Top 15 Heavy Records of 2008
1. Paint It Black – New Lexicon (Jade Tree)
2. Fucked Up – The Chemistry of Common Life (Matador)
3. Disfear – Live the Storm (Relapse)
4. Reign Supreme – American Violence (Deathwish)
5. Bison B.C. – Quiet Earth (Metal Blade)
6. Genghis Tron – Board Up the House (Relapse)
7. Carpathian – Isolation (Deathwish)
8. These Arms are Snakes – Tail Swallower and Dove (Suicide Squeeze)
9. Cursed – III: Architects of Troubled Sleep (Goodfellow)
10. Russian Circles – Station (Suicide Squeeze)
11. Verse – Aggression (Bridge 9)
12. Grave Maker – Bury Me At Sea (Smallman)
13. Blacklisted – Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God (Deathwish)
14. The Bronx – The Bronx III (White Drugs)
15. Trash Talk – Trash Talk (TT Collective)

Top 15 Less Heavy Records of 2008
1. The Gaslight Anthem – The ’59 Sound (SideOneDummy)
2. Fucked Up – The Chemistry of Common Life (Matador)*
3. Tom Gabel – Heart Burns (Sire)
4. Dillinger Four – C I V I L W A R (Fat Wreck Chords)
5. Chris Wollard and the Ship Thieves – Chris Wollard and the Ship Thieves (Independent)
6. The Hold Steady – Stay Positive (Vagrant)
7. The Creepshow – Run For Your Life (Stomp)
8. Mates of State – Re-Arrange Us (Barsuk)
9. LaGrecia – On Parallels (Suburban Home)
10. Amanda Palmer – Who Killed Amanda Palmer? (Roadrunner)
11. Tim Barry – Manchester (Suburban Home)
12. The Mae Shi – HLLYH (Team Shi)
13. Monotonix – Body Language (Drag City)
14. Bridge and Tunnel – East/West (No Idea)
15. Carpenter – Law of the Land (Smallman)

*This record includes both all the characteristics of a great heavy record AND all the characteristics of a great less heavy record (and if you disagree you are wrong.)

Honorable Mention
Street Dogs – State of Grace (Hellcat)
Chuck Ragan & Austin Lucas – Bristle Ridge (Ten Four)
Thrice – The Alchemy Index Volume 2: Air and Earth (Vagrant)
Thrice – Live at the House of Blues (Vagrant)
An Albatross Family Album (Eyeball)
Fear Before – Fear Before (Equal Vision)
The Loved Ones – Build and Burn (Fat Wreck Chords)
Virgins – Miscarriage (Kiss of Death)
Dead to Me – Little Brother (Fat Wreck Chords)
Bad Flirt – Virgin Talk (Kartel)
OnGuard – This Has Its Price and That Price Has Been Paid (demo) (Independent)
Parts and Labor – Receivers (Jagjaguar)
Vivian Girls – Vivian Girls (In the Red)
Vancougar – Canadian Tuxedo (Mint)
Thursday/Envy – Split (Temporary Residence)
Ashers – Cold Dark Place (Welfare)
Murder by Death – Red of Tooth and Claw (Vagrant)
Longwave – Secrets Are Sinister (Original Signal)

Top Eight Live Performances of  2008

1. None More Black (Reunion Show) @ Deep Sleep – Philadelphia, PA
2. Paint It Black @ The Black Dot – Montreal, QC
3. Fucked Up @ Great Scott – Allston, MA
4. Chuck Ragan/Tim Barry/Ben Nichols (The Revival Tour) @ The Middle East – Cambridge, MA
5. Monotonix @ The Knitting Factory – New York, NY (CMJ)
6. Amanda Palmer & The Boston Pops @ Symphony Hall – Boston, MA
7. Hot Water Music/Thursday/Paint It Black @ Terminal 5 – New York, NY
8. A Place to Bury Strangers @ La Sala Rosa – Montreal, QC

Honorable Mention
Baroness/Genghis Tron/Bison B.C. @ La Sala Rosa – Montreal, QC
Disfear @ Great Scott – Allston, MA
The Gaslight Anthem (Record Release) @ The Middle East – Cambridge, MA
Street Dogs @ Warped Tour ’08 @ Parc Jean Drapeau – Montreal, QC
Strike Anywhere/Paint It Black/The Riverboat Gamblers/Ashers @ The Middle East – Cambridge, MA

Top Seven Records of 2007 That I Didn’t Absorb Until 2008

1. Attack in Black – Marriage (Dine Alone)

2. Baroness – The Red Album (Relapse)

3. Keren Ann – Keren Ann (Blue Note)

4. Career Suicide – Attempted Suicide (Deranged)

5. Sundowner – Four One Five Two (Red Scare)

6. Sage Francis – Human the Death Dance (Epitaph)

7. The Austerity Program – Black Madonna (Hydra Head)

Top Six Single Tracks of 2008

1. Anna is a Stool Pidgeon” by Tom Gabel

2. “The Beekeeper” by Paint It Black

3. “The 59 Sound” by The Gaslight Anthem

4. “Daedelus” by Thrice

5. “Untitled” by Against Me!

6. “Hiroshima, Mon Frere” by Bad Flirt

Top Five Things Said by Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin in 2008

1. “As for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day?”

2. “There’s a place in Hell reserved for women who don’t support other women.”

3. “They are also building schools for the Afghan children so that there is hope and opportunity in our neighboring country of Afghanistan.”

4. “We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C. …We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation.”

5. “The difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick.”

Top Four Instances of Ass-Kickery Perpetrated by Wade T. Wilson in 2008

1. Killed Wolverine (he got better though.) (Wolverine Origins #23)
2. Defeated a brontosaurus infected with an alien symbiote. (Cable & Deadpool #50)
3. Fed an entire troop of assassins to zombie nurses. (Deadpool #5)
4. Single-handedly saved all of existance from complete temporal collapse (but ended up resurrecting his nemesis in the process…nerts.) (Cable & Deadpool #48)

Top Three Events of Mass Destruction Caused by Dethklok in 2008

1. Plunged the entire state of Florida into economic and social anarchy before accidently summoning a hurricane that destroyed the entire state.

2. Clear cut an entire section of the Amazon rainforest (with rail guns), killing hundreds of endangered species in the process.

3. Accidently released over one hundred of the country’s deadliest convicts from prison, including a man convicted of killing and eating 274 babies and toddlers.

Top Two Seth Rogen Films of 2008

1. Pineapple Express

2. Zach and Miri Make a Porno

Band of the Year

Hot Water Music

First they announce a release date for their long awaited rarities compilation and follow it up with a full blown reunion, proceeded to spend most of the year hitting most major areas in the country and reminding all the bands that ripped them off in vivid detail what the American post-hardcore scene was missing over the past two years (honesty, integrity and brilliant songwriting), before capping off the year with a promise not only of more shows, but of new recorded material as well. The kings have returned.