In the latest issue, we count down what we consider to be 101 Modern Classic albums of the last 15 years. Here’s 101 - 75…
In the latest issue of Rock Sound (Issue 163 out tomorrow - buy buy buy!), we're counting down what we consider to be the 101 Modern Classic Albums of the last 15 years.
We've spent weeks debating the list over and over, and can now reveal slots 101 to 75 in our run-down. For the full list, pick up a copy of the latest issue.
AND HERE'S THE FUN PART. We've teamed up with the guys at Deezer for the whole feature, so using their handy embeddable players, you can stream our selection of the albums on this very page. Result! All you need to do is click the play button, at the end of the 30 second clip either log-in or sign-up for a free 15-day trial, then continue to listen to the full tracks, as well as 18 milllion others!
So without futher ado, let's start from the top...
101· RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS - ‘CALIFORNICATION’ (WARNER BROS)
They may have become more mellow than the most vibrant of yellows in the years following its release, but none of their stadium-filling grandiosity would have been possible were it not for this resounding and influential smash – one that to this day lays claim to some of the band's best-loved hits.
100· DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL ‘SWISS ARMY ROMANCE’ (VAGRANT)
One of the albums most responsible for the rise of the so-called 'emo' movement, the impact of this heartfelt masterpiece (originally limited to just 1,000 copies) is yet to waver, thanks largely to the timeless and genuinely anthemic qualities of opening track 'Screaming Infidelities'.
99· CRADLE OF FILTH - ‘MIDIAN’ (MUSIC FOR NATIONS)
Perhaps the most unlikely of successes, 'Midian' catapulted Cradle Of Filth into the mainstream spotlight. Almost single-handedly responsible for pushing extreme metal into new and unimaginable territories, its impact continues to resonate throughout popular culture.
98· THE PRODIGY - ‘THE FAT OF THE LAND’ (XL)
Every crossover act on the planet owes The Prodigy and specifically, this album, their careers. Today, they’re headlining festivals (and rock festivals at that!), but back in ’97, they were a Daily Mail scapegoat for the unruly youth, with ‘Firestarter’ their anarchistic anthem. Hilarious when you look back, really. He so old now.
97· THE GET UP KIDS ‘SOMETHING TO WRITE HOME ABOUT’ (VAGRANT)
While most of the TGUK loyal would regard the band’s debut ‘Four Minute Mile’ as their finest work, ‘Something To Write Home About’ brought the band’s sound of Midwestern America to radio, without losing any of their post-emo charm. There’s good reason almost every touring band today cite this lot as a major influence.
96· MOGWAI - ‘COME ON DIE YOUNG’ (CHEMIKAL UNDERGROUND)
Post-rock’s a tricky bugger, because it’s easy to just play three chords over the course of an hour and claim you’re a genius. On Mogwai’s second album they add in a heft dose of spite, joy and just plain wizardry to make this a punishing listen today.
95· THE BRONX - ‘THE BRONX’ (WICHITA)
Yeah, all The Bronx’s albums have the same name – and, depending how drunk we are, could equally come under the umbrella of a modern classic – but their debut is such an unquenchable volley of surefire punk rock hits that it stands head and shoulders above the others.
94· COHEED & CAMBRIA - ‘GOOD APOLLO, I’M BURNING STAR IV, VOLUME ONE: FROM FEAR THROUGH THE EYES OF MADNESS’ (EQUAL VISION/COLUMBIA)
Boasting one of the most instantly recognisable riffs in recent memory in the form of 'Welcome Home', album number three marked the moment that the New York prog-lovers moved from cult heroes to arena-bothering giants. More than a million paying customers can't be wrong...
93· WILL HAVEN – ‘CARPE DIEM’ (MUSIC FOR NATIONS)
To say that Will Haven's third (and undeniably finest) album changed the face of modern metal would be a drastic understatement. Jarring, off-kilter and delightfully abrasive, you can bet your last fiver that this is a firm favourite of virtually every modern, technical metalcore band you've come to love.
92· HELL IS FOR HEROES - ‘THE NEON HANDSHAKE’ (EMI)
They might not have enjoyed subsequent careers as illustrious as their peers (see Lostprophets, Hundred Reasons et al), but ask anyone who saw them back in the day what a HIFH show was like, and you’ll see first hand how well-loved this lot are. One of the finest UK rock debuts in recent history.
91· CITY AND COLOUR ‘SOMETIMES’ (HASSLE)
Stepping well out the comforts of his dayjob, ‘Sometimes’ transformed Dallas Green from The Guy With The Nice Voice From Alexisonfire into a bona fide solo superstar of his own making. The fact that your nan probably likes him too just goes to show how far-reaching Dallas’ appeal is.
90· DEFEATER - ‘EMPTY DAYS & SLEEPLESS NIGHTS’ (BRIDGE NINE)
In truth, any of Defeater’s releases could fit into a list like this. What sets it aside is the fact it mixes heart-wrenching storytelling with hardcore fury so coruscating it’s a wonder the Massachusetts band don’t have to put health warnings on the cover. Seriously, this is outstanding.
89· GAMEFACE ‘ALWAYS ON’ (REVELATION)
Before emo was a dirty word – before it was even a word – there were bands like Gameface making wrought, exposed and intimate songs that spoke to many in the punk rock and hardcore communities. When the band released ‘Always On’ in 2000 it was a pinnacle, for them and the scene they came from.
88· EVERY TIME I DIE - ‘THE BIG DIRTY’ (FERRET)
After their caustic beginnings and scene favourite ‘Hot Damn’ came the record that pulled Every Time I Die from hardcore and thrust them onto a broader and wider stage. Less obtuse and less obvious at the same time, it stands as a testament to their skill as players and a monument to the ethos that drives them still.
87· 65daysofstatic – ‘THE FALL OF MATH’ (MONOTREME)
Is it rock? Is it dance? Who fucking cares: is it good? That’s the Sheffield crew’s mission statement at the best of times, and ‘…Math’ succeeds where so many other bedroom experiments fail, and that’s because among the glitches, beats and riffs, there’s the biggest dose of heart.
86· FAR - ‘WATER AND SOLUTIONS’ (EPIC/IMMORTAL)
Unjustly overlooked by posterity, ‘Water & Solutions’ captures Far at their best. While Deftones comparisons abound the other Sacramento residents have always been a different beast, and songs like ‘Wear It So Well’ retain their emotional heft. If you missed this first time around, don’t make the same mistake twice.
85· DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE ‘PLANS’ (ATLANTIC)
Death Cab’s fifth and finest album is among their more accessible works, taking in an array of heart-stopping moments – particularly Ben Gibbard’s solo, acoustic number ‘I Will Follow You Into The Dark’. Major label debuts can be tricky but this lot pull it off, setting a new creative high-water mark.
84· ENTER SHIKARI - ‘TAKE TO THE SKIES’ (AMBUSH REALITY)
In the nicest way possible, this album simply does not make sense. But that’s part of its enduring charm because, with its knowledgeable blend of electro and punk vitriol, it also features perhaps the most uniting clap-along moment since the ‘Friends’ theme. And that’s what matters. Only joking: this shit owns.
83· BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE - ‘THE POISON’ (VISIBLE NOISE)
Plenty of bands come from where Bullet come from, but few broke out and became a truly global force. Their debut is a masterclass of impassioned musicianship, pyrotechnic solos, melancholic melodies and powerful songs that speak proudly and ring loudly.
82· A DAY TO REMEMBER - HOMESICK (VICTORY)
The ideal example of ADTR’s unmatched ability to combine metalcore shapes with danceable pop sensibilities. Full to bursting with melodic sweetness (‘Have Faith In Me’) and growling chuggery (‘Welcome To The Family’), ‘Homesick’ is the sound of a band finally becoming comfortable in their own eclectic skin.
81· GENGHIS TRON – ‘BOARD UP THE HOUSE’ (RELAPSE/WARNER)
Rock Sound’s Album of the Year 2008 is still as explosively weird and eclectically delicious today. Sandblasting metal mayhem, vitriolic vocals and electronic experiments aside, it’s the sheer and forceful fury of this record that make it a frighteningly compelling experience from start to finish.
80· FROM FIRST TO LAST - DEAR DIARY, MY TEENAGE ANGST HAS A BODY COUNT (EPITAPH)
Prior to Sonny Moore being known as world-changing producer Skrillex, he was the world-at-his-feet frontman of a band who were only important while he was part of their ranks. This 2004 release was his first with the group, and it shifted everything for the entire screamo genre.
79· THE OFFSPRING - ‘AMERICANA’ (COLUMBIA)
Spawning more singles than a poorly-programmed dating site, ‘Americana’ introduces The Offspring that we know and love (ish...) today, able to seamlessly mix jarring social commentary (‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’) with big, dumb, fun party anthems (‘Why Don’t You Get A Job?’).
78· 30 SECONDS TO MARS - ‘A BEAUTIFUL LIE’ (VIRGIN)
The point of music, for some people, is to provide an escape from whatever their day-to-day life is. With ‘A Beautiful Lie’, Jared, Shannon and Tomo didn’t so much provide an escape as build an entirely new world to plunge into; it’s rock as the grandest of statements, and it’s rich like an expensive meal.
77· POISON THE WELL ‘THE OPPOSITE OF DECEMBER’ (ROADRUNNER)
Recorded roughly and quickly, Poison The Well combine melody, metal and hardcore to dazzling effect on their debut album. It was only 1999 but the five young men from Florida were years ahead of the curve; released with little fanfare, it is a record still growing in stature to this day.
76· ARCHITECTS – ‘HOLLOW CROWN’ (CENTURY MEDIA)
Back when they were young, hungry and out to impress, Architects wrote this face-melting collection of rippers and made the world sit up and collectively go, 'Where the living FUCK did this come from?' A truly vital – and brutal – calling card.
75· HATEBREED ‘ PERSEVERANCE’ (UNIVERSAL)
By the time ’02 rolled around, the alternative scene was already well-versed in heavy, 90s-era metalcore. But what Hatebreed did was make it impossible not to want to mosh to this album – taking the genre’s signature riffs, screams and breakdowns and underpinning it with pummelling, unrelenting grooves.
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Sorry about the language. But this is actually quite good.
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