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

Best of 2008

Best of 2008: Jesse's picksJesse's picks (2008)
staff picks

Reviewer Rating: 5


Contributed by: JesseJesse
(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.


Jesse is a news editor and reviewer here at Punknews.org. He also runs the own short fiction website Bitter Press. You can follow Jesse on Twitter. - ed.

Intro

Some years just pass you by without notice. Sure, you can get five or six albums you really like and can fudge the rest. But Jesus, 2008 was one for the record books. Twelve of my top 20 were albums I was actually anticipating. I was waiting for twelve albums. By past years, you can tell I usually don't pay enough attention. Not so for 2008. It was a year of expectations met and the buzz returning to real bands who play real music. It's years like this that make me happy to live in the time I do. Now let's get on with the show.


Top 20 Albums



 


#20. Dead Meadow - Old Growth



Matador



Dead Meadow's a divider. Some people really dig on their grooves, and other dudes get bummed. For this album, the group dropped their second guitar player and their newly adopted spacey sound and got back to their roots.





 


#19. mc chris - mc chris is dead



mc chris LLC



There are some clunkers on this album, but "pizza butt" and "reese" teamed up with the skits (feat. Jon Benjamin) are gold. And it's motherfuckin' mc chris, the only nerd rapper who spends 3/4 of his time rhyming about drugs and dirty sex.





 


#18. Ida - Lovers Prayers



Polyvinyl



Husband and wife bands are usually lame, but Ida proved that they weren't by traveling deep into the Appalachian mountains to stay at and record at the house of Levon Helm. You know, one of the best drummers ever, played with the Band? No? Regardless, a touch of roots were applied to these sweater wearin', harmonizin' folkies, and it was much deserved.





 


#17. Melvins - Nude with Boots



Ipecac



Melvins destroyed everything with (A) Senile Animale, but this album was a bit scattershot. Still, Melvins make music no one else has the balls to, but if I was going to recruit Big Business to be my rhythm section, I'd try to use them better -- like on their first album with them.



Jason Collett


 


#16. Jason Collett - Here's to Being Here



Arts & Crafts



This guy used to play with some big Canadian band, but now tries to be Bob Dylan. That's a bit harsh 'cause he's quite good at it. Collett has a knack for taking classic chord progressions and turning them into original and new songs -- just like all our favorites. A stellar release that fades a bit after the first 20 listens, but a great record to come back to.





 


#15. Triclops! - Out of Africa



Alternative Tentacles



Future-punk supergroup from the Bay that can shred circles around your favorite prog bands. Exactly what you'd expect to be released through Alternative Tentacles.





 


#14. Graveyard - Graveyard



Tee Pee Records



Long-haired Swedes got a tickle to play some old hard rock from the late '60s, then smoked too much weed and forgot they actually lived in the aughts. These guys wail. Bluesy, earthy and just enough cowbell to make you start looking for your denim jacket and aviators.





 


#13. Cale Parks - Sparklace



Polyvinyl



Cale Parks is by far the best drummer who plays in an indie rock band. The dude is like Animal the Muppet when he's pounding on stage for Aloha. So a subdued electronic album that spans new wave and Peter Gabriel-esque instrumentaion was not expected. It was, however, appreciated.



Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds


 


#12. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!



Anti-



When Nick Cave was supposed to have made a "rock" record with Grinderman, he secrety wrote a bunch of ass-kickin' songs that were too good to not use for Him & the Seeds. Loose, jangly, hard-edged and raw, Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! really is a departure for Cave, but one just as welcome as his work as a screenwriter.





 


#11. Deerhoof - Offend Maggie



Kill Rock Stars



Deerhoof really know how to pound out a hard riff. It's true. If they took out the weird stuff, they'd play two shades away from the aforementioned Graveyard. Rhythmically complex, well-thought out and brilliantly conceptualized, Offend Maggie pulls more from singer/bassist Satomi Matsuzaki's Japanese influences in the music, and, well, the language the album is sung in. I never really dug 'em before, but this album has turned me around.





 


#10. Fucked Up - The Chemistry of Common Life



Matador



What a solid album. Pushing aside all the wacky arrangements and auxiliary instruments, Chemistry is a solid fucking pop album played a bit too loud and hard. Their actual riffs sound like Black Flag trying to cover the Ramones. Layer everything on top, and you've got a conceptual hardcore art project from six record nerds who're pushing the boundaries to push the boundaries. At times, the band acts like an '80s hardcore minstrel show. You can be a hater if you want to, but it's more fun to be in on the joke and laugh along with the band.





 


#9. Lords - Fuck All Y'All Motherfuckers



Blackmarket Activities



Chris Owens doesn't make one move without thinking it through all the way. So during the spoken word intro (performed as a guy announcing the band on a stage to a bunch of jeering fans) when the speaker announces Lords on Jade Tree Records when the album was dismissed by the label (subsequently released on the up-and-coming Blackmarket Activities), Owens was well aware of the misstep. The album, then, is almost like a challenege to the old label and the listener. Core member and drummer Stan left the group before the album was completed, leaving Eric from Lickgoldensky to fill in and changing the tone of the music. Regardless, Owens is a mad scientist, and his pissed-off brand of noisy, thrashy riffage is one to be reckoned with -- especially if you're on his bad side. You might just get punched out outside a club.



Capillary Action


 


#8. Capillary Action - So Embarassing



Natural Selection



Jon Pfeffer. What can I say about this kid? He's a madman. His first album as Capillary Action was mainly recorded all by him with the help of his friends. Then he did an ear-blistering audio-collage album that often paired grind next to jazz interlayed with breakbeats. So Embarassing, then, feels like the first fully realized Capillary Action album. Pfeffer lives for juxtaposition and contrast, but instead of thorough programming he's cooked up a full backing group with strings, horns and other weird instruments to samba their way through metal riffs and elevator muzak. It's really indescribable. But at the same time, it's a masterpiece by a young artist.





 


#7. Crooked Fingers - Forfeit/Fortune



Constant Artists / Red Pig



Eric Bachmann has to be one of my favorite songwriters ever. Archers of Loaf's White Trash Heroes is an album that still sounds far off and futuristic today, 10 years after it was released. So it's fitting that after exploring the glossy, empty, neon future of indie rock, Bachmann turned to the past and the casual flow of the singer/songwriter era. His recent affair with Spanish music has made his new band's latest album sound like Bruce Springsteen playing traditional Spanish music with the produciton team from David Bowie's Berlin period. It's traditional, original and may be hard to "get" at first, but damn does it pay off. Special nod to "Your Control" for being the single of the year.





 


#6. The Sword - Gods of the Earth



Kemado



When the Sword released Age of Winters, I was ready, willing and able. Bands I had met on the road prophesized of their forthcoming, praising them like traveling mystics preaching the gospel of warrior shamanism. And it was a pretty fucking good album. Then the backlash came. Everyone ripped on the band for being derivative riff-heavy metal, a somewhat popular trend at the time. Preparing to hate their new album, I gave it a chance. Boy am I glad I did. The Sword cut the low end, took the shine off the production and made a bigger, faster, harder and more complex album. They amped up their stoner riffs with some solid guitar thrashin', and threw it in a stewing pot of '70s prog-rock for that extra umph. It is truly a cerebral album -- albeit, one that you'll find yourself headbanging to in your car.



Vampire Weekend


 


#5. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend



XL



Four kids from Columbia graduate, start a band. They dress like weiners, play Baroque and African-inspired indie rock about wealthy New Englad characters. And it's really, really fucking good. I don't give a shit about what anyone else says. The album is a perfect debut of 10 well-crafted songs. It's the perfect companion to anyone who grew up listening to Paul Simon's Graceland and the Talking Heads. And while I know most people don't want to hear it, but strip away the African and classical flair, and the group sounds like their a late '70s punk band slowing down for their growth album.





 


#4. Constantines - Kensington Heights



Arts & Crafts



This band kills me they're so good. It's indescribable. I've never played them for someone and had them go "meh." Kensington Heights is the first album from the band that shows their wide range. Their debut self-titled album was more of a subdued rocker; Shine a Light was a raw, kick in the pants from some singer/songwriter punks. Tournament of Hearts was a mindblowing experiment in minimalism. This album sees the band attack full-on rockers paired with folksie finger-pickers and even a few ballads. It's a message to the world: "Hi world, we're Constantines. And we play a few different types of songs, just like they used to do."





 


#3. 31Knots - Worried Well



Polyvinyl



Some groups defy classification. 31Knots is definitely one of those groups. But their mix of post-hardcore, noise rock and other buzz-word genres have culminated with an added bonus for Worried Well: a dash of piano pop and cabaret. It's this newfound dramatic flair that's tied together their previously difficult albums with an air of approachability. It's hard to describe how this album works, but I'm damn sure it does.



Akimbo


 


#2. Akimbo - Jersey Shores



Neurot



This is one of those albums I've been waiting a very long time to hear. A riff-heavy, boozy metal/hardcore tornado with a sense of humor and a dedication to Led Zeppelin gets serious and writes a 45-minute opus about shark attacks on the New Jersey shore in 1916. The album gives Jon and Nat a chance to show off their powerhouse rhythm section chops, while fairly new guitarist Aaron shreds the hell out of the extended instrumental sections. Back in the ancient days of Greece and Rome, art wasn't a voluntary thing; you were inspired by a Goddess known as a Muse and your participation in the creation was beyond your control. This is how this album was created. The writing process was labored and slow, allowing the group to write and release Navigating the Bronze concurrently. The album tour saw the band playing the album live in its entirety every night. 43 or so nights later, playing the album isn't always going to be fun. But then, artistic intent outweighs environments, and if that means you have to play the album to 20 people in a small duplex basement in Indianapolis, you play that album. It's a stunning achievement that's worn out the group a bit. This is one of those albums that changes the trajectory of a group forever.




Bonnie 'Prince' Billy


 


#1. Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Lie Down in the Light



Drag City



It's hard to write a flawless album. Albums can be "perfect," and yet have single flaws that are overlooked. Maybe it's a slightly tinny production. Perhaps it's a single trumpet that plays one note you think could be a touch flat. Perfect describes an overall state -- it's a euphoric descriptor, one that glosses over the nicks, scratches and bumps. Flawless, however, is a word that means "being entirely without flaw or imperfection." Lie Down in the Light, friends, is a flawless album. From start to finish, not one note is missing, out of place or glaringly played wrong. End of story.




 
Honorable Mentions



This year was really the year of the metal/hardcore crossover band. Not only was my top 20 full of these albums, but so is my honorable mentions list. Indian pulled out a killer doom album on Seventh Rule, and Racebannon derivative Medusa put out a thunderous, riff-heavy beast. Sweet Cobra reissued their amazingly fantastic heavy skate-metal album from the year before, and Saviours put out a decent album too. On the throwback side, Eli "Paperboy" Reed is rocking the soul scene like it's 1963 and King Tuff was burnin' the midnight oil with some early '70s rock and roll. Blackstrap made us all nostalgic for early '90s shoegaze. Sigur Rós put out a real album that sounds like real music, and Dillinger Four released a solid album after six years silence, one that lives up to their previous effort.


Mixtape

    
Side A

  1. Saviours - Narcotic Sea

  2. 31Knots - The Breaks

  3. Akimbo - Rogue

  4. Vampire Weekend - Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa

  5. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Lie Down Here (And Be My Girl)

  6. Indian - Second Death

  7. Melvins - The Savage Hippy

  8. Jolie Holland - Mexico City

  9. Rough Parade - Blackstrap

  10. Bonnie "Prince" Billy - For Every Field There's a Mole

  11. Light Yourself on Fire - Love and Death

  12. Circles - Deacon

  13. Ida - The Killers, 1964

  14. The Sword - The Frost-Giant's Daughter

  15. Jason Collett - No Redemption Song

    
Side B

  1. King Tuff - Connection

  2. Lords - Fucking with Fire

  3. Sigur Rós - Inní mér syngur vitleysingur

  4. Cancer Bats - Hail Destroyer

  5. Cale Parks - Every Week Ends

  6. Constantines - Trans Canada

  7. Crooked Fingers - Your Control

  8. Dead Meadow - The Queen of All Returns

  9. Eli "Paperboy" Reed - Take My Love with You

  10. Capillary Action - Bloody Nose

  11. Fucked Up - Son the Father

  12. Triclops! - March of the Half Babies

  13. Graveyard - Submarine Blues

  14. Deerhoof - Snoopy Waves

  15. Medusa - Body Count





But What About... (The Hater Speaks...)




 


Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound



SideOneDummy



Here's the thing: I get it. I understand that the band conjures up the same kind of energy and affinity for '50s rock 'n' roll culture that Bruce Springsteen did in his heydey. I understand that. But I have issues with this album. If you strip away the image, the styling, the cultural references and overlays, you're left with basic mid-tempo four-chord boring modern punk music. Now, it's understandable that Born to Run's Spector-ish production might be a little intimidating. There are a lot of bells on it. But Max Weinberg didn't play the same drum pattern for every song, 15 to 20 beats a minute difference in tempo. And Bruce didn't let Stevie Van Zandt play the same crappy guitar parts over and over. And Bruce built his songs on basic chord progressions. It's hard to say this (maybe it isn't), but Gaslight Anthem is just another gimmick band. Replace the tattoos and Chuck Taylors and white Lincolns with Balkan music and you've got Gogol Bordello. Replace it with Irish instrumentation and you've got Flogging Molly. These bands are all just flavors of the week. Now I think these kids may be onto something, but we've got to be honest here: It's unimaginative, repetitive, and derivative. And hey, if we're all shouting "It's just like Bruce Springsteen" as a selling point, why don't we just go back and listen to Bruce Springsteen. The man has at least six albums worth of solid material. There's no need for a half-assed tribute if we've got the original at our fingertips.




 


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.
sickboi (January 7, 2009)

Jelone -

For the record, the band is very forthcoming with their use of lyrical material from others. That's kinda their whole thing. Blending the past and the present. The band name itself is indicative of what they do. I can understand how that may put you off, but to call them "hacks"? Wow.

-chris

Jelone (January 2, 2009)

Interestin' list.

At this point, I agree with your thoughts on The Gaslight Anthem. I was in love with the record when it first came out, and even submitted a glowing review for the Org. But months later, I keep finding more lyrics nicked from other songwriters. The '59 Sound is one of the first albums I'd ever consider to be a guilty pleasure, because it borrows too liberally. It's not really anti-hype thing, although it's the attention the band is getting online that's led to me learning about their various thefts. And it's not really an anti-gimmick thing, because ultimately every band has a shtick (and for the record, I think calling Flogging Molly out for being Irish-y is beside the point!). For me, it's just embarrassment, because I loved this album so much, only to learn it was the work of hacks.

stevejonestherealbones (January 2, 2009)

"Albums can be "perfect," and yet have single flaws that are overlooked. Maybe it's a slightly tinny production. Perhaps it's a single trumpet that plays one note you think could be a touch flat. Perfect describes an overall state -- it's a euphoric descriptor, one that glosses over the nicks, scratches and bumps. Flawless, however, is a word that means "being entirely without flaw or imperfection.""

el oh el

- jones the bones

- email

totallysuperawesome (January 1, 2009)

dude, we get it. you don't like anything "hype" or bands that get attention. but that was pretty shitty. you make yourself out to be such an educated music listener, then you come across a pretty ill-informed elitist asshole brushing off a band based solely on their widespread recognition. The last three sentences you use in your petty little rant can be attribute to about 80% of your best of list. In the end, it just comes of as you wishing you were in on this band before everyone else, but once you heard the hype and finally gave them a listen (which i still doubt), you found it easier to bash them then rather then, god forbid, like a band AFTER they gained popularity.

PitchforkHRDepartment (January 1, 2009)

Hi Jessie,
We are writing to you today to say we appreciate your interest in Pitchfork Media and have received your resume. Upon reviewing your above Best of list, we have further decided your tastes is much more suited to our website then Punknews.org; your list, in fact, contains only one punk band. We definetly appreciate your far-out music interests, including that ill-conceived attack on people's tastes, i.e. your opinion on the Gaslight Anthem. Journalistically speaking, passing judgement on a band, their sound and their influences to solely posture your snarky, belittling hipster-esque, looking-down-your-nose, holier then thou attitude is EXACTLY what we're looking for. Totally disregarding the facts; that that's just the way Brian Fallon really is; that the band's rhythm section has done more for punk rock and indie music in their lifetime as you casually brush them off for being a "gimmick" (while most of your "stoner metal" "genre" could be classified as a "gimmick"); how you can call this a "flavor of the week" and list VAMPIRE FUCKING WEEKEND in the same breath, now that's balls.
Let's review your list:
20. Dead Meadow - Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, but on Matador! so it's Groundbreaking!
19. MC Chris - take away his fanboy cartoons, and it's a fucking hip hop Weird Al.
18. Ida - Fuck Low, those fucking Matador sellouts.
17. Melvins - i got nothing. i totally agree with you. but, fuck you anyway.
16. Bob Collett - you have this nice little trend of shittalking your own nominees, it's a special tactic of not taking things too serious, but yet, you're doing it, so it's obviously kinda serious. another clown drinking from the Arts & Craft kool aid. also, talking shit about a band for sounding similar to an artist, and then praising another artist for sounding similar to an artist?
15. Triclops - again, i got nothing. agreed, kinda.
14. Graveyard - so, if Tee Pee thinks it's cool, then why isn't it cool when Valient Thorr does it?
13. Cale Sparks - wrong. everyone knows the best drummer who plays in an indie rock band is Damon Che. that's Pitchfork common knowledge.
12. Nick Cave - of course, Nick Cave, we fucking KNEW it. nobody likes Nice Cave, they just LIKE saying they like him. Like Merzbow. you can't actually enjoy listening to this crap.
11. Deerhoof - take away the "Rhythmically complex, well-thought out and brilliantly conceptualized" sound, and you got Melt Banana
10. Fucked Up - take away the riffs that sound like Black Flag trying to cover the Ramones, the conceptual hardcore art project, the '80s hardcore minstrel show, it's just another hardcore punk band. don't bring yourself down to that level, that's where the Gaslight Anthem came up out of!
9. Lords - the ninth best record of the year. really? you give a press release, a bio, not a reason this was a good record. just that the guy's a mad scientist. groan.
8. Capillary Action - watch out! this guys a madman! ok i think we've decoded your formula ... you like it wacky! you're into the kooky far out, deeply artistic, envelope pushing, challenging "artists" who really define the genre. You certainly are Pitchfork material! Here's to NEVER finishing that Masters!
7. Crooked Fingers - you stole CMJ's from Border's and still have the free CDs they came with hidden away in your nostalgic little shoe box in your closet, along with your "Dookie" shirt, right?
6. the Sword - dude, seriously. YOU CANNOT praise one band for doing something and then BASH another for doing almost the same goddamn thing! consistency is a critics worst enemy. that, and taste.
5. VAMPIRE FUCKING WEEKEND - why not FUCKING BLACK KIDS? but "take away their african flair" (how did it feel writing that turd?), and it's another bunch of rich educated kids (the decemberists 06) playing rock star (the strokes 01).
4. Constantines - oh, Canada. keep riding that Arts & Craft bullshit coat tails. A&C = flavor of the week, in Canadian.
3. 31Knots - Whoa, NO ONE's doing piano pop cabaret, so this HAS to be good!
2. Akimbo - yeah, i'm sure the Gaslight Anthem never played in front of 20 people anywhere before. half assed tribute band. THESE guys know Zeppelin!
1. Bonnie Prince Billy - dude, 2002 is pushing it. you can't pull this one out at uno in ocho. tight bros from way back made this record in 97, and it didn't stand the test of time, as "perfect" as it might've sounded then.
in conclusion, we regret to inform you that we're chock full of snobby assholes with much better taste then yours. seriously, you're ALMOST there. you need a little more irony, and little more consistency, but you've got attitude, though misguided, juvenile, and shitty. so, fuck you and your list.
sincerely,
Pitchfork Talent Acquistion

gorillacupcakes (January 1, 2009)

Excuse me Mr.Phelps, have you listened to Fucked Up?

FredPhelps (January 1, 2009)

Except, they don't sound like Bruce Springsteen. Way to buy the whole anti-gaslight straw man argument Jesse.

Not one punk band on the entire list.

jesse (January 1, 2009)

There's nothing wrong with throwing in Screeching Weasel or the Riverdales from time to time, if that floats your boat, but why waste time with unoriginality when there are so many bands, groups, acts, solos, etc. that are truly innovating?

inagreendase (January 1, 2009)

So then we should stop listening to Screeching Weasel and the Riverdales because we should only listen to the Ramones?

Jesse would probably say "Yes."

ffwoodycock (January 1, 2009)

To be fair, he never said "dont listen to them." or anything along those lines. They do get a lot of press saying they have a springsteen like sound. that may throw some people off, i guess. He offered his opinion, one that isn't extremely popular (as you've all pointed out) but, being a music reviewer/editor is about offering an opinion.

That being said, i love lists like these when music i really liked is included with music i've never heard, giving me god incentive to check the bands out.
good list.

wonton (January 1, 2009)

"we've got to be honest here: It's unimaginative, repetitive, and derivative. And hey, if we're all shouting "It's just like Bruce Springsteen" as a selling point, why don't we just go back and listen to Bruce Springsteen. The man has at least six albums worth of solid material. There's no need for a half-assed tribute if we've got the original at our fingertips."

So then we should stop listening to Screeching Weasel and the Riverdales because we should only listen to the Ramones?

SlowStupidHungry (January 1, 2009)

"Oh Will, how I've missed you. Don't worry, no one thinks they are as punk as you and your SST record collection.

-chris"

I was just making sure, because that would be preposterous.

Damo (January 1, 2009)

I've tried to get into TGA but I'm struggling to. I think it's cos they don't actually play punk music. Maybe it's the production, I dunno

HooverStreet (January 1, 2009)

I like this guy. He's completely spot on with his summary of The Gaslight Anthem except for one thing.... they sound nothing like Springsteen. If it weren't for their press releases and bio saying they sound like Springsteen then no one would be saying it.

ConsolationPrizefighter (January 1, 2009)

Fuck you you sack of shit, you know what you meant, don't blame it on some bullshit "subconscious." If you're going to say something so petty and juvenile at least own up to it you bastard. You can still turn people like me on to Akimbo and not be a fucktard.

jesse (December 31, 2008)

In my defense, the Gaslight diatribe at the end came off more bitter than I meant it too. It was supposed to be my concession speech - yeah it's pretty good, whatever. I guess my subconscious doesn't agree.

Don't hate the hater, hate the hating.

JackingItSoHard2LISTS (December 31, 2008)

JackingItSoHard2LISTS

Torgo (December 31, 2008)

I like a lot of the same music as you, but of course your description of The '59 Sound irks me. I hate hate hate it when someone says "If you take away this, this, that, this, and the other it's just this. How does no one see this argument makes no sense? Take away Fucked Up's experimentalism, guitar layering and astute chord progressions, you just have a regular hardcore band. See?

clamum (December 31, 2008)

"Oh Will, how I've missed you. Don't worry, no one thinks they are as punk as you and your SST record collection.

-chris"

Hahaha. Couldn't agree more. The kid (he's out of his teen years now though, right?) comes across as one of the most chin-turned-up douchebags I've had the misfortune of seeing on the Internet in over 10 years.

damnitsderek (December 31, 2008)

You're being awfully harsh on TGA for hype that's been put on them by fans and critics.

However, I'm with you on Vampire Weekend. That album is fucking great.

xote (December 31, 2008)

Jesse and Aubin put together the best lists.

ConsolationPrizefighter (December 31, 2008)

We know you don't like "Orgcore." Get off your fucking high horse.

PoliticsOfStarving (December 31, 2008)

When I think about it, Gaslight Anthem are a mid-tempo 4 chord punk band, the kind of punk band that I usually find boring. But there's something about this record that kicks my ass every time.

fallingupwards84 (December 31, 2008)

lol MC Chris? joke?

kevinh (December 31, 2008)

I'm at a loss as to how "flawless" can be better than "perfect." I understand that something that is flawless is "without imperfection," according to the definition, but I kinda think that something that is perfect would also likely be without any imperfections. I mean, it's kinda hard to be perfect if there's an imperfection, isn't it. The words are somewhat related.

Plus, I just looked up the definition of perfect, and what stood out was "complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement." If something has a single/small flaw, that would be room for improvement, thus making it not, in fact, perfect.

I don't mean to harp on it, but when I read this I honestly found that whole diatribe to be borderline absurd.

chokingvictim (December 31, 2008)
Incognito_Bandit (December 31, 2008)

In actuality Gaslight sound little like Springsteen. Go listen to The River or Born To Run and yeah Gaslight go for the spirit and take something from the music but if you think what they are doing is straight up aping you have missed the point. Gaslight are doing the same things that that Springsteen was doing with the music that came before him but they are also using all the post-punk, melodic punk and rock music that has come since Bruce put on his guitar strap.

sickboi (December 31, 2008)

Oh Will, how I've missed you. Don't worry, no one thinks they are as punk as you and your SST record collection.

-chris

seth_uber_alles (December 31, 2008)

No Torche?

I pretty much agree about the Gaslight Anthem. I love Jesse.

Yossarian (December 31, 2008)

I agree that the anti-gaslight rant was completely unnecessary...really no point to it at all, the other guys who didn't list them on their year end review didn't act so immature, what's this guy's deal?

the_problem_with_fire (December 31, 2008)

I totally agree with what you said about Gaslight Anthem, you said it perfectly.

Pretty good list, though I'm not familiar with everything--just more music to check out.

Fuzzy (December 31, 2008)

Jesse's good at stirring the pot. To be honest, he's totally right - Gaslight does very little that is new and interesting. But if that's what you're looking for, you're missing the point of the music - which Jesse obviously does.

But bravo on, as Dante said, "out old manning" me. GET OFF MY LAWN!

mikexdude (December 31, 2008)

I hate when people talk about the 'african' styling in Vampire Weekends music. I just don't see it besides maybe one song. Oh well, nice list. I think you're too harsh on Gaslight. A lot of the guitar is down in the mix, but there's a lot of interesting stuff going on. The drums are boring though.

chokingvictim (December 31, 2008)

the gaslight thing seemed really pointless and out of place, regardless of your opinion.

xIxKilledxJesusx (December 31, 2008)

im not a fan of your list, but the score is for the gaslight anthem comment. i agree completely

SlowStupidHungry (December 31, 2008)

I've got big love for Jesse. We go way back to the old school. Even though most of this list is garbage. And he calls a band "skate metal." What kind of genre is that? But anyways. Good job on pissing off Gaslight Anthem fruits.

Peace

theonetruebill (December 31, 2008)

Jesse rules for having Triclops! on his list and for taking Gaslight to task for what they are.

Long live Jesse.

sickboi (December 31, 2008)

Wow Jesse. I can understand your difference in opinion, but you come off as pretty bitter. TGA aren't attempting to reinvent the wheel, if anything, I see them as a great bridge between the rock I love of today and yesteryear. Your statement about the drumbeats is pretty far off, so I'm guessing you've based that opinion purely on the single.

I would not have said anything, but to be honest, devoting an entire paragraph to a rant about one album is pretty juvenile.

-chris

R3vengeTherapy (December 31, 2008)

While your tastes aren't exactly anything like mine, I have to say I respect this list. Vampire Weekend is the only release you've got on your list that I have on mine, yet I believe every word you've written here, and that you really like all 20 of these releases.

I really just wanted to say that I agree with what you said about Gaslight Anthem.

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go