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Best of 2006 - Jesse's picks (Cover Artwork)

Best of 2006

Best of 2006: Jesse's picksJesse's picks (2006)
staff picks

Reviewer Rating: 5


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

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Jesse Raub is a staff reviewer here at Punknews.org -ed

Intro

Hey chumps. Long time no see, eh? Well, the Ought Six was a damn busy year for me, and I didn't really have too much time for writing pointless reviews of shitty bands so sniveling fourteen-year-olds can criticize my writing. You can all eat it. In other news, I got engaged in July, graduated later in July, and in August I packed up and moved my ass down to Bloomington, Indiana so my lovely fiancée could do graduate school for Library Science and I could get a bullshit job working for "The Man."

These factors plus other factors and not to mention bowling league every Wednesday night with greg0rb have caused me to drop off the map of new music. I hunted down what I needed to, and other than that I let Greg pass new albums on to me so I could pass judgment on them and stick out my tongue like the ungrateful twerp I am. The Ought Six was a year of great music, mediocre music, and piss poor music. We saw legends put out monster collections to major critical acclaim, we saw legends fuck up one more time (eat shit Dylan!), and we saw many a band jump to a bigger label than the one they put their previous album out on. For better or for worse, the Ought Six was a brutal year for my music collection, as I could hardly find ten albums in my list that I had pirated off some anonymous jerk on the Internets. Pshaw, whatever, I don't pirate albums. That's stealing. Hear that BMG? Sony? Other major subsidiary corporations? Anyway, I'll make this quick because my future in-laws love me enough to buy me a Wii, and my rampant love for electronics demands that I play it soon.

Top 10 Albums
10. Toys That Kill - Shanked!
Recess
Same deal as Off with Their Heads. Simple, upbeat, catchy, sly. These cats (get it?) know how to swing. A tad more "artistic" or whatever that bullshit means. Go get it.
9. Johnny Cash - American V: A Hundred Highways
American
The man in black's requiem by himself. No one's going to argue about Johnny Cash being perhaps the most important man in American music, nor about his politics. The man was solid and the most punk rock motherfucker through and through. Perhaps not his best album, it at least was solid, which is way more than we can say about Dylan. Who knows. This thing might grow on me more than I think.
8. Maritime - We, The Vehicles
Flameshovel
'Cause I like Davey, that's why.
7. Liars - Drum's Not Dead
Mute
Leaps and bounds. Another Liars album. Another new style. Another new concept. Like it or not, this band is branching out into territory that your shitty favorite bands would never even tread. Akimbo is keeping music dangerous, but Liars are keeping music on its toes.
6. Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels - Ain't it Funny…
Ragged But Right
My bro and his band recorded a full-length by re-recording the EP and adding songs and making it sound actually good. This album is a rip-roarin', rootin'-tootin' sonofabitch. And I ain't just prejudiced. I've had friends in bands whose albums haven't made end-of-the-year lists even though I'm better friends with them than I am with my bro. Nah, just kidding. Anyway, this album's up here because it deserves it. Too much bullshit music out there these days, but PBT and the F'n A's are keeping it real.
5. Mike Gunther and His Restless Souls - Burn It Down for the Nails
Heart of a Champion
The only white dude from Minnesota who can play roots jazz country blues with soul. For you luddites, think Tom Waits or Nick Cave without the warbly voices and better melodies. This guy (and his guys and gals) can burn down my barn for the nails any day. Knuhwhutahmsayin'?
4. Melvins - A Senile Animal
Ipecac
Our favorite riff master and skin-pounder teamed up with the best bass'n drum combo outta Seattle. The Melvins branched out with this album, tossing in melodies, tempo changes, and, oh shit, two drummers and lead bass lines. Add multiple vocals on top of it all and you got one aging band that doesn't disappoint. These guys can still rip shit like Springsteen.
3. The Sword - Age of Winters
Kemado
Seniority alone kept this band from snagging number one or two since these kids came out of Texas with a perfect metal album. Heavy grooves, the best lyrics about ancient battles and swords and shit, and crazy go nuts drumming. These cats tackle everything Sabbath plus thrash. Magnificent.
2. Akimbo - Forging Steel and Laying Stone
Alternative Tentacles
Akimbo slays. And this album is some of their best work. They're keeping music dangerous, ripping out the biggest riffs and heaviest jams. I've never seen anyone rip this hard live, and for once, their album lives up to their live show.
1. Aloha - Some Echoes
Polyvinyl
This shit is too good and complete to not be number one. Ya dig? Aloha rips shit out like mad for real. Most badass auxiliary percussion ever. And this album was tight, one-two-three-four tight meaning that I couldn't deny it number one because the damn thing is too good. Song by song, this is the most complete album out there.
EPs
2. Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels - Pretty Boy Thorson & the Falling Angels
The Party's Over
Even though Ain't It Funny... is just a re-recording of these songs, PBT and the F'n A's first recordings are just raw enough to be good and rowdy. Recorded with an electric bass and more acoustic guitar, these versions are just a little more honky tonk, and got played way more this year than the full-length, but maybe only because I only got the full-length a week ago.
1. Off with Their Heads - Hospitals
Recess
This is the album that everyone should have been listening to instead of shitty bands like the Lawrence Arms. Fast, melodic, bleak, snarky. Go get it, and realize that your taste in music sucks.
Mixtape
    A
  1. Aloha - Mountain
  2. Akimbo - Ground Control to Major Bummer
  3. The Sword - Iron Swan
  4. Melvins - The Mechanical Bride
  5. Mike Gunther and His Restless Souls - Walk All Over It
    B
  1. Pretty Boy Thorson and the Falling Angels - Grandad
  2. Liars - Lets Not Wrestle Mt Heartattack
  3. Maritime - Tearing Up the Oxygen
  4. Off with Their Heads - Die Today
  5. Toys That Kill - Liar's Hook
Stuff I Shoulda Heard

These are some albums that might have had a chance to make it up on the list, but I just haven't heard 'em yet. Ooops. This list is so people can't say, "But what about (blank)? Why isn't (blank) on your list?" Because I haven't heard it yet, doofus.

TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountian, Ghostface Killah - Fishscale, the Decembrists - Crane Wife, Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Blood, Make Believe - Of Course, Tom Waits - Orphans, Mastodon - Blood Mountain, Owen - At Home with Owen, Bonnie "Prince" Billy - The Letting Go, Young Widows - Settle Down City, Eric Bachman - To the Races

Albums That Were Okay

Black Keys - Magic Potion; This album didn't suck. It wasn't good, but it didn't suck.

Albums That Sucked

These albums sucked. Overplayed hyped singles, rehashed material that wasn't even new when it was played forty years ago, poppy and overly produced, irrelevant compared to an album released twenty years ago, and full of shitty backing vocals. This is my for shame list. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere, the Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America, Belle and Sebastian - The Life Pursuit, Bob Dylan - Modern Times, Slayer - Christ Illusion

Albums I Listened to Instead

These are the albums I rocked all year long while unintentionally avoiding new music. There's so much old music I haven't given a proper spin yet, so why should I bother with new music? I can discover albums from 2006 in 2026. But I feel like Best of… lists are misleading because they give the impression that those albums were all that someone was listening to that year, so here's my list of stuff I listened to instead.

Archers of Loaf - White Trash Heroes (1998); Amazing. Sounds like nothing else out there. Revolutionary, and it's almost ten years old.

Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers (1971)
Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed (1968); The Stones were the ultimate troublemakers. And they rock a backbeat like none other. These albums are shitkickers.

Kinks - Face to Face (1966)
Kinks - Lola vs. Powerman and the Moneygoround (1970); The Kinks are the most underappreciated band of the decade. Ray's `60s riffs laid the blueprint for a lot of hard rock and metal, and then branched into classic British traditional music. The Davies gang slays Sly and the Family Stone's "There's a Riot Going On" (1971).

Sly himself took a year off to get blasted out of his head on cocaine and pissed. The idealism of the `60s was gone, the rampant anger and drug use of the `70s arrived.

Johnny Cash - Live at Folsom Prison (1968)
Johnny Cash - Live at San Quentin (1969); Two amazing performances.

Iron Maiden - Piece of Mind (1983)
Iron Maiden - Powerslave (1984); Maiden's got some riffs.

Slayer - Reign in Blood (1986); Twenty years old and still one of the fastest.

Looking Towards 2007

Well, let's just say I'm not. I've got no plans for new music, as most of what I was waiting for hit in the Ought Six. But I will say that Akimbo's new guitar shredder shreds a lot, and a new album might drop at the end of 2007, so that's to be on the lookout for. Now shut up, for my Wii is calling.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Strike Anywhere - Dead FMThe Sainte Catherines - Dancing for DecadenceBouncing Souls - Hopeless RomanticBuzzcocks - Flat-Pack PhilosophyThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Slackers - PeculiarThe Loved Ones - Keep Your HeartArmalite - ArmaliteThe Gossip - Standing in the Way of ControlFilthy Thieving Bastards - My Pappy Was a Pistol

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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.
Anonymous (January 9, 2007)

Not bad but the Sword and Hold Steady should be tied for number one. Dismissal of the Hold Steady album just makes you look like an ass-clown.

Anonymous (January 5, 2007)

Look at me, I'm an attention whore! I've put Dylan on my list as a hint that I'm the biggest retard on this website! Check me out arguing with the people posting comments!!! Drooling everywhere, my arms flailing in the air I look like I just passed the finishing line at the special olympics! People smile at me and pat me on the head while I excitedly repeat my name over and over again: JESSE! JESSE! JESSE!! WEEEEEEEEYYAAAAOO!!

Anonymous (January 4, 2007)

naw thats ok, i'll take my lawrence arms over any of the shit on your list minus Maritime.

Anonymous (January 3, 2007)

"It's like that stupid bullshit where indie kids like only one metal band 'cause they're like metal, but really are bullshit hipster trash."

Yeah, like these douchebags who hype The Sword, oh wait

Anonymous (January 3, 2007)

'I GOT ENGAGED'

Hahaha also your taste sucks

Jesse (January 3, 2007)

Gnarls Barkley was a great record the first time I listened to it. It was an excellent record the second time I listened to it. By the fifth time, I was bored of it. Cee-lo has better songwriting skills than that, and all the lyrics are really hokey. It's like an emo album for black people.

The Hold Steady. I've never been able to get into this band. I was a big LifterPuller fan, and always will be. Craig Finn's vocals and lyrics are amazing, but need to be laid over laid back MPLS art punk. Besides, everyone says it's just good bar rock. But it's not. I like bar rock. The Hold Steady are four dudes playing indie rock riffs with bar rock chords. It's like that stupid bullshit where indie kids like only one metal band 'cause they're like metal, but really are bullshit hipster trash. If you want bar rock, go listen to AC/DC. I know that's what I do.

Anonymous (January 2, 2007)

It's funny that Will called Anchors a big baby in his thread, but has been a complete bitch about Jesse's criticism of Dylan's new CD. I liked the Dylan CD, but I completely see where Jesse is coming from. I guess elitism is only okay when someone agrees with you about everything.
Also, I see why Jesse is irritated by the overhyping of the Hold Steady and Gnarls CDs. Those bands are certainly not innovative. But they are very fun. And if whether a CD is fun is a factor (which it would be to me), I would put both of those in my top 20.
Anyways, thanks for the list. I'll be interested to check out some of the stuff I haven't heard (but I can't steal music from the computer I'm on). I'd be interested to see Will's list, too.

Anonymous (January 2, 2007)

The best part about this list is the general dismissal of The Hold Steady. I literally cannot believe that people think that "Boys and Girls in America" is anything even close to one of the better albums of the year. I've listened to it a bunch of times. And I don't dislike it. It's alrigtht. But I just don't understand how people would listen to it and run out and tell a bunch of people about it. People are going apeshit for this album. And I just don't get it. It's a kind of fun background bar band. The lyrics have something to them, sure. But just in general, it's not something I'm going to really revisit.

I think that Brand New has made the album of the year, but I've also really enjoyed this year's offerings from The Lawrence Arms and The Bronx, as well as finding a lot to like with Bomb the Music Industry, The Falcon, Dead to Me, My Chemical Romance, The Strokes, and The Loved Ones. Also TV on the Radio.

Anonymous (January 2, 2007)

"So? Does that mean it measures up to anything he put out in the 60's and early 70s? This is exactly what I'm talking about. We should expect better from Dylan than half cooked ballads and snooze-worthy covers of a Memphis Minnie song that Led Zeppelin destroyed thirty years ago. The album sucks because I'm holding Dylan to a standard. I'm not giving him any leeway to be mediocre."

Okay, I think your preference of Led Zeppelin over Bob Dylan here is supposed to prove you're joking.

But dude, look at yourself:

You put your own brother's album on your year-end list, the same article where you baited Bob Dylan fans (and people with a good taste in music) twice with arguments you are changing up every time (first his new album sounded exactly like his last three... then you claim Led Zeppelin did it better hahahahah).

Give it a fucking rest, man. Nobody is buying it anymore.

-Will

sirens (January 2, 2007)

jesse, brah, listen to young widows.

best list out of all the clowns.

Jesse (January 2, 2007)

""Modern Times" is actually his best album in about 30 fucking years."

So? Does that mean it measures up to anything he put out in the 60's and early 70s? This is exactly what I'm talking about. We should expect better from Dylan than half cooked ballads and snooze-worthy covers of a Memphis Minnie song that Led Zeppelin destroyed thirty years ago. The album sucks because I'm holding Dylan to a standard. I'm not giving him any leeway to be mediocre.

"The Boss" has always been mediocre at best. If it weren't for Bob Dylan, there would be no "Boss.""

This is the exact shit I'm talking about. The man's a legend. Time and time again, Springsteen has said that he just wanted to be Bob Dylan growing up. Everyone knows Dylan's historical relevance. What I'M talking about is "Modern Times," a shoddy album of half-baked songs and covers that took FIVE YEARS to make. Springsteen put out a covers album A YEAR after an album full of completely ORIGINAL songs. That doesn't say that Dylan won't put out a good album later, but saying that "Modern Times" is really that good is like humoring your grandpa by saying how great he's doing 'cause he hasn't shit in his pants in like, fifteen minutes.

The man recorded Time out of Mind not even ten years ago, and after that "Things Have Changed" for the Wonder Boys soundtrack, and both were solid. "Modern Times" is a cop out.

Anonymous (January 1, 2007)

"Bob Dylan came out with an album that was exactly like his last three. He took five years to re-make Love and Theft. Modern Times is an old man getting soft and boring. Sure, it's not a bad album, but just because a legend makes an "okay" album doesn't mean we should praise the shit out of him."

1) You didn't note that you thought the new Bob Dylan was "mediocre"- you said it was one of the worst albums you heard all year.

2) "Modern Times" is actually his best album in about 30 fucking years. It is a A LOT different than "Love and Theft." Anyone with an ear will tell you that, the songs are much more upbeat, the instrumentation is different, his lyrical themes have become less downtrodden and once again focus on broader subjects, etc. ... I respect your reviews a lot of the times, even the ones I don't agree with- but when you try to be cavalier and controversial, you just make yourself look stupid. You make your taste in music look contrived and fake and like you're being dishonest.

"As far as the Boss goes, The Rising wasn't too good. I'll say that. Compared to his old stuff, it's got no fire. Now, Devils and Dust, the Boss came back with an all new original album. Not quite as hard hitting as Nebraska or Ghost of Tom Joad, but up there to round out the triology. This year, Springsteen covered a whole bunch of songs made famous by Pete Seeger. He was very vocal in making it a tribute project, and it turned out great ( I just don't have it). The Boss is relevant in his age. Johnny Cash was relevant until he died. Dylan is going downhill."

"The Boss" has always been mediocre at best. If it weren't for Bob Dylan, there would be no "Boss." Without Bob Dylan, there would be no Richard Hell. There would be no Byrds. A lot of great artists wouldn't exist. Without Springsteen, the only thing we'd lose is Eddie and the Cruisers :). To tell the truth, I don't know whether you have honestly bad enough taste in music to consider Bruce Springsteen a great artist. I think you might be pulling this as an elaborate prank to piss people off- which I guess you've done well at, but ultimately makes your critiques worthless.

-Will

Jesse (January 1, 2007)

In defense -

Age of Winters came out in February of 2006 - I should know, I bought it on the day it came out.

Black metal is utter bullshit by losers in makeup. Metal came from Sabbath. The Sword play Sabbath riffs with Sabbath singing - therefore, they are closer to the roots of "metal" than any other band out there. Four ultra great dudes who play killer tunes. And their album is on Kemado, not a major. Kemado is a little indie label.

Bob Dylan came out with an album that was exactly like his last three. He took five years to re-make Love and Theft. Modern Times is an old man getting soft and boring. Sure, it's not a bad album, but just because a legend makes an "okay" album doesn't mean we should praise the shit out of him.

As far as the Boss goes, The Rising wasn't too good. I'll say that. Compared to his old stuff, it's got no fire. Now, Devils and Dust, the Boss came back with an all new original album. Not quite as hard hitting as Nebraska or Ghost of Tom Joad, but up there to round out the triology. This year, Springsteen covered a whole bunch of songs made famous by Pete Seeger. He was very vocal in making it a tribute project, and it turned out great ( I just don't have it). The Boss is relevant in his age. Johnny Cash was relevant until he died. Dylan is going downhill.

Anonymous (January 1, 2007)

Modern Times is easily tenfold better than most of the stuff on your list, and twice as good as anything you mentioned.

Bob Dylan covering old blues/folk songs and updating the lyrics in a way that highlight the turmoil of our nation as well as his personal life as an aging cultural figure is more compelling than even the last Johnny Cash album.

I was going to defend your elitism, but if you're going to be elitist, you better do it right. Insulting new Bob Dylan to try and be cavalier (especially while you hype such mundane, fake trash as Bruce Springsteen) is bullshit.

-Will

PS- The below guy is right about Swords. Fuck false metal, they have videos on MTV and stuff.

strangenotes (January 1, 2007)

As far as PunknewsCore, I don't listen to that shit.

Thanks. Everyone else, grow up.

Anonymous (January 1, 2007)

you are a dickhole...a dickhole.

Anonymous (January 1, 2007)

dear jesse,
you know absolutely NOTHING about metal. The sword are hipster garbage with a major label hype machine backing them. and best lyrics about war and winter? are you serious?!! every black metal album ever released has better lyrics about such topics. Please take your useless ass back to columbia college(or just get the fuck out of chicago), listen to some ACTUAL metal records, get some perspective with which to review them, then call me back.

love,
people who think this is the worst music journalism on the web(yep, worse than rolling stone and absolutepunk combined.)

Anonymous (January 1, 2007)

You're all on crack. The best albums were NOFX, Strike Anywhere, and The Street Dogs.

dev (January 1, 2007)

Internet or not, your list is the worst of the bunch.

Anonymous (January 1, 2007)

The Sword record came out in 2005.

Jesse (January 1, 2007)

Yes. Yes I must be that pretentious.

"You're like the annoying prick at the local indie music store that younger kids are afraid to have ring up their purchases because of the side comments or shitty looks that will be provided if the choices don't "measure up" to your standards."

I'm not "like" that guy. I WAS that guy! I worked at Sound Gallery in Wicker Park, Chicago for two years, but sadly, instead of side comments or shitty looks, I gave good recommendations. And we didn't have kids. 'Cause we only sold vinyl. Oh god, now I'm even MORE pretentious!

WOOOOOOO!

Get a grip, and then take a deep breath, and then realize that it's only the Internet.

sickboi (January 1, 2007)

As far as PunknewsCore, I don't listen to that shit.

To each their own, and I respect your different taste. But must you be so pretentious? Seriously, if you don't have the time to review, why even bother with a list? Do you need the spotlight to bitch about everyone's taste in music that badly? You're like the annoying prick at the local indie music store that younger kids are afraid to have ring up their purchases because of the side comments or shitty looks that will be provided if the choices don't "measure up" to your standards.

consolationprizefighter (January 1, 2007)

American IV was better, but I'm glad to see the love for Johnny Cash on here

Jesse (January 1, 2007)

Ball toast, eh? That's a new one. Although I ususally feed my mums water, you know, 'cause a mum is a flower? And not a person?

MOM you ignorant slack jawed limey. FUCKING M-O-M.

kenada (January 1, 2007)

i don't like/know most of the music but i like that you would be prepared to smear jam on your balls, and plop them on your mums toast in the morning.

Jesse (January 1, 2007)

The last thing that Craig Finn needs is hyper melodic backing vocals. And the Hold Steady well never top Lifter Puller.

youwinalemon (January 1, 2007)

Jesse gets points for having the only list with Liars on it. That album's amazing.

Jesse loses points for listing The Hold Steady in the "sucks" category. That just won't fly, son.

Jesse (December 31, 2006)

There are A LOT of albums that should have made the "But what about..." list. Kylesa was one of them, as well as teh Futureheads.

skankin_in_the_pit (December 31, 2006)

I still have a "But what about (blank)"?. Kylesa!?!

Anonymous (December 31, 2006)

modern times sucked. wow.
eli

Jesse (December 31, 2006)

As far as PunknewsCore, I don't listen to that shit.

As far as Johnny Cash, the man wrote a wealth of songs. Most of his hits are originals. So shut up, dumbass, and read the original liner notes of Folsom Prison and San Quentin, then listen to those lyrics, and then listen to the lyrics of "Man in Black" while you're at it. Country music has a long history of covering other people's songs. It's a way of paying tribute. Most people understand when a song is a cover, so it doesn't need to be mentioned.

But Johnny Cash was right in the forefront of prison reform way back in the mid 60s when these thoughts were just budding. The man is a legend, and a saint.

Anonymous (December 31, 2006)

Meh.

Anonymous (December 31, 2006)

Johnny Cash is highly, highly overrated. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy his perfromances sometimes, but the fact is that he's more hype than substance. Most of his best, most well-known songs he didn't write. He's not an artist, merely a performer. He should be a footnote, not the star everyone wants him to be.

AmericaRules (December 31, 2006)

Decent, lacking in the pnewscore department though.

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