In the fashion of David Letterman, or as Butthead would say, "that uhhh...Letter dude," I have compiled a list of 2009's Top Ten Albums.
15. Deep Sleep - Three Things At Once (Grave Mistake)
14. NOFX - Frisbee/Coaster (Fat Wreck)
13. Mike Hale - Lives Like Mine (Suburban Home)
12. Gateway District - Some Days You Get the Thunder (It's Alive)
11. The Riverdales - Invasion USA (Asian Man)
10. THE BOMB - SPEED IS EVERYTHING (No Idea)
The Bomb, comprised of Jeff Pezzati from Naked Raygun, Pete Mittler and Mike Soucy from The Methadones and Jeff Dean from Noise By Numbers, Four Star Alarm, etc..., put out its third full-length this year. It's a great follow-up to "Indecision." It also proves that a punk rock band CAN pull of an A Flock of Seagulls cover.
TOP TRACK: "A Song For The Helenas"
9. PSYCHED TO DIE - YEAR ONE (Dirtnap)
New Jersey's Psyched To Die revives classic hardcore and blends it with pop-punk and thrash, making for some catchy, harder-edged material. The lyrics are pretty nihilistic and bleak but damn, this stuff is good.
TOP TRACK: "Permanent Solution"
8. CHUCK RAGAN - GOLD COUNTRY (Side One Dummy)
Hot Water Music's Chuck Ragan keeps doing it; making good, honest music from his heart. It's modest and carries the torch of old-time folk songs that narrate the lives of hard-working-class men.
TOP TRACK: "Rotterdam"
7. DEAR LANDLORD - DREAM HOMES (No Idea)
Dear Landlord is the melding of The Copyrights, Off With Their Heads and Rivethead. It's gritty, dirty and raw - stripping down the walls of your standard pop-punk song structure. It's a great debut album for Dear Landlord. Hopefully there's a 7'' or a follow up album by them soon.
TOP TRACK: "Rosa"
6. THE LEFTOVERS - EAGER TO PLEASE (Oglio)
A heavily-fueled power pop band from Maine - The Leftovers - followed up its last album, "On The Move," with this one. It definitely tops it. It definitely draws more influence from musicians like Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson. The songs are about girls, girls and girls. You won't be able to get this one out of your head. It's as infectious as it is catchy and is a virus worth keeping around.
TOP TRACK: "The Only One"
5. CHRIS WOLLARD AND THE SHIP THIEVES - CHRIS WOLLARD AND THE SHIP THIEVES (No Idea)
Chris Wollard built the anticipation for this debut full-length with his split 7'' with Mike Hale in 2007. Hearing Chris Wollard and Chuck Ragan sing together all these years created something of a duality in my head, and I love their music both equally and separately in their own respects. If that makes any sense. This album is an introspective one and kind of a lonely one at that. It's riddled with insecurity and desperation but also with love and optimism. I'm gonna use the word duality again. It's a perfect balance and quite poetic.
TOP TRACK: "All The Things You Know"
4. HOUSE BOAT - THE DELAWARE OCTOPUS (It's Alive)
These guys again!? Yes, yes. I did review this album not too long ago. I wasn't kidding when I said it was fucking awesome and so on. It's funny. It's catchy. It's fast and poppy and upbeat and just cool. It's a cool fucking album by a bunch of cool fucking dudes. Especially Ace.
TOP TRACK: "My Guts Have Shit For Brains." Just kidding, it's their cover of "Traffic School."
3. Noise By Numbers - Yeah, Whatever... (Asian Man)
This new band emerged in 2009 called Noise By Numbers made up of Dan Schafer (Screeching Weasel, Riverdales, Methadones, Sludgeworth, etc...), Jeff Dean (The Bomb, Four Star Alarm, etc...), Neil Hennessy (of the Lawrence Arms - though he just played on the album) and Rick Uncapher (from Textbook). Rather than Schafer's more power pop/punk rock take on songs, these ones are a little different. They're influenced by more complex bands and ideas than say, The Ramones. I'd compare the music to something The Replacements inspired. It's closest to Dan's other band, Sludgeworth, I'd say. Just listen to it, words can't do everything (anything) justice.
TOP TRACK: "Waiting For The Train"
2. Banner Pilot - Collapser (Fat Wreck)
Holy shit, I thought. This sounds like their first album, "Resignation Day." I listened to it a few more times and realized I was completely wrong and now I know why they got signed to Fat. This album is pure gold. Plus it sounds incredible. As it should for spending $11,000 in recording costs. These guys have definitely earned the right to be on Fat and I can't wait to hear more.
TOP TRACK: "Starting At The Ending"
1. TEENAGE BOTTLEROCKET - THEY CAME FROM THE SHADOWS (Fat Wreck)
Speaking of earning the right to be on Fat, it's about friggin' time! Teenage Bottlerocket has been putting out really solid albums for the last four years. They've been packing and selling out clubs across the country. Their last two albums have been very straightforward pop punk. This one explores thrash and skate punk a little more. "Bigger Than Kiss" is a straight-up Sack tune. I swear it! These guys are great dudes and they deserve to keep climbing the proverbial ladder. That and they simply rule. "They Came From The Shadows" landed them to a really great label and it's landing them to the top of the Squid Pro Quo Best of 2009 list.
TOP TRACK: "Fatso Goes Nutzoid"