KINKER KORNER’S TOP 35 ALBUMS OF 2004 NSFW

2004 was the year I turned 20 and my first touring band were in full flow and having a great time. That said, the music scene itself was leaving me more than a little disillusioned and I started to get nostalgic even at that young age….never a good sign. Nonetheless there was still some very good albums that came out so let’s have a look at them shall l we?.

 

35.Twista-Kamikaze

Twista is probably the most commercially successful of the chopper style rappers which is a form of rapid fire vocal gymnastics that would have any mere mortal tied up in knots. Twista displays those skills here in an attempt to prove his worth in the MC game and that he hadn’t sold out to just do pop songs. It’s a fun style that’s impressive to listen to.

Highlights-“Kill Us All” “Higher”

 

34.Lamb Of God-Ashes Of The Wake

Lamb Of God were probably the most popular metal band of the 00s with rabid fans following their every move. With most bands in the genre heading towards the screamo metalcore area whereas Lamb Of God kept the aggressive groove metal 90s style alive but gave it an updated coat of paint.

Highlights”What I’ve Become” “Laid To Rest”

 

33.De La Soul-Grind Date

A lot of their work post early 90s often gets looked over which is a shame as there’s a lot of quality on show here. They’ve always been a talented group of rappers and when their production is this slick and polished it highlights their style and flow.

Highlights-“Church” “Verbal Clap”

 

32.Less Than Jake-B Is For B-Sides

This selection of….well B-sides is a surprisingly tight and cohesive group of songs that actually surpasses most of their albums post 2000. It’s the usual trumpunk from the likeable band and the fast pace helps the time whizz by as you’re enjoying the album.

Highlights-“Bridge And Tunnel Authority” “Showbiz? Science? Who Cares”

 

31.Various Artists-Rock Against Bush Vol 1

A compilation and movement set up by Fat Mike of NOFX and Fat Wreck Chords as a way of getting kids to engage in politics and to fight back against George W Bush’s right wing policies. Several of the top names in punk got involved and donated songs to the record as well as David Cross who donated some stand up for the bonus dvd which contained information on Bush’s policies and the controversies surrounding him.

Highlights”Alkaline Trio-Warbrain” “Descendents-Sad State Of Affairs”

 

30.Hanson-Underneath

Don’t look at me like that! Hanson’s comeback album was a great wee collection of pop rock bangers. I remember during my time in the states I actually went with a friend to watch them live an acoustic in a wee club in Nevada. They said they were planning a comeback but I never thought much of it then a year later here we were and the album blew up.

Highlights-“Lost Without Each Other” “Penny And Me”

 

29.The Get Up Kids-Guilt Show

A definite departure from their emo days and into a more American indie rock sound but the themes are just as melancholic as ever. Songs about divorce and loneliness fill the album as members of the band were going through extremely difficult times in their personal lives. An effective and introspective album with the band spilling their guts.

Highlights-“Sympathy” “The One You Want”

 

28.Soulfly-Prophecy

Max Cavallera’s tradition of mixing….let’s see…..old school metal, nu metal, hardcore punk and world music continues as he travels to Serbia to record with musicians over there. There’s plenty other influences as well with bagpipes and other ancient instruments used to create a sound unlike anything else in metal.

Highlights-“Living Sacrifice” “Porrada”

 

27.New Found Glory-Catalyst

While there was definite signs of the band maturing in terms of songwriting and musicianship I often felt it came at the expense of the music itself. I’ve grown to appreciate this album a lot more than I used to but I still feel they were trying too hard to run away from the “pop punk” tag that had been placed on them as the genre wasn’t cool any more. Nonetheless there’s plenty of good times to be had listening to this album.

Highlights-“Ending In Tragedy” “I Don’t Wanna Know”

 

25.Social Distortion-Sex, Love And Rock ‘n’ Roll

Eight years after their previous album, Social Distortion released this album of folk punk songs. Much of the album focuses on the heartache of losing their guitarist and friend in 2000 to a heart condition. After 20 years as a band they showed they still had it with this album producing one of the band’s biggest hits in “Reach For The Sky”.

Highlights-“Nickels And Dimes” “Faithless”

 

24.Masta Killa-No Said Date

The unsung hero of Wu Tang Clan, Masta Killa is an incredibly underrated lyricist and rapper who has admitted himself he never thought he belonged in the group to begin with due to him never having rapped before their debut!.An astonishing growth as an artist over the years.

Highlights-“Grab The Mic” “Silverbacks”

 

23.Fear Factory-Archetype

Fear Factory’s industrial cyberpunk metal and concept albums about machines taking over the world and the human’s fight to reclaim it haas always appealed to me. I’m a sci fi fan, a cyberpunk fan, a metal fan and an industrial fan so hey it’s all good to me and this album, while not their best is still a fantastic listen.

Highlights-“Cyberwaste” “Default Judgement”

 

 

22.Motorhead-Inferno

I’m no Motorhead expert (my old chum Badger takes that mantle) but I know I like a lot of their stuff and shockingly an album released in 2004 is some of the best stuff I’ve heard. I say shockingly because they were aging rapidly and their livers were pickled and they still nailed it out the park. A throwback to their early fast paced days where they were influenced by punk and metal so mixed them together. Great stuff.

Highlights-“Terminal Show” “In The Name Of Tragedy”

 

21.Masta Ace-A Long Hot Summer

Another concept album from master storyteller Masta Ace.Considered a masterpiece by many hip hop fans, the album sold poorly which just shows the state of the industry in the 00s and the kind of rubbish that was getting more play. The concept of the album has Masta Ace and his buddy traveling through Brooklyn and going out on tour.

Highlights-“Big City” “The Ways”

 

20.Lars Frederiksen And The Bastards-Viking

Lars, the guitarist and co vocalist of Rancid’s side project (which still involves most of Rancid) is a more straight forward old school punk band without the reggae and ska influences of his main band. I’ve always really enjoyed his voice and it really fits the fast paced and simple punk style.

Highlights-“Skins, Punx And Drunx” “Little Rude Girl”

 

19.Goldfinger-The Show Must Go Off! Live At The House Of Blues

The show must go off was a fun series of albums and dvds that Kung Fu Records put out before everything was up on youtube so it was good to see some great bands with clear visuals. I remember way back in the 90s and early 00s I would by dodgy knock off recordings of some live shows from bands I’d never seen before. Crazy to think of now. Anyway Goldfinger are a great and energetic band but nothing beats being at a show.

Highlights-“Questions” “San Simeon”

 

18.Slipknot-Vol 3 (The Subliminal Verses)”

Their third album came with a lot more experimentation than the albums that preceded it. There’s still plenty of crushing metal with drummer Joey Jordison delivering a frankly stunning performance and likeable singer Corey Taylor mixing his throat shredding growls with singing. It was produced by the much acclaimed Rick Rubin and the band have voiced their uneasy relationship with him over the recording.

Highlights-“The Blister Exists” “Pulse Of The Maggots”

 

17.Gwar-War Party

Everyone’s favourite alien monster band are back with a bang and some career high riffs courtesy of guitarist Flattus Maximus. Despite keeping their trademark humour on board this is one of the most political albums the band released but subverted things by being hyper right wing and pro war, hoping it would embarrass the right wing.They are evil aliens after all.

Highlights-“Krosstika” “You Can’t Kill Terror”

 

16.Beastie Boys-To The 5 Boroughs

The loveable goofball’s first album in six years was a great reminder that despite the aging process and Buddhist mindset they now adopted they still like to mess around and have a good time. From silly and goofy rhymes to love letters for their home city. It was a real return to early form.

Highlights-“Triple Trouble” “An Open Letter To NYC”

 

15.Lisa Loeb-The Way It Really Is

My girl Lisa is back and although her popularity had waned somewhat her cute songwriting was still in great shape. She has a real knack for pretty little folky pop songs and that trend continues here. Nice, acoustic pop from one of the best in the genre.

Highlights-“Fools Like Me” “Try”

 

14.The Vandals-Hollywood Potato Chip

Disturbing euphemism of a title aside (google it if you dare) The Vandals albums are always fun, fast punk efforts and this one has a real story behind it. The cover was originally different and parodied the Variety magazine logo and so they were mercilessly hounded with cease and desist letters and sued out the arse by a bunch of billionaires with nothing better to do. They had to organise benefit shows for fans who wanted to help them with their legal fees. Even years later when copies of the original were popping up for sale online they tried to sue again despite the band having nothing to do with the sales. Lesson? Big corporations are lovely and not at all full of massive twats.

Highlights-“Don’t Make Me Get My Fat Lazy Ass Off This Couch” “Be A Good Robot”

 

13.Dead Kennedys-Live At The Deaf Club

The performance recorded here is actually from 1979 so it still has charismatic frontman Jello Biafra, giuitarist 6025 and drummer Ted(who would be replaced a couple of years later by the awesome D.H Peligro) all on stage together.Not quite their heyday for me but still a remarkably good sounding recording of the early left wing punk rock classics.

Highlights-“California Uber Alles” “Kill The Poor”

 

12.The Cure-The Cure

When I heard Ross Robinson was producing this album I definitely raised an eyebrow or three. The guy that constantly produces nu metal albums like Korn etc working with The Cure just sounded like a recipe for disaster. Turns out you can’t keep a good band from doing what they do well. The album definitely has a heavier feel to it that is maybe more contemporary for the time but doesn’t quite produce the melodic classics we have had from other Cure albums. That said it’s still great and a really dark entry into their discography.

Highlights-“Lost” “Fake”

 

11.Pulley-Matters

I think Pulley might just be one of the most underrated punk bands out there which is weird because they have a sports star as their lead singer….and what a singer Scott Radinsky is. He’s got such an effortless cool about him, not needing to exude much energy to produce a soulful and powerful voice. Imagine that in Britain……any sports star I can’t think of any sports star over here who would be any use in a halfway decent band. It’d all be Oasis style indie pap, Tiesto nonsense or Stormzy. Now hold up…..I like grime but not Stormzy.

Highlights-“A Bad Reputation” “Stomach Aches”

 

10.Sum 41-Chuck

Chuck is by far their heaviest album and guitarist Brown Sound really let rip with the metal and thrash riffs.Indeed he would leave the band a couple of years later after the release of this album due to musical differences. The inner conflict of musical tastes is evident in his final couple of albums with rip roaring hardcore songs being followed by ballads. He would return in 2015 and more’s the better.

Highlights-“We’re All To Blame” “No Reason”

 

9.The Mad Capsule Markets-Cistm Konfliqt…

The crazy Japanese cyberpunk metal, punk, industrial techno band have been high on my list of favourite bands for some time as their mad mix of styles and genres is so interesting as they can blend heavy hardcore metal verses and melodic punk choruses. Great stuff.

Highlights-“Sunny Beach Rd” “Happy Ride”

 

8.Regina Spektor-Soviet Kitsch

The major label debut of the super talented and quirky Regina Spektor is a lovely throwback to artists like Fiona Apple, Suzanne Vega and Tori Amos whilst still keeping her own identity. The Russian born singer songwriter manages to pull off the quirky tag without being utterly insufferable (Paloma Faith I’m looking at you) in a way that’s endearing and her talents are undeniable.

Highlights-“Us” “Carbon Monoxide”

 

7.Ghostface Killah-The Pretty Toney Album

One of the rare instances where a Wu Tang member’s album sounds nothing like a Wu Tang album. It’s absolutely his own with a more glitzy, glamorous feel to the whole thing other than the usual dark and gritty feel that accompany most of their stuff. Don’t get me wrong I actually prefer the dark and gritty Wu style usually but it’s nice to change it up once in a while and this is an instance where it suit Ghostface perfectly. His aggressive street style juxtaposes nicely with the high production values and high life nature of the album.

Highlights-“Run” “Biscuits”

 

6.The Prodigy-Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned

Heavy beats and electronic bloops and bleeps are on the menu here and I could go the whole 3 courses…..does that work? Sounds a bit wanky but whatever it’s made the cut. Keith Flint is pretty much entirely missing here and in place there are several guest vocalists like Juliette Lewis and Twista.It’s a nice change and adds a little more diversity to proceedings.

Highlights-“Spitfire” “Get Up Get Off”

 

5.MF Doom-Mm…Food

Perfect for a comic book website, MF Doom is a great character rapper and his fourth album is a brilliant mix of humour, jazz/soul samples and Doom’s signature flow style. It’s weird and relaxing with a sequential feel that makes you want to keep listening.

Highlights-“Beef Rapp” “Rapp Snitch Knishes”

 

4.Leftover Crack-Fuck World Trade

Well…..they certainly didn’t have a problem courting controversy with that cover in 2004. The hyper left wing anarchist band actually had this title from before the 9/11 attacks and the album was actually meant to be released on that fateful day. The always controversial crust punks punch us in the face with more songs about police brutality, drug addiction, governmental hatred and racial equality and it’s powerful, hard hitting and insanely relevant.

Highlights-“One Dead Cop” “Life Is Pain”

 

3.Bad Religion-The Empire Strikes First

Well….I could lie and say I’m getting sick of talking about Bad Religion on these lists but hey….I’d be lying. Indeed it is getting difficult to come up with new ways to discuss how much I love them though. Choir like backing vocals and harmonies with a sonic boom of guitars and rapid beats. One of my top 3 bands oh and if you’re wondering who number 1 is……..

Highlights-“Atheist Peace” “Social Suicide”

 

2.Wizo-Anderster

The German fun punks returned with their first album in nine years and they were just as much of a blast as where they left off. Super catchy, melodic and with that punk rock spirit they are known for. Wizo are truly a great band that often get overlooked because they don’t always sing in English. Shame.

Highlights-“Jimmy” “Kleines Missgestuck”

 

1.Descendents-Cool To Be You

The greatest band in the world returned for their first album in 8 years and it was an absolute stormer. Noticeably more mellow and less nihilistic than “Everything Sucks” but the melodic style of punk that they essentially created is still the best and they’ve just applied it to songs about their wives and families. That’s not to say there is no anger in here as songs like ‘merican prove in which they savage the state of their home country and government. It may be controversial but this is up there with their best albums….and holy shhheeeeiiit that’s saying something.

Highlights-“Nothing With You” “Mass Nerder”

 

Ok so that was a lovely end to the list and as I think off the top of my head I’m really struggling to even come up with ten albums from 05 that might make the list. So I’ll do my research and see what came out that year and we’ll meet back here in a wee while ok? Nice one, see you soon. Byeeeee x.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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