Yeah….we’ve reached the point in the list where the records have become such an engrained part of my existence that anything beyond “DUUUHHRRRRRR” is really hard to formulate…but we’ll see how it goes…

20. A Wilhelm Scream – Ruiner (2004)

Ruiner

A genuinely unique sound is hard to come by in most rock circles today…and ESPECIALLY in the punk scene. Maybe being the most intense band on a bunch of ska tours for years was the key to AWS’ sound developing the way it did…who knows…but whatever it was that lead to the finger tappy, sing/screamy, hard/soft goodness present on this monster got it right in almost every way.

Choice Track: Killing It

19. Bridge and Tunnel – East/West (2008)

East/West

Easily one of, if not the best new bands to rise out of the entire second half of the decade, if these spunky New Yorkers are an indication of what’s to come from the “org” scene then we have some amazing years ahead of us. All heart, no bullshit, no filler…every word intricately chosen for maximum effect…this record is a great example of how to do political commentary through music completely correctly.

Choice Track: Call to the Comptroller’s Office

18. Mastodon – Leviathan (2004)

Leviathan

When someone with little credibility told me Mastodon were “the next Metallica” I said “fuck off n00b they’ve been saying that about *insert half-decent metal band* for years and it hasn’t played out…even if a band comes along that was tight enough to respectfully exist within the genre they would still have to cross commercial battlelines and get the rubes into it like Metallica did…NOT happening.” Then I heard Leviathan and my immediate response was short and sweet: “well…fuck.”

Choice Track: Blood and Thunder

17. Fucked Up – Hidden World (2006)

Hidden World

Making a good hardcore record after the mid-90s was hard enough…making one so good that it redefined the entire genre seemed like an impossibility before Hidden World. This record, the one that followed it and the millions of EPs that preceded and came between them showed that loud and fast could still have legs, even in 8 minute increments.

Choice Track: Baiting the Public

16. Murder by Death – Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them? (2003)

Who Will Survive, And What Will Be Left of Them

Remember when an album telling a complete story wasn’t out of the ordinary or frowned upon? So much more than a concept album, even if it WAS every emo kid’s token artsy record for three years, this record defied all expectations as it trudged through its sweepingly epic story with its own unique brand of punk-tinged country magnificence.

Choice Track: That Crown Don’t Make You a Prince

15. The Distillers – Sing Sing Death House (2002)

Sing Sing Death House

There isn’t anything particularly noteworthy about this one…it’s a fairly straightforward so-cal punk record that never really had much of an impact on anyone…except me. We all made our entrance into the genre some way…and when this 16 year-old Audioslave fan witnessed Brody Dalle and crew blaze through 25ish minutes of tracks from this record to a crowd of about 10 people at 2PM at Lollapalooza ’03…it was all over.

Choice Track: City of Angels

14. Andrew WK – I Get Wet (2002)

I Get Wet

“When it’s time to party, we will party hard.” Nuff said.

Choice Track: Party Hard

13. Taking Back Sunday – Tell All Your Friends (2002)

Under normal circumstances, this record, while still the most notable record to arise out of the long island post-hardcore scene this decade, would have been much lower on this list..if not off it all together. However, if it weren’t for this record, I never would have discovered The Descendents…and, more likely, would still be listening to nu-metal. For that, I owe Taking Back Sunday more than I can really explain.

Choice Track: You Know How I Do

12. Cursive – The Ugly Organ (2003)

The Ugly Organ

The OTHER token artsy record of all emo kids at the beginning of the decade, filling “art-rock” quotas on mixtapes to this very day. Kasher and crew haven’t really been as haunting, soul bitingly honest and heartbreakingly dense since (largely due to the departure of Greta Cohn right before their follow up)…*insert other hyperbole…rinse…repeat*

Choice Track: A Gentleman Caller

11. Dillinger Four – Situationist Comedy (2002)

Situationist Comedy

What can really be said about D4 that hasn’t been said before? The entire mid-west pop punk scene owes the entirety of its existence to these drunk punks (as well as half of punknews), and this was “the last D4” record for the vast majority of the decade (its follow-up didn’t land until 4th quarter 2008.) Maybe not as anthemic as Vs God but, I’d argue, a lot more memorable in the long run.

Choice Track: A Floater Left with Pleasure in the Executive Washroom

Almost done now…

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