Punknews.org
Best of 2008 - GlassPipeMurder's picks (Cover Artwork)

Best of 2008

Best of 2008: GlassPipeMurder's picksGlassPipeMurder's picks (2008)
staff picks

Reviewer Rating: 5


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

.gh-artwork { background: url('/images/icons/albumborder.gif'); padding: 5px; float: left; margin-right: 0px; border: none} .gh-name { font-variant: small-caps; border-bottom: 1px solid #C5C5C5; width: 400px; padding: 1em 0 0em 7em; } .gh-label { font-variant: small-caps; padding-left: 7e.


Tyler Barrett is a staff reviewer here at Punknews.org. Check back next week for year end lists from the Punknews editorial, and soon after the lists decided by your votes. - ed

Introduction

What a year for change. I can't think of anything significant in my world that wasn't flipped on its head in 2008. Graduating from college and moving from my small-town Iowa backdrop to Minneapolis was really the catalyst, as I set off to carve out my place in the "real world," where the stakes are much higher and the economy still sucks. I was fortunate enough to land a job working on a nonpartisan campaign that was not only the most exciting work imaginable, but helped acquaint me with the Twin Cities. Let me tell you, folks: This is where punk is happening. Not just in the 'orgcore of Dillinger Four, Off with Their Heads, Banner Pilot and the like populating many of this years Punknews top lists, but in sweaty crust-punk basements on Saturday nights and in boarded up practice spaces or garages with only space heaters to keep warm in the frigid, subzero temperatures. I've been to some great shows this year, made some amazing friends, and watched a two-plus-year relationship flicker and fade under the strain of distance. I've learned that hindsight is certainly 20/20 when change happens, but sometimes the only thing you can do is close your eyes and take the leap...

Top 20 Albums of 2008

20. Street Dogs - State of Grace
Hellcat
This was certainly not nearly as good as Fading American Dream, but that was pretty much expected. Still, Mike McColgan knows how to write, and there are some fantastic anthems on State of Grace.
19. Socratic - Spread the Rumors
Drive-Thru
I'm not sure if I should consider this a guilty pleasure, but I seem to be about the only person on this site who enjoys Duane Okun's self-loathing and sardonic misanthropy. Until the Get Up Kids reunite, this will do.
18. Millencolin - Machine 15
Epitaph / Burning Heart
Again, I may be somewhat of a black sheep for still liking Millencolin, but what can I say? I'm always a sucker for nostalgia. Even if this release was more pop than a sheet full of bubble wrap.
17. Jaguar Love - Take Me to the Sea
Matador
The Blood Brothers were one of the most original, unique, and talented punk bands ever. It sucked to lose them, but the by-products of their breakup are still making great music. I smell a legacy…
Lemuria
16. Lemuria - Get Better
Asian Man
I don't know exactly how to say this…but I think I may be in love with Sheena Ozzella's voice. I didn't think they could actually "get better" from their fantastic split with Kind of Like Spitting…but somehow they did.
15. Fucked Up - The Chemistry of Common Life
Matador
While certainly not as good as Hidden World, Fucked Up has made no bones about their desire to evolve. Chemistry shows evolution without losing what makes Fucked Up the hardcore powerhouse they are.
14. Smartbomb - Chaos and Lawlessness
Think Fast!
I love Shock Nagasaki. I love No Trigger. So it should come as no surprise that a band made up of members of the two would put out a such an ass-kicking hardcore punk record.
13. Everybody Out! - Everybody Out!
Taang!
This is the second Dropkick Murphys legacy inclusion on the list, and one of the most fun albums to come out all year. While packed with politics and personal issues, Everybody Out! should come with some complementary dancing shoes.
12. The Bronx - The Bronx
White Drugs
The Bronx just keep kicking out incredible records that defy categorization. Call it punk, call it hardcore, or just call it rock (actually, please don't) -- the Bronx have one of the most intimidating sounds out there.
Banner Pilot
11. Banner Pilot - Resignation Day
Go Kart
The first of several Minneapolis releases found on this list, Banner Pilot almost makes up for the fact that Thorns of Life haven't dropped any official material yet.
10. Off with Their Heads - From the Bottom
No Idea
Nothing screams "painful realism" like Ryan Young's canticles of modern day fuckupery. It may be OWTH's first official studio full-length, but I somehow doubt this album's greatness caught anyone by surprise.
9. The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
Vagrant
The Hold Steady are growing up, but not necessarily slowing down. References and homages to 7 Seconds, Joe Strummer and Dillinger Four among others witness the Hold Steady deviating slightly lyrically, but still putting out an incredibly solid and fun record.
8. LaGrecia - On Parallels
Suburban Home
Though Jason Shevchuk's new project was severely short-lived, the offering LaGrecia produced showed a depth in his songwriting beyond the hardcore stylings of Kid Dynamite and None More Black, but with just as much passion and intensity.
The Night Marchers
7. The Night Marchers - See You in Magic
Vagrant
John Reis is the King Midas of rock and roll. Everything his creative genius touches turns to gold, and See You in Magic is no exception. Ripe with unique riffs and impressive guitarwork, the Night Marchers pick up right where Rocket from the Crypt left off.
6. Dillinger Four - C I V I L W A R
Fat Wreck Chords
The Chinese Democracy of punk rock, Dillinger Four's long-awaited followup to Situationist Comedy certainly did not disappoint like its mainstream counterpart. Still can't compare to their live show, though…but nothing can.
5. Smoking Popes - Stay Down
Appeal
Another long-awaited offering, Stay Down is just as good, if not better, than anything the Popes have ever done. That in itself affirms this record's greatness, and hearing re-tooled versions of "Stefanie" and "First Time" among great new songs like "Welcome to Janesville" and "Grab Your Heart and Run" make this album worth the wait.
Gaslight Anthem
4. TheGaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound
SideOneDummy
While I think it's fair to say PunkNews was instrumental in rocketing the Gaslight Anthem to international renown, I shunned the hype until finally hearing testimony from a real person in November of this year. Is it possible to feel nostalgia after just the first listen of a record? It is with The '59 Sound.
3. Teenage Bottlerocket - Warning Device
Red Scare
I was a pretty big fan of the Lillingtons, but I can say without a second thought that I love Teenage Bottlerocket even more. I have no idea how they can stretch out three chords so far, but I suppose if it ain't broke, just keep making it better. And that's exactly what they've done.
2. The Muslims - The Muslims
1928
Letting loose some of the catchiest garage punk I've ever heard, the Muslims are the one band on this list I can really claim as my own discovery and not a referral. They've since changed their name to the Soft Pack, which is unfortunate because it was actually their intriguing name that drew me to them in the first place. Triviality aside, this rarely left my rotation.
Paint It Black
1. Paint It Black - New Lexicon
Jade Tree
Forty years on this earth and Dan Yemin still mops the floor with people half his age. Intense, intelligent and with interesting production to say the least, New Lexicon is this year's finest album.


Honourable Mentions

Protest the Hero - Fortress; Time Again - Darker Days; the A.K.A.s - Everybody Make Some Noise; Less Than Jake - GNV FLA; No Use for a Name - The Feel Good Record of the Year; This Is Hell - Misfortunes; Public Serpents - Feeding of the Fortune 5000; the Mars Volta - Bedlam in Goliath; Pennywise - Reason to Believe; (Vlad and) the Impalers - (Vlad and) the Impalers; H2O - Nothing to Prove; Evacuate - Evacuate; Michael Franti and Spearhead - All Rebel Rockers; Deadly Sins - Selling Our Weakness

Top 3 EPs

3. One Day as a Lion - One Day as a Lion
Anti-
Seeing Zach de la Rocha and Tom Morello perform a capella at the RNC helped reignite my affection for Rage Against the Machine, and since they're no longer recording music, this EP came with perfect timing (plus ODaaL's unique minimalist approach is interesting and effective).
2. Past Lives - Strange Symmetry
Suicide Squeeze
Need I repeat myself? I loved the Blood Brothers. Apparently, I also love everything else their former members are now doing.
1. Dead to Me - Little Brother
Fat Wreck Chords
This is just about as good as it gets when it comes to EPs, proving Jack Dalrymple and Chicken are an unbeatable songwriting combo with the gumption to try new things and the confidence to do it right.


Top 3 B-Sides Collections

3. Crime in Stereo - Selective Wreckage
Bridge Nine
For a fairly new and uneducated Crime in Stereo fan, Selective Wreckage shows the band's recent evolution from their hoodie-punk upbringings to the more expansive sound on Is Dead rather well.
2. Swingin' Utters - Hatest Grits: B-Sides and Bullshit
Fat Wreck Chords
Street punk the way it was meant to be done. 26 dirty working-class anthems from Northern California with more attitude than you can shake a skin at.
1. Rocket from the Crypt - All Systems Go III
Vagrant
It's Rocket from the Crypt! What else needs to be said? One of the greatest bands of all time delivers some choice archiveage. This zombie just can't seem to stay dead, but I'm certainly not complaining.


Top 3 Disappointments

3. The Sound of Animals Fighting - The Ocean and the Sun
Epitaph
I really, really wanted to like this more than I did. It wasn't unlistenable by any means, but after the disappointing Lover, the Lord has Left Us…, I was hoping for a much more focused effort. No such luck.
2. Alkaline Trio - Agony & Irony
Epic
Feeling rather disinterested about this release, I debate even including it on the list. But apparently any publicity is good publicity. Right? Right?
1. Flogging Molly - Float
SideOneDummy
This album lacked everything that made Flogging Molly such a fun band. No energy, no life…big disappointment.


Top 3 Pleasant Surprises

3. (Vlad and) the Impalers - (Vlad and) the Impalers
Geykido Comet
Based on their name and song titles, I was expecting a whole wheel of cheese. In reality, there was some cheese but it was sprinkled between layers of fun, entertaining punk rock.
2. Pennywise - Reason to Believe
MySpace
One release after putting out a song slandering "Fox TV," Pennywise is dropping albums on Myspace Records. In their defense, Epitaph hasn't been much better, and Reason to Believe is some of the band's best work in years.
1. The Mars Volta - Bedlam in Goliath
Universal
Due to what I believed was unwarranted hype, I initially rejected the Mars Volta. But I won't deny I'm a victim of viral marketing. I did the whole puzzle for the free Circle Jerks cover, and the insanely awesome Goliath the Soothsayer Game, and soon enough I was flying my Mars Volta fanboy flag high.


Top 3 Live Shows

  1. Bane / H2O - Live in Minneapolis @ Triple Rock Social, November 20
  2. Scared of Chaka / Dillinger Four / Off with Their Heads - Scared of Chaka reunion live in Minneapolis @ First Ave and 7th Street Entry, September 18
  3. Modern Life is War - Final show live in Marshalltown @ Moose Lodge, April 26


Best DVD

Trial - Reunion - Retrospective
Panic
One of the unsung hardcore legends of the `90s, these performances put chills down my spine as Trial sent audiences from their hometown of Seattle to Budapest, Hungary into frenzies of unity and camaraderie.


Top 3 Record Labels

3. Bridge Nine
Bridge Nine has really spiced up their lineup, witnessing releases by bands like Crime in Stereo, Ceremony, H2O, Cruel Hand, Verse, Have Heart and more in 2008.
2. Fat Wreck Chords
Another great year for Fat, as 2008 saw releases by Dillinger Four, Dead to Me, Star Fucking Hipsters, the Loved Ones, Swingin' Utters, Real McKenzies, Lagwagon and more.
1. Vagrant
Vagrant Records comes alive! After a few years releasing some material of questionable quality, Vagrant Records is back thanks to some great leadership and fantastic signings. Great records from the Hold Steady, Protest the Hero, the Night Marchers, Murder by Death, the (International) Noise Conspiracy and Rocket from the Crypt. A far cry from Emanuel, Dashboard Confessional and Senses Fail…a good, far cry.


Albums disqualified from Top 20 albums or Top 3 EPs, due to the sad fact I haven't yet heard them

  • Blacklisted - Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God
  • The Fad - Kill Punk Rock Stars
  • Polar Bear Club 0 Sometimes Things Just Disappear
  • The Copyrights - Learn the Hard Way
  • Public Serpents - Feeding of the Fortune 5000
  • Nerf Herder - IV
  • The Slackers - Self Medication
  • Verse - Aggression
  • Shai Hulud - Misanthropy Pure
  • Killing the Dream - Fractures
  • Real McKenzies - Off the Leash
  • Mansions - Mansions EP
  • Kepi Ghoulie - American Gothic
  • Lagwagon - I Think My Older Brother Used to Listen to Lagwagon EP
  • Good Luck - Into Lake Griffy
  • Star Fucking Hipsters - Until We're Dead
  • Wait in Vain - Seasons


MixTape

  1. Street Dogs - "The General's Boombox"
  2. The Bronx - "Knifeman"
  3. LaGrecia - "You Like Baseball I Like Ghosts"
  4. Jaguar Love - "Highways of Gold"
  5. Dead to Me - "Little Brother"
  6. The Muslims - "Nightlife"
  7. Lemuria - "Pants"
  8. Banner Pilot - "Absentee"
  9. Everybody Out! - "Ghettoblaster"
  10. Off with Their Heads - "1612 Havenhurst"
  11. Paint It Black - "Dead Precedents"
  12. The Night Marchers - "Jump in the Fire
  13. Dillinger Four - "Minimum Wage Is a Gateway Drug"
  14. Teenage Bottlerocket - "Down in the Basement"


So am I still waiting?

Will 2009 be the year that Rancid finally drops their followup to Indestructible? Will Propagandhi make good of their progress updates with a new LP? When will Dr. Dre finally let loose Detox? Only time will tell, my friends.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Stay Clean Jolene - Stay Clean Jolene [7-inch]Teenage Bottlerocket - TotalThe Lillingtons - Backchannel BroadcastThe Lawrence Arms - Apathy and ExhaustionDillinger Four - Midwestern Songs of the AmericasDefiance, Ohio - The Great DepressionMunicipal Waste - The Art of PartyingStreetlight Manifesto - Somewhere in the BetweenTeenage Bottlerocket - Warning DeviceThe Lillingtons - Death by Television

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
BarleyPat (December 30, 2008)

I agree w/ parts of your list but State of Grace and Machine 15 were HUGE letdowns for me. I love Millencolin but that album is just plain terrible. I don't think I've been able to listen to State of Grace in one sitting w/out getting bored.

No Chuck Ragan or Tim Barry for anyone?

davebrave4 (December 30, 2008)

Coming next week: The Official GlassPipeMurder autobiography!

Jelone (December 29, 2008)

Boo on you for not liking Float.

But yer thoughts on The Muslims and Millencolin sound most intriguing. To the local independent record store!

JaredK (December 28, 2008)

Nice list, glad to see Everybody Out! on there..."Jack the Lad" was my favorite song of '08.

domotime (December 28, 2008)

im happy you put up State of Grace....and I agree with your brief review of it...

but...

to call the Flogging Molly CD a dissapointment, and the MOST dissapointing CD is such non-sense. Maybe it's because you expect the best from this kind of band, and i Do agree that Flogging mOlly had been progressing better and better every album, and this was a notch below...but the album still had about 5-6 classic, forever great flogging songs.

douglas_is_rad (December 27, 2008)

The Muslims s/t fucking rules. To quote one reviewer, "It must be hard to care as little as The Muslims." The song Extinction is simply bad-ass.

crashtester (December 27, 2008)

Great introduction (can relate) kinda crappy list other than Gaslight( I too shunned the hype until this past fall and was blown away by the record and the live show in Vegas on Election night.

joemomma420666 (December 27, 2008)

uh its messed up for me too.

chips (December 27, 2008)

is the formatting of this page messed up for anyone else?

xote (December 27, 2008)

I liked that One Day As A Lion stuff. The music for it is really cool... the drums are awesome. Anything Xach would be saying in lyrics I think are lame anyway but I like his voice and flow.

SloaneDaley (December 27, 2008)

Good list, only a few I'd disagree with outright, the Popes and Nightmarchers didn't make my list because I didn't have a chance to pick them up. I think you and I are the only one's that put Banner Pilot on our lists, such a good album.

mcgregor107 (December 27, 2008)

I'm sorry, but the One Day As a Lion EP sucks total balls. It's the same 5 songs with different, uninspired lyrics.

Other then that, good list!

cyborgfrance (December 27, 2008)

Ah, Lemuria, you have been the pleasantest background music of the year. (That's a compliment, definitely. Just sweet, sweet songs.)

good list. I really have to check out "New Lexicon" now - and holy frak, Yemin's FORTY?

brett-nola (December 27, 2008)

The next Rancid album:

Chinese Punkocracy?

almostpunkenough (December 27, 2008)

as usual, your list is by far the best. not because i agree (though i generally do), but because it doesn't just serve to show how "eclectic and progressive" you are.

bluexmaslights (December 27, 2008)

I saw lemuria live this year, and her voice is still pretty great

genebuonaccorsi (December 27, 2008)

i dig socratic.
just not that album so much

xIxKilledxJesusx (December 26, 2008)

props for having the only decent list and for being the only reviewer i can say i respect.

Torgo (December 26, 2008)

Pants may be my song of the year, so stellar. And yes, I am in love with that voice too.

Contests

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go