The 20 best records of 2004
An exceptional debut from this Los Angeles trio that sounds kinda like My Bloody Valentine meets Sonic Youth (to clarify: the Sonic Youth records where they actually play SONGS, not the ones where they record vacuum cleaners and bang spoons together). They're also kinda like that band Medicine (remember them?) but 10 years later. If that's not enough alone to get your panties moist, then you might find it interesting that their bass player/singer, Eugene, is in the Guns N' Roses "November Rain" video playing violin. No shit. Plus, (let's get a smidge misogynistic right now) their drummer is probably the best female drummer you'll ever see. EVER. Let's just hope they really don't pull some Sonic Youth shit on their sophomore album and record their babies eating boogers and sounds like that kid in the retard class made with the yellow sweat stained "Delaware - The First State" t-shirt that he rocked tight enough you could see the man titties... cause retards are usually fat too if you haven't noticed. Fat and retarded. Why we're bringing this up, we have no idea, but we think the "fat and retarded" reference comes into play below in the "worst of" section where we mention My Chemical Romance. Just giving you the heads up.
The Duke Spirit
Cuts Across The Land / Roll, Spirit, Roll
The best new band from England hands down. The "Roll, Spirit, Roll" ep came out in 2004 properly and blew us away, but the "Cuts Across The Land" album that we've been listening to for quite some time (but doesn't "officially" come out until 2005) is even more amazing. Like The Jesus and Mary Chain fronted by Nico if she figured out how to not sound half retarded when she sang. Nico, by the way, was an exception to the "fat and retarded" rule. Nico was just "hot and retarded". Or whatever, just a fuckin' foreigner. Retarded, foreigner... same thing.
Ta Det Lugnt
Yeah, the vocals on this are in some weirdo Euro foreigner language that nobody can understand, but the music is THE SHIT. Just ignore the freaky indecipherable lyrics if they scare you. Foreigners dude... foreigners.
From A Basement On The Hill
No metaphors here. Life is fucked, and so are you. And it only gets worse the older you get, so buckle up kiddies. The most important singer-songwriter of our generation's post-mortem masterpiece. Who knew the sound of everything falling apart could be so beautiful?
Two Lone Swordsmen
From The Double Gone Chapel
Dark and sexy. Like the black dudes Tom likes to bang in the shitter. These guys bridge the gap between electronica and the punkabilly swagger of the Cramps.
Rejoicing In The Hands/Nino Rojo
Can you say mushrooms? Only 23 years old, this kid already has a slew of fine recordings under his belt. Prolific indeed! He even released two full-length albums this year alone. They're both so terrific that we couldn't pick a favorite, so we've included them both on this here list. Something both adults and children on hallucinogenic drugs can enjoy. Let's keep our fingers crossed that this youngster doesn't party too hard and become an acid casualty like Syd Barrett, and then write a bunch of songs about bugs, tree bark, and body parts and shit. Oh wait... he already did that.
Head For The Shallow
Two guys crafting a heavier sound than most full bands. One dude from Karp and another dude from Murder City Devils. You won't find too many females at their shows, so if you're looking for dick and an in depth conversation about the Lord of the Rings trilogy, you'll be stoked.
Honestly, this one wasn't that amazing, but homeboy sang for The fuckin' Replacements, so he makes it onto the list automatically.
For a second we thought these guys were telepathically connected to us, and made a concept album centered around that time Tom somehow tricked his hot neighbor (who used to be really buff and one of the American Gladiators) into spending the night, and after making a map of Hawaii on her back, she referred to him as "The Milkman" from then on when they passed each other on the street. Or maybe we just got a little too into the Devendra records and were shrooming a smidge too much too think these guys were reading our minds, or maybe not. Either way, this album rules.
Mr. Wilson is claiming that this one is even better than Pet Sounds. It's good, but not that good gramps. Lace your parents, throw this on, and see how fucking weird shit gets around your house. This is the coolest fat guy we can think of.
Comets On Fire
Another one of those "...On Fire" bands, these guys edged out all the other flamers with this noisy slab of freakout rock. All they gotta do now is figure out what to do about the hair farmer who plays all the boxes with knobs and does the hair-whip the entire show. Knock it off dude. Only band members with guitars strapped on are allowed to do that shit.
Team America: World Police
"America, Fuck Yeah!" Hands down, single of the year. "Everyone Has AIDS" is a close runner-up though.
Mark has made yet another solid record, and hot damn that whisky drenched voice sounds better than ever. You'd better agree too, cos if you even glance at this dude cross-eyed, he will beat the life from you. Duff & Izzy from GNR, Josh & Nick from QOTSA, and Polly Jean Harvey all appear on here as well. It's enough alone to make you wanna relapse.
Proof that the Northwest is still pissed off! Listen to that feedback whine! FUCK YES! This is the sound of a band beating the shit out of rock n' roll, garage, and punk with squealing guitars, pounding drums, and howling vocals. The Hunches will drag you across the floor kicking and screaming and you'll end up liking it, kinda like when Travis' mom comes to town.
Iron & Wine
Our Endless Numbered Days/Woman King
Even more hippy folk shit making our list. This dude is from Florida, has a huge beard, and finger picks. Sounds like something we'd frown upon, but this stuff is as undeniable as Michael Jackson's sexual preference.
Even though this dude hasn't sung in key in concert in his entire life, he's still got it figured out in the studio somehow. This is Iann's best post Stone Roses release by far. He even enlisted the help of Noel from Oasis on the single "Keep What Ya Got", so you know Liam's pissed. We hung out with Iann one day this year, and after he talked at us for a couple hours in his thick Manchester accent, Aaron thought the whole conversation was about tractor farming, and Travis thought it was about hot boxing bollweevils or something.
Gay love songs. No, really... songs about homosexual love affairs done so well, even you straight dudes after hearing this will want these Magnetic Fields dudes to raw dog you and then bust on your stomach.
Ex-straight edge dudes in robes playing guitars tuned down to Z and bumming EVERYBODY out in a seriously epic way. A really good way to either piss off your neighbors, or talk to whales.
All Night Radio
All Night Radio
The good bands never fucking last do they? All Night Radio made such an awesome, fucked up, psych-pop album that they couldn't even ride it out til the end of the year. They even disbanded via our website in their last interview ever (click here to read it). Too much white heat or maybe it was too much white light. All Night Radio member Jimmy Hey was also playing drums live earlier this year for another best of 2004 listee, Devendra Banhart, and was KILLING IT on the skins. Tune in, turn on and tune out man.
Audit In Progress
These hot dudes always manage to snake their way onto our list (editors note: worst pun attempted by Buddyhead... ever). This is the first Hot Snakes album featuring Mario Rubalcaba on drums. This dude was in Clikatat Ikatowi, Black Heart Procession, etc etc, and on this album the drums get pummeled harder than a 6-year-old's asshole at the Neverland Ranch after an all night session of "doctor".
The 20 worst records of 2004
My Chemical Romance
Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge
How did this geek squad fronted by a porker wearing red eye makeup trick a nation of bedwetting pre-pubescent mall rats and dickriding "music journalists" into thinking that their shitty pop punk band was a real band? Much less a "band to be watched in 2005". So is this like evil Thursday or something? What exactly is going on here? And what's with the kid with the afro doing the solo in that throwaway Blink182 concept video? That kid looks like he could be on some Maury Povich, "I had sex with an Orangutang, and now I have a son" episodes or something. Bizarre.
Not only is this one of the worst albums of the year, but it could possibly be one of the worst of the millennium. Grandpa covers Prodigy's "Firestarter" here, and it's a lot like that time you accidentally hung out with your dad at a karaoke bar, he got really drunk, and tried to prove he could hang with the young guns by attempting "Paradise City" but sang it in the wrong key, fucked up all the words, and dismembered the song beyond recognition. Not to mention Dave Navarro plays guest guitar on the song, which ups the Hollywood dickhead factor even more. I'll bet a tenner homeboy tracked the fucker with his shirt off. I'll give another tenner to the first one of you out there that spots Dave in public with his shirt on. Hey Dave, PUT YOUR FUCKIN SHIRT ON.
Outta Sight/Outta Mind
2004 was the year of the sophomore slump for every grossly over-rated band that was shoved down your throat the last 2 years by NME. They all signed their 6 figure record deals, and recorded their "big budget major label debut". These guys did too, and shit the bed worse than your grandma after swallowing 20 bean burritos laced with ex-lax. Possibly the most unmemorable listening experience of the decade so far. Not to mention the old one looks like that Donna that's a lesbian, meets the 60-year-old freakshow guitar player with the stiff back in Motley Crue. By the way, anybody finding themselves at a Motley Crue reunion show falls into one of two categories: old and fat whore, or mongoloid with a snot/saliva problem that smells like salami.
The Greatest Songs Ever Written By Us
2004 was a funny year. One of the funniest things was witnessing Nofx and their crusade to "get Bush out of office". These guys thought they were gonna get every lemming at the Warped Tour to register to vote, and they'd spearhead a political revolution. Hey guess what dudes? Too little too late! After 20 years of being the "everything is goofy, skateboarding, fart noises, PARTY" band, you decided this year you finally have a point of view on something besides which Tony Hawk video game was the "sickest", and that all the borderline retarded peckerwood idiots who run in circles to your band in dust fields in Oklahoma were actually going to vote? That's about as likely as you has-been-never-beens knowing when you're too old to be dying your hair and wearing shorts outside. Guess what? The majority of those farmboy lemmings that dig on your Disney punk who did vote, and all hate "sand niggers" and "city folk", probably voted for Bush! Ha! We had to make an exception to the "no compilations" rule of our list for this one. It just struck us as severely funny that a "best of" album would include an hours worth of music spanning 20 years that all sounded EXACTLY THE SAME.
You'd have to smoke crack for this to sound good. Obviously, to the one crackhead prat in the band, they must sound reaaaaally great. This shirtlifter just gets high and breaks into his bandmate's houses when he needs more rock. What a great idea. If only there was a way to ensure that every one of these overhyped, NME, Strokes wannabe bands had a crackhead in it that fucked the band up. We'd all be better off.
Death Before Musick
This is some 40-year-old trust fund dude dressed up like he's in The Exploited or something who just can't LET IT GO. Dude, you've gone through 567 lineup changes, your music sounds like the screams of a virgin getting raped by gorilla dick, and NOBODY CARES. LET IT GO. THE ONLY REASON ANYBODY WE KNOW TALKS TO YOU IS TO SCAM PILLS OFF YOU, YOU FUCKING POSER. We know Kerrang convinced a few dozen 15-year-old limeys with bad zits in Slipknot shirts that you're "GG Allin meets Iggy meets Jello Biafra", but everybody else knows better. Now, get a real job, put some fucking pants on that don't have cheetah print and zippers all over them, and leave us the fuck alone.
Colonel Claypool's Bucket Of Bernie Brains
The Big Eyeball In The Sky
This is Les Claypool, Buckethead, some 60-year-old dude playing synth, and that dude "Brain" on drums "jamming out". No, we're not making this up. People actually like this. Primus was like the Tupperware of the 90's. Millions of people woke up one morning and thought, "Hey... why the fuck do I own all this shit?" Admit it... you owned some Primus records. At least one. How millions of kids everywhere were tricked into liking some goofball hippies playing splash cymbals and 6 string fretless bass is a modern miracle only the cure for cancer could rival. Apparently there's a few thousand people out there who haven't snapped out of it cuz these guys still tour.
Watching people listen to this and enjoy it looks exactly the same as this to us. Click here.
Juliette and the Licks
Like A Bolt of Lightning
Juliette Lewis has played lots of different characters over the course of her acting career. She's played Audrey Griswold in "Christmas Vacation", Mallory Knox in "Natural Born Killers", and Lexie in "My Stepmother Is An Alien!" Now in her most farfetched role yet, she's playing a female front woman who thinks she's Iggy Pop! Backed by Warped Tour band rejects no less. Fucking weak.
The Mooney Suzuki
Alive & Amplified
So we busted these fools for being old and lying about their age, but this time they're not even trying to hide the fact that they can't even write their own songs! They even brought "The Matrix" in on this one... yeah... the songwriting team behind the audio bile that is that little sword-swallowing poser Avril Lavigne. Yeah, these guys are perpetually stuck in the 2002 timewarp where people who hung out at Starbucks, and a couple fruitcakes from Williamsburg that jerk off to Kevin Bacon in "Footloose", actually cared for a second about middle aged geeks making goofy faces onstage in their shitty cover band. These guys are so deep in denial that after they get dropped, you'll still see them wearing sunglasses indoors and making goofy faces while they ask you, "You want relish with that" while working the counter at your local wiener stand. Supersize me bitch!
Tegan & Sara
Are these chicks twins too? Do we have to deal with another sibling duo band here? FUCK. Next thing you know, the Olsen slores are gonna have a band too. As for Tegan & Sara, one of them plays power chords (ala Green Day) while the other one sings like Alvin & The Chipmunks over it. Yeah, you guessed right, they're Canadian.
All this record did was make us realize that Helmet probably sucked all along, we just weren't paying close enough attention. This is the reformed Helmet with Page and 3 other washed up metal dudes, who you can catch on the upcoming 2005 "Sno Core" (aka Bro Core) tour with a horde of other shitty short haired nu-metal bands that think of Helmet like most normal people think of the Beatles or Led Zeppelin.
Within A Mile Of Home
This is one of those blatant Pogues rip-off bands that people who are too old to be spotted at the Warped Tour, but still think Rancid is "sick" listen to at bars to pretend like they're grownups now in front of their friends. Fuck this goofy Irish shit. Do I look like I wanna dance a jig? Every time I hear this crap I feel like I'm stuck in a Lucky Charms commercial, but instead of a cartoon leprechaun, it's all fat pasty-faced drunk micks speaking in an accent that annoys even deaf people.
Wow, and you thought Glassjaw sucked. This puff took it to a new level with this shit. A mixture of emo, mascara, tight flashy homo shirts, and dancing around pretending to be "on drugs", runs the gamut on this turd. Newsflash diaper boy, what you're doing here is extremely removed from Squeeze, Primal Scream or any of that other shit you're name dropping. Stick to screaming about beating up bitches and straight edge in between trips to the crapper.
The Von Bondies
Pawn Shoppe Heart
We all know the story here... Jack White produces their first album, spends money OUT OF HIS OWN POCKET to fly the band overseas for their first Euro tour, bends over backwards to help them out, and then the sissy boy singer starts talking shit about Jack, only to eventually get called on it via having the piss beat out of him. Not that we're advocates of any kind of tough guy business, but seeing the aftermath of this smug little shit's face getting burgered up didn't really bug us too much. Especially when they used the incident as some kind of publicity stunt to sell more of these terrible nerd-garage rock albums.
White chicks... that rap. We've hit the proverbial wall on this one. It was just a matter of time till this plan was put into action. Some scumsucking label guy with a boner for Eminem made this shit happen, and now we're getting the brunt of it. Total poser, white suburban princess talent show shit. We're hoping these girls meet up with DMX soon so he can show them that rap is really about smoking crack, posse anal gangbangs, stealing cars, and breeding pitbulls.
Good Charlotte - The Chronicles of Life & Death
Sum 41 - Chuck
The Used - In Love & Death
Taking Back Sunday - Where You Want To Be
The term "punk rock" was raped harder in 2004 than a kid toucher in jail. Mall Punk has infected the musical landscape in a major way folks. Here's the rundown for those of you who were smart enough to stay away from MTV and the radio: Good Charlotte put out the worst song EVER WRITTEN followed by the worst video EVER MADE in that "I Just Want To Live" song. These dudes are confused: the "goth" one wants to make fruity dance music, but you know, the "punk" one is pissed cause he just got the new Casualties record and that shit is totally blowing his mind, but the singer dude got stoked cause he's on the Warped Tour with all the emo bands so now he's all about sweater vests. And the fat dude in the band is thinking about the destruction he's going to lay on the $5.99 Chinese buffet that's coming up on his hourly "to do list". Yeah, confused. We'll probably get beat up for this shit, but whatever, these guys had to go and write that song and subject us all to it, so fair is fair, you hurt us first. Then we have Sum 41 who are striving to be the pop punk Hatebreed or something. Again, another confused band. Leave the jock metal to dudes that aren't 40 pound citizens of Cana-duh guys. On to the Used, aka "Sickest band on Warped Tour brah". These dudes need to shut the fuck up about how crazy Bert is, cause Bert is just a poser from Utah who just happened to have cable growing up and saw two Nirvana videos. These dudes jock Goldfinger like they're the Stones. ENOUGH FUCKING SAID. Finally, we finish up with the biggest wieners of all of these bands: Taking Back Sunday. These clowns sold 170,000 records in one week, and we were shocked that there were that many crybabies and fat emo girls out there that could convince their parents to give them a ride to the local Wal-Mart so they could buy this garbage.
This Type Of Thinking Could Do Us In
Tool is to Chevelle like Nirvana is to Puddle of Mudd. Misinformed nu-metal apes thinking they're really onto something and pulling the wool over everyone's eyes. Not. This record is as memorable as an early morning piss, and about as enjoyable as an early morning piss full of gonorrhea blood.
The Killers - Hot Fuss
Moving Units - Dangerous Dreams
Bloc Party - S/T
Chinese Stars - A Rare Sensation
The Faint - Wet From Birth
2004 was for "disco-punk" like 1997 was for "ska-punk". You couldn't go to a show without one of the band's drummers doing that uber fruity "disco shuffle" on his hi-hats. Not to sound like a party pooper here, but guess what? I DON'T LIKE DISCO, AND NEITHER DOES ANYBODY ELSE I KNOW. Save that shit for those dudes in West Hollywood who shave their legs and pop viagra and hang around the piss stalls trying to steal a glimpse of your johnce.
Wow, this is another one of those bands that have made us wonder if music is inherently a bad thing. Rip off some Maiden riffs, mix it with some Hatebreed and AFI, sprinkle in a bit of mascara, bi-curious experimentation and anal lube, and you have the FRUITIEST BAND SINCE MANOWAR. Yeah dude, this shit is fruitier than George Michael eating a bowl of dick snot soup. Like Right Said Fred if Right Said Fred grew up in Orange County, discovered AFI, and painted their finger nails black. We feel dirty just hearing this shit. This is the new breed of Warped Tour bands, and it's spreading like a bad case of herpes. But these days, instead of the bands wearing board shorts and hanging around Nofx and Pennywise's busses trying to stick their tongues up their asses, this new breed of wankers look like Hot Topic shopping spree winners, and fight each other over who gets to hold the umbrella over Davey Havok's head next in hopes that he'll give up the asspussy.
PAST YEARS LISTS: best of 2003 best of 2002