Top 20 of 2004 - FortyMinutesWest's Picks (Cover Artwork)

Top 20 of 2004

FortyMinutesWest's Picks (2004)

staff picks


If 2003 was a bad year to be a musician, 2004 was a lot of the same, with countless break ups, deaths, and break-ins. It's always a sad day when a band loses its gear, whether it be from an accident or a crack head looking for some quick cash. Well, except when it happens to Count The Stars, that shit's funny. The passing of quality bands like Warsawpack and The Missing 23rd really put a damper on things for a while, but I wouldn't worry about a shortage of bands, for every band we lose, there are approximately 16 Bane side projects in the works. There were some remarkable moments this year, we even saw the return of Social Distortion, yep, they actually released the album.

There was an election this year, but you already know about that. If you don't know about it, Chuck Norris won.

Of course, no pointless, rambling intro about the year that was would be complete without some whining about the NHL lockout. It's December already, Rico Fata should be a –23 by now, it's just not right. Bring in replacement players, I really don't care, watching some ECHLers skate around would be more entertaining than watching schmucks like Brian Holzinger anyway. I'd like to end this on a positive note, so I'll conclude this poorly written intro with this: Lasse Pirjeta is still the coolest name ever, and apple flavored altoids kick ass.

Top 10 Of 2004
#10. Social Distortion - Sex, Love And Rock N Roll
Time Bomb Records
This might not be Social D's best album, but it rocks harder than most of the stuff that came out this year.
#9. Crime In Stereo - Explosives And The Will To Use Them
This is one of the freshest sounding hardcore album's I've heard in a long time. Every track will stick in your head forever and have you singing along in your car.
#8. Pig Destroyer - Terrifyer
Relapse Records
Pig Destroyer's latest shows the band expanding their sound a bit, with sexy results.
#7. Bad Religion - The Empire Strikes First
Epitaph Records
Bad Religion is my favorite band of all time; almost any release of theirs is a guaranteed hit with me.
#6. Tusk - Tree of No Return
Tortuga (Hydra Head)
Featuring members of the almighty Pelican, Tusk delivers bizarre avant-garde grind based around the concept of a drifter lost in woods.
#5. Psyopus - Ideas of Reference
Black Market Activities
With The Dillinger Escape Plan going in a new direction, someone else needed to pick of the tech thing and run with it, Psyopus is a prime candidate. Brilliant drumming and otherworldly guitar playing make this release a must have.
#4. Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine
Relapse Records
With their last release being one of my favorite albums of all time, and with a new vocalist and a new direction, I was worried that these guys couldn't live up to that legacy. However, Miss Machine was far from a disappointment. Mike Patton's influence on this band is obvious
#3. Submission Hold - What Holds Back The Elephant
G7 Welcoming Committee Records
Submission Hold's releases for Ebuillition were incredible, and their G7 debut is no less impressive. Jen's powerful vocal delivery and the band's always politically savvy lyrics make this release stand out from the sea of other bands doing the political thing this year.
#2. Isis - Panopticon
Ipecac Recordings
In any other year, Isis would have been at the top of this list. Still, this second place rating doesn't change the fact that this is an amazing record. This band can do no wrong.
#1. Circle Takes The Square - As The Roots Undo
Robotic Empire
As I said before, in any other year Isis would have been at the top of this list. However, Circle Takes The Square emerged as the clear favorites to take this spot as soon as I began working on this list. If you don't already own this, you need to..
Honorable Mentions

Unearth, Champion, All Else Failed, Mastodon, Converge, The Blinding Light, A Voice In The Wire, Arsis, Antimaniax

Album that would have made the list if it came out a month earlier: Jesu-Jesu

Anticipated releases of 2005

Death by Stereo, Propagandhi, Choke, Shai Hulud retrospective, Bane, Street Dogs

Band that needs to be signed in 2005


Biggest Turnaround of 2004

No Warning, and boy does their new CD suck.

2004 Mixtape
  1. Bad Religion - Let Them Eat War
  2. Thought Riot - On New Tablets
  3. Crime In Stereo - If You Think We're Talking About You, We Are
  4. Social Distortion - Reach For The Sky
  5. Champion - Promises Kept
  6. A Wilhelm Scream - The Rip
  7. Q And Not U - LAX
  8. Stand & Fight - So Much More
  9. Another Breath - Racing A Fading Image
  10. Kervin - Mimic the Accident
  1. Unearth - Bloodlust And The Human Condition
  2. Psyopus - Death, I...
  3. Tusk - Tree Of No Return
  4. Antimaniax - G8
  5. Circle Takes The Square - Crowquill
  6. The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza - Five Deep On Charlie
  7. The Dillinger Escape Plan - Panasonic Youth
  8. Arsis - The Face Of My Innocence
  9. Through The Eyes Of The Dead - Forever Ends Today
  10. Meshuggah - I