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band:Live In New York City
In 2002 when I was in my final year of high school me and my buddy Rick (getting far too much air time in these lists) were at my house one night watching the HBO recording of this epic show on channel 4. This is where my real appreciation for Springsteen came through, it’s a stunning set of live classics with an insane amount of energy that often sound better than their studio counterparts. A perfect concert encapsulating everything that is great about Bruce and his band of misfits with Clarence Clemons bringing his gargantuan frame and bellowing through his saxophone and The Sopranos’ own Steven Van Zandt at his peak with incredible backing vocals and guitar playing. A masterpiece that would be higher if it were the dvd we were talking about but it’s the album which although amazing didn’t quite capture the same feeling without the visuals.
Highlights-“Born To Run” “Badlands”
13.System Of A Dwon-Toxicity
The second album and the second entry for one of the most (if not the) most unique and inventive metal bands of all time. Mixing downtuned nu metal guitars with middle eastern sounds and singing styles and a bunch of other different influences. In a time where every metal band sounded the same System came along and reinvented the wheel. The incredible success of singles Chop Suey and Ariels made the album a monster seller.
Highlights-“The Prison Song” “Needles”
12.Bouncing Souls-How I Spent My Summer Vacation
One of my favourite ever bands are back on the list again and while it’s not their best album by a long shot it’s still fantastic. There’s a realness and legitimacy to the Souls that really elevate melodic punk as a genre. They show you can have plenty of heart and melody while still keeping that punk rock message of unity and love (at least in some areas of punk) without being labelled too poppy or sell outs. They’re amazing and this is a solid if not spectacular album with one spectacular song.
Highlights-“Gone” “Private Radio”
11.Wu Tang Clan-Iron Flag
A surprisingly low key release from the group resulting in poor (relative to their usual success) album sales and a weird lack of fanfare. It’s a shame because it’s a strong entry into their catalogue. The multitude of producer credits does mean that the usual RZA atmosphere that usually permeates Wu albums isn’t always present but variety is sometimes welcomed. It’s a great album with the only sad thing being that ODB wasn’t involved as his personal troubles continued.
Highlights-“Rules” “Uzi (Pinky Ring)”
10.The Ataris-End Is Forever
Sadly the last great album from The Ataris before they went down the route of boring rock band under the guise of “growing”. Filled with the heartfelt John Hughes influenced punk ballads the band were masters at, End Is Forever is a band on fire with catchy, emotional love songs that any hopeless romantic would be hard pressed not to fall head over heels with and it was a huge influence on my early song writing.
Highlights-“If You Really Want To Hear About It” “Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start”
9.New Found Glory-New Found Glory
Speaking of bands obsessed with John Hughes movies and incorporating their influences into their music here we have New Found Glory with their second album. Despite the constant attempts to claim they are a melodic hardcore band by insufferable guitarist Chad Gilbert I don’t think anyone in their right mind would agree with them. What they are (at this time anyway) was a very good poppy punk band with insanely catchy hooks and strong musicianship. I blasted this a hell of a lot when it came out. FULL DISCLOSURE……this came out at the tail end of 2000 and I arrogantly didn’t bother checking it before doing my 2000 list as I was convinced it came out in 01 so forgive me pelase….I was only a little bit out.
Highlights-“Black And Blue” “Dressed To Kill”
8. Anti Flag-Underground Network
More far left anarchist anthems from the snotty upstarts from Pittsburgh There’s certainly a shift in this album which is a lot more polished and tighter than their previous work and there’s not as much humour as there was previously as this album is fiercely political and furious at the world.
Highlights-“Watch The Right” “This Machine Kills Fascists”
After debuting with a bang in 1999 there was huge pressure for Slipknot to produce the goods with their follow up album Iowa. Not only did they manage it, they surpassed their debut by eschewing many of th nu metal trappings that bogged down parts of their self titled album and went for a more straight forward, crushingly aggressive sound that even delved into death metal territory at times. The album is face-meltingly brutal with throat crushing vocals from Corey Taylor and a virtuoso drum performance from Joey Jordison.
Highlights-“The Heretic Anthem” “People=S#@t
6.Osker-Idle Will Kill
An album that has been all but passed over and forgotten by the punk community which is absolutely tragic. Osker seemed to come and go without making much of a splash but they had such a unique sound it’s impossible to see why. They even made an appearance on Epitaph’s Punk-O-Rama compilation series which usually guaranteed at least a little success during the heyday of the punk renaissance. Sadly not to be for Osker but they are always a band I have loved. It didn’t help that they were pretty much at odds with their audiences nearly all the time, chastising them for all kinds of things from being posers to the way they behaved in the pit. They were kind of hounded out of the scene as Epitaph was flooded with complaints about them keeping Osker on their label. It might be because they came out as the scene was starting to burn out but they were clearly nonplussed with the amount of Johnny come lately fans and just came across as jaded and needlessly confrontational. That said, this will always be the mark they made in the music world, an incredible album of melancholy punk rock songs dipped in a tinge of old school emo. This was it for the band, they appeared, released two very different albums, pissed everyone off and then broke up leaving a mark forever.
Darker than a very dark thing which any album with a dead fetus on it’s cover should be. Mutter has less of that 90s industrial sound and more of a doom metal kind of aesthetic. The pounding drums are still there and the riffs are better than ever but there’s more singing and melodic choruses here. An incredible achievement from the terrifying Germans with an atmosphere so foreboding and uncomfortable it makes you uneasy just listening.
Highlights-“Sonne” “Feuer Frei”
4.Alkaline Trio-From Here To Infirmary
The goth punks hit the mainstream with this album, their first on Vagrant records and their videos for Private Eye and Stupid Kid recieved heavy rotation on the alternative music channels. Being on a big label it obviously led idiots to decry it for being more user friendly and I’ve got to wonder if they’ve ever heard any Alkaline Trio stuff before or they’re just jumping on the “it’s on a major so it sucks now” bandwagon. It has the same gothic imagery and dark, macabre lyrics with melodic delivery. Very much The Cure of punk which is a compliment they would very much accept.
Highlights-“I’m Dying Tomorrow” “Mr Chainsaw”
3.The Mad Capsule Markets-010
I really should have had at least one of their previous albums in these lists but they never popped up in my research….pretty annoyed about that. Nonetheless what’s done is done and the crazy Japanese cyberpunk band finally get a worthy place on here. A band that mix punk, metal, industrial, techno, ska, drum and bass and anything else they fancy doing. Incredibly experimental and flat out bonkers but they bring an energy and inventiveness unlike anyone else. This album in particular was more experimental and played around more than others that tended to stick to one or two themes throughout.
Highlights-“XXX Can Of This” “Fly High”
2.ALL/Descendents-Live Plus 1
A live double album featuring a set each from All (2001) and Descendents (1996). As explained in a previous list for those that don’t know All is basically Descendents with a different singer as Milo Aukerman often can’t tour due to his then academia and now biochemistry career. Obviously Descendents being my favourite band it’s going to do well on my list but it really is a great double album with both bands delivering excellent sets.
Highlights-Descendents “Get The Time” “I’m The One” ALL “Breaking Up” “Until I Say So”
1.The Cure-Greatest Hits
It might seem a bit cheap having a greatest hit album at the number one spot but meh, it’s The Cure and Robert Smith picked the tracks himself. Goth pop at it’s absolute finest, in fact that’s simplifying it too much, it’s exquiset music whatever the genre may be. A lot of people get the wrong impression with the whole look and goth aesthetic of the band and don’t realise there’s a tonne of heart beautifully simple and heart wrenching poetry in there. Songs about love at it’s most base form and the pain and ecstasy it can cause. There’s a bonus album that came with it that has live acoustic versions of most of the tracks. It’s just an absolute masterclass in poetic songwriting.
Highlights-“Pictures Of You” “Inbetween Days”
Well we’re into the new decade now and it’s not painful so far…..so far. We’ll see how long this lasts as I’m starting to panic and I’m thinking by the time we get to 2006 we might have a top 9 or something. Anyway thanks a lot for reading and hopefully listening, I’ll be back soon. Check out my other lists for a giggle and I’ll see you next time. Any list ideas?. Direct them to me @Swing_Kinker cheeeeers x.