December 13, 2009

Stalin Retrospekticus: '01

2001 was the year I made a lot of expensive, terrible decisions, lost a bunch of weight, and started my senior year of high school.

  • I remember predicting to my friend that Jimmy Eat World were going to get massive with the release of their next album. Bleed American took JEW to heights that they probably wouldn't have predicted for themselves... which, unfortunately, involved changing their album title after a bunch of Saudis flew some planes into the World Trade Center in New York.
  • It was also the year that America realized Weezer died in a tragic plane accident in 1997 and that Capitol Records dressed four impostors up as Weezer and released the Green Album.
  • It was the year Radiohead released Amnesiac, which, despite being solid, wasn't really on my radar in 2001. I was more excited for the As I Lay Dying debut, Beneath the Encasing of Ashes and the new Saves the Day LP, Stay What You Are.
  • Converge released Jane Doe and wasn't on my radar at all. I would have been all over that had I known ANYTHING. But yet I knew about Bane's Give Blood. What the hell, man?
  • Death Cab for Cutie released The Photo Album. Indie kids all got boners, despite how much they decry Death Cab for "selling-out."
  • Thursday released Full Collapse and we can all point to them as one of the propagators of the screaming/nasal singing over post-hardcore music. The Dismemberment Plan released Change and I didn't even know.
  • White kids in tight jeans were inspired to dance thanks to a little album by Daft Punk called Discovery.

    But at the time, I was all over Further Seems Forever's The Moon is Down. What can I say? I was a Tooth and Nail fanboy for the longest time because of the ridiculous youth group background I crawled out from under. And Strongarm, a highly influential Christian metalcore, was one of my favorite bands. Four former members of Strongarm made up Further Seems Forever, so when I heard they had a new band I was immediately excited.
    That album helped me tremendously during my summer of expensive, terrible decisions. In short, I kind of spent the bulk of my summer in upstate New York trying to hook up with a girl. I mean, naturally, that kind of thing goes south in a hurry, with the whole thing being based on false pretenses and religious confusion. So an emotionally overcharged band releases their debut album before the worst summer of my life? Tailor made.
    The actual album is quite good. You have to forgive them, though. Chris fucking Carrabba singing over a band who helped propel screamo bullshit into Hot Topics everywhere. But the actual substance of the tracks, with incredibly tight musicians performing intricate post hardcore arrangements with above average lyrics, are something to behold. Steve Kleisath, drummer for Shai Hulud AND Strongarm (!!), is behind the kit performing what easily had to have been some of "emo's" most intricate, technical drumming. Sure, the twin guitar thing has been ground to death but come on, if it's done well it's done well.
    It's not the best album of 2001 by any stretch, but it's my emotional favorite of 2001.

  • No comments: