With tons of great albums celebrating their ten year anniversaries this year, we here at Punk Out want to take a minute and reflect on those that inspired us the most. Every so often we will be posting about the albums that had birthdays and discussing why they are important to us. Here’s a list of albums that came out ten Springs ago. Yup. We're that old.
Mae - The Everglow (March 29)
My first experience hearing The Everglow was actually over five years after its release. In high school, I was well aware of Mae and how much people loved this album, as well as Destination: Beautiful. I remember reading about the release of The Everglow. I remember that I never took the time to check it out. After graduating college, I was hanging out with one of my closest friends, going through old CD collections and laughing about some forgotten titles. She, too, had forgotten about her youthful obsession with Mae. My admission to never listening to them, despite listening to so many of their peers, caused her to immediately put on this album. I was lying on her floor, listening to the entire thing from start to finish, and I was blown away by the intricate sound and production. The songs on The Everglow are so well-crafted and carefully thought out, and the heavy emotions are something I would've been all about in my high school days. The fact that I missed such a monumental album is a bit of a tragedy, but at that point in my post-college life it was still something that go me through rough summer days when everything was changing. I found myself jumping into a band I had missed out on, and I even saw them on their reunion tour that year. Something about The Everglow makes such an immense statement about the aging emo punk teens we were, and part of me feels like this band was way ahead of their time.
Acceptance - Phantoms (April 26)
Acceptance's first (and only) record is not only a phantom in name, but a phantom in the lure that continues to drive this band's legacy. How did Phantoms become an emo cult-classic? Why was it Acceptance's only release? What would a Phantoms-followup sound like? We will never get an answer to these questions (or will we?). Like a phantom, Acceptance and their brand of accessible pop-emo jams, disappeared as quickly as it arrived. Yet, to this day, nobody can deny how fresh it still sounds. If Phantoms was released today, it would be a hit within our scene. Alas, we are left with only memories (for me, of high school nights singing my heart out to "Take Cover" and "Breathless") and a bunch of "god...if onlys." The influence this album had can not be overstated, though. It's legs stretch for years. There was an edge, an earnestness, to Phantoms. Acceptance was able to create a classic, genre-defining record by capturing the urgency of everyday moments and infusing their storyline with a glossy pop sound. Add in a pinch of panic, and you get an album that demands attention, refuses to quit, and maintains a contemporary sound...even a decade later.
The Receiving End of Sirens - Between the Heart and the Synapse (April 26)
There were very few bands in the scene around 2005 that were even half as dynamic as The Receiving End of Sirens. The first time I heard them was at Warped Tour when I happened to catch their set waiting for someone else to start. I was instantly hooked. In fact, I'd go as far as to say I was instantly obsessed. They were even better than the band I had been waiting for. They had more members than most of their scene kid counterparts, but what's important to note is that they had a way more intricate sound. The guitars are more heavy-hitting, the lyrics more thought-provoking, and their overall talent level seemed to be greater than many of their peers. Maybe that's why songs like "Planning a Prison Break" and "Broadcast Quality" still hold up today...or maybe it's just nostalgia sticking with me. Either way, Between the Heart and the Synapse is still in heavy rotation for me, even ten years later.
The Forecast - Late Night Conversations (May 17)
Over the years, The Forecast has become one of my favorite bands. Partly for their blend of honest, unique, midwestern-influenced rock, and partly because they've always been a bit under the radar. There's that awful-yet-true stereotype of independent music where something is better because fewer people know about it. I first heard them on one of those record label samplers that I got for free at Warped Tour or somewhere similar. Making their start on Victory Records when so many other bands on that roster were making huge waves (Taking BackSunday, Bayside, and Hawthorne Heights, to name a few), The Forecast never seemed to reach that next level. The back and forth male/female vocals and twangy guitar parts that painted their Illinois roots on their sleeves didn't seem to fit in with their label mates, or the screamo boom of the early and mid 2000s. I remember this album as my little secret, which I was quick to share with others on mixes and car rides. I remember quoting lyrics on my Myspace and Xanga and any other outdated internet expression. The Forecast has since faded into an obscure hiatus after a second Victory Records release and two self-released albums, all of which have built from the foundation of this debut album. There will always be a special space in my heart for this well-kept secret of a band.
Editor's Note: The views and opinions expressed on our Blog are exclusively of the author and do not reflect the views and opinions of Punk Out as an organization.