Monday, February 3, 2014

Top 10 Albums of 2004


Every year, I really enjoy doing these anniversary posts and listing my top ten albums from ten, twenty, and thirty years ago. I especially like setting my time machine for one decade ago. It's such a trip down memory lane as I recall the "heyday" of my time writing about music. It's really hard to believe that all the records listed below came out ten years ago. It's like a decade passed in the blink of an eye! Has it really been ten years since George W. Bush won reelection and the Red Sox won their first World Series since 1918? The "wardrobe malfunction" was ten Super Bowls ago? Napoleon Dynamite is ten years old? That's crazy! For a lot of you, I'm sure some of these names will bring back memories. And if 2004 was a little "before your time", I highly recommend you check out some of these bands/releases!

10. Kevin K and the Real Kool Kats- Addiction
It was right around 2004 when I noticed a shift in "the scene". That throwback '77 punk sound that had been my niche for so many years was no longer as popular or prevalent as it had been in the late '90s. But one guy who was still keeping the faith was the one and only Kevin K - that ageless and prolific disciple of Johnny Thunders and The Ramones. It seemed like he put out a new album every year circa the mid-2000s. Addiction, recorded with his French backing band the Real Kool Kats, is among the best of his 72 LPs. 

9. The Crumbs - Last Exit
The Crumbs were a band of this era that got improperly lumped into the pop-punk scene due to their leather jacket look and Lookout! Records affiliation. To my ears, they were more along the lines of The Saints meet later Social Distortion. Last Exit came out on TKO Records with very little hype behind it, and for whatever reason went largely unnoticed. In my book, it's the best Crumbs album by far. 

8. Mojomatics- A Sweet Mama Gonna Hoodoo Me
These Italian lads mixed garage punk with British Invasion pop and mid 20th century American roots music to create one of the best and most unique sounds of the 2000s. They're still going strong today. This was where it all started!

7. BobbyTeens- Cruisin' For A Bruisin'
This ended up being the last BobbyTeens LP, and a damn fine one at that! If 2000's Not So Sweet sounded like the Shangri-La's blowing bubblegum on a group date with The Dictators, Cruisin' For A Bruisin' was more of a return to the band's roots lo-fi trash roots. "Hot Sweet 'N' Sticky" is the jam! 

6. The Hives- Tyrannosaurus Hives
It was probably less "cool" to like The Hives in 2004 than it had been in 2000. But if you could get over the fact that it came out on (God forbid!) a major label, it was hard to deny that Tyrannosaurus Hives was every bit as good as Veni Vidi Vicious.

5. The Lids- self titled
One of the all-time most underrated Rip Off Records releases. 

4. Marked Men- On The Outside
The beginning of a long and fruitful marriage between Dirtnap Records, the Marked Men, and their countless off-shoots. 

3. Clorox Girls - self titled
Looking back a full decade, it's remarkable how influential this album and the first two Marked Men LPs were on the powerpop/punk sound that's so popular today. Unquestionably a classic.

2. Reigning Sound- Too Much Guitar
Arguably the finest rock n' roll songwriter of his generation, Greg Cartwright has been an integral part of some of the best albums of the last two decades. Too Much Guitar is my favorite of them all - a classic collection of soulful and massively hooky garage/rock n' roll songs. The title says it all!

1. Dimestore Haloes - Ghosts of Saturday Night 
I could have sworn that this album didn't actually see the light of day until 2005. But I've killed a lot of brain cells drinking all these imperial stouts and barleywines this winter. I've seen conflicting release dates for this release all over the Internet. According to the band, it was July 7, 2004. And hell, the band ought to know! Recorded over a couple years with two different lineups, Ghosts was the glam/rock n' roll masterpiece the Haloes had been working towards for their entire existence. You can stream it now over at the Haloes' brand spanking new Bandcamp page

Honorable Mentions:
Deadly Weapons - Get Right In There
The Briefs- Sex Objects 
Guitar Wolf - Loverock
The Ends - Concrete Disappointment
The Muffs- Really Really Happy
Die Hunns - Long Legs
Hatepinks - Sehr Gut Rock Und Roll
Real Losers - Time To Lose
The Bodies- Addicted To You

Alright, then. Who did I forget?

-L.R. 

2 comments:

Love Belle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex Walston said...

Glad to see the ENDS made someone's list for something'! :)