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Best of 2006 - Anchors' picks (Cover Artwork)

Best of 2006

Best of 2006: Anchors' picksAnchors' picks (2006)
staff picks

Reviewer Rating: 5
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Contributed by: adamAnchors
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Jordan "Anchors" Rogowski is a staff reviewer here at Punknews.org -ed

Introduction

As luck (or I guess lack thereof ) would have it, I find 2006 ending the same way it began -- me hoping and praying for the Buffalo Sabres to win the Stanley Cup. Derailed last year in game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals by five-sixths of their defensemen being injured, they're at the moment healthy and in charge of the Eastern Conference. God speed Buffalo, God speed.

Hockey isn't the only thing that ruled my life in 2006, though. Gin & Tonics made my nights interesting, while my days were dominated by music, classes, music, being awesome in whatever sport I happened to be playing at the time, music, and the Maury show. Paternity tests and baby daddies aside, this list is about music, and this calendar year gave me plenty to celebrate.

A banner year for hardcore, Rivalry Records put out some incredible material, while the always dependable 1917, Think Fast!, and Bridge 9 had their fair share of contributions. And on that hardcore tangent, 2006 was the year of the reunion wasn't it? Gorilla Biscuits, Bad Brains, Chain of Strength, the Funeral, and many others all either toured or played some sort of reunion show, and be it for a cash-in or love of the game, these bands and subsequent shows reminded many why they fell in love with hardcore in the first place. I was fortunate enough to see an absolutely absurd amount of shows this year, and sets from Marathon, Another Breath, Comadre, the Minor Times, Charge, and Converge highlighted a year that I won't soon forget. I'm also very fortunate to be apart of the bustling hardcore scene here in Syracuse, and though I talk to no end about how good things are here, there's certainly plenty of talented acts to back that up.

What else? It's so hard to encapsulate everything that happened in one year with just a few paragraphs. It was quite a year of change. Democrats own congress, Mel Gibson is a racist, Chris Berman is no longer on NFL Primetime, and perhaps, most shockingly of all -- K-Fed's fallen from the top? Who saw that coming? So much talent and charm, it's a damn shame to see how underappreciated his virtuosic record was, and a damn shame that Britney just threw him to the curb, like he's some sort of talent-less hack riding the coattails of a fading pop star. Oh, wait‚?¶ But I digress, if only to say that I appreciate the ability to write for Punknews once again this year, and look forward to doing so for many to come.

Now, on with the Show‚?¶
20. Helios - Eingya
Type
If you‚??ve never been introduced to this band, now's a good time to start. Lush, gorgeous soundscapes mixed with a lot of mellow computer created beats makes for the perfect album to lay back and relax to.
19. Jim Jones - Hustler's P.O.M.E.
Diplomat
While I‚??m not the biggest fan of most Dipset projects, I can‚??t deny that this one hits the mark. "We Fly High'' is the best rap single since "Juicy,'' and the big beats work perfectly with Jones' mid-tempo flow.
18. Sparrows, Swarm and Sing - O'Shenandoah, Mighty Death Will Find Me
Magic Bullet
Magic Bullet continues to quietly put out stellar releases, and this is the best of the bunch. Evoking more Godspeed comparisons than I have time to mention, this album proves just why the band deserves them. Sprawling and gorgeous throughout, not a minute goes by that's less than enthralling.
17. Rise Against - The Sufferer and the Witness
Geffen
For all the flack this band catches, you'd at least think there's reason for it. Not the case. Rise Against are as angry now as ever before, and their songwriting ability has only improved.
16. Engineer - Reproach
Hex
Converge may have put out the most chaotic heavy record of the year, but if you're looking for some real raw power, Engineer has it in spades. Brutal and perfectly paced, you'll feel every rise and fall.
15. Ultra Dolphins - Mar
Robotic Empire
Driving and frenetic, this latest release from Robotic Empire came out of absolutely nowhere to be one of the year's best debuts. All the energy and dissonance that could possibly be crammed into this side of a Drive Like Jehu record.
14. Nas - Hip Hop Is Dead
Def Jam
Esco's triumphant return to the top. Unlike his last few efforts, this one is free of filler and full of hunger. The track with the Game is one of the best of the year, and there's some genuine bite to Nas' always smooth delivery.
Touch & Go
Not since the Cure has a band done melancholy so well. Incredibly depressing without being overdramatic, the Black Heart Procession yet again reach to the very depths of emotion, laying everything they have on the bare, empty table.
12. Aloha - Some Echoes
Polyvinyl
Aloha's best effort to date, this incredibly dynamic record takes the very best of their cool, mellow stylings and throws in some new elements to enrich the experience. I could listen to the gorgeous combination of vocals and marimba on "Brace Your Face'' every day for the rest of my life.
11. The Draft - In a Million Pieces
Epitaph
Being a huge Hot Water Music fan, I was really weary about how the Draft's record would turn out. HWM sans Chuck Regan, how can that be allowed? Well, when they make a record as good as this one, some exceptions can be made. It's passionate, anthemic, and has just the right amount of kick to make things work.
10. Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
Sub Pop
There‚??s just something about the voice of singer Ben Bridwell. His unique baritone gives a real haunting gravity to songs like "The Funeral," and an overall warmth that will make each song on the record charm its way right into your subconscious.
9. Alexisonfire - Crisis
Vagrant
Taking huge strides forward with each full length, Alexisonfire have crafted an album far beyond anything I thought they were capable of. They might not get the credit they deserve, but this band has turned themselves into some incredible songwriters who have the dynamics of sung and screamed vocals down to a science. Terrific from start to finish.
8. Converge - No Heroes
Epitaph
Converge are back, and they are back with a great vengeance and furious anger. Anyone put off by 2004's You Fail Me has reason again to celebrate, because the kings have returned to the metalcore throne that not a single other band has so much as ludicrous claim to. An absolutely unrelenting album to add to an already stellar catalog.
7. Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
Sony BMG
Regardless of the flack I know I'll catch for this one, it's a terrific album where I wasn't really expecting one. I wasn't so much a fan of the last record, but the combination of Timbaland's beats and Timberlake's smooth style is a formidable one. He's really matured into a talented solo artist, and this record solidifies that fact.
6. End of a Year - Sincerely
Revelation
Simply put -- fuck yes! Last year's Sinoloa record brought out of a hint of DC's past, but this album is DC's past. Rites of Spring, Embrace, and so many other Dischord bands are heard through the discordant Albany standouts. There's never a dull moment, just the way it should be.
5. Ignite - Our Darkest Days
Abacus
Speaking of triumphant returns -- welcome back Ignite. Vocalist Zoli Telgas is undoubtedly the most talented frontman in hardcore, and from the U2 cover to the blistering speed of "Know Your History," he does nothing but prove it time and time again. His incredible range and the skill of the men behind him make this an absolute must have for anyone remotely interested in hardcore.
4. How We Are - To Teach a Hundred
Triple Attack
Plain and simple, bands like this make me happy to be apart of hardcore. Manic frontman Rory VanGrol anchors this five-piece of extremely talented musicians and offers up 12 tracks of unrelenting aggression and intelligence. Hot Cross-esque guitar parts, thunderous drumming, infectious gang vocals -- it‚??s all here. Just don't take your attention away for a second, because the band will be going an entire different direction before you even realized what happened.
3. Ghostface Killah - Fishscale
Def Jam
Rap was full of surprises this year, but Fishscale certainly wasn't one of them. Anyone familiar with the Wu-Tang Clan already knew how raw and talented Tony Starks is, and this is his best work to date. With his gritty style of storytelling and top notch production, this album turns out great track after great track. A true ambassador of the streets, Ghostface gives a window to that world for anyone not able to brave it in person.
2. Brand New - The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
Interscope
It just keeps getting better and better. Like Alexisonfire, Brand New have improved and evolved with every record, but I for one didn‚??t think the latter would achieve something so impressive this early in their career. Jesse Lacey is an incredible songwriter, and the variety on this album is a testament to just how far the band has come. From the absolutely chilling "You Won't Know" to the unbridled aggression of "Degausser," this is a band at the very top of their game.
1. Another Breath - Mill City
Rivalry
It‚??s the surreal level of passion on this album that really pulled me in. In all the hardcore albums I‚??ve ever listened to, there‚??s been nothing like it. The words on this album cut right to the core of who I am, and when Ted AB leans back and screams "have you ever been so afraid, that you might not have the strength?" I cannot deny the chills that run through me. It‚??s such a visceral experience, every single lyric has an impact on me, and the sincerity in those screams is absolutely jaw-dropping. The guitars roar, and change direction on a moments notice, the drums pound, every song has a unique and equally riveting identity. But it‚??s the passion that always pulls me in, it‚??s the conviction in the words that keeps me coming back time and time again.
Honorable Mentions
Sinking Ships - Disconnecting, Dead Hearts - Bitter Verses, Lucero - Rebels, Rogues, and Sworn Brothers, the Mountain Goats - Get Lonely, Maritime - We, The Vehicles, Black SS - Foreign Object, Comets on Fire - Avatar, Bob Dylan - Modern Times, Burial Year - Pestilence, Harlots - This Is the Second Death, Rocky Votolato - Makers, the Game - Doctor's Advocate, Have Heart - The Things We Carry, Gregor Samsa - 55:12, Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury, Calexico - Garden Ruin, the Album Leaf - Into the Blue Again, Tristeza - En Nuestro Desafio, Cale Parks - Illuminated Manuscript, Verse - From Anger and Rage, The Decemberists - The Crane Wife, the Blood Brothers - Young Machetes, Kover - Assembly, Comadre - Burn Your Bones, the Hope Conspiracy - Death Knows Our Name, Danielson - Ships, the Wayward - The Wayward, Iron Age - Constant Struggle, Maps and Atlases - Tree, Swallows, Houses, No Trigger - Canyoneer, Saves the Day - Sound the Alarm, Shook Ones - Facetious Folly Feat, No Idols - Low, Taking Back Sunday - Louder Now, Thursday - A City by the Light Divided

Top EPs of 2006
3. That Was Then - Troublemakers
Armada In Flames
Quick but effective blast of sing-along hardcore. Great vocals working with some great rhythms, I expect big things from these guys in the future.
2. Ambitions - Question
Think Fast!
A promising EP from a hardcore band that can actually fuse a bit of singing with the old-school shouts and have it come out sounding great.
1. Polar Bear Club - The Redder, The Better
Triple Attack
Rochester strikes again! This debut (unless you count the demo) from Polar Bear Club is unquestionably the best EP I've heard in years. Singer Jimmy Stadt is a strong captain at the helm of the ship, and every song he and his crew have made is an instant classic. Driving and anthemic, there's just so much to love here. From the power of "Election Day" to the incredible dynamics of "Parked‚?¶," this EP is perfect.
Biggest Disappointments
5. Jay-Z - Kingdom Come
Roc-A-Fella
Hova should have just stayed retired. This bland, unimpressive return from retirement could very well tarnish the legacy established with records like Reasonable Doubt. Pitiful.
4. Cursive - Happy Hollow
Saddle Creek
This was one of my most anticipated albums of the year, and what a let-down, there's not an interesting song on here. Even the controversial lyrics on religion couldn't save this one. Complete snoozefest.
2. The Appleseed Cast - Peregrine
The Militia Group
Like the Ataris‚?? forthcoming, the Appleseed Cast's newest effort is definitely not bad, just lacking. They've done away with a lot of the instrumental and atmospheric elements of the last few albums, and it hurt.
1. The Mars Volta - Amputechture
Strummer/Universal
The Mars Volta took everything that I absolutely loved about their previous album, and threw it out the window. The heavy Latin influence and Cedric's incredibly powerful and haunting voice are severely downplayed here in favor of complicating structures. There's no real flow or direction.
Albums That If I Ever Have to Listen to Again, I Will Throw Myself into a Pit Full of Black Mambas
2. A Change of Pace - Prepare the Masses
Immortal
Why is this band still making music? Anyone?
2. Set Your Goals - Mutiny!
Eulogy
Do not waste your breath trying to convince me this album has any sort of merit. I love pop-punk. I love hardcore. I think this is absolute crap. I don't know if its their perpetual state of identity crisis or the awful vocals, but this just isn't good.
1 Cute Is What We Aim For - The Same Old Blood Rush with a New Touch
Fueled by Ramen
I swear on all that is good and holy that this is the single worst album I have ever heard in my entire fucking life. No joke, no exaggerations, this is more abysmal than I can even describe to you. Everything about this band, from their pre-disposed haircuts to the vapid bullshit they somehow attempt to classify as music, is so fabricated that it's disgusting. This makes every album Trustkill and Eulogy have released in the last five years look like Rubber Soul.
Pleasant Surprises
3. Norma Jean - Redeemer
Solid State
I‚??ll never be as into Norma Jean as I was when I was 16 again, but this newest effort is a decidedly solid one. They‚??ve dropped much of the Botch worship and go with what works -- heavy and dynamic metalcore.
2. Sugarcult - Lights Out
V2
Here‚??s a band that‚??s certainly improved. Going from laugh-worthy pop-punk to a mature and refined pop-rock sound, these guys are doing Jimmy Eat World proud.
1. +44 - When Your Heart Stops Beating
Geffen
After the abysmal failure that was the Angels & Airwaves album, I was expecting a similar fate for Mark and Travis' project. Not the case -- some great pop-punk tunes showcased here. "Lycanthrope" is one of the best songs of the year.
Album I Still Haven't Listened to Because of All Its Hype
The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
Vagrant
Feel free to tell me if I'm in the wrong here, but also note, I still have not listened to that Arcade Fire album.
Best Album to Listen to While Smoking a Cigar and Drinking a Gin & Tonic
Red Sparowes - Every Heart Shines Towards the Red Sun
Neurot
Just as the title suggests. Not quite as epic and grandiose as its predecessor, but just as relaxing.
Album That Makes Me Want to Go to the Mall and Destroy the Idiots at Best Buy
Palehorse - Amongst the Flock
Bridge Nine
The one band doing this style of hardcore I absolutely love. It's relentlessly pummeling, but it also showcases how talented the members of the band are with some great guitar work and heavy drumming.
Most Listened to of ‚??06 That Didn't Come Out in ‚??06
3. The Mercury Program - All the Suits Began to Fall Off
Tiger Style
One of the rare bands I can listen to no matter the mood. This album is positively entrancing, and I love every gorgeous minute of it.
2. The Notorious B.I.G. - Life After Death
Read To Die
Still the best MC of all time, the one they call Big Poppa's flows are as smooth as silk and haven't aged a bit. This record pumps out classic after classic with everything from the beats to the rhymes dripping with perfection. Ten years later, still hip-hop‚??s gold standard, and for damn fine reason.
1. Knapsack. - This Conversation Is Ending Starting Right Now
Alias
From start to finish, absolutely flawless. My favorite record of all time, thanks in large part to Blair Sehan‚??s incredible vocals and the rest of the bands perfect execution. Indie rock at its absolute finest.
    Side A
  1. Another Breath - Jailbreak
  2. How We Are - To Teach a Hundred
  3. Iron Age - Brainwreck
  4. The First Step - No Way to Live
  5. The Hope Conspiracy - They Know You Not
  6. Black SS - Quick Fix
  7. Shook Ones - Carms Race
  8. Rise Against - Drones
  9. Kover - Asphalt and Stone
  10. No Trigger - More to Offer
  11. Harlots - These Are the Paths We Choose
  12. Engineer - Heel Toe
  13. Have Heart - The Machinst
  14. Dead Hearts - Hollow
  15. Sinking Ships - Wait
    Side B
  1. Band of Horses - The Funeral
  2. Lucero - Cass
  3. Maritime - Calm
  4. The Decembrists - O Valencia!
  5. Bob Dylan - The Levee's Gonna Break
  6. Rocky Votolato - Wait Out the Days
  7. Bonnie ‚??Prince'Billy - Love Comes to Me
  8. The Album Leaf - See in You
  9. Helios - Halving the Compass
  10. Justin Timberlake - Summer Love
  11. Clipse - Trill
  12. Raekwon - Dangerous
  13. The Game - Doctor's Advocate
  14. Jim Jones - We Fly High
  15. Nas - Hustlers
  16. Ghostface Killah - Three Bricks
And With All Of That..

Another year at Punknews has come to a close. As I mentioned before, I'm extremely grateful to have had the opportunity not only to work with Brian, Adam, Justin, Aubin and the rest of the staff, but to write for all of you guys. I consider myself a lucky individual to be able to hear the amount of music I do, and even if it's in a small way, to influence some of you to check out a band that deserves it, or stay away from those that don't.

I don't know what 2007 will bring me, but I do know that it will involve releases from the following bands:
Explosions in the Sky, Hot Cross, Do Make Say Think, Polar Bear Club (hopefully), Pelican, Modern Life Is War, Ruiner, the Mercury Program (hopefully,) Thrice, the Jealous Sound, Ted Leo, Dillinger Escape Plan, Bad Religion, Jimmy Eat World, Dr. Dre, (wishful thinking), Raekwon, JR Writer, Neurosis, Radiohead, Lifetime, Immortal Technique, and the Good Life (who knows).

And I also know that it will involve many nights full of poker, hockey games, Xbox 360, drinking way too much, romancin' the ladies, tomfoolery, pizza, and everything else that makes my time in college such that I'll never forget it. And hopefully by the time I do this next year, the 2006-2007 Buffalo Sabres will have their names engraved on Lord Stanley's most holy of cups. So from me to you, best wishes in the new year. It should be one for the ages.

 

 
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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.
youwinalemon (January 27, 2007)

In my opinion, Anchors has too much punk rock on his list.

Anonymous (January 10, 2007)

wow, you guys are all acting like bitches, all anyone ever does is bitch about everyone else's taste in music, fuck its just a list of the dudes favourite cds, you dont need to be bitching about it unless you have to put up with it, and 99.9% of you probably dont have to sit beside him and listen to music with him. And all the bitching about rap music and shit, this is a punk review site that covers punk music and music thats directly related to it like hardcore and poppunk and emo and that, he can put the cds on his list if he wants to, but why bother fucking bitching about "masta killa" and "jay-z", the only thing you are doing is making yourselves look like bitches. Maybe you guys arent the type to go into forums and shit just to start pathetic little internet fights, but thats what your making yourselves look like. This is directed at the majority of the people who have posted a comment on this list.

coldwaffles (January 9, 2007)

Yeah, you liking J.T. is hipster predictable. Try saying something like JoJo or something for sick cred, man.

Anonymous (January 7, 2007)

I cannot belive how in Gods fucking name Justin Fucking Timberlake made it onto this list.? He's gotta be the most shitfaced douchebag maker of music the world has ever seen. And dont get me started on that manwhore producer sellout cockmaster Timbaland.. I mean, what an overrated asskissing piece of shit. Is there a wommitworthy, MTV ass sucking record out there he hasnt got his filthy hands on? A part from that the list is quite alright..

FuckYouOiOiOi (January 5, 2007)

oh shit, you really do live in a frat? haha no wonder you love biggie so much ya frathead bitch, it makes sense now.

Anchors (January 5, 2007)

That doesn't even make sense. "You live in a frat." Do you actually think this garbage out before typing it?

And I bought my own car, thanks for your concern though.

Anonymous (January 5, 2007)

You live in a frat... And your parents bought you a car.

Anchors (January 5, 2007)

No reason to care about?

Oh, okay, that makes sense. Nobody should care about The Beatles, John Coltrane, Chuck Berry, Led Zeppelin, or Metallica any more either. I mean, they're obviously older than any mid 90's hip-hop. Music is only good during the era it comes out. It all makes sense now.

Anonymous (January 4, 2007)

When it comes to arguing about mid 90's hip hop that no one has any reason to care about anymore, look no further than the local frat house.

Anchors (January 4, 2007)

First off, a lot of being 'raw' is the lyrical matter. And if you're going to say Biggies lyrics weren't raw, that they didn't tell of the streets city life, you're an idiot.

And just as Adam pointed out, you absolutely can be raw in sound and smooth in delivery in the very same song. "Dead Wrong" and "Gimme The Loot" are absolutely perfect examples.

And how can you like the Wu and not understand that point? Those guys were all extremely raw, but did GZA and Inspectah Deck not have incredibly smooth flows? All you've done here is prove you don't have the faintest clue as to what you're talking about.

FuckYouOiOiOi (January 4, 2007)

you just proved my point. you can't be raw and smooth.

biggie appeals to the average music fans because he was so smooth and had such extravagent, overproduced beats. but i like music thats real and raw.

wu tang clan ain't nothin to fuck wit!

Adam_K (January 4, 2007)

"biggie is overproduced bullshit. its not raw."

The fuck is wrong with you?

Listen to Dead Wrong and tell me that's not the hardest shit ever. Or Gimme The Loot. That's not raw?

"Nas has bitten a few beats here and there, but what rapper hasn't? The amount of lines he's stolen from Biggie is absolutely fucking mindblowing. I could see using the chorus from Juicy as an homage, but he stole lyric upon lyric. You can't deny that."

I can and will deny that, but I have gotten in very long arguments over this before. I'm just going to post this:

http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/features/id.398/title.the-vindi cation-of-jay-z

And say that accusations of biting are always ridiculous. A major example of this is XXL calling out MJG for "biting" Biggie, on a Biggie song.

Anchors (January 4, 2007)

Please, enlighten me as to your copious knowledge in "the book of hip-hop."

This ought to be a fucking riot.

Anonymous (January 4, 2007)

Dude, when you step to Justin Timberlake, Earth Crisis, or the Notorious B.I.G. with Anchors, you GO THERE.

Calling someone a "kid" whilst engaging in the most played out, irrelevant argument in the book of hip hop is funny.

-Will

Anchors (January 4, 2007)

Raw =/= Angry.

Tupac was a tremendously talented rapper, no doubt. Extremely intelligent and extremely versatile. If you're going to cite an example of how angry he could be though, I'd say "Can't See Me" serves that point better.

Irrelevant, though, Biggie came from a different environment and had a different style completely. First and foremost, Biggie had the smoothest flow of any MC in the history of hip hop. Smoother than KRS, Reverend Run, Q-Tip, Common, Nas, GZA, Rakim, anyone. Completely untouchable in that category. He didn't need to yell. He had a calm and a cool that projected the kind of confidence you need to be that big an MC. And what he rhymed about was just as raw as what Tupac did. He grew up a crack dealer, he was on the streets. Go listen to "Ten Crack Commandments," "Suicidal Thoughts," "Niggas Bleed," or "Machine Gun Funk" and tell me that's not raw.

A poser? Kid do you know what you're talking about? Get back to me when you do.

FuckYouOiOiOi (January 4, 2007)

biggie is overproduced bullshit. its not raw.

now tupac, that shit is raw. have you ever heard 'hit em up'? ever hear the end of that song? thats some of the rawest shit in all of music. his vocals at the end of that song rivals damaged-era henry rollins in terms of intensity and anger.

biggie is a poser, tupac thug for life!

Anchors (January 4, 2007)

I don't know what's funnier, when people who know shit about hip-hop pretend that they do, or the fact that your profile includes detailed lists of posters on here you do and don't like.

FuckYouOiOiOi (January 3, 2007)

biggie sucks balls. you don't know shit.

Anchors (January 3, 2007)

'He' in that second paragraph = Jay-Z.

Anchors (January 3, 2007)

Alright, I'll start with Jay-Z.

"Oh My God" and "Beach Chair" are solid, but that's it -- solid. Those are the only two tracks where both Jay's flow and the beat he's rapping over are good. Either he's got a good beat and completely uninspired flow/awkward rhymes or good rhymes and a beat that's completely unflattering. I find it hard to believe this is the man that recorded Reasonable Doubt and The Black album. Where's the hunger of 'Cashmere Thoughts' and the bombast of 'The Takeover.' It's gone man. In three years time he went from the top of his game to a hollow shell of what was. I feel like this new album was made just so he could say "there, I made another one, you happy?"

Nas has bitten a few beats here and there, but what rapper hasn't? The amount of lines he's stolen from Biggie is absolutely fucking mindblowing. I could see using the chorus from Juicy as an homage, but he stole lyric upon lyric. You can't deny that.

RZA's delivery is very polarizing, so I can understand you not liking that.

-------------------------------------------------------- -----------------

Now, on with the Wu.

The fact that you honestly just compared Ghostface to 50 Cent made my fucking head explode. Jesus Christ, are you listening to the same guy I am? He's only gotten better. Supreme Clientele, Bulletproof Wallets, and Fishscale are absolute fucking classics. Ghostface is 100 times more raw and gritty than that hack 50 Cent could ever be on his best fucking day. He's a consummate storyteller, and his beats are top notch. See "Three Bricks" and "Clipse Of Doom" for proof of such. There's no cheesy chorus' or 4th grade lyrics on Ghostface records. And so what if he worked with P. Diddy. You know who else did? Biggie. So there goes your credibility on that point.

Bling vids and amateur club beats? What in God's name are you talking about. You are hopelessly delusional.

And you want to talk about bad reviews, we'll use Metacritic, since that compiles tons of reviews to make an average.

Masta Killa's most recent effort, "Made In Brooklyn" received an average of 66;

http://www.metacritic.com/music/artists/mastakilla/madeinb rooklyn?q=masta killa

Now let's look at Fishscale -- an average of 88;
http://www.metacritic.com/music/artists/ghostface/fishscale? q=ghostface killah

Pretty Toney -- average of 84;

http://www.metacritic.com/music/artists/ghostface/prettyto neyalbum?q=ghostface killah

His lowest scored album, More Fish -- average of 77;

http://www.metacritic.com/music/artists/ghostface/morefish ?q=ghostface killah

Masta Killa's No Said Date did well, but not as well as Fishscale with an average of 86;

http://www.metacritic.com/music/artists/mastakilla/nosaidd ate?q=masta killa

So I ask you, where the hell are these bad reviews for Ghostface you're talking about? I sure as hell don't see any. Look dude, if you're going to try and prove me wrong in regards to rap, especially Wu-Tang, you're going to have to do a fuck of a lot better than that.

Godfather (January 3, 2007)

one last thing, anchors....leave your frat brothers out of this....i know you pay a lot of money for those friendships, but i'm only one man!

moneenerd (January 3, 2007)

Find me one bad Masta Killa review, and I'll show you 100 bad Ghostface reviews.

moneenerd (January 3, 2007)

This is the single most blasphemous thing ever posted on the internet. Ghostface was and is clearly the most talented member of the Wu-Tang, Masta Killa isn't even close. Do not argue with me about the Wu, you will lose. The levels of talent in solo albums is ranked as such;

Umm right. Obviously you havent heard any of the High Priest's solo records have you? Please see "School", "Old Man", "No Said Date", "Pass The Bone Remix" and "Digi Warfare". for references.

The last REAL good Ghostface tracks I remember hearing was DAYTONA 500 and CHERCHEZ LA GHOST, and after that, hes been just rtying to hard to keep up with the likes of MTV Rap Crap like 50 Cent and Snoop. You wanna talk about blasphemy, then you should listen to "Back Like That" with Ne-Yo (lame!) or that weak shit he did with P Diddy and his fuckwads.

I feel that if you're a TRUE Wu fan, you'd stay away from any member gone solo that is releasing bubblegum and bling vids with amateur club beats. And that DOES go for that cartoon character Method Man.

But hey, we're all entitled to our own opinions, and you are the only guy i've heard say seriously that he liked Justin Timberlake.

Anonymous (January 3, 2007)

Cursive = bad. Timberlake = good.

Talk about a loss of all credibility.

Godfather (January 3, 2007)

This is the last thing I'm going to say on Justin Timberlake -- forget your self-imposed restrictions, hang ups, "punk cred" or whatever else is keeping you from appreciating the album for how good it really is. Trust me, I couldn't have cared less about Justin Timberlake before this album, but it's legitimately amazing. That said, I swear on all that is good and holy that next person saying something to the effect of "JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, OMGWTFBBQ R U SERIOUS" is going to get their ass kicked. I will look you up somehow, I will mapquest your house, drive there, and beat the ever loving shit out of you. - Anchors

bring it on

Adam_K (January 3, 2007)

I've seriously got to disagree as hard as possible. When Oh My God, Kingdom Come, Beach Chair, Trouble come on, there is no rapper I'd rather listen to, My Chemical Romance references or not.

And come the fuck on with the swagger jacker shit. Any serious rap fan could catch and appreciate those lines. I might as well call Nas a biter for using the same samples on HHID as Big Daddy Kane and Eric B and Rakim.

Maybe RZA's cool to some, but I can't stand him past 94. I have no interest in listening to someone that sounds like they're eating while they rap off beat.

And Deck definitely is criminally underrated, though I think a lot of his style has shown up in a lot of terrible "backpack" rappers of recent years.

Anchors (January 3, 2007)

I honestly wanted the new Jay-Z record to be good, but it's so lifeless it's ridiculous. Dude did nothing but go through the motions to make that record. The flows, the beats, the rhymes, he didn't try with any of it. There's two songs max on that entire thing I'd go out of my way to listen to.

I lost a ton of respect for him anyhow after hearing Cam'ron's "Swagger Jacker." I mean, I knew he had stolen some stuff, but Christ. There's at least 3 minutes worth of stuff he's stolen just from Biggie, and then another 4 minutes worth of stuff he stole from various other rappers.

As far as Masta Killa, he was 100 times better as a part of the Wu. Because there he could do his 30 second piece and it moved on to the next guy, he doesn't have a compelling enough style to make good solo records. That's exactly the problem with U-God and Cappadonna too. Everyone is great on a song like Triumph, but when it comes down to making solo records, only half of them really did/do it well.

I like the RZA. He's got a very unique flow, and a couple of his records were real solid. You can't knock Bobby Digital. I acknowledge he's nowhere near as talented as GZA, Inspectah, Raekwon, or Ghostface, but he does his thing well.

And I'd like to state for the record how criminally under appreciated Inspectah Deck is. Incredible as part of the Wu, and solid solo records. I mean, everyone knows he's talented, but he never gets the credit or notariety of some of the other guys.

Adam_K (January 2, 2007)

"Adam, did you actually listen to the new Jay-Z? And if so, do you normally listen to hip hop? If you answered yes to both those questions I don't see how in the fuck you could have enjoyed that garbage."

I bought it the week it came out. Rap is half of what I listen to. It's a great record, with three bad songs.

I'm more interested in how you thought HHID wasn't a complete pile of suck. You didn't actually like Who Killed It or Where Are They Now, did you?

"Masta Killa's solo records > Ghostface's"

That's the wrongest shit ever.

"Do not argue with me about the Wu, you will lose."

RZA is a terrible rapper and has been for years. Masta Killa is definitely much better, but I fully support your low placement of U-God and ODB.

Anonymous (January 2, 2007)

Wow Anchors, nice attempt at discrediting me. For one, I already made clear what I was trying to say. For two, you said nothing to defend yourself, just made another cheap attack at me.

Holier than thou?

I'm not the one telling people they aren't worthy of reading my opinions just because they disagree with them. The real comedy is in an Earth Crisis fan calling somebody else a joke.

-Will

Anchors (January 2, 2007)

Hey Will, how about you tell us more stories about your friends. And by stories about your friends, I mean stories that took place when you were 8 years old that you lied about and altered to fit your ill-conceived holier than thou dissertations about how nobody knows "true hardcore."

You're the biggest joke on the internet.

fritobandito (January 2, 2007)

you really should check out the new hold steady album, anchors. it really is deserving of the hype surrounding it, easily a top 10 on the year for me.

eyeslikebombs (January 2, 2007)

P.O.M.E? It's hard to respect that. Not the best hip-hop album of the week it was released, and We Fly High isn't worth shit either.

Anonymous (January 2, 2007)

Looks like no more punk rockers are reviewing anymore.

Anonymous (January 2, 2007)

"And honestly, if this list, or Justin Timberlake, or whatever is going to keep you from valuing my opinion in the future, you didn't deserve to hear it in the first place"

Wow, talk about being a big baby.

Of course the opinions you present are going to stick with you. Of course this will effect how people view your criticisms. The fact that Justin Timberlake ranked into your top 20 proves that your "taste" in music (I put the word in quotations to indicate my inner debate over its existance) is at direct odds with most of the community here. You keep defending your own opinion with press sheet hyperbole for Timbaland, but why should anyone take you seriously when it comes to reviewing hardcore? Because you're from Syracuse (ahaha)?

-Will

Anchors (January 2, 2007)

Haha as far as I'm concerned, Chris Berman is irreplaceable. I know he still does The Blitz, but it's not the same. And fuuuuck the Senators. Buffalo only has 7 regulation losses, and three of those are from Ottawa.

And I hate Toronto too, but I'll give them credit, they're playing very well this year. Definitely a playoff team at very least.

SilentStorms (January 2, 2007)

Actually I just don't like Justin Timerlake. No punkcreds needed, it's just how I feel. Thanks for responding in full coverage though, it's cool to see a reviewer actually reading and thinking about the questions asked. I guess our musical tastes are differing more now than they did in the past, hence my comments. But I must say, I enjoy Deion and Rich and Mooch as much (if not more) than the Berman/Jackson duo. And believe me, those men are gods, and I was the first to say that post football coverage was going to collapse. But I was wrong. Oh and another thing, I witnessed the Ottawa Senators beat the Sabres on home ice for my first NHL experience ever on Nov 15th. I know they're not as good, but that's kinda funny that you mentioned the Sabres. Go Leafs! We suck!!!

Dave Norman

Anchors (January 2, 2007)

Envy - Good, but it didn't stick with me throughout the year. I love listening to it when I'm driving or late at night, but it's honestly not an album I go out of my way to listen to compared to anything on this list.

Isis - Completely underwhelming. After how good Panopticon was, I had high hopes, and those hopes were dashed with this most recent record.

Phoenix Bodies - Not my style. Good guys, fun live, not anything I want to listen to on record.

Cave In - That was '05.

Back When - I unfortunately didn't hear that record until my list was finalized. It'd have only been an honorable mention though, anyhow.

Blood Brothers - Terrific album, but not top 20 material.

As far as screamo, there's not much left coming out in the genre. New Comadre was great, and just missed the top 20, but what else even came out? La Quiete didn't have a proper full length this year and everyone else broke up. I think my only mistake on this list is forgetting Pyramids, their album was the As The Roots Undo of 2006.

This is the last thing I'm going to say on Justin Timberlake -- forget your self-imposed restrictions, hang ups, "punk cred" or whatever else is keeping you from appreciating the album for how good it really is. Trust me, I couldn't have cared less about Justin Timberlake before this album, but it's legitimately amazing. That said, I swear on all that is good and holy that next person saying something to the effect of "JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, OMGWTFBBQ R U SERIOUS" is going to get their ass kicked. I will look you up somehow, I will mapquest your house, drive there, and beat the ever loving shit out of you.

What bothers me most about the people giving me shit for it is that I'm surprised about who it's coming from. I expected to catch a ton of flack, but from the usual short-sighted fools who listen to nothing but punknewscore.

And honestly, if this list, or Justin Timberlake, or whatever is going to keep you from valuing my opinion in the future, you didn't deserve to hear it in the first place.

SilentStorms (January 2, 2007)

Wow. I am always interested in reviews by Anchors, but I thought this list was kinda crappy. No Envy? No Isis? No Back When? No Phoenix Bodies? No Cave In? No Blood Brothers. No ... wait that's my list. But yeah I was very surprised with this list. Music is subjective and all so I can't hate on Anchors, but I certainly will not be as excited to read his reviews as I was last year. Justin fucking Timberlake? Are you kidding me? At least he included Sparowes, Ultra Dolphins and Converge. I hope you keep reviewing the 'real' screamo genre though, you always review good bands in that category. Thanks for introducing me to Bravo Fucking Bravo this year - holla.

Anchors (January 1, 2007)

Posted by moneenerd on 2007-01-01 22:23:50
Masta Killa's solo records > Ghostface's


This is the single most blasphemous thing ever posted on the internet. Ghostface was and is clearly the most talented member of the Wu-Tang, Masta Killa isn't even close. Do not argue with me about the Wu, you will lose. The levels of talent in solo albums is ranked as such;

1) Ghostface Killah
2) Raekwon
3) GZA
4) Inspectah Deck
5) RZA
6) Method Man
7) O.D.B
8) Masta Killa

9) Cappadonna
10) U-God

danperrone (January 1, 2007)

nas is the most overrated hip hop artist not named jay-z

dude fuckin rhymes like he's reading off a piece of paper, bored to tears

but this is a good list

moneenerd (January 1, 2007)

Masta Killa's solo records > Ghostface's

Anchors (January 1, 2007)

Adam, did you actually listen to the new Jay-Z? And if so, do you normally listen to hip hop? If you answered yes to both those questions I don't see how in the fuck you could have enjoyed that garbage.

stuxmusic (January 1, 2007)

Thank fuck someone else agrees that Set Your Goals are terrible. All I have to do now is convince my best friend.

strangenotes (January 1, 2007)

Nuke the frats.

Anonymous (January 1, 2007)

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

Adam_K (January 1, 2007)

"Biggest Disappointments
5. Jay-Z - Kingdom Come
Roc-A-Fella
Hova should have just stayed retired. This bland, unimpressive return from retirement could very well tarnish the legacy established with records like Reasonable Doubt. Pitiful."

Fuck you.

JKyle (January 1, 2007)

The new Sugarcult album is definitely an "Album That If I Ever Have to Listen to Again, I Will Throw Myself into a Pit Full of Black Mambas." I had high hopes for those guys after Start Static, but their last two have just been terrible.

theyounginfluential (January 1, 2007)

I was really surprised (in a good way) to see Gregor Samsa's 55:12 in your honorable mentions. I didn't think anyone else listened to them...

consolationprizefighter (January 1, 2007)

"Do It Alone" from Sugarcult's new record was actually bought or stolen or something from a local band around here called "Lights Out Irvine" which might be the reason the album was named "Lights Out".

There's your useless pop rock trivia for the day. And props to Anchors for making his list while clearly not giving a fuck what anyone would think about it. Good work.

Anonymous (January 1, 2007)

Thank you so much for shitting on that Set Your Goals record.

coldwaffles (January 1, 2007)

alright dude, let me get this straight, you put that shitfest new sugarcult album as pleasant, but ripped the SYG record?

i'm a pretty big fan of sugarcult's previous records, they're a guilty pleasure, but their new record is easily the worst thing to come out this year that isn't nu-screamo-avenged-sevenfold-wannabe-core a la escape the fate. i can understand differing opinions, but damn man, that record is just flat out bad. totally lifeless, there's a reason not even mtv is playing sugarcult. i've tried so many times to like that album, but i find every time i put it on, i want to write a scathing review blasting it for everything. there is maybe two tracks i kind of liked on it... and jesus christ, what were they thinking with that gi joe esque intro...?

kenada (January 1, 2007)

he is the face of a money-making organization, he is another ambassador of vanity, unlike many, if not any other band that you could have put on your list, which could just be the very reason a single kid decides to go to school that day, which in my eyes commands infinitely more respect. sorry! i just hate trendy shit. hate it.

kenada (January 1, 2007)

I encountered some snags, and i said to myself, i said, i said, i wasn't going to say anything, but - "Upon further reading I have deduced that you're gay" - seconded... in a purely constructive and objective way.

"These dude don't know me from Adam and Eve
That's why they can't mess up my flow
And when this beat drops, your heart stops
You feel it from your head to your toes."

(the first lyric i could find)

JT didn't write the music, he didn't play the music, he probably didn't write the lyrics, but if he did, his little contribution to the album was truely plebistoric, and the 'singing' comes from a machine in an office somewhere. so why is this album on your list? firstly it's not punk, or even a respectable or meaningful art-form, and secondly if it has to be then surely little to no credit should be given to this talentless muff, and rather to the producers (clever chaps - lots of money). dopey *&@#!!!! in a purely constructive and objective way... of course.

i WILL check out those sparrowy tarts though... sound reet posh. cheers.

kenada (January 1, 2007)

i enjoy the tuneage on most of aof's 'crisis', but don't you think the lyrics are a little, say .... wank?

Anchors (January 1, 2007)

Nas has been real spotty since Illmatic, but he's had some great tracks here and there. His problem is consistency. God's Son, Stillmatic, Street's Disciple, Nastradamus, all had too much filler.

This new one is nowhere near Illmatic, but it's sure as fuck the best once since. Only one or two throwaway tracks, the rest is awesome.

And as far as Justin Timberlake, you shouldn't be concerned about not liking him because it's "hip," because he's on MTV, or because he was in N*Sync, that record straight up rules.

canaandrumz (January 1, 2007)

I'm stuck in a quandry, I don't want to like Justin Timberlake b/c of who he is nor do I want to look trendy and ironic by digging him all of a sudden. But it looks like eventually succumb to the one who brought sexy back.

Anonymous (January 1, 2007)

nas's flow fell off so badly after illmatic that it's paniful to even listen to anything he's put out since.

Anonymous (January 1, 2007)

Usually stuff that Anchors likes, I like (besides the hip hop and timberlake) so I'll check out the bands I haven't heard of. Good list.

Inspection12e (January 1, 2007)

Good call on the Knapsack. I need to listen to Helios and I need that Mercury Program album.

jamespastepunk (December 31, 2006)

Editing errors:

You're missing #3 in your biggest dissapointments, and in worst albums there's two #2 slots.

Otherwise, good job.

punkbytheounce (December 31, 2006)

You spelled Chuck Ragan's last name wrong.

badmouth (December 31, 2006)

Can you send me the mercury program, because it's out of print

Infrarecon (December 31, 2006)

Hmmm, I liked that Appleseed Cast record a lot; and Knapsack's Day Three of My New Life is slightly better in my opinion. Both great albums though.

Anonymous (December 31, 2006)

Boy this was a bad year for punk. Even Anchors' list is weak.

Anchors (December 31, 2006)

Oh wait a minute, that Ataris album isn't actually out yet? My mistake, I honestly thought that came out at the end of November.

Anchors (December 31, 2006)

Just because every 16-21 year old girl in the world has that as her away message doesn't mean the album as a whole wasn't great -- because it was.

Who's had the better career? Converge, easily.
Who put out the better record this year? Justin Timberlake.

Archangel (December 31, 2006)

Usually I like what Anchors reviews and highly rates, but are you fucking seriously trying to say that "I'm bringing sexy back" is better than anything Converge touched?

Anchors (December 31, 2006)

It somehow got left out, but the #3 biggest disappointment was supposed to be The Ataris Welcome The Night. Here's what I wrote up for it;

"An album that isn‚??t bad persay, just one that doesn‚??t play to the bands strengths. They don‚??t ever really sound comfortable in their new shoegazer style. Good background music, but nothing that will engage you."

mcgregor107 (December 31, 2006)

Immortal Technique >>>> Nas

NHL Stanley Cup Final Prediction: Sabres vs. Oilers (not jumping off my pre-season predictions)

Score is for the list..

Anonymous (December 31, 2006)

Eh.

AmericaRules (December 31, 2006)

Upon further reading I have deduced that you're gay.

AmericaRules (December 31, 2006)

mmmmmmm, pretty decent.

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