NEW DISCLAIMER THE FIRST: I realized while writing this section that the ranking of albums…except inside of the Top 15 maybe…are pretty arbitrary…since a lot of these records are so different from eachother that ranking them against eachother is kinda silly…but whats done is done…
NEW DISCLAIMER THE SECOND: In case you haven’t figured it out…I’m only working with full lengths for this list…however, if I wasn’t, the demo and two following EPs by Rochester’s Sakes Alive!! (AKA the nine total original songs they released this decade)would have appeared together in this post…because they totally fucking rip.
30. The Unseen – So This is Freedom? (2001)
Over the course of this decade the once proud Boston street punk tradition began to fade…with The Freeze gone, Toxic Narcotic MIA and the Dropkick Murphys blowing up and sound tracking Oscar winning flicks, the scene became almost unrecognizable…however The Unseen stood strong. Like Strike Anywhere, all of their records really sound pretty similar, but this tends to be the one that everyone remembers…and I’m sure that has NOTHING to do with its catchy choruses, fast hooks and driving energy present from the first note to the final twang of the hidden cover track at the end.
Choice Track: So This is Freedom?
29. The Dillinger Escape Plan – Miss Machine (2004)
Easily one of the most innovative, risk taking metal releases of the decade…not only combining traditional metalcore with more industrial elements, but proving once and for all that DEP were still a force to be reckoned with, lineup changes and all, after Calculating Infinity. Admittedly I had a bit of trouble deciding between this album and its follow-up…but in terms of groundbreaking ingenuity and face melting intensity…Miss Machine wins.
Choice Track: Sunshine the Werewolf
28. The Blood Brothers – Burn, Piano Island, Burn (2005)
I won’t lie…when I first heard this record I thought it was some elaborated inside joke…most likely at the expense of Claudio Sanchez. It took me literally years of relatively consistent listening to realize how important this record was…it took the mold created (and then later maligned) by screamo and turned it into something much more intense but still, in some odd way, danceable. Sing/Scream/Destroy/Repeat.
Choice Track: Cecilia and the Silhouette Saloon
27. The World/Inferno Friendship Society – Addicted to Bad Ideas (2007)
I know what you’re thinking: “WHAT?! HOW COME YOU DIDN’T PICK “JUST THE BEST PARTY” YOU FUCKING POSEUR?!” Here is why: Just the Best Party was as great an introductory record as can exist…but prior to that record, the band went through more sound changes than anyone can count…Party showed us what the band was doing then…and it was marvelous…however Addicted to Bad Ideas showed us what one of the most important punk bands this decade could really DO. Perfectly arranged, punk and circus elements intricately balanced…lyrically complex and almost a challenge to the audience…”hey punk kids, we DARE you to NOT like this!” Some didn’t, it’s true…but they are completely soulless and entirely intolerable as human beings.
Choice Track: Thumb Cinema
26. Thrice – Vheissu (2005)
I knew the first time I heard this record that I liked it…a lot…so much so that it was my favorite record of that year and still regularly finds its way onto my playlists four years later…but it took me a little bit of time to realize why this record mattered: Thrice really were the first of the early decade emo generation to break rank and legitimately do something different with their soapbox (and I don’t just mean because they added piano)…and the result can’t be ignored. Everything about this record is epic…the highs boom and the lows haunt in a way that the band really hasn’t been able to quite repeat since (though they came close with The Alchemy Index.)
Choice Track: For Miles
25. Isis – Oceanic (2002)
Back when labeling people by the music they listened to was cool, I was a lonely depressed teenage metalhead with playlists that included Metallica, Killswitch Engage and Disturbed. Then I discovered punk and hardcore and left my nu-metal collection and oversized black hoodies behind without much of a second thought. However, two things happened in 2006 that reignited my love of the genre a thousand fold: Metalocalypse began to air…and I heard Oceanic for the first time. However, unlike before, I was met with a metal that was lyrically intriguing, musically dense (audibly hulking in a way) and not even particularly easy to listen to…but if you stuck with it, were brought to levels of musical pseudo-enlightenment heretofore unseen by my poseur-teenage self.
Choice Track: False Light
24. The Dropkick Murphys – The Warriors Code (2005)
This might be the single entry I have thought most about on this entire list. While Dropkick certainly gave me more than a few releases to choose from over the past ten years, I went with this one not only because it was (somehow) my first real exposure to the band and not only because it came out the year I starting to feel at home in New England…but because this record contains within it the sound of a city reborn. In 2004, after 86 years Boston finally had its day again…and the enthusiasm was infectious. We were a city of champions, and Dropkick came along with their light hearted vocals, blaring bagpipes and punk rock intensity and immortalized that time more than anyone ever could…and gave the city its anthem for this new era like it had the last.
Completely Obvious Choice Track: I’m Shipping Up to Boston
23. Converge – You Fail Me (2004)
Another tough call, because like a lot of the other bands on this list this was not the resoundingly clear pick for decade’s best. However, unlike its predecessor Jane Doe, I feel like this album solidified the band’s sound moving forward just a LITTLE more…showing us a deeper, darker, more complex but resoundingly heartfelt side of hardcore that hadn’t been seen for a couple years beforehand.
Choice Track: Eagles Become Vultures
22. Flogging Molly – Drunken Lullabies (2002)
As much as the city of Boston wants to believe their celt-punk troops are the only true heirs to the Pogues throne, that title will always and forever belong with Flogging Molly…and unlike some other bands on this list, this record was the resoundingly clear winner for decades best. From start to finish, every emerald-ilse-lovin’ track is just as danceable, mischievous and fast paced as the last and together creates a complete, whiskey drenched package that, literally years later, I still can’t put down.
Choice Track: What’s Left of the Flag
21. My Chemical Romance – Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge (2004)
No matter how you feel about them, there were very bands active this decade that the masses remained completely undecided on like My Chemical Romance. Few other groups were as alternately loved and hated by so many…and I should know, as I felt both toward them over the last ten years…and that kinda controversy demands recognition. Of course, the catchy, morbid pop-punk anthems that come along with said controversy and that re-ignited the pseudo-goth branch of emo and ended up, consciously or not, starting a movement that will be commented on for years to come aren’t bad either.
Choice Track: I’m Not Okay (I Promise)