Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Allison’s Top Ten Records of 2005!

January 1, 2006

Allison’s Top Ten Records of 2005!

1. Thrice – Vheissu
This record is phenomenal from start to finish; there isn’t a song that I don’t like. It has an epic feel that was missing on Artist in the Ambublance, but isn’t quite as edgy and fresh as my favorite Thrice release, The Illusion of Safety. There are also myriad hidden references that only make the album seem more amazing and complex once you figure them out.
Standout Track: For Miles

2. Fall Out Boy – From Under the Cork Tree
While this record may seem to be nothing new to the music world, Fall Out Boy has evolved immensely from their last record, Take This To Your Grave. Not only are the song structures more complex, but the subject matter is handled in a more mature matter, though still retaining the biting and caustic lyrics characteristic of their work. I dare you to listen to this without wanting to sing along with every song.
Standout Track: Dance, Dance OR Get Busy Living, or Get Busy Dying etc.

3. The Number Twelve Looks Like You – nuclear.sad.nuclear
Wow. Nuclear.sad.nuclear took The Number Twelve Looks Like You into uncharted musical territories for the band. Unlike the last release, which was good, but could have been mistaken for records from any metalcore band, such as From a Second Story Window, or Into the Moat, this one expands their musical stylings greatly. The vocals are almost intelligible at times, while retaining their wild sense of abandon and force, and the music is reminiscent of the late emo greats Saetia. This is a very good thing. Evolution without sucking is rare nowadays.
Standout Track: Like a Cat

4. The Receiving End of Sirens – Between the Heart and the Synapse
I think that I’ve listened to this album approximately 293729837928374 times while in painting this semester. Approximately. And believe me, for me to not get bored with any one album for that long is saying something. Between the Heart and the Synapse has the same almost epic haunting undertones present in releases such as Vheissu and Co and Ca’s latest, Good Apollo , I’m Burning Star IV etc etc, yet has infectious choruses backed with solid and original musical stylings. A must have for any fan of excellent rock.
Standout Track: Planning a Prison Break OR Then I Defy You, Stars

5. Death Cab for Cutie – Plans
They’re Death Cab; I would expect nothing less than an excellent album from the mind and vocal chords of frontman Ben Gibbard. This time around, they added a bit more piano, but seemed to stick to the same basic sound as Transatlanticism. Some of the subject matter particularly touched me, like that of What Sarah Said.
Standout Track: What Sarah Said OR Brothers on a Hotel Bed
6. Copeland – In Motion
I’m not going to lie; I found Copeland’s last release, Beneath Medicine Tree, to be rather beautiful, but also rather boring. However, this effort is comprised of a nice mixture of up-tempo rockers and ballads of sorts that are easy to sing along with and relate to, yet make you go ‘aawwwww’ at the same time.
Standout Track: Pin Your Wings OR Choose the One Who Loves You More

7. Motion City Soundtrack – Commit This to Memory
The only song by MCS that I was exposed to prior to this were the two songs from their split with Matchbook Romance and The Future Freaks Me Out. Judging by the latter of the three, I was expecting this album to be solely danceable pop punk. I was wrong. The lyrics were much improved, and more tongue in cheek than the previous release, and the maturity was very evident, even in the musical style. While the happy go lucky edge was most definitely there, there was a much darker side there as well that gave the album depth.
Standout Track: Resolution OR Hold Me Down

8. Bright Eyes – Digital Ash in a Digital Urn / I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
Yes, I DO realize that there are two albums at number eight. But they were released at the same time by the same artist…so if you don’t like it you can…stop reading my top ten list. The first of these albums is a slight digression from Conor Oberst’s usual folksy style and delves into a much more polished and upbeat sound, while the latter of the two remains true to his typically lo-fi, heart wrenching acoustic stylings.

9. August Burns Red – Thrill Seeker
This band is a native of the Lancaster, PA area, which is practically next door to where I attend college, and just recently got signed to Solidstate and toured nationally with Bury Your Dead. They create a brand of hardcore similar to Dillinger Escape Plan or Norma Jean yet manage to make it their own. Thrill Seeker is a very strong debut LP from a very strong band that I predict will soon be on every hardcore fan’s playlist, if they aren’t already.

10. Circa Survive – Juturna
Anthony Green had almost certain fame and success within his grasp as frontman of the band Saosin and then DUHN DUHN DUHN he left the group to start another band. Saosin part II, aka Circa Survive. Don’t get me wrong, I love Circa Survive’s quirky indie rock sound with a twist of prog rock; however, I think I love them so much because they sound almost exactly like Saosin, with less edge. Anthony Green’s endeavors will always be unique, if only because of his distinctive voice, but enjoyable and almost accessible at the same time, which makes for a winning combination.

And since you all know it was painfully hard for me to choose just 10, here are the honorable mentions:

Minus the Bear – Menos el Oso
The Fall of Troy – Doppelganger
Nightmare of You – S/T
Panic! At the Disco – A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out
Between the Buried and Me – Alaska
Funeral for a Friend – Hours
Gatsbys American Dream – Volcano

And now, the section you’ve all been waiting for; the WORST records of this year, or at least the worst one’s I’ve bothered to listen to:

1. that one by Scott Stapp.
…ok ok, I admit that I haven’t listened to this one. I’m just assuming based on the atrocities that he’s released in the past that this one is utter shit. 311, Scott Stapp is ready to fight you for worst release of the year awards. But you failed to release a record this year, so he wins by default.

2. Weezer – Make Believe
This album was already created when my little cousin picked up a guitar, listened to an early Blink 182 album on repeat and tried to mimic the guitar parts, then added some trite lyrics about really liking some girl and wanting to have a bitchin’ car when he grew up…oh, and some ice to go along with it.

3. From Autumn to Ashes – Abandon Your Friends
Ok, I admit that I like one song on this album; the title track, which is also the only ballad and the very last song. I couldn’t get past 1 minute into any of the songs on this CD, so I will make that disclaimer that maybe if one was to listen to the last 2 or 3 minutes of every song, it might be a decent album. However, the first minutes of each song were enough to put me to sleep with their mediocrity.

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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