Top 10 of 2001

Top 10 of 2001: Aubin's PicksAubin's Picks (2001)
staff picks

Reviewer Rating: 5

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

Overall, this has been a dramatically different year; not just for music, but in general. First of all, this is the first economic downturn since I joined the workforce (albeit recently) and the biggest act of war on the United States since World War II, if ever. Punk has identically respond.

Overall, this has been a dramatically different year; not just for music, but in general. First of all, this is the first economic downturn since I joined the workforce (albeit recently) and the biggest act of war on the United States since World War II, if ever.

Punk has identically responded to a changing world, with more diverse and challenging musicians taking up the cause. Innovative artists like Cursive pushing what we accept as punk or emo, and risky new albums from established acts like Strife and Saves The Day and seem to be more the norm this year than any year I can remember.

While pseudo-punk rock remained in the mainstream with bands like Sum 41 and Blink 182 continuing to sell records by sticking to the formula Bad Religion and NOFX came up with ten years ago, the underground seems more vibrant than ever.

These are in no particular order.

1. Saturday Supercade - Everyone Is a Target (Liberation)

A nearly perfect pop-punk record. They don't really contribute anything to the genre, but the urgency, and honesty of the music is undeniable. Plus, I can't stop listening to it.

2. Inspection 12 - In Recovery (Honest Dons)

Arguably one of the most interesting and clever takes on Fat Wreck Chords-style punk. Adding a range of instruments without losing a catchy pop core is a feat in itself, but making a cohesive and strong record is another.

3. Strike Anywhere - Change is a Sound (Jade Tree)

Not since Lifetime have I enjoyed a pop-hardcore record this much. The lyrical content is dead on:

    When they broke down the door and put their guns in the face of your wife and child and as they pinned you to the floor did you say "officer, i am not resisting you. " ?
And seems more apt than ever under the increasingly draconian policies being institued to "protect" us.

4. As Friends Rust - Won (Doghouse)

Pure, ass-kicking rock and roll. Everything I love about punk rock; passion, energy, aggressiveness, melody.

5. Thursday - Full Collapse (Victory)

Beautiful and harsh; discordal and soothing. A real gem in a sea of post-Sunny Day Real Estate emo. This is what real emotion sounds like.

6. System of a Down - Toxicity (Sony/Columbia)

Flying in the face of everything nu-metal. An angry, but simultaneously compassionate record. I probably wouldn't even have listened to it, if my metal friends hadn't nagged me, but I'm happy I did. Arguably the most challenging mainstream metal record this year.

7. Alkaline Trio - From Here to Infirmary (Vagrant)

I know a lot of people weren't happy with this record, but as much as I love old Alkaline Trio (their self-titled disc is in permanent rotation here), From Here to Infirmary is just a great pop record.

8. Saves The Day - Stay What You Are (Vagrant)

The joke in the album title is obvious; this is a completely different band than the one that released Through Being Cool, and while I liked their old stuff, this is a more mature, more talented band doing what they wanted to.

9. Leftover Crack - Mediocre Generica aka Shoot the Kids at School (Hellcat/ Epitaph)

This is what it would sound like if John Zorn was in a ska band. Complete insanity, with absolutely no respect for convention. From soft piano interludes to raging grindcore, this is one of the most important records simply for the creativity shown throughout. The fact that it's so listenable doesn't hurt either.

10. Planes Mistaken For Stars - Fuck With Fire (No Idea)

Intense, violent and poetic. One of the most visceral records I have ever heard.

Honourable Mentions

  • Slayer - God Hates Us All
  • Eighteen Visions - The Best Of
  • Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American
  • Stretch Armstrong - Revolution Transmission
  • Sense Field - Tonight and Forever

    Biggest Disappointments

  • The new Weezer record; it was a good album, but lacked the spark of Pinkerton or the Blue Album.
  • That Lifetime, The Refused and Jawbreaker didn't reform
  • Hey Mercedes' effort was a strong indie album, but seemed too overproduced to overcome the legacy of Braid
  • That we lost our free hosting, and had to move to a slow, shared server]
  • Zero Zero; a sad testimony to how far the great can fall
  • Rage Against the Machine - Zach + Chris Cornell

    Things to Look Forward To

  • New records from Bad Religion, Thrice, Weezer
  • That, thanks to an ad from Epitaph, we'll be moving back to a dedicated server shortly(!)
  • Having more time for the site


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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 (October 29, 2002)

    Your list sucks. The only mentionable cd on the whole thing is Strike Anywhere. All the other CDs are just decent. Thursday? Who the fuck puts that on the top 10? Take some time to accually get around and hear bands and CDs that arent mentioned on the radio or on T.V..

    Patch (February 22, 2002)

    good call. stretch was amazing.

    Anonymous (February 19, 2002)

    If it included the best band in the world
    it would have got a perfect score.

    Anonymous (February 2, 2002)

    This list was better than Chris'. Anyways, I agree with most of the list, esp with THURSDAY and the fact that Weezer's album sucked! What I've heard of THRICE's new album sounds amazing!
    Anticipating :And you will know us by the Trail of Dead , and The Distillers "Sing Sing Death House" and of course Flogging Molly's "Drunken Lullabies"

    dezirzeke (February 2, 2002)

    Yes, Weezer was a major dissapointment.
    Good list.

    For anticipation, THE MARS VOLTA!

    Anonymous (January 29, 2002)

    I Love the list but there is something dumb on it like System Of The Down???? Replace that with something that is punk not metal !!! Metal sucks

    Anonymous (January 27, 2002)

    "maybe if metalcore didnt suck so bad, i'd like it"

    your loss loser...

    Anonymous (January 19, 2002)

    did everyone forget the new converge album!!!!

    Anonymous (January 19, 2002)

    My top ten (CAS)

    10- Bigwig - Invitation to tragedy
    9- Pennywise - Land of The Free?
    8- The Sallys - Low Self Monitor
    7- Deviates - Time is the Distance
    6- Raised Fist - Ignoring the guidlines
    5- Guttermouth - Covered in ants
    4- Anti Flag - Underground Network
    3- Rise Against - The Unravelling
    2- Strung Out - Element of Sonic Defiance
    1- Good Riddance - Symptoms of a Leveling Spirit

    (These are in no particular order)

    Anonymous (January 18, 2002)

    Just going to list the ten best records I picked up this year (in no particular order):

    1. AFI - All Hallow's E.P.: Flat out kicks ass in my estimation. (Although I must admit I'm incredibly biased towards them, especially Davey)
    2. The Lawrence Arms - Ghost Stories: Not nearly as great as The Broadways were, but pretty sweet.
    3. Link80 - 17 Reasons: Davey Havok of AFI is my favorite vocalist, but Nick Traina is a close second. RIP.
    4. Emm Gryner - Girl Versions: Not "punk" by any means, but does a sweet cover of Fugazi's "Waiting Room"
    5. The Suicide Machines - Steal This Record: Not nearly as good as "Destruction by Definition" or "Battle Hymns", but a HUGE step up from their self-titled. Put on a fucking AMAZING show in Cleveland last night too.
    6. Anti-Flag - Underground Network: Solid CD, best song is #2's "Bring Out Your Dead"
    7. The Misfits - Collection 2: Its got "Last Caress" and two versions of "Halloween" on it...fucking amazing.
    8. Alkaline Trio - Goddamnit: I had heard only bad things about their stuff following this record, but I picked it up and it rocks my ass. I'll have to check out their other stuff though, I have a had time believing a band that puts out a record this good can continuously put out bad records.
    9. Strike Anywhere - Change is a Sound: Lead singer's voice is reminiscent of Russ from Good Riddance and #2 from Anti-Flag. They rock hard.
    10. Catch22 - Washed Up and Through the Ringer: After losing their second singer in as many albums, I was worried what was to be with this band. The two new songs though with the sax and trumpet player (I think...) are fucking sweet, "Straight Forward" in particular. Also put on an amazing show opening for The Suicide Machines in Cleveland.

    *In closing I figure that most everyone will hate my selections but keep in mind its music I like, and no one has the exact same tastes. Looking forward to new stuff by AFI, The Lawrence Arms, Strung Out, and Less Than Jake, among a slew of others. Peace.*

    Anonymous (January 17, 2002)

    "dude From Autumn to Ashes should be on everyones. I jsut heard it and it blows everything else away."

    maybe if metalcore didnt suck so bad, i'd like it.

    Anonymous (January 17, 2002)

    You guys keep forgetting to mention the new AFI album this fall- that is the album I'm looking forward to.

    punky (January 17, 2002)

    Propagandhi,raised fist,Bigwig,
    rise against,Irrelevant,Good riddance,
    NUFAN (live)

    sXe_nick (January 17, 2002)

    dude From Autumn to Ashes should be on everyones. I jsut heard it and it blows everything else away.

    Anonymous (January 17, 2002)

    Punk is going to be very, very big in the mainstream this year. I can feel it. Everyone's getting fucking sick with all the "I wanna kill myself" alternative pseudo-metal shit, and with uplifting songs by STD and Bouncing Souls paving the way, BR's new album is gonna be big. Very big. But, I could be wrong. Go ahead and make fun.

    -Sr. Potpourri

    Phillip (January 17, 2002)

    Because Lars Frederikson and the Bastards sucks a fat one.

    Posted by fish on 2002-01-16 21:04:21:
    why do none of these top ten lists have lars frederikson and the bastards on them?
    glad to see leftover crack on all of them, though

    fish (January 16, 2002)

    why do none of these top ten lists have lars frederikson and the bastards on them?
    glad to see leftover crack on all of them, though

    theboywhocriedangel (January 16, 2002)

    hey system of a down; the strokes called, they want their hype back...

    Anonymous (January 16, 2002)

    i'm sorry i cant get into emo i just think most of the good releases were on epitaph and hell-cat of course i prolly missed some stuff because i have a bad sense of time. i do listen to alotta other stuff though

    Anonymous (January 16, 2002)

    And I thought I was the only one who couldn't stand Thursday and thought they are totally over rated

    Anonymous (January 16, 2002)

    You had me nodding my head at just about every selection (I'm even almost convinced about System of a Down), and then I saw Thursday. Please, oh please will everyone just get off their jock? I know everyone is taking the At the Drive-In split pretty hard, but that's no reason to replace it with boring, repetitive nonsense. Really listen to the CD and realize that all the songs sound the same and the scream/passionate yell interchange gets real old real quick.


    Anonymous (January 13, 2002)

    sickboi..i love you.

    "So thats your theory, aye?"
    "Yeah...beautiful fcking illustrated."

    hmmm mmm

    Anonymous (January 12, 2002)

    Aubin, as always i respect your choices, but i have to scold you for not mentioning Propagandhi - Today's Empires, Tomorrow's Ashes. It was my personal favorite of the year. Pretty much everything about the record is amazing, especially the musicianship and songwriting.

    Anonymous (January 12, 2002)

    seeing as you mentioned the failure of refused getting back together on biggest dissapointments your should have added the fact that tincs were so average it was unbelievable

    Anonymous (January 12, 2002)

    Thank you sickboi, and I probably differ with you on the Hey Mercedes issue, cuz I do like emo, and they are one of the better bands in that category. We better not say that word anymore, though, or else people will talk...
    BTW, to the person who posted last...
    If you just got into punk last summer, and already listen to Rancid, STD, and Samiam, good job! It took me so long to get a huge diversity to my styles, but mostly cuz I was a poor high schooler then...

    Anonymous (January 11, 2002)

    Okay, I just got into punk this summer, and I'm gonna put my top five that I picked up this year.

    5. Rancid- And Out Come the Wolves
    After hearing "1998", I was expecting something much darker than it, but it's still great, upbeat punkrock.

    4. Saves the Day- Stay What You Are
    Good emotion, good songwriting.

    3. Samiam- Astray
    Even greater emotion, even greater writing.

    2. The Living End- Roll On
    Some of the best guitar work I've ever heard (by a punk band).

    1. Screeching Weasel- Boogadaboogadaboogada
    Simple instrumentally, but I just love its sound. The production is great, raw, but not as bad as, say, Op Ivy, but yet not over-produced like NOFX. Ben's lyrics are also sometimes simple, but penetrating and true (no anarchy, yay). Screeching Weasel will never be bested, in my own (uninformed) opinion.

    -Sr. Potpourri

    sickboi (January 11, 2002)

    Eh, to each his own I guess. You just earned my respect by responding with an intelligent answer and not a juvenile insult.
    Actually, I don't like emo. Hey Mercedes=emo, bleh.

    Anonymous (January 10, 2002)

    first, i didn't say all of strike anywhere's lyrics sucked, and i said i liked the band, and the songs detonation and sst kick the crap pout of the rest of the album. that song mentioned, though, does have terrible lyrics, as does the "oi" song.
    and, yes, what does hey mercedes do that makes you think they suck? they write good lyrics, intelligent, complex music, and are some of the nicest guys in the music scene today. i interviewed bob nanna, and he is probably one of the most modest people I have ever met.

    Anonymous (January 10, 2002)

    lol, sikboi. hasn't anyone heard the new Randy cd???? definately in the top 10

    sickboi (January 10, 2002)

    Heh heh, that person below is talking smack about Strike Anywhere and their lyrics, but loves Hey Mercedes?(WTF?)
    **Flush**....that my friend, is the sound of any respect I might of had for you going straight down the crapper.

    layawayplan (January 10, 2002)

    I'm pretty sure propagandhi was released feb 2001...
    It WAS supposed to be nov 2000, but then again it was also supposed to be Sept 2000, Oct 2000, and Jan 2001...whatever, anyway, it was worth the wait. Easily one of the top 5 of 2001. My top 10 would also include:
    1) Raised Fist - Ignoring the Guidelines
    - some of the fastest, most intense hardcore i've ever heard. Must be heard to be believed
    2) As Friends Rust - Won
    - heavy or light, it's catchy as hell...great vocals
    3) Ensign - Price of Progression
    - instrumentally amazing...what a voice
    4) moneen - theory of harmonial value
    - how can one band pack so much energy and melody into one song? and the album's full of them!!
    5) Various - across the water (smallman)
    - i think i'm the only one who put this on their list...or even owns it...that's a shame, not a dud on the whole cd, plus it's astream's swan song...RIP
    6) Thursday - full collapse
    7) SBB - Dead Reckoning
    Things I'm looking forward to:
    Millencolin (yes, I still like them), Strung Out (they keep getting better), NUFAN (what'll they do next?), Raised Fist (fucking right), Satanic Surfers (how else can they re-invent themselves?)...and last but not least...CHOKE!! (how can you possibly follow up Foreword???....this is going to rock!)

    Anonymous (January 9, 2002)

    of course epitaph must be all he listens to, he hates emo.
    btw Aubin, that lyric from strike anywhere is the worst on the album, other than the fact that they actually say "oi oi oi!" it makes me sad for songs like "detonation" and "SST" its a terrible lyric sung poorly.
    also, i felt hey mercedes album was insane, and blew the crap out of any braid i have heard thus far. (bob nanna is one of the nicest guys i have ever met)
    as for your bands wish to reunite, rock on! one more to add though, that might be overlooked since they just broke up:
    The amazing FARSIDE.
    It was a sad year that they broke up.
    They may've taken four years to put out their last album, but, unlike most bands who take that long, you can tell they spent that time on the music.
    And I agree with your take on zero zero also.

    evildeadalive (January 9, 2002)

    To the anonymous dude four posts down; thats a really good list, but i noticed a lot lot of epitaph and hellcat. Do you listen to anything else? Once again, it was a good list.

    Aubin (January 9, 2002)

    By the way, I really loved the Propagandhi album, but the official release date was November 2000, so it didn't qualify for this list.

    huey (January 9, 2002)

    1>osker - idle will kill
    2>all - live plus one
    3>thursday - full collapse
    4>strike anywhere - change is in a sound

    Anonymous (January 9, 2002)

    i agree with all you say about bands that need to get back together. lifetime DEFINITLY needs to come back.
    and how you talked about the heymercedes record, have you ever wondered that the guys from hm don't want to outdo braid? i mean how many records can you release after a band breaks?

    Anonymous (January 9, 2002)

    1. dropkick murphys-sing loud sing proud
    2. leftover crack-Mediocre generica
    3. agnostic Front- dead yuppies
    4.Lars fredricksen and the bastards-s/t
    5.death by stereo- day of death
    6. system of a down-toxicity
    7. u.s. bombs- back at the laundromat.
    8. me first and the gimmie gimmies-blow in the wind
    9.F-/leftover crack- baby jesus sliced up in the manger
    10.rise against the unraveling
    most anticipated
    dropkick murphys/face to face split
    distillers sing sing death house

    Anonymous (January 9, 2002)

    Where are Propagandhi ans BigWig?

    Anonymous (January 9, 2002)

    yeah leftover crack rocks !

    Anonymous (January 9, 2002)

    why doesn't "porch life" by Unitas get its props? lets hear it for the product of public schools!

    kiwipunk (January 9, 2002)

    This is probably the bedt top 10 - although where is bigwig people!

    Soven (January 9, 2002)

    Finally someone recognized "Fuck With Fire"!

    Josip (January 9, 2002)

    yeah, epitaph really rules =;-)
    btw: cool list, i'd just add BIGWIG & RANDY and it would be quite perfect...

    evildeadalive (January 9, 2002)

    Are any of those bands you metioned ever getting back together?

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