Same disclaimers as before apply. Ready and go.
40. The Alkaline Trio – From Here To Infirmary (2001)
Remember that brief two (some would say three) year span this decade when emo and melodic hardcore weren’t commercially viable and ended up producing some of the genre’s best work? This is one artifact from that time period. Hitting the right balance of melody, aggression and morbid angst, Skiba and crew crafted a near perfect tribute to the 90s while laying the ground work that oh so many would build upon (mostly badly) in the years to come.
Choice Track: Bloodied Up
39. Johnny Cash – American V: A Hundred Highways (2006)
Forthcoming Volume VI and other assorted Rick Rubin wankery notwithstanding, nothing really compares to the feeling of picking this record up for the first time. Despite the widespread commercial success of its predecessor, when IV came out there was always at least a chance for more to come…when this one landed, almost three years after the man in black’s death, we were officially on borrowed time. From the first note to the last whisper it’s become plainly evident that Rubin was effectively having the man eulogize himself…normally, an act I would not approve of…but this time, it worked.
Choice Track: I’m Free From the Chain Gang Now
38. The Descendents – Cool To Be You (2004)
There was a lot of pop-punk flying around this decade…a LOT of it….given that, it’s easy to forget that one of the godfathers of the genre was active for a while and released this instant classic. Almost every song on here is an anthem and once a little more time has passed I guarantee this record will be just as influential as their 80s output…if not more so.
Choice Track: Nothing With You
37. Silverstein – When Broken Is Easily Fixed (2003)
One of the cornerstones of the swansong of screamo, this one managed to sneak in right before the genre (and indeed, the band themselves) took a shit train to shitsville. Wearing their Grade influence high and proud (sometimes to a pathetic extent), these Ontarians managed to package early-00s teen angst into a neat robot allegory and 98% of the Hot Topic clientele shat the bed for it.
Choice Track: Bleeds No More
36. O Pioneers! – Neon Creeps (2009)
The term “instant classic” isn’t something I throw around lightly (so far I’ve only applied it to the GODDAMN DESCENDENTS), but the first time I listened to this record…and the four times I played it all the way through immediately afterward, I knew this one had staying power. Unassumingly original, almost heartbreakingly candid and bleeding honesty, this may be the only record with actual staying power to rise out of the orgcore scene this year.
Choice Track: Stressing the Fuck Out
35. Read Yellow – Radios Burn Faster (2004)
This record will forever live as a testament to what could have been. Sure, their final posthumous release did quietly see the light of day for those who actually cared, but it’s this record (and the accompanying live sets) that I feel really encapsulates the all too brief life of Read Yellow. Charging drums, wailing guitar and hauntingly biting vocals blend to form one of the best pure rock records heard this decade.
Choice Track: The Association
34. Gogol Bordello – Gypsy Punks; Underdog World Strike (2005)
In a scene so dangerously close to stagnation, Gogol Bordello provided a much needed breath of fresh air with their SideOneDummy debut. Who would have thought that teen angst would be brought to its knees by energetic, eastern European infused anthems in broken English by a guy who grew up in REFUGEE CAMPS. My only regret is not getting into them earlier so that I could witness the looks of horror and confusion on the faces of every scene kid at Warped Tour that summer.
Choice Track: I Would Never Wanna Be Young Again
33. P.O.S. – Audition (2006)
No, this record is NOT only on this list because the lack of hip-hop made me feel too white (though, for the sake of full disclosure that IS part of it), but this also happened to be one of the most punk records put out in the last ten years. Every track is seemingly crafted to create a perfect storm of rage, heart and playfulness that has more to do with pizza than sex. If all hip-hop was made with this much heart, the world might be a better place.
Choice Track: Half-Cocked Concepts
32. Big D and the Kids Table – Good Luck (2000)
I will say this is no uncertain terms: this record was the only not only listenable, but genuinely GOOD ska record put out this decade. THE. ONLY. ONE. (okay…the two that followed it were also pretty good…but seriously? Fuck Streetlight Manifesto.) Combining the best of Operation Ivy’s intensity and The Specials’ groove with a Boston attitude to form a crazy ska love baby that will stand the test of time (if I have anything to say about it anyway.)
Choice Track: G.L.D.
31. The Dresden Dolls – The Dresden Dolls (2004)
Ah the fluke that turned in a phenomenon. Who would have thought the spunky piano/drum duo of Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione would ever win that battle of the bands that landed them on shitty metal heavyweight Roadrunner and who further still would have thought their 1940s Cabaret meets 1980s street punk sound would lead a renaissance of weirdo avant-gardists in the semi-mainstream. I sure didn’t…but you can’t argue with the result.
Choice Track: Girl Anachronism