Cementing The Seams

The Plot Sickens


So, occasionally I'll being doing a list (the top 5 best this, top 5 worst that. You get it right?). And, since it's still pretty early in 2009, I thought I'd start off with my top 5 records of 2008. Sorry if it's a little late.

5. Paint It Black - New Lexicon
Godfather of melodic hardcore and master of the half-time breakdown Dan Yemin (from Lifetime and Kid Dynamite if somehow you don’t know this) returns with Paint It Black’s third studio album. This time took a step in a slightly less hardcore, more melodic direction. Don’t be fooled though, the songs may be longer but Yemin’s signature growl and his rotating backup cast haven’t lost a bit of their ferocity. Hardcore punk should sound just like this. Personally, I think this is Yemin’s finest hour.

4. Cheap Girls - Find Me A Drink Home
Nobody writes pop songs like Cheap Girls. Anymore. They did in the 90’s but that’s beside the point because this was 2008. Suffice it to say that Find Me A Drink Home doesn’t break any barriers or bust down any walls. It’s pretty generic actually. But, as easy as it would be to scoff at the Girls’ debut, it’s just too good. This is undeniably catchy and irrefutably excellent pop rock that plays me like a dimwit’s kazoo every single time. Also, its free!

3. Able Baker Fox – Voices
Imagine two of the most important punk/emo bands currently writing music put their talents together and created a genre juggernaut that would probably shape the way people would write said genres for years. Now, set aside your delusions of grandeur and penchant for outrageous hyperbole and listen to Voices. The debut album from Able Baker Fox picks up where the respective bands (Small Brown Bike and The Casket Lottery) left off with their 2002 self-titled split EP. Voices isn’t particularly inventive as I may have led you to believe with that baited opening, but it is just about the best thing you could expect from a collaboration like this. There are a couple of duds but the highlights of the record are some of the best punk/emo songs in the aether. Of any band that could potentially release material in the future, Able Baker Fox is the one I look forward to the most.

2. Sidekicks - Sam EP
Every time I listen to this record I’m surprised it didn’t garner more hype from the Orgcore crowd this year. Sam was almost definitely overlooked because it was one, exclusively a 7” release and two, on a pretty obscure label (Whoa Oh Records). The Sidekicks are from Cleveland, and Sam is the name of their dead dog. It’s a 4 song punk rock gem and you should have it. If you’re into pop punk or orgcore at all you should love every second of this EP. The Sidekicks are probably the band whose future work I am anticipating (second) most.

1. Riddle of Steel – 1985
I must have listened to 1985 three times in a row when I first heard it and each time it ended I could never believe it was already over. I suppose it’s because the newest effort from St. Louis’s Riddle of Steel never lets up. There isn’t a throwaway track to be found and every song is a slice of some sort of golden pie that manages to taste delicious despite being made of solid fucking rock. This really is the only description the record needs. If you like rock music, you’ll be into this. If you’re the type who enjoys comparison, imagine Jawbox covering Zeppelin. No? Well they sound like Bluetip and Queens of the Stone Age too.


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