Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Top 5 of ‘04

January 1, 2005

Top 5 of ‘04

There has been a lot of talk, mainly by record labels and people who get paid by record labels, that 2004 was a great year for music. They point to releases such as “Good News for People Who Love Bad News” by Modest Mouse, Franz Ferdinand’s S/t and “Where You Want to Be” by Taking Back Sunday as examples of the wonderful year the industry had. I disagree with this. This year was horrible: Modest Mouse and Franz Ferdinand represent what is wrong with the music industry and Adam Lazzara blew it by screwing up his relationship with John Nolan. Lazzara can’t write-I could have told you that from “Tell All Your Friends”. So, TBS is running on the popularity Nolan built up, and they can’t go on that forever. Many people will also point to the reissue of all the Bad Religion albums as proof of the quality of music released in 2004. People, these albums were released between 10-20 years ago! They aren’t new music! Despite this lack of quality music released this year I did manage to find my five favorite albums, after almost an hour of going through my favorite CD’s to see if they were released in ’04. By the way, these aren’t in any order.

1. “Commitment -The Felix Culpa (Common Cloud Records)

If you read my review of this album you know why this is one of my top albums of ’04. This band is amazing, that’s all there is to it. I want these guys to sign with someone huge. Common Cloud is great but they don’t have the ability to get the music out yet. These guys can be a legend.

2. “The Waiting Room” – Armsbendback (Trustkill Records)

Technically this album was released in ’03 but it was released in the second to last week of the year. Nobody gave them consideration for the top album of ’03, but almost everyone forgot about them when they were considering the top albums of ’04. These guys are great hardcore much like Poison the Well but a little better, because they are out of Lancaster, PA, which is about 40 minutes from home for me. Armsbendback is just a great band that can’t and won’t be ignored.

3. “Pollyanna” – Northstar (Triple Crown Records)

This album is art. With the exception of the first song (which sounds a little too poppy for me) this is the best mainstream album of the year. Though “Pollyanna” is not as musically excellent as their debut album “Is This Thing Loaded”, “Pollyanna” does have the advantage of sounding like it was recorded above water. If this is Northstar’s “sophomore slump” I can’t wait for their third album.

4. “New Medicines” – Dead Poetic (Solid State Records)

Not great, but good. Hopefully this was a sophomore slump. If it was, “New Medicines” was a good slump. The lyrics and vocals are average but they do have some great bass stuff.

5. “Art Damage” – Fear Before the March of Flames

Spaz-core at it’s finest. Once again, it’s not great but it’s good. FBTMOF is the one thing that may save those metal-core people still hanging on to Metallica.

You probably don’t agree, tell me I suck at redbassist66@comcast.net

-Scott Landis

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

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