Bryne Yancey 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
This is my first year as a staff member here at punknews.org, so I suppose an introduction is in order.
My name's Bryne (pronounced like "Brian," an old family name that goes back several generations and was likely started by a woefully-inept-at-spelling physician incorrectly filling out a birth certificate; the details are hazy, which is how we Yanceys tend to stumble through our lives). Needless to say, roll call on the first day of school was always fun. Somehow I was able to endure, and am now a strapping, inadequately educated 24-year-old man. And despite having never taken a writing class in my life (I did say 'inadequately educated'), here I sit, a staff member at the most heralded source for punk news on the entire series of tubes. It's no secret that we here at the 'Org piss integrity (albeit with streams of humbleness and minimal smarm), and I hope to keep that storied tradition alive until the next group of strange, slow and/or old folks are ready and willing to carry the torch.
On a more personal note, 2008 has been a year of challenges with great rewards. My webzine What We Hate has grown considerably and we're showing no signs of slowing down in 2009. I didn't go to many shows, but despite some financial hurdles was able to make the pilgrimage to Gainesville this year for The Fest. I've taken up photography and podcasting as legitimate hobbies. I've started biking everywhere and have the bulging quadriceps to prove it; attempts to start a bike gang remain unrealized. And as the proverbial icing on top of the proverbial cupcake, I've earned an opportunity to write for what has been my favorite site for the better part of a decade. This is certainly an odd thing to write about a website, but I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for these blues, grays and whites. It feels awesome to be here and have the chance to give back a little bit, and possibly help steer some uninformed kids toward bands or records they wouldn't otherwise know about, much like the previous generation did for me.
Oh yeah, some killer music came out in 2008, too. On with the list!
The 20 Best Records of 2008 (Insert Witty Title Here)
Some other records that rocked and/or rolled my 2008: La Dispute - Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair; Static Radio NJ - An Evening of Bad Decisions; Vietnam Werewolf - Ohio's City; Punchline - Just Say Yes; the Sword - Gods of the Earth; Useless ID - The Lost Broken Bones; Waylon Jennings and the .357's - Waylon Forever; Young Widows - Old Wounds; Bridge and Tunnel - East/West; the Constantines - Kensington Heights; Eli "Paperboy" Reed and the True Loves - Roll With You; Fucked Up - The Chemistry of Common Life; the Hold Steady - Stay Positive; Metallica - Death Magnetic; Anchor Arms - Cold Blooded; Mock Orange - Captain Love; the Serious Geniuses - You Can Steal the Riffs, But You Can't Steal the Talent; Murder by Death - Red of Tooth and Claw; No Harm Done - Escape; No Use for a Name - The Feel Good Record of the Year; Olehole - Holemole; Only Thunder - Lower Bounds; Pennywise - Reason to Believe; the Riot Before - Fists Buried in Pockets; Smoking Popes - Stay Down; Virgins - Miscarriage.
Top EPs/7"s/Demos of 2008
My 2008 Mixtape:
- The Gaslight Anthem - Great Expectations
- Dillinger Four - "Contemplate This on Your Tree of Woe."
- Papermoons - Find Me an Island
- The Loved Ones - Brittle Heart
- Off with Their Heads - I Am You
- Cheap Girls - No One to Blame
- Look Mexico - You're Not Afraid of the Dark, Are You?
- The Copyrights - Charlie Birger Time
- Chuck Ragan & Austin Lucas - Darling Corry
- Jr. Juggernaut - Wailing West
- Blacklisted - Stations
- Tigers Jaw - Chemicals
- Scream Hello - 20/21
- Paper the Operator - Solemn Boyz
- Lemuria - Lipstick
- Banner Pilot - Empty Your Bottles
- Drag the River - Fleeting Porch of Tide
- Teenage Bottlerocket - Totally Stupid
- Hellmouth - Overtime in a Shark Cage
- Ninja Gun - Red State Blues
- Nada Surf - I Like What You Say
- Tim Barry - South Hill
- Sakes Alive!! - I'm Religious
- Ryan's Hope - Bastard Epidemic
- Vietnam Werewolf - Regarding the Recent Exodus
- Polar Bear Club - Convinced I'm Wrong
Looking ahead to '09
As if 2008 could be topped, 2009 will likely see killer releases from the likes of the Swellers, A Wilhelm Scream, Strike Anywhere, Transit, Fake Problems, Hellmouth, Sakes Alive!!, Austin Lucas, the Takers, Mike Hale, In the Red, Broadway Calls, Green Day, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Ben Nichols, Lucero, Let Me Run, Neko Case, the Loved Ones, New Found Glory and many, many other bands that are escaping me at the moment. I look forward to reading your comments (it's true) and reading about your favorites. Or you can just tell me how much my list sucks; whichever you prefer.