Top 20 of 2003

Top 20 of 2003: Scott's PicksScott's Picks (2003)
staff picks

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

A Great Year For Music, But A Terrible Year For Musicians That soundbite has become rather cliche in recent months, but it's as true as ever. Take a look: The music world lost numerous talents this year: Elliott Smith, Wesley Willis, Johnny and.

A Great Year For Music, But A Terrible Year For Musicians

That soundbite has become rather cliche in recent months, but it's as true as ever. Take a look:

The music world lost numerous talents this year: Elliott Smith, Wesley Willis, Johnny and June Carter Cash, Matt Davis of Ten Grand, Warren Zevon, Barry White, Jeremy Ward of The Mars Volta, Sun Records founder Sam Phillips, Ryosuke Morimura of Kemuri, and Adam Cox, Matt Fitzgerald, and Jeremy Gage of the Exploding Hearts, among others. Let's also not forget the untimely death of Daniel Martin at the tragic Death By Stereo house show in Blacksburg, VA earlier this year. These are all truly terrible losses to the brotherhood of music that will be mourned for some time.

It seemed like a week wouldn't go by that a band didn't end it's life professionally. 2003 saw the demise of Dismemberment Plan, Elliott, Atom and His Package, The Control, Reach The Sky, The Jimmies, Living Sacrifice, Bis, Teen Idols, Small Brown Bike, This Day Forward, The Movielife, The Cost, Fairweather, Pele, Dr. Know, The Stryder, Forstella Ford, The Rocking Horse Winner, Kid Brother Collective, Gameface, Worthless United, Smogtown, Common Rider, The Scaries, Whatever It Takes, City Of Caterpillar, Bury Your Dead, Knockout, The Pattern, August Premier, The Ivory Coast, The Horde, Page Ninety-Nine, The Pavers, Count The Stars, The Curse, Whippersnapper, Tear It Up, 32 Frames, Will Haven, Narcissus, Penfold, Death On Wednesday, Consumed, Shai Hulud and Face To Face, among countless others.

And if your band survived the breakup epidemic, chances are you got your gear stolen [Slowride, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Hopesfall, F-Minus, Xiu Xiu, Murder By Death, Don't Look Down, Samiam, Leftover Crack, Big D and the Kids Table], got in a van accident [Eastern Youth, Bleeding Through, Thursday, Ester Drang, The Bronx, On The Might Of Princes], or just went through some potentially damaging lineup changes [Taking Back Sunday, The √?ffect, Give Up The Ghost, Avoid One Thing, Boy Sets Fire, Since By Man, Between The Buried And Me, Stairwell, The Reunion Show, The Ghost].

But with all the troubles that plagued musicians, the music that they created was something different altogether. 2003 was a special year for music, and one that I don't see duplicated for a long time. If you made a list of your top 10 favorite bands that are still active, odds are at least one of them put out a record this year. That alone should make you happy.

With my year-end list this year, I decided to add a little something extra - a second opinion, courtesy of Pitchfork. Pitchfork, for those of you who don't know, is viewed by many as the golden standard when it comes to record reviewing. Where applicable, I've posted Pitchfork's score of the album in question after the label name, designated as the following: PS: x.x.

So, now that that's out of the way, let's get down to business:

The Top Twenty Records Of 2003

Blink-182 - S/T

Honestly, this record should be higher on this list than 20, but I don't want to face the wrath of you guys.

Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros - Streetcore
PS: 6.9

A near-perfect last will and testament from one of punk's forefathers. You're still missed, Joe.

On The Might Of Princes - Sirens

This band came out of nowhere and blew me away with their Revelation debut. It's really solid post-hardcore with no gimmicks.

The Postal Service - Give Up
[Sub Pop]
PS: 8.0

Ben Gibbard is the new Tim Kasher - everything he touches is gold.

Cursive - The Ugly Organ
[Saddle Creek]
PS: 7.0

Tim Kasher is the old Ben Gibbard - everything he touches is gold.

The Mars Volta
De-loused In The Comatorium
PS: 4.9

Hyped to the point of oblivion, but still an amazing album on it's own. Sure, it's not At The Drive-In, but at least it's not Sparta.

Against Me!
As The Eternal Cowboy
[Fat Wreck]

I've always liked Against Me!, but something always felt missing on their previous releases. With this record, they nailed it. This record makes me believe in punk rock again.

The Blood Brothers
Burn Piano Island, Burn
PS: 9.1

One word: sasscore. Just remember that I coined that term.

There Must Be Some Way To Stop Them

This disc has grown on me exponentially since I first heard it. Their live show is second-to-none, too. Who would've thought Volcom would put out a good record?

Beneath Medicine Tree
[The Militia Group]

This is a debut? Wow. Copeland is sincere and heartfelt without being sappy and cliche, and while most of you would refer to them as "emo," I simply describe their album as "real music."

Mates Of State
Team Boo

PS: 7.3

I dance to this record. You probably do, too.

The White Stripes
PS: 6.9

The blues are back, and how. I never was a really big fan of the Stripes, but this record has made me a believer.

Volume & Density

[Asian Man]

Dear Josh Caterer: I don't care what you sing about, please just keep singing. Love, Scott Punknews

Desert City Soundtrack
Funeral Car

[Deep Elm]

It's like Black Heart Procession meets The Blood Brothers. And it works. Boy, does it work.

Rainer Maria
Long Knives Drawn

PS: 4.4

A complete reinvention of sound, and the best album of the band's career.

En Garde


Stephen Pederson shows just why the first two Cursive albums kicked so much ass, with 10 straightforward, hard-hitting indie rock songs that don't rely on a cello to sound majestic.

Brand New
Deja Entendu

[Triple Crown]
PS: 6.9

Evolution barely describes what happened with this band. With the masterful lyricism of this disc, Jesse Lacey has become thousands of teenage boys' muse [and thousands of teenage girls' rockstar crush], whether he likes it or not.

Mando Diao
Bring 'Em In

PS: 8.0

Pushing the boundaries of mod rock just like countrymen Refused pushed the boundaries of hardcore. I have a feeling this record doesn't even create a ripple in Mando Diao's talent pool.

Death Cab For Cutie

PS: 6.4

Absolute beauty, both musically and lyrically. Name one other band that could get away with repeating the phrase "I need you so much closer" for 6 minutes straight and make it work. That's what I thought.

The Weakerthans
Reconstruction Site
PS: 5.6

John K. Samson is the Bob Dylan of our generation, and something tells me he's only getting started. This album is beyond essential. In a perfect world, this would sell a million copies, but I guess I'll just have to spin the album a million times over to compensate. And the thing is, after a million listens, I still wouldn't get sick of this record.

The Top Five EPs Of 2003

Bullet Train To Vegas
Profile This


This band reeks of potential, and the unbridled energy on this EP only hints at what to come.

The Realistics
Go Ahead


The best-kept secret in New York City.

Small Brown Bike
Nail Yourself To The Ground
[No Idea]

This EP is all the more bittersweet, knowing that the followup LP stunk.

Translating The Name

[Death Do Us Part]

I hate believing the hype as much as anyone else, but this shit is dope, yo.

This Thought Process


The only thing I hate more than believing hype is creating hype, but I assure you, this quartet out of Minneapolis is worth your full attention. Knowing that some of the songs on this EP were written within a half hour of the band's first practice sends chills down my spine.

The Top Ten Biggest Disappointments Of 2003

Matchbook Romance - West For Wishing / Stories and Alibis [Epitaph]

Mr. Brett promised so much from this band that, as of yet, hasn't delivered. There's definitely talent, though, so we'll see what happens.

Teen Idols - Nothing To Prove [Fueled By Ramen]

The final nail in the coffin of a band who peaked on their first CD.

Mad Caddies - Just One More [Fat Wreck]

Weak. Just plain weak.

None More Black - File Under Black [Fat Wreck] / Paint It Black - CVA [Jade Tree]

It's not Kid Dynamite, and I just can't get past that.

Diffuser - Making The Grade [Hollywood]

My, how the mighty have fallen to the level of shitty pop-punk. Why, Diffuser, why?

5. Cave In - Antenna [RCA] - PS: 6.1

A commercial and artistic flop. I'm not sure if I'm happy or embarassed for them.

Reggie and the Full Effect - Under The Tray [Vagrant] - PS: 3.7

James Dewees really isn't that funny. I wish it wouldn't have taken me 3 CDs to realize that.

Further Seems Forever - How To Start A Fire [Tooth & Nail]

A better voice doesn't always equal better songs, I guess.

Small Brown Bike - The River Bed [Lookout!] - PS: 7.7

Outside of a couple of tracks, the Bike's last effort came off rather flat [no pun intended].

Saves The Day - In Reverie [Dreamworks]

Two words: shit sandwich.

The Top Five Records I Just Didn't "Get" In 2003

The Constantines - Shine A Light [Sub Pop] PS: 8.3

Adam loves it; I just can't get into it like he does.

The Rapture - Echoes [Universal] - PS: 9.0

Okay, so you can dance to it in hipster clubs. So?

AFI - Sing The Sorrow [Dreamworks]

Even though their singer is pretty hot for a goth chick, the music is still pretty much defanged and tame.

Thrice - The Artist In The Ambulance / Thursday - War All The Time [Island]

Okay, don't get me wrong - I'm a fan of both bands, I own both albums. I just don't see any ground being broken in either.

Coheed and Cambria - In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 [Equal Vision]

Long songs do not equal good songs. The end.

The Best Compilation Of 2003

Various - OIL: Chicago Punk Refined [THICK] / Various - Bad Scene, Everyone's Fault: Jawbreaker Tribute [Dying Wish]

Two of the best things in the world were honored this year: Chicago and Jawbreaker. 'Nuff said.

Most Improved Band Of 2003

Gatsbys American Dream - Ribbons & Sugar [Rocketstar]

It's almost impossible to believe this was the same band that was ripping off Lagwagon on their debut record just a year ago. Kudos for evolving.

Best Comeback Record Of 2003

Suicide Machines - A Match and Some Gasoline [SideOneDummy]

A dynamite return to form, and it would be giving Destruction By Definition a run for it's money for the title of best Suicide Machines album had they not completely ripped off "The Killing Blow" for "The Politics Of Humanity." For shame.

The Best Music DVD Of 2003

Tenacious D - The Complete Masterworks [Epic]

Give it up for KG, give it up for JB, and give it up for the D-VD.

The Best Remix Record Of 2003

Dismemberment Plan - A People's History Of The [Desoto] - PS: 6.0

It's slightly hit-and-miss, but there's enough goodness here to give this disc the nod. Plus, it was created largely by the fans! How cool is that?

The Best Re-Issue Of 2003

Motion City Soundtrack - I Am The Movie [Epitaph]

A great album got even greater with it's slight tweaking. The three new songs are great, and - shock of shocks - you can hear the bass now!

The Best Cover Art Of 2003

The Bronx - S/T [Ferret]

It's like the Rocky Horror Picture Show gone horribly awry. I love it.

The Best Record Of 2003 By Andrew WK

Andrew WK - The Wolf [Island]

This category is kind of premeditative, because I believe in the future AWK will be putting out multiple albums a year. But still, this is the best record by Andrew WK of 2003, no question.

The Best Solo Record That Was Unfortunately Packaged With A Incredibly Subpar Second Disc

Outkast - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below [Arista] - PS: 8.0

Andre 3000 is a genius. Many people are comparing this double disc to the Beatles' White Album, but I view it as more of a John Lennon/Ringo Starr pairing than anything else. The Big Boi CD makes a great coaster, though.

The Best Record Of 2003 Had It Not Contained A Really Awful Country Song

Fountains Of Wayne - Welcome Interstate Managers [S-Curve] - PS: 7.5

Seriously. This record is fantastic, but that goddamn country song makes me want to cut off my ears every time I hear it.

The Best Record Of 2003 Where Every Single Song Sounded The Same, In A Good Way

Limbeck - Hi, Everything's Great [Doghouse]

Well, yeah.

The Best Record Of 2002 That I Didn't Hear Until 2003

Hot Hot Heat - Make Up The Breakdown [Sub Pop] - PS: 8.7

This CD holds the honor of being the only CD I was so in love with that I actually walked to class listening to it on my discman. In 4 years of college, I've never done that with any other album.

The Best Record Of 2002 That I Didn't "Get" Until 2003

Glassjaw - Worship and Tribute [Warner Bros.]

So I liked a couple songs off the record last year, but this summer was the summer of Glassjaw for me. This record was like audio crack, I couldn't get enough of it.



Bands like this make me wish I had a record label, as I would do everything I could to put out this band's full-length. The talent these kids posess blows away most of your favorite bands, and they're just getting started. If you haven't downloaded their new demos yet, you're missing out. Get them here and learn the words, because you'll be shouting along soon enough.

The Punknews.Org Mixtape, 2003 Edition

This was almost as hard to put together as my Top 20 list above. Every one of the records I picked for that list contains at least one song that could make this year's mixtape, but I wanted to showcase other bands. The songs picked here are from releases that are not neccessarily the best of the year, but each song can stand on it's own two feet, without the support of a good album behind it. Thus, I bring to you my Punknews.org mixtape for 2003. Click on the song title to download, where applicable.

Side A: Side B:
1. Rise Against - Gethsamane
The opening track on OIL opens my mixtape; it's better than every song on Revolutions Per Minute, no question.
2. Cave In - Inspire
3. Moneen - Start Angry... End Mad
The ultimate breakup song.
4. Thrice - Silhouette
5. The Strokes - Under Control
A perfect soul ballad from the New York hipsters.
6. The New Trust - I'm A Sucker For Backwards Drums
"You ask me what's my motivation? How 'bout your fucking head on a stick!"
7. Northstar - To My Better Angel
Off the Beer: The Movie compilation, this is the best song the band's ever written.
8. Reggie and the Full Effect - MOOD 4 LUV
9. Hey Mercedes - Oh Penny
10. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Babe, I'm On Fire
A barn burner of a song from an album that was severely lacking.
1. The Rocket Summer - Cross My Heart
Cheez-pop at it's finest, but catchy as hell.
2. The Few - Blue Eyes
3. Spitalfield - Kill The Drama
This song sounds so good in my car stereo, it's disgusting.
4. Less Than Jake - She's Gonna Break Soon
Fuck you guys, I really like this song.
5. Let It Burn - On Angels Wings
Ever get that feeling that guitar strings are going to break just listening to a song? Yeah, this song does that to me.
6. The Honor System - The Sound Of Sinking
7. The Kinison - The Way I Used To Be
8. The √?ffect - Boxcar
Hearing Aaron Feibus sing "You're not punk, and I'm telling everyone / save your breath, I never was one" sums up the √?ffect quite nicely.
9. Settlefish - Breeze
10. Bob Nanna - Lost My Lights
The closing track on OIL closes my mixtape; one of the best songs of Bob Nanna's career.

The Most Anticipated Records Of 2004

2003's musical output makes 2002 look like the kid's stuff, but 2004 could easily make 2003 it's bitch, if all these bands come through with dynamite records: Social Distortion, The Pixies, Descendents, Green Day, Bad Religion, Jimmy Eat World, Weezer, Get Up Kids, Schatzi, Modest Mouse, Mr. T Experience, The Ghost, David Singer, Tsunami Bomb, Onelinedrawing, Millencolin, Pedro The Lion, Somerset, Bluebottle, Saosin, Faultlines, Haymarket Riot, and who knows what else.

Things I'd Like To See Happen In 2004

Somerset get signed.
A Tuesday/Death On Wednesday/Thursday/Saturday Looks Good To Me/Taking Back Sunday nationwide tour. Just for kicks.
Adam Levin sending me the Slow Gherkin t-shirt I paid him for back in October of 2002. If any of you know this man, please make him send it. I'll put out a 20 dollar reward for the person who can get him to send it to me [I really want the shirt].
Honestly, would it kill you to buy me a gift off my Amazon.com wishlist? For real, yo.


People who liked this also liked:
The Velvet Teen - Cum Laude!Alkaline Trio - I Lied My Face OffCopeland - Beneath Medicine TreeGlassjaw - Worship and TributeLatterman - ...We Are Still AliveLatterman - No Matter Where We Go..!Every Time I Die - Hot Damn!Set Your Goals - Mutiny!Tuesday - Freewheelin'Less Than Jake - Hello Rockview

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
victim (February 1, 2007)

Man, I just happened on thus during a google search and PN was making shitty year end lists as far back as 03 at least.

Looking back the albums I enjoy(ed) most from 03 were:

I'm Without Sleep In This Desert of Concrete - Antimaniax
Turn It Around - Comeback Kid
These Colors Get The Runs - Crucial Unit
Black Heart Affair - Love Me Destroyer (my #1)
Plague Soundscapes - The Locust

Normally I'm not into "noise" albums or hard core so its surprising that those make up almost my entire top 5.

And best of all, I doubt anyone will ever read this :)

chan_e (October 16, 2004)

Joe Strummer was cool, but that Hellcat release was total shit.

Anonymous (February 14, 2004)

scott is such a fuckin douche bag.

Anonymous (January 18, 2004)

"You are the new plague"

best comment ever. for real.

Anonymous (January 12, 2004)

"Individualism is the new punk."

You are the new plague.

Anonymous (January 10, 2004)

i thought this site was about punk rock bands not a bunch of losers who play like blur only faster....

Anonymous (January 9, 2004)

i assume you haven't posted any new reviews cause you think these top 10s are good enough to hold off a week. well fuck you asshole. i want some reviews.

shatteredsoul (January 9, 2004)

"individualism should always be the new punk."

Apparently you don't read this site, where top 20 lists tell me what to listen to, and people constantly shit-talk others liking certain bands.. I thought THAT was the new punk...

Anonymous (January 8, 2004)

"Sports are the new punk."

individualism should always be the new punk.

Anonymous (January 8, 2004)

When are you posting more reviews? weren't they supposed to come out on Tuesday? Trying to milk the hits aren't ya???....I know your kind...(wink)

Anonymous (January 8, 2004)

Adam and Steve? What the fuck?

mrwaffles (January 7, 2004)

this has got to be the dumbest comment i have ever read. ever.

Anonymous (January 7, 2004)

dude you so like boys its ridiculous...paint it black is terrible and so are you because your gay and god means adam and eve not adam and steve so why dont you go and dream about other gay guys like you you boy liker guy

mrwaffles (January 6, 2004)

None More Black and Paint It Black shouldn't have to suffer just because you havn't got over Kid Dynamite. But thumbs up for the Spinal Tap reference.

Anonymous (January 6, 2004)

rob is such a texican, he should just go work at texico with all the other texicans...i couldnt even wipe my floor with his clothes hes soo poor

Anonymous (January 5, 2004)

We should seriously consider starting a punk sports section on this site. Sports are the new punk.

i-type-poorly (January 5, 2004)

"just like they said in lord of the rings 3, "the eagles are coming.""

"you are so gay." - Pearl Forrester

Anonymous (January 5, 2004)

eagles are going to the superbowl baby. watch out.

just like they said in lord of the rings 3, "the eagles are coming."

Toby_at_Fat (January 5, 2004)

Fuck the Packers...the Hawks are gonna win the Superbowl next year and they should seriously make the prediction now.

Anonymous (January 5, 2004)

"dungeons and dragons secrets of middle earth mordor chapter 6: geddy lee volta"


Anonymous (January 5, 2004)

Top Ten:

10. Na'il Diggs
9. Mike McKenzie
8. Al Harris (still weak though)
7. Mike Flanagan
6. Robert Ferguson
5. Ahman Green
4. Darren Sharper
3. Nick Barnett
2. Javon Walker
1. Brett Favre

Anonymous (January 5, 2004)

while everyone seems to either go the route of "brand new, thrusday, coheed, blood bros" or "rise against, strike anywhere, larry arms" i agree are all great albums, don't any of you fuckng listen to lagwagon? it is easily as impressive of a comback as rancid, suicide machines and waaaay better than the souls or nofx. most of the bands in everyones top 10's 6th album will not sound this good. i'd like to hear coheed's sixth album, what will it be "dungeons and dragons secrets of middle earth mordor chapter 6: geddy lee volta" . i mean cmon.

Anonymous (January 5, 2004)

as for your favorite show to see in 2004: don't forget From Autumn to Ashes, A Fall Farewell, and Early November. You could have a band named after every month, day and season come the end of 2004. My dream show would be Cave In, Trail of Dead, Godspeed You Black Emperor and Kinski. Then I'd die happy. Well, I'm still holding out for a My Bloody Valentine reunion.

And you forgot to mention Maxeen (who you're advertizing) as an album of 2003. It's on my list. They're fun live and they sound like The Police and that's a good thing. The guys from Bullet Train to Vegas are cool, and they're from L.A., Saosin were good last night at the Glass House, though they DO sound like too many other emo/mainstream rock bands (think Adema). And before I get off on a rant, Cave In's Antenna is the most solid rock album I've heard in many years. Anyway, you've got good taste in music and I've enjoyed your picks of the year.

Anonymous (January 5, 2004)

scott, just so you know, I bought a Slow Gherkin tshirt off their site right around the same time as you, and I never got anything for a few months. When I emailed them, they said they weren't selling the tshirts anymore because the band was on hiatus. Kinda dumb if you ask me. I really wanted that one with the Pillsbury Doughboy guy on it.

LushJ (January 5, 2004)

Re: Spain, I'm mostly referencing bands from a few years ago- Aerobitch, Nuevo Catecismo Catolico (NCC), Rumble, Senor No, Pleasure Fuckers- those are all such strong bands (besides PF) that I assume the next wave of bands can only be equally bad ass. Heck, Munster's always repressing some of the best punk rock and roll records on big beautiful vinyl, to me that says they're still on the capital "R"-rock tip. Newer bands, give me a list to check out, from Spain AND from Mexico. We played with Los Flying Monkeys (?) from Tijuana a few months back, they were pretty fun.

Anonymous (January 5, 2004)

I don't think a cd would make a very good coaster, that hole in the middle would make the leakage seep through, ruining coffee tables around the world.
-The KoR

GreenVandal (January 5, 2004)

I think the score is even there buddy, but sure, hugs all around.

Anonymous (January 4, 2004)

The number one band that got shafted this year is strike anywhere... nowhere in any of the top of 2003.
Brand new is in the top though. are we becoming absolutepunk.net or something???

ElVaquero (January 4, 2004)

LushJ, what spanish bands rock? the only one i know of right now is Ska-P (and they're great) and I'm very curious about the spanish music scene. On your list, I'd replace Spain with Mexico for teachers of rock, and I second, third and fourth your saying that Japan and Sweden rock harder than America (especially Japan). GWEE!

-El Vaquero

Anonymous (January 4, 2004)


can we hug?


greg6711 (January 4, 2004)

Schwab, I always thought Twisted By Design was Strung out's first, but I am not a hardcore Strung Out fan, so i'm sure your right.

Both I would completely agree with you that it is their best, just from the reviews i've read of their other work, Twisted By Design is a hard disc to top.

FortyMinutesWest (January 4, 2004)

They broke up before their album came out, and then got back together.

Anonymous (January 4, 2004)

when did BURY YOUR DEAD break up?

they are playing a show this sunday.

i-type-poorly (January 4, 2004)

Ok lets all calm down. It should be easy for you, Dan, you're up by one with that zodiac sign comeback.

-and a shout out to the new Big D in 2004

PetroBPettson (January 4, 2004)

Nothing beats real Detroit RnR.....and I don't mean Stripes. Fucking Clone Defects kick(ed) ass....an Dirtbombs, holy Fuck! Mensen, Turbonegro, and Randy fucking rock though.

Anonymous (January 4, 2004)

Most anticipated CD in 2004

Planes Mistaken For Stars

LushJ (January 4, 2004)

Whoops, Turbonegro "Scandinavian Leather" is also on my list, I forgot to put it on there.

Regarding Randy and Turbonegro, if the new Mensen record had been even close to the radness of "Delusions of Grandeur", it would've been tough not to move to Norway or Sweden for the music alone. I think most US bands should stop playing and take lessons in "How To Rock" from Scandinavian, Japanese, and Spanish bands. Wow!

GreenVandal (January 4, 2004)

Well i do have a thing for black shirts...but just as much for green. but you usually dont notice because of the navy blue hoodie. Unfortunately I dont smoke or drink. And also unfortunately, it is not elitist to tell someone to stop saying ridiculous things. Or else that makes you elitist just for having this argument with me doesnt it? Double edged swords...what a bitch.

Are we done yet Dan from chicago? (my guess is your a cancer)

Anonymous (January 4, 2004)

Yeah, as someone said ealier, the best reissue was cleary Turbonegro...MCS aren't bad, but they aren't great either. Most anticipated 2004: Propagandhi, Leatherface, Bad Religion and Social D.

SatanicSurferz (January 4, 2004)

I think only LushJ and I put Randy in our Top 10! I thought Welfare Problems was an awesome record.

Anonymous (January 4, 2004)

No ones anticipating the new Leatherface this year? I'm surprised. Anyway, i'd say the best albums go to the Weakerthans and Lawrence Arms, though there was a lot of good stuff this year. Oh and if anyone on this site knows about them, I Farm put out an incredible (and underatted as usual) album that everyone should get into. Thats just me though.

SOYBOMB (January 4, 2004)

I don't know if I've said this already, but if The Lawrence Arms weren't making music, I don't think i'd be listening to anything right now.

Their latest has been playing non-stop on my Winamp since I downloaded it in the summer, and in my car, the actual CD I picked up from one of their shows still rotates all too much.


Anonymous (January 4, 2004)

wow, shawn clancy from new jersey...what information about me would you like first? my birthday? my zodiac sign? how i don't give a shit what shawn clancy from new jersey thinks, because he is probably a skinny kid who wears black t-shirts and smokes marlboro reds, acting like a badass as well as a music elitist?

pick one and get back to me, or just come to chicago and we can grab a cup of coffee.

Anonymous (January 4, 2004)

good job acknowledging the Blink 182 record. it is a damn fine disc any any one who doesn't agree should actually listen to the the disc and not be pussies about admiting to liking it. nooge.

FortyMinutesWest (January 4, 2004)


I've never said a word about the Avenging Disco Godfathers Of Soul. That was all FortyMinutesWest.


Man, how could anyone get you and I mixed up? I mean, aside from the fact that we both thought Face to Face was great and find Rainer Maria unlistenable.

Anonymous (January 4, 2004)

seriously, you should start a record label.

Anonymous (January 3, 2004)

2 things:

1) Thanks for the Spinal Tap referance. that alone makes your list better than anybody else's.

2) Thanks for showing more diversity musically in this list than the others.

notfeelingcreative (January 3, 2004)

To the person below who had paris' "sonic jihad" on the list. THat record goes on my list for "albums that I wish I had bought before last night". Great shit.

Anonymous (January 3, 2004)

i'd post a top ten list like the rest of you... except none of you would read it (cause you don't care what i have to say), as i did with yours...

for the record, postmodernism is the new pink

GreenVandal (January 3, 2004)

Wow, your name is dan. Your sure are a brave one. I, Shawn Clancy from new jersey really am not impressed though.

maverick (January 3, 2004)


I've never said a word about the Avenging Disco Godfathers Of Soul. That was all FortyMinutesWest.


Anonymous (January 3, 2004)

Wow Anonymous user. You sure got me.

Fucking idiot.

my name is dan. what is yours?

Anonymous (January 3, 2004)

I'm not sure which I hate more, Punknews.orgs Top 20s or Pitchfork medias Top 50.

Anonymous (January 3, 2004)

Dude, have you heard Speakerboxxx? Andre needs to stop making so many damn sketches and realize that Big Boi has eclipsed him.

Though, they should go back to recording together, the best song on the album- Ghetto Musik features both of them.

LushJ (January 3, 2004)

Couple of comments on some things below. 1- I like reading other people's top lists cause it's fucking music. Maybe there's something I missed or didn't give a 2nd listen to that I should go back to. Maybe not.
2- It's true that there's not a lot of "street punk" here, maybe that's because too much of it is rehashed GBH or Blitz. I love oi, but it doesn't mean I need to replace my Sham 69 records with a new band. I am stoked to see more and more reviews of "classic" or older punk records among the new reviews. Gives more of us the opportunity to comment and maybe exchange info on related bands and scenes.

3- Paint It Black is great live and on "CVA". Kid Dynamite's double cd re-issue is also fucking crucial. They were a great live band too. Never got into Lifetime, so maybe that's why I can deal with PIB and KD? Ha ha ha...

Here's my top full-lengths of 2003. They are not in numerical order. One thing that would've been on here had I more experience with it (only heard it one time all the way thru so far) is Joe Strummer's final one- I thought "Global A Go Go" was incredible, the best thing he had been involved with since "London Calling". The first listen to "Streetcore" sounds pretty rad, much more guitar and less world beat than "Global A Go Go". Also not listened to enough to make this list is the new one from King Africa "Buena Onda" (latin dance pop madness). Okay, go!
Toys That Kill - We Control The Sun (Recess)

Rubber City Rebels - Pierce My Brain (Smog Veil)

Resistoleros - Rock and Roll Napalm (Dead Teenager)

Randy - Welfare Problems (Epitaph)

Electric Six - Fire (XL)

Rancid - Indestructible (Hellcat/Warner)

Feederz - Vandalism (Broken)

Electrocute - A Tribute to Your Taste (Emperor Norton)

Manic Hispanic - Mijo Goes To Jr. College (BYO)

Briefs - Off the Charts (Dirtnap)

Paris - Sonic Jihad (Guerilla Funk)

Various Artists - War (if it feels good, do it!) (Hip Hop Slam)

Anonymous (January 3, 2004)

#1 Cursive - Ugly Organ

very solid releases:
rise against
the mars volta
brand new
strung out
lawrence arms
against me
appleseed cast
small brown bike

the thrice, coheed and cambria, and thursday releases are just not as good as each of their prior full lengths.

same can be said for bad astronaut
lagwagon's blaze was probably their worse release to date

the releases bynofx and anti-flag although very good are nothing new at all, and therefore somewhat boring.

good mourning by alkaline trio although very solid is their worst release to date also

death cab for cutie and the postal service have abhorantly bad lyrics. almost as bad as the ataris (and if you picked so long astoria as a top album of the year i think its time you find a new website). i guess i just dont 'get' the electronic part of the postal service.

sing the sorrow just cant compare to afi's previous records

greg6711 - i would just like to shit on you for a moment for saying twisted by design was strung out's first album, forshame. (it is their best though)

i've heard a few songs from the blood brothers, every time i die, the constantines, cave in, and f-minus but not the full albums. they all sounded like promising releases


Anonymous (January 3, 2004)

Word, man.


rxbandito24 (January 3, 2004)

yeah Streetlight Manifesto definately got the shaft...

GreenVandal (January 3, 2004)

"that was my point. the original post was pretentious, for going off on a guy for just plugging a band. chill out and if you wanna call me a "fucking idiot", then call me pretentious, by all means don't do it behind a keyboard. i never had to sink to the level of calling people petty names."

Wow Anonymous user. You sure got me.

Fucking idiot.

Anonymous (January 3, 2004)

Fuck all of you punknews.org guys for not mentioning Hilary Duff's Cd in any of your lists. Fuckin Brilliant Record.

Anonymous (January 3, 2004)

Scott I owe you a big apology for asking why The Bled and Every time I die weren't on your list I totally got you mixed up with Aubin. But I'm glad it was on here somewhere. But I know I have my facts straight with this one. You praised Avenging Disco Godfathers of Soul. What happened to them? And one more question, Do you know when the Somerset album is coming? Once again sorry about the mistake. And keep up all the great work.

- Curt

Anonymous (January 3, 2004)

omg kid brother collective and the ivory coast broke up? how the fuck did i miss this. good pick on the limbeck album scot. i feel the exact same way.

Anonymous (January 3, 2004)

"what will probably be the new " and i meant to write what will probably be the last

Anonymous (January 3, 2004)

most anticipated album of 2004 for me is the new,and what will probably be the new leftover crack album. I've heard some of the songs live, and i guess the three they released on comps,and they are all really good. operation:MOVE is so fucking good, it just owns in every way, it's got a violin and then just goes into this crazy like death metal or black metal (whatever its called) typed song. so anyway, i'm willing to bet this will be the best cd in 2k4

Anonymous (January 3, 2004)

No one has Billy Talent in their list :/

boba_fett (January 3, 2004)

i like that best of AWK section. ANDREW WK OWNS!!!

i just find it hard to believe that on none of the lists is strike anywhere included, none of the "official" lists that is. too many people compared it too the last release, and therefore feel it didnt make the cut. but i figure it was just as good and should at least be a top 5 album for the year.

Anonymous (January 3, 2004)

that list below belong to me.


Anonymous (January 3, 2004)

I think that list is pretty rad. Several bands I don't know that much of.

The great thing about this year was that both the majors, major-minors and minors all put some great stuff out.

Here's my top 15, consisting of mainly mainstream releases.

-poor production aside, I think Skiba has written a fantastic album. Andriano's contributions are equally strong, can't wait for their next one.

-whoah!! I didn't expect this to be any good at all, but when Cold Cash, Colder Hearts started pumping through the speakers, I was hooked immediately. Love Mcternan's production to.

-okay, now this album reminded me of why I love Fat-style punk. fast drums, sing-a-long anthems, catchy riffage and political lyrics. You should own this already!

-fuck the haters, these guys rock out. Just listen to tunes like Eviction Article, Foundation to Burn, and High Wire Escape Artist. the superior production to ATE is a bonus to.

5. BRAND NEW- DEJA ENTENDU (triple crown)
-okay already, everyone loves this. So do I. Its just so damn good.

-I prefer this to SSTB. I think Claudio's voice is even better now, and the music is really catchy. Like SSTB the production is a little sub-par though, y'all gotta hear the hidden song. So damn good, I always think of LotR when i hear it for some reason.

-I listened to this solid for quite some time, and I kept finding new stuff I liked about it. It's a little dead to me now, but some tracks still make me rock out. God I loved ATDI.

-this cd didn't appeal to me at first for some strange reason, but then after seeing how awesome Chris Cheney is live, I had to rush out and get this. In short, it was well worth it. A little poppier then previous, but TLE's song writing is as good as ever.

9. AFI- SING THE SORROW (dreamworks)
-all I kept hearing was how crap this was by people who had the leaked version. Well, I don't think it is. For the haters, AFI were always going in this direction. I think it is their 4th best album, still good enough to make my top 10.

-semi-disappointing, but far from poor. It was a near-impossible task to follow up Full Collapse, but this was a pretty good attempt. I love the opener and the title track.

-great easy listening music. Samson is a really great song writer, I real surprise for me, but a pleasant one to say the least.

- this album gew on me in a big way, the Deftonesesque change is really great and the harder moments are harder then anything previous. Nothing short of the "m" word applies better here.

13. BLUELINE MEDIC- TEXT BOMB (fueled by ramen/ redline)
-okay Scott, this is yet another album i think you got it all wrong with in your review. great song writing and really original vocals make this a pleasure.

14. EVERY TIME I DIE- HOT DAMN! (ferret)
-someone described this as dirty rock'n'roll. I can do no better. The second best metal core album I have heard, KsE's "Alive or Just Breathing" being an admirable no. 1.

-My fav SE trck from Change is a Sound was chalkline. So obviously, Exit english was destined to be a hit with me when i find out the band chose to follow this slower tempo on most of Exit English's tracks. The second best melodicore album of the year.

Blood Brothers- Burn Piano Island, Burn
-wish i still had my $15. This is just too crazy, I like some songs, but others are way out of my musical taste ball park.

Killswitch Engage- Alive or just Breathing

The Decendents, GreenDay, Alkaline Trio, Bad Religion, Hot water Music, Saosin, Strung Out

Anonymous (January 3, 2004)

kudos scott, best review of the three...

- bitter

Anonymous (January 3, 2004)


Its not you fucking idiot. Thats the point. We all like things differently, Somerset being better then Green Day is a pretty ridiculous statement to me, just as im sure Somerset being better then Justin Timberlake is pretty ridiculous to you.

Pretentiousness makes no friends.

that was my point. the original post was pretentious, for going off on a guy for just plugging a band. chill out and if you wanna call me a "fucking idiot", then call me pretentious, by all means don't do it behind a keyboard. i never had to sink to the level of calling people petty names.

Anonymous (January 3, 2004)

"I am curious as to what news item/review this year got the most reader comments. Is that something you can determine? It would be interesting to see what that was. Thanks."

Definitely rancid signing to warner
that got more than 1000

and johnny cash dying only got like 200.. the world is fucked

Anonymous (January 3, 2004)

"Also, if you want an amazing cd, buy "Twisted by Design". It was Strung
Out's first, and my favorite."

ok im sorry... but with all the insanely critical (which, ironically, i guess includes me since i am posting this) people that post things on this website.. you seriously have to be a complete idiot to post this.

Anonymous (January 3, 2004)

Blink 182 got #20 on the list and Travis Barker gets this

http://www.playboy.com/arts-entertainment/celebphoto/trav isbarker/

What a fucking lucky bastard

Skanknsmile (January 3, 2004)

you would get a 10 but you failed to recognize, what both other reviewers noticed, that the lawrence arms record was one of the greats of the year and wil soon be a classic i can bet

Anonymous (January 3, 2004)

hey posters,

nobody cares about 30 different people's top 10 lists. If they did, you would have been given your own review link.

KingOfRain (January 3, 2004)

Shit, take off one of the last two and put DKM - Blackout on there, I totally blanked and forgot their album.

KingOfRain (January 2, 2004)

Might as well give my list, the KoR's top 10 of 03 (LPs and EPs lumped together):
10. Brand New - Deja Entendu
9. Silverstein - When Broken is Easily Fixed
8. Mashlin - The Process of Automation
7. blink-182 - blink-182
6. NOFX - The War on Errorism
5. Alkaline Trio - Good Mourning
4. Against Me! - As the Eternal Cowboy
3. The Exploding Hearts - Guitar Romantics
2. Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros - Streetcore
1. The Reason - Problems Associated With Running

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

I always did like John Samson's songs when he was in Propagandhi and now I like his songs in the Weakerthans.

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

"Also, if you want an amazing cd, buy "Twisted by Design". It was Strung
Out's first, and my favorite."

I'm not trying to be a dickhead but I belive Twisted by Design was Strung Out's third (not counting eps and skinny years before we got fat.) I'll say it again, I wasn't trying to be a mofo but I just thought someone had to say it.

greg6711 (January 2, 2004)

I think it's hard to determine who would be better, but it was certainly a good year in music 2003 for strong songwriters.
John S. - Weakerthans
Ben G.- Postal S./Death C.
Jeff G. - Thursday

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

In memory of Elliot Smith, i went out and bought the new Weakerthans CD.

I think John Samson's writing is on par with Elliot's!

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

fucking finally someone likes somerset

turdcore92383 (January 2, 2004)

Scott, I think you said it best in referring to Saves The Day's In Reverie as a Shit Sandwich. Amen. What a terrible record. I got the free download on mp3.com and knew this one was going to be a real shitter. I'm glad I didn't buy it.

travis (January 2, 2004)

if youre going to do your favorite elliott smith albums, ill do mine as well.

1. roman candle
2. either or
3. elliot smith
4. figure 8
5. xo

kind of ridiculous that xo is number 5 as i fucking love that album. elliott was a brilliant man. i cant wait till from a basement on a hill comes out. the bootlegs i have of the stuff on that album are fantastic.

FortyMinutesWest (January 2, 2004)

"I am curious as to what news item/review this year got the most reader comments. Is that something you can determine? It would be interesting to see what that was. Thanks."

"Rancid Joins The Bunny" had the most comments of any article.

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

I just recently got into Elliott Smith and only because of this site's recent announcement of his death. I only wish I had given him a listen the first time I read an article about him here.
But all is well.
Since then I've gotten Either/Or, XO, and Figure 8.
My ranking of the three:
3.Figure 8
Our rankings are simlilar, so I think I might get Roman Candle next. I'm more inclined to get self-titled though (the one with Needle In The Hay).
Nonetheless, a brilliant soul he was and a musical beauty he remains. He has the ability to bring tears to my eye even when I was smiling the minute prior.
I really hope they release the fraction that was to be From A Basement On The Hill--it sounds like it's gonna be something beautiful. The experimentation with noise/odd sounds and all. If it's given a record label and released sometime this year, wouldn't that make a lovely spot on the growing list of supposed records to be released this year? Sure would.

greg6711 (January 2, 2004)

I think in memory of Elliott Smith, I'd like to post my ranking of my fav. cds of his.

1. XO
2. Roman Candle
4. Figure 8

He has another one that I never heard the one with Needle in the Hay.

Does anyone else have any comments on Elliott Smith, I mean this is probably the last time he will ever he mentioned, besides, his cd to be released posthumously.

By the way d/l - Independance Day
if you've never heard him.

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

haha.... i laugh when kids talk about time signatures and chord progressions..... learn, fools.

okmike (January 2, 2004)

Question to the editors:
I am curious as to what news item/review this year got the most reader comments. Is that something you can determine? It would be interesting to see what that was. Thanks.

captaincrunch (January 2, 2004)


http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=316717 3461&category=2465

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

sass-core is the new black.

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

Co&Ca was my favourite album of the year...

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

"Two words - Shit sandwich".
One word - Hilarious.
Fuck I almost spit water on my computer when I read that.

maverick (January 2, 2004)


I *completely* forgot that Colossal came out in 2003. That totally would have made my list, possibly number 3 or 4.


Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

Bouncing Souls DVD?!?!?!?!

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

great pick.

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

Observational question #2:

Come one Scott, how come Colossal is not in your favorite EPs section? It has Rob Kellenberger for goodness sake!

just wondering...


hitlerbadzakgood (January 2, 2004)

the suicide machines deserves a place on everyones top albums list.

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

good list scott. good to see saosin and motion city soundtrack on there. gotta disagree with the coheed thing though, that album was gold.

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

thumbs up on including copeland in the top 20. they'd be number one on my list, though.

GreenVandal (January 2, 2004)


Its not you fucking idiot. Thats the point. We all like things differently, Somerset being better then Green Day is a pretty ridiculous statement to me, just as im sure Somerset being better then Justin Timberlake is pretty ridiculous to you.

Pretentiousness makes no friends.

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

i imagine if i had found bad astronaut's cd somewhere so that i could actually purchase it, it would've made my list.

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

blink 182's new album was pretty good the first few times through, then i put on houston we have a drinking problem by bad astronaut and realized that was what i really wanted.

notfeelingcreative (January 2, 2004)

To the "libertarian" who disagreed with my opinions on conservatives: did I voice support for the taliban? Just because I am anti-war doesn't mean I am pro-tyranny. I simply voiced disdain for those who are coming on here and supporting bush. It seems that most of them are not doing it out of support for the causes but only out of the fact that they are sick of the views that have been echoed in punk music for so long and have become cliche. You support my point with your own comments. Politics and worldview are supposed to be something one believes in because he/she has made up his/her mind. Not because one wants to support a trend or rebel against it. Therefor,the emergence of consevapunks still makes my list for most disappointing things of '03!

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

This is PUNKnews.org correct? Where's Rancid, DKM, and Lagwagon on your lists? Geez. Here's my top 10 for 2003:

1) Dropkick Murphys - Blackout
2) The Weakerthans - Reconstruction Site
3) AFI - Sing The Sorrow
4) Rancid - Indestructible
5) Lagwagon - Blaze
6) Motion City Soundtrack - I Am The Movie
7) Against Me! - As The Eternal Cowboy
8) Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism
9) Alkaline Trio - Good Mourning
10) The Ataris - So Long, Astoria

- Shaun

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

it drives me nuts when people pass off there opinions as fact...one things foir certain people will never agree.


Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

15. NOFX - The War on Errorism: My least favorite NOFX from the past 11 years. :( but still :/)

14. Strike Anywhere - Exit English: It's good but too similar to Change is a Sound.

13. Radiohead - Hail to the Thief: Not as subdued and intruiging as Kid, not as lush and diverse as OK Computer, and without the solid songwriting that made The Bends enjoyable but still good.

12. Lagwagon - Blaze: This album is really varied for a melodic punk record and the harmonizing intro on "Falling Apart" is an orgasmatastic moment.

11. Further Seems Forever - How to Start a Fire: They lost a lot of cool classical chord structures but managed to produce a fun album with purty guitars.

10. Deftones - Deftones: Falls short of White Pony but it still manages to me shiver, especially when Chino screeches or goes falsetto.

9. Cursive - The Ugly Organ: I didn't get it for a while but when I did I really enjoyed the juxtaposition but still was dissapointed to lose interweaving guitar to cello ambience.

8. fordirelifesake - Breathing in Is Only Half the Function: This is the most ridiculous album of the year. Brazen metalcore that's faster than premature ejaculation.

7. Alkaline Trio - Good Mourning: This is fun times and though they lose some of their memorability on this album, they still produce repitive goodness.

6. The Mars Volta - Deloused in the Comatorium: I agree with this being too self-indulgent but bombast tastes like good to me.

5. The Blood Brothers - Burn, Piano Island, Burn: Originality tastes so good. The lyrics are ridiculously amazing.

4. Coheed and Cambria - In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3: This album is insane. At first I really didn't like it but even "Blood Red Summer" got me excited by listen 20.

3. Thursday - War All the Time: It was great but not as great as I had hoped.

2. Trophy Scars - Hospital Music for the Aethetics of Language: I got this New Year's Eve and I'm so glad I found out about these guys. Go to www.trophyscars.com for some sexy post-hardcore. Imagine The Blood Brothers Thursday.

1. Thrice - The Artist in the Ambulance: I got this one all too well. The time signatures even compensated for the subpar lyrics.

Bands Not Included Because My Friend Keeps on Forgetting to Let Me Steal His Copy and I'm too lazy/poor to Buy Them and Give Them a Real Listen Yet: Everytime I Die, A Static Lullaby, The Bled, and My Chemical Romance

vien (January 2, 2004)

Whatever It Takes didn't break up.....

suddenlysucking (January 2, 2004)

Also, good call on the Tenacious D DVD it is one of the funniest things I have ever watched in my lifetime. Long live KG and Jables!

suddenlysucking (January 2, 2004)

I'm surprised of all the respect that Brand New's sophomore release Deja Entendu is getting. I myself bought it expecting the same music I got out of Your Favorite Weapon. Instead I got one of my favorite CD's of the year.

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

somerset blows. just cos you run a shitty website doesnt mean your opinion is the word of god. for shits sake.

SOYBOMB (January 2, 2004)

"One word: sasscore. Just remember that I coined that term"


Sorry man,

But that term is going to go over about as well as a Hot-air balloon made up lead...

...Covered in fat people.


Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

Scott, a word of advice. You are doing no oe a favor when you say shit like this


Bands like this make me wish I had a record label, as I would do everything I could to put out this band's full-length. The talent these kids posess blows away most of your favorite bands, and they're just getting started. If you haven't downloaded their new demos yet, you're missing out. Get them here and learn the words, because you'll be shouting along soon enough."

My favorite band happens to be a million times better then this one. thats why they are my favorite band. and I think its pretty stupid to tell people what they will be singing along too. I know yourjoking, but this is a joke you use too much. Its annoying, and it makes me hate this band.

And fuck blink 182. Seriously. They put out a emo record, and you think that they are suddenly better then F-Minus because of it?


Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

am i the only one who thinks that Jack Johnson's cd was pretty good? it'd have to be in my top 20, though not my top 10, which is:
1. Rx Bandits-The Resignation
2. Brand New-Deja Entendu
3. Thursday-War All the Time
4. Poastal Service-Give Up
5. Various Artists-Bad Scene, Everyone's Fault
6. Deatch Cab For Cutie-Transatlanticism
7. Nada Surf-Let Go
8. Ozma-Spending Time on the Border Line
9. The Mars Volta-Deloused in the Comatorium
10. Joes Strummer and the Mescaleros-Streetcore
Honorable mentions to Moneen, Kelpie, Hey Mercedes, and Radiohead.
By far the worst thing that happened where I'm concerned is the passing of Elliott Smith. I hope his recorded demos see release.
03 was far superior to 02 musically, even though I didn't see a new Pedro the Lion release. say that the best album of 2002 that I did not get until 2003 belongs to Northstar with a close 2nd to Desaparecidos. I'm anticipating quality releases from both of these acts as well as the Statistics. If the Pixies don't get back together, you can be assured that will be the biggest disappointment of 04.

rage (January 2, 2004)

Why is there never anything about fucking streetpunk listed on this site?

No mention of the new Havoc album. No mention of Cheap Sex for best single and worst album combined in one effort?

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

Right On!
The Weakerthans "Reconstruction Site" is hands down the best release of 2003!

This band should be huge...

greg6711 (January 2, 2004)

sorry, I didn't mean to post that twice

By the way Scott, your list is really interesting.

I still havent gotten into the new cd that much, I still listen to Left and Leaving Constantly!

greg6711 (January 2, 2004)

The Definitive Top 10 Cds of the 2003

10. Streelight Manifesto - Everything Goes Numb
I heard so much about this band that Ijust decided to buy this cd
right away.
This has got to be the best cd that Victory Records has released this
year. This features 3 memebers of Catch-22, including the lead singer Tom
The songs are longer than most Catch-22 songs, and like Keasbey Nights,
it is very catchy. Sometimes some songs drag on too long, making them
memorable, or making them unbearable. On a whole i think this was a great
purchase. This dark lyrical theme runs throughout the cd, not oppotomistic
however, very anti-suicidal themed. The best way to describe this is to say
that it has anthems about emotional threads of living. I don't think it's
groundbreaking, but it is in a sense a huge step for ska, considering
the void of great new ska musicians. Most people bought this for Catch-22
and it is what many people think, the way Catch-22 should sound today.

9. Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism
Ben Gibbard had a great year, first his sideproject, the Postal Service
amazed indie rock, but i'll talk about that later. Many people who like
DCFC, think this was the weakest of his 3 releases. This is my first cd
by him, but I think it was amazing. True,it's not upbeat, and it is
relaxing, but there is a need for music like that too. The amazing thing
about the way Gibbard writes is the way he writes in complete sentences.
Many songs do not fit by themselves, it is the accompanying songs around
the others that make it flow. When listening, it is like the cover of the
cd, it's like your a bird chirping to the sunset. It just has wonderful
imagery, and I know it will have much more time in my cd player

8. Strung Out - Live in A Dive
Fat Wreck Chords didn't make many good cds this year, with the exception
of Swingin utters, Ant-Flag, and Rise Against, but I think this one was
overlooked by many people. Strung Out, known for their live sound, bring
a unexcepted setlist to the floor, and I think many people excepted
their more well known material. Anyway, Strung out plays a mixture of
metal and speed punk. I think S.O. is amazing on their other cds, and
this compilation doesn't have all their best songs, but wow, it makes
me want to see them live. Live cds, I think showcast the band more than
the material. Like Fat Wreck's other cds, this is so well done. Pick up
No Use for a Name, or Sick of it All's live in a dive, if you like this.
Also, if you want an amazing cd, buy "Twisted by Design". It was Strung
Out's first, and my favorite.

7. Cursive - The Ugly Organ
This cd is strange. It's well done, but it's suppose to be alienating
to the audience in a way. It does sound ugly. It tries to be the anti-
thesis to modern music, and I think it succeeds and fails at the same
time. The concept of the Ugly Organ has many meanings. It means a) the
way mainstream music is ugly because it lacks artistic creativity.
It is not born from inspiration, it's mold because a studio wants to
make money. It's commericalised art, kinda like Warhol's soup cans. I
think the other ugly organ would have to be a dark heart. Perhaps, it's
Kosher's own dark heart that is prompting this departure from the
catchy "Domestica". I's open to much interpretation. It does have several
amazing songs that I find irresitiable, such as "Art is Hard", the "Recluse"
and "butcher the song". The concept is a good one, and Cursive does
a job that many could not do. Not easy to listen to all at once, but
certainly it pushes music as a social issue in itself

6. Strike Anywhere - Exit English
After changing Southern Hardcore with it's revolutionary "Change is
Sound", Strike Anywhere were alreadying headlinging shows with their new
cd. This is much slower that it's previous work, and I don't think it's
as good, but still it's got some brillant elements. With Rise against,
it contains messages of self-determinism, and self-reliance, and pushes
the envelope, not by telling people what to think, but still fearless to
say that changes for a better society should be strieved for. I think
this is a bold cd, but too often speaks in generalities. That would be
it's one weakness. it is not fatal weakeness though. This cd is powerful
because the vocals are so strong, and it's personal anthems, about
taking power in your life, and you can feel the powerful positive
message. As he says in one song, he "pledges his alligence to the world,
searching for vision, not invisibility." This band will certainly be
one of the most important punk bands of the 2000's.

5. Thursday - War All The Time
Originally, I passed off this cd, because I figured it would be like
"Full Collapse", and I love Full Collapse, but...well I bought it.
And wow, this guy can sing. I think it is has a bad flow, but I can listen
to all but two songs. Songs bring an awareness of how we live. Partically
post-911 feeling is involved. Jeff Geothe, I think that's his name, is
great at intertwining ideas together, such as the falling of a nation
on 911, and the breaking away of a relationship. Unlike the dismissal
of God by many punk bands, it does bring of the topic of religion on
"Standing Outside the Chapel". "For the Workforce drowing" is a metaphor
for the way life is wasted in cubicles and meaninglessness. I don't
wish to simply these ideas, and I am sure I am misguided on some of these
songs. This cd screams beauty. Pick it up, it lives up to the hype

4. Postal Service - Give Up
I didn't really get into this cd until Novemeber this year, but I liked
Death Cab for Cutie so much, so I inserted this back into my cd player.
This cd seemingly is perfect. It mixes indie rock with electronic music
to produce a perfection like sound. The great irony of this of course
is the song "Such Great Heights" which is about seeing relationships as
great from a distance, but when you see things up close, perfect is
non-existent. I think this cd plays innocently stupid. It can come off
as a petty song about a guy and his romantic troubles, and there is no
doubt that Gibbard is a romantic. Still, the genius of this work is the
simplicity of music and lyrics and the emotions it produces. I think
Gibbard plans to do anything cd with this sideproject, and let's hope so.
It is a cd that you can enjoy because of it's naturalistic
beauty, or just the harmonic vocals.

3. Rise Against - Revolutions Per Minute
I knew the first time I heard this, it would be on my top 10.
At that time though, I put it at number 1. Now i'll have to place it at
number 3. I saw these guys 4 times in 2003. Each time they blew me away
with their amazing stage presence. It is a similar sound to Strike A.
but the main difference, is that is really more central about strength
in ourselves. It's not to say it's anti-unity, but the RA message seems
to imply that you are more than what anyone else thinks of you, and you
should embrace yourself. Certainly a message I can identify with.
The best part of these cd is that all the songs are different sounding,
and they all capture the fury of the band, because in it's struggle,
there is beauty. This was the problem with the first cd, all the songs
sounded similar, kinda like a Good Riddance cd. This cd stands on it's
own, the best thing to come out of Fat Wreck this year. I think the
strongpoint of punk rock this year, was in these hardcore-punk bands.
Rise Against recently signed to Universal, and i'm sure they'll
keep rockin the ship their sailin.

2. Shins - Chutes Too Narrow
Too many bands follow a similar forumla for all their songs. Sure they
might sound different, but the structure is the same. Not so true for
the shins. This rainbow-covered, sophomore release, was the best thing
to come out of pop-indie this year. While I have only spinned this cd about
5 times altogether on my cd, every song sticks out with a huge imprint.
Excersing layered vocals, and unique guitar sounds, this cd is
an artistic masterpiece. It's not too preachy, but there is a lot of
emphasize on artistic integrity. Also, if you've seen the music video
for "So Say's I" with the animated penguin and such, and how the
penguins are searching in this modern world to be free from the chains
of big business and living/dying without artistic freedom. Happy
and rather optomistic, lyrically similar to the Flaming Lips, though
not nearly as experimental. Also, the best song mixes classical music
riffs with modern guitar and vocal humming, well, maybe I don't know
the term,s but to me that's what it is like. D/l "Saint Simon" and
you'll understand. Classic.

1. White Stripes - Elephant

Masterpiece. Read the letter in the linear notes.


jwinter (January 2, 2004)

greenvandal: chill. Don't read what scott has to say if it bugs you so much. He has the right to say whatever the hell he wants.

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

the emergence of conservapunks? as opposed to regurgitating the same view held by every other kid with pointy hair? fuck you, im libertarian and i have no problem with the baathists and taliban being knocked out of power.

notfeelingcreative (January 2, 2004)

1. From Ashes Rise-Nightmares
2. Bouncing Souls-Anchors Aweigh
3. Against Me!-As the Eternal Cowboy
4. Michael Franti and Spearhead- Everyone Deserves Music
5. Strike Anywhere-Exit English

Best Shows: 1.Subhumans/Enemies/The Code
2. Bouncing Souls/Strike Anyhwere/Tsunami Bomb
3. One Man Army/Ann Beretta
4.Anti-Flag/Rise Against/ Against me/NMB
5.Suicide MAchines/Unseen (Sorta)

Biggest Dissapointments:
1. Anti-Flag at the One People One stuggle Show in Orlando
2. RANCID-Indestructible
3. Alk3
4. The Demise of Face to Face.

5. Less Than Jake's Warped Tour Set- They did have albums before "hello rockview" right?
6. Metallica-St. Anger god, I used to love this band when I was 12, what have they done to themsleves?
7. The emergence of conservapunks

Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

i was driving home on the highway tonight listening to my brand spanking new copy of "as the eternal cowboy," when i had a revelation.

against me! is the punkrock version of O.A.R.


Anonymous (January 2, 2004)

i still don't get the big boi coaster thing. well, i wish all of you a late happy new year. i was so fucking wasted with apple cider martini's, vodka, and nice fat L that i forgot where i was between 5am and 9am. i'll give you my top 20 later.


GreenVandal (January 2, 2004)

Scott, a word of advice. You are doing no oe a favor when you say shit like this


Bands like this make me wish I had a record label, as I would do everything I could to put out this band's full-length. The talent these kids posess blows away most of your favorite bands, and they're just getting started. If you haven't downloaded their new demos yet, you're missing out. Get them here and learn the words, because you'll be shouting along soon enough."

My favorite band happens to be a million times better then this one. thats why they are my favorite band. and I think its pretty stupid to tell people what they will be singing along too. I know yourjoking, but this is a joke you use too much. Its annoying, and it makes me hate this band.

And fuck blink 182. Seriously. They put out a emo record, and you think that they are suddenly better then F-Minus because of it?

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

But they don't suck as much as Pitchfork...
Btw, your top tens were pretty good. But you should have left blink and thrice from it.

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

First, I tried real hard to like Lifetime, then Kid Dynamite and now, Paint it Black, but no no no!!! Why the hype??? All three bands sucks. Why won't you people understand that?

mcpike (January 1, 2004)

does anyone else think deftones should have been on biggest disappointments?

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

nfgrawker is the biggest chump ever, first he disses on anti-flag and then he whines cause the new less than jake isn't on the list, get a clue, its not on the list cause its terrible

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

because half the songs on their album were actually rather crappy.

good list though.

ilikebandssuchasopivy (January 1, 2004)

Good list but why is streetlight manifesto completely absent from every list?

GreenVandal (January 1, 2004)

Coheed and Cambrias CD is better then just about every CD you listed.

You should look into the Mars Volta album you put in the top 20 if your looking for a test for your "long songs dont make good songs" theory.

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

i don't like this list

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

I, personally, think that the Big Boi CD is superior to the Andre 3000 one. I find myself listening to it much more. I wish Andre 3000 still rapped.

maverick (January 1, 2004)

To the guy 2 comments below:

I didn't write the Bled or Every Time I Die reviews. I haven't even heard ETID [whereas I think the Bled record is good, but not as good as people make it out to be].


Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

Nice list...gotta disagree with the hating on saves the day and sparta though.

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

Scott great list but dude where is The Bled and Every time I die. I'll forgive you because you put on on the might of princes and Blood Bros. But just wondering why you left out the two above after writing in the reviews they are the best hardcore records of the year?

adam (January 1, 2004)

"I'd nominate that horrible desire that bands have to include a country tune or two on their cds."

Ehh, that's fine with me. There's been far worse trends in punk this year, 90% of them can be found on "screamo" albums.


Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

how about a category for worst trend of the year?
I'd nominate that horrible desire that bands have to include a country tune or two on their cds.

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

it'd be to difficult to order most of my top 20. but i put the jawbreaker tribute in it, even though it's a comp. that disc is incredible and really defined my fall semester.
The Resignation is really what it's all about when I go to remember this year.

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

"Shes gonna Break Soon?" hahahahahahahhahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahaha hahhaahahahahahahahahahhahaha

Sorry dude, some of your picks were amazing tho. None more Black and Paint it Black BOTH own.

Barkley"Fuck El Vaquero"Barkster

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

"7.None More Black - File Under Black [Fat Wreck] / Paint It Black - CVA [Jade Tree]

It's not Kid Dynamite, and I just can't get past that."

That is just a pathetic attitude. Should you not not like kid dynamite because it's not lifetime?


Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

ok i know there was kid dynamite but its over! an no one can say paint it black isn't amazing!

SockMonkeyRiot (January 1, 2004)

1. Streetlight Manifesto - Everything Goes Numb
2. The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever Told
3. Brand New - Deja Entendu
4. The Mars Volta - Deloused In The Comatorium
5. Strike Anywhere - Exit English
6. Rise Against - Revolutions Per Minute
7. Dropkick Murphys - Blackout
8. Less Than Jake - Anthem
9. Rancid - Indestructible
10. O.A.R. - Inbetween Now and Then

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

I'd just like to say that nobody mentioned Park, and this crap.

lunchbox (January 1, 2004)

good list. i just feel that paint it black is one of the better hardcore punk bands now and none more black is good from what i've heard. i also think the big boi disc (speakerboxxx) from outkast is much better than you think it is.

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

Good list, and I'm not going to nitpick. I just want to point out that Pitchfork Media is not the "Gold Standard," but rather the "Pretentious, Know-It-All, 'Look how open minded we are because we like some rap music," jaded, cynical, boring, showoff hipster Standard"

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

NO NO NO. Don't you dare say Paint It Black was a disappointment. Just kidding but I still love that album. Dan is the muthafuckin man and I need to see them live. It's much better than 99% of the shit out today in my opinion. But since opinions are like assholes...

For what it's worth..My favorite albums of 2003 in no order are
Paint It Black. Love Me Destroyer. Rise Against. Suicide Machines. The Bouncing Souls. The Lawrence Arms. Vaux. Avail. NOFX. Non-Prophets (sage Francis' group). ETC...

The groups I'm looking forward to in 2004..Descendents. Planes Mistaken For Stars. Better stuff From None More Black even though I do like the debut album. And the Under the Influence Series from Suburban Home.

And Some good stuff from Jenna Jameson. I saw that true story or whatever on E!. goddamnnn

Happy 2004. Hopefully it will be a better year for musicians and us all. And for Bush to be out.


Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

scott, it may be strange and hard for you, but sometimes people actually go to the store and buy albums that they want. spooky, ain't it?

-el vaquero

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)


-green day will never follow up warning
-- maybe to kill time they can remaster and rerelease dookie, next month is the 10th anniversary.

-The Influents "Some Of The Young" (Adeline)LP was the best album of the year. sorry to hear a possible breakup..

-blink 182's new cd was alright. overhyped very. sloppily written. "easy target" is one of the best songs on it but i feel it ended too early and messy.

1. Jughead's new band Even In Blackout w/ Squirtgun and Beatnik Termites basement show in Somers, CT. (under 10 people came)7/17

2. The Influents at Mass Skate (Westfield, MA), (about 6 people came)7/19

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

Janelle's Top 5:

4.Buzzcocks - S/T
3.From Ashes Rise - NIGHTMARES
1.TSOL - DIVIDED WE STAND...no questions asked!!!!

maverick (January 1, 2004)


Fat never sent me the Larry Arms CD, so I can't really judge how good it is without hearint it first.

To the person who asked about Murder By Death:

Ditto, except substitute Eyeball for Fat and MBD for Larry Arms.


Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

in no particular order (except for the Bronx being first)
The Bronx- s/t
Blood Brothers- burn piano island burn
Against Me!- as the eternal cowboy
Cursive- the ugly organ
New Bomb Turks- switchblade tongues and butterknife brains
The Mars Volta- de-loused in the comatorium
Gainer- you say it like it's a bad thing
The Darkness- permission to land
Dan Sartain- dan sartain vs. the serpientes
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs- fever to tell (I guess that was 2003)
Honorable mention:
Children of Bodom- hate crew death roll
Arch Enemy- anthems of rebellion
AFI- sing the sorrow
Haste- the mercury lift
...and maybe some others I forgot

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

the below list is notaclevername's

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

in no particular order (except for the Bronx being first)
The Bronx- s/t
Blood Brothers- burn piano island burn
Against Me!- as the eternal cowboy
Cursive- the ugly organ
New Bomb Turks- switchblade tongues and butterknife brains
The Mars Volta- de-loused in the comatorium
Gainer- you say it like it's a bad thing
The Darkness- permission to land
Dan Sartain- dan sartain vs. the serpientes
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs- fever to tell (I guess that was 2003)
Honorable mention:
Children of Bodom- hate crew death roll
Arch Enemy- anthems of rebellion
AFI- sing the sorrow
Haste- the mercury lift
...and maybe some others I forgot

SOYBOMB (January 1, 2004)

Do my eyes deceive me, or is The Lawrence Arms' "The Greatest Story Ever Told" missing from that list?



Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

Noel Redding of the Jimi Hendrix Experience also passed away

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

Top 5:
1Alkaline Trio-Good Mourning
2.Blink182-"s/t", 3.Rancid "Indestructible"
4.Anti-Flag "The Terror State"
5. NOFX "War on errorism"

blood_Brothers_are_good (January 1, 2004)

thank you for recognizing thursday as hughly overrated. i too love them, but they are not anything near as good as some people say they are, thank you.

that said, here are my top 20 albums (im including EPs) of the year, for the hell of it

20. rx bandits - the resignation
19. the evan anthem - prologue
18. the bled - pass the flask
17. alkaline trio - good mourning
16. thrice - the artist in the ambulance
15. blink 182 - blink 182
14. straylight run - online demos
13. matchbook romance - stories and alibis
12. coldplay - a rush of blood to the head
11. saves the day - in reverie
10. armor for sleep - dream to make believe
9. fear before the march of flames - odd how people shake
8. saosin - translating the name
7. against me! - the eternal cowboy
6. cursive - the ugly organ
5. death cab for cutie - transatlanticism
4. gatsby's american dream - ribbons and sugar
3. the blood brothers - burn piano island burn
2. the postal service - give up
1. brand new - deja entendu

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

Holy SHIT.. you are absolutely correct about Somerset.. that band needs to get signed and put an album out NOW.. can't you push someone somewhere to get them signed??

flummo (January 1, 2004)

If anyone cares, my list is at http://bkservo.tripod.com/top10.html

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

Mad caddies deserves more focker

fakesmile (January 1, 2004)

and the new mr t experience is AWESOME.

fakesmile (January 1, 2004)

Best reissue:

you are wrong when you don't say TURBONEGRO - APOCALYPSE DUDES

BeaArthur (January 1, 2004)

Andre 3000 is a genius. Many people are comparing this double disc to the Beatles' White Album, but I view it as more of a John Lennon/Ringo Starr pairing than anything else. The Big Boi CD makes a great coaster, though.

André 3000's disc is so inconsistent. He pulls off some great stuff, but I can't listen to it all the way through. Big Boi's disc is in no way a coaster. It seems to me that most people praise Andre's over Big Boi's because André's is more "out there". Just because it is more different, doesn't make it better. Ghetto Musik and Flip Flop Rock blow away André's disc. Oh, and Andrew WK still sucks.

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

twelve months from now, "in reverie" will be your "2003 record i didn't 'get' until 2004.... if you give it a damn chance.... and i'm not even a chick.

i-type-poorly (January 1, 2004)

"Long songs do not equal good songs. The end."
Lesson of the fuckin year. Also, Scott wins for mentioning MTX.

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)


StaStaStallone (January 1, 2004)

i'd intertwine:
sufjan steven- michigan
deerhoof- apple o

and best EP:
the vells- s/t

and swingin utters put out a really really good record, that i also forgot about. so get all crazy and speak in tounges.

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

Am I the only one looking forward to the new Leftover Crack album?

kirbypuckett (January 1, 2004)

Very good list, you went the extra mile and didn't have categories like "Best Clothing Line" or "Biggest Sell Out."


How come Epitaph signs all these asshat bands they get a small news post on here? They were smart with Motion City Soundtrack, why don't they just listen to Scott and sign something good? (Good = Somerset)

Here's mine, I'm copying it from some formatted text, so we'll see how it looks.

TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2003:
It wasn't until now that I realized that this record is my favorite of the year. The Suicide Machines came back from a huge slump and released this disc packed with Punk Rock hits that we'll be singing for years I'm sure.
Every person on the world is going to have this sophomore release by the band on their top of the year charts and there's plenty of reasons too. Sure the 'Emo' sound is the popular thing right now, but Brand New completely blows the genre away.
2002's greatest loss is one of 2003's greatest gains. Sadly Mr. Strummer is no longer with us, however his music will continue to live on and Streetcore is a perfect example of the legendary man himself.
This is another disc that I'm sure everyone will have on their lists, but for obvious reasons. So many bands have mocked this band over the past two years and no one can even come close to duplicating their intense performance on and off the stage.
My favorite sound in Punk Rock would have to be its combination with Hardcore blended with that Chicago sound. Rise Against raised the bar with themselves on this release. This may not be as fast as "The Unraveling," however the band was able to slow the pace down a tad and still manage to rock amazingly. Sadly, the band's greatest song of the year is not on this release. "Swing Life Away" can be found on Punk Goes Acoustic and I strongly recommend you buy it just for that song.
This band has to be the surprise of the year. From the ashes of Catch 22 they have risen to take hold of the Ska scene and are doing this wonderfully. Almost every song on here is a hit and reminds me of the old days going to Ska shows and "skanking" the night away.
I don't feel right putting a b-side comp. in my Top 10 list, but I must. I really fell in love with this band this year and all of the rarities, covers, demos, and live material on here is perfect reason why this is the best Punk Rock band ever.
I don't know Hardcore, I only have a few real Hardcore discs in my record collection, but what I do know is that this album is LOUD! If it wasn't for me being so big on Ska still then this band would probably receive rookie of the year.
This is the best band going in Punk Rock right now. Their record isn't as high as the others, but they're continuing to release solid record after solid record. This album is no exception to that formula as another group of Chicago rockers bring out the best of the year.
Back and more mature than ever are the Bandits. ‚??In Resignation‚?Ě takes the sound from ‚??Progress‚?Ě and develops into a far superior disc. The record covers a wide range of topics, with an emphasis on politics and topics of the sort. This band is the real deal and will probably go down as one of the greats in the scene once people realize they‚??re not ‚??Mall Punk.‚?Ě
‚?Ę Honorable mentions go to: Reggie & the Full Effect, Alkaline Trio, Blood Brothers, Mars Volta, Hippos, Strike Anywhere, Less Than Jake, Against Me!, Rancid, Thrice, Moneen, and Motion City Soundtrack (it was a re-release).
This band needs to quit. The once high powered dominator of the scene is nothing but a joke. Most of their good members are in the wonderful Streetlight Manifesto and this band is only trying to carry a torch lit by the past years. Break up, quit disgracing the name.
What a disappointment this is. Guys, you aren't rock stars, quit trying to act like it! Go back to playing Pop/Emo songs and you'll be set. This is your last warning.
Garbage. One minute this band is Ska, the next they're "Emo". Just going with the flow and trying to fulfill the trends. Someone stop this band.
This band perfected the current popular Pop-Punk/Emo sound with their previous albums and now with their major label stature they have just fallen into the group of masses that prove major labels are bad for Punk Rock.
Take a note from Comeback Kid and go back to the hardcore stuff. You guys were much better then.
Um...Are you guys ok? The only word for this is "Crap."
Just stop.
1. OIL
This is the only compilation this year that mattered. The rest were a waste of money. On OIL is Chicago's finest musicians locked up in an old Oil Refinery (hence the name, get it?) jamming out some new songs. Everything is so raw, so powerful, and really captures the essence of Punk Rock.
This compilation is fun! Covers of the classics by some of your favorite bands, definitely worth the few bucks you'd spend on it.
As far as tribute albums go, this one actually isn't that band. They usually suck, but this is a nice touch for the legendary Jawbreaker.
The only reason I'm putting this on here is for Rise Against's "Swing Life Away" it's that GREAT! Other notables are Thursday, Piebald, Thrice, & Strung Out.
The band's debut EP "This Thought Process" is a five song stellar release. They play the Pop-Punk/Emo sound, but with a lyrical base of politics and life in general as opposed to girls, girls, girls. Their live show is a real treat for the eyes and ears as well. Keep an eye on this group in 2004! I've got my fingers crossed for them.
Whoa! The Weakerthans performed their rock sounds perfectly, but I couldn't get over how amazing the Motion City Soundtrack was live! Hands down this is the best live band ever! I can't even describe how much fun I had dancing and singing along to my favorite MCS tunes. All I can do is sit back and wait for their return.
The crazy side project of James Dewes' of Get Up Kids fame has really blown up into a full fledged band and their live show is most defiantly a treat for anyone who likes a little humor injected into their rock 'n roll.
All you need to know is that these two bands can fucking ROCK!
Am I allowed to listen a show I was apart of and set up? Who knows, but I will. The main reason I had this show was to see the hidden talent of the year; Somerset. However, it turned out to be one of the best evenings of the year with The Response and Contrawise both rocking an healthy amounts. And of course the very special Mr. T Experience cover band!
Holy hell! This band is reforming the music industry! They're debut album blew the socks off of everybody! And for those who didn't get "De-Loused in the Comatorium" their live show was enough to prove that this is one of the best bands of the year! A two hour long jam session! No other band on earth could ever pull this off so successfully without boring anyone.
I still don't know too much about Death Cab For Cutie, but they sure were good live. But the main reason for my writing here is Mates of State! The cute couple is just simple that "cute." And it works to make one awesome live show.
Thrice is back! But the important part of this show is Hot Water Music! It was this show that had me fall in love with the band and I can't wait to see them the next time they come around.
I went to this show not knowing either of the bands and just wanting to hang out. What I got was one of the most electrifying nights of live music ever! Sixty Four, Pittsburgh's little gem, rocked me for the first time ever. Followed by Dirt Bike Annie tearing up the tiny Quiet Storm with one of the most impressive live shows ever.
The Descendents -- That is all. Okay, Mr. T Experience, H2O, & Social Distortion too.

skankin_in_the_pit (January 1, 2004)

I did a top 20 list for vegasska.com that was never posted, so i'll just use it instead of just a top 10. Not that any of you give a shit...

1. Streetlight Manifesto - Everthing Goes Numb
2. F-Minus - Wake Up Screaming
3. Paint It Black - CVA
4. U.S. Bombs - Covert Action
5. Planet Smashers - Mighty
6. Street Daogs - Savin Hill
7. Sick Of It All - Life on the Ropes
8. TSOL - Divided We Stand
9. Kid Dynamite - Cheap Shots, Youth Anthems
10. Pipedown - Mental Weaponry
11. Morning Glory - The Whole World is Watching
12. All Out War - Condemned To Suffer
13. Virus Nine - Blastin' Away
14. Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros - Streetcore
15. Darkest Hour - Hidden Hands Of A Sadist Nation
16. Kill Your Idols - The Skinnier Years
17. Los Kung Fu Monkees - End Transmission
18. No Cash - Run Your Pockets
19. Hatebreed - The Rise Of Brutality
20. Mike Park - For the Love of Music

Honorable Mentions - None More Black, The Slackers, Madball(Greatest Hits) Rise Against, Catch 22, Union 13, Ensign, Inhuman, Mad Caddies,

Best e.p. - Tie between Toxic Narcotic's Shoot People, Not Dope and the Articles Of Faith/Vic Bondi split.

Most Anticipated of 2004 - 7 Seconds, 46 Short, Leftover Crack, Against All Authority, Madball, Subhumans(live), Poison Idea, Descendents, Bad Religion, Chinkees, Kill Your Idols, The Code, Social Distortion, and Propagandhi.

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

all you morons forgot to put less than jake's new record on the top 10. dumbasses.


Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

Not even an honorable mention for PARK?

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

I'm glad to see Gatsbys American Dream on here.

Why was Shai Hulud's 'That Blood Within Ill-Tempered', and Inspection 12's albums not mentioned on any 'best of 2003' list at punknews.org??

Still beats the shit-fest at absolutepunk.net

travis (January 1, 2004)

25. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Hearts of Oak
24. Black Eyes - Black Eyes
23. The Thermals - More Parts Per Million
22. Benton Falls - Guilt Beats Hate
21. Explosions in the Sky - The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place
20. Brand New - Deja Entendu
19. Desert City Soundtrack - Funeral Car
18. the american analog set - Promise of Love
17. Deerhoof - Apple O'
16. 31 Knots - It Was High Time to Escape
15. Some By Sea - Get Off the Ground if 14. Appleseed Cast - Two Conversations
13. Lucero - That Much Further West
12. Denali - The Instinct
11. Radiohead - Hail to the Thief
10. Stars - Heart
9. Death Cab for Cutie - 8. Rocky Votolato - Suicide Medicine
7. the Shins - Chutes Too Narrow
6. Cursive - The Ugly Organ
5. Postal Service - Give Up
4. the Decemberists - Her Majesty the 3. Constantines - Shine a Light
2. Sufjan Stevens - Michigan
1. the Weakerthans - Reconstruction Site

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

its only funny when The Onion makes ridiculous categories for the end of the year. you're not The Onion.

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

what are your thoughts on Murder by Death, Scott?

Kurt_F (January 1, 2004)

Um, message to other users:


Get a freaking clue.

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)


They had some pretty good choices too, I would add more hardcore though.

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

"A Tuesday/Death On Wednesday/Thursday/Saturday Looks Good To Me/Taking Back Sunday nationwide tour. Just for kicks."

Might as well add the Mondays or Black Monday to start off that line up.

FortyMinutesWest (January 1, 2004)

That Zombie Apocalypse EP was great, almost makes up for the loss of Shai Hulud.

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

An addendum to Scott's EP list:

You seem to have mistaken Somerset's disk for Zombie Apocalypse's debut. Must have been a clerical error or something.

Minor Threat

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

Scott's wins as far as the editors go.

Mr. Bloody Valentine, I like the way you listen (but not your posting in each board)

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

SOIA - Life on The Ropes should be #1. That album kicks ass. What about the Bouncing souls new album "anchors aweigh" Awesome album as well.

TheOneTrueBill (January 1, 2004)

top 10 albums
10) Sick of It All - Life on the Ropes
9) Give Up The Ghost - We're Down 'Till We're Underground
8) The Unseen - Explode!
7) Rancid - Indestructable
6) NOFX - The War on Errorism
5) Pennywise - From the Ashes
4) Down By Law - windwardtidesandwaywardsails
3) 311 - Evolver
2) Swingin' Utters - Dead Flowers, Bottles, Bluegrass and Bones
1) F-Minus - Wake Up Screaming

Honorable Mentions
The Locust - Plague Soundscapes, Andrew WK - The Wolf, Bouncing Souls - Anchors Aweigh, Pistol Grip - Another Round, TSOL - Divided We Stand, Iggy Pop - Skull Ring

YourBloodyValentine (January 1, 2004)

My list:

1. Manitoba - Up In Flames
2. M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas, and Lost Ghosts
3. Explosions in the Sky - The Earth is not a Dead Cool Place
4. British Sea Power - The Decline of British Sea Power
5. Xiu Xiu - A Promise
6. Guided By Voices - Human Amusements at Hourly Rates
7. Shins - Chutes Too Narrow
8. Mogwai - Happy Songs for Happy People
9. Against Me! - As the Eternal Cowboy
10. Exploding Hearts - Guitar Romantic

Honorable Mention:

The Unicorns

Best EP:

I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness - S/T

TheOneTrueBill (January 1, 2004)


Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

Scott, the quality is much more consistent on big boi's disc is much higher than andre's. sure, the peak is better for andre with hey ya, roses, pink and blue, and spread, but big boi's is listenable all the way through. you're just a whiteboy from illinois, you just can't represent like the whities from the coast can. word..

-el vaquero

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

Oi oi oi

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)


Scott, "New Room" is a great song, you're a pussy for not liking it.

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)

ok, i'll just type these up before i get too drunk...
since the computer i'm on doesn't support japanese characters, all the japanese titles are in english.
if you want to discuss or something... im me at thefighttolive

1. The Blood Brothers - Burn, Piano Island, Burn...

2. The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever Told

3. Highway 61 - Best Of Highway 61

4. Cursive - The Ugly Organ

5. The Tossers - Purgatory

6. Death By Stereo - Into The Valley Of Death

7. GO!GO!7188 - Tategami

8. Thursday - War All The Time

9. The Back Horn - Ikiru Sainou

10. Dir En Grey - Vulgar

Honorable Mentions: Rise Against, Shai Hulud, Adventures Of Jet, Since By Man, The Mars Volta, The Planet Smashers

2003: A great year for sasscore, a bad year for musicians (especially Count The Stars, hehehehe)


-el vaquero
scott, you still stole my phrase you fuckabfdsihihsdf...

Anonymous (January 1, 2004)


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