With Labor Day fast approaching, and the inevitable end of Summer arriving soon after, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the amazing albums that were released in the summer of 2005. Turns out June - September 2005 were a good couple months for music. Check out some of our favorites and let us know which albums that recently turned 10 that you still love!
Motion City Soundtrack – Commit This To Memory (June 7)
Motion City Soundtrack’s Commit This To Memory came out the day I turned eleven, but I didn’t hear it until almost a full year later. My friend made me a mix that featured some of the era’s best bands, so I got home from school and popped it in my stereo. The first notes that trickled out of the speakers were the beginning to “L.G.F.U.A.D.” I was hooked immediately, sold on this band before the first verse was even over.
There was something about Justin Pierre’s tongue-in-cheek and borderline uncomfortable lyrics, placed over a sort of melancholy, upbeat pop-rock that intrigued me, and I couldn’t stop listening. It was simple enough, which made it accessible, but it was much more intelligent than a lot of the pop-punk my friends and I had already discovered (I’m looking at you, Enema of the State.) I got my hands on the whole record as soon as I could and was thrilled to find the rest of the album followed a similar formula. And what a formula it was: Pierre’s introspective, self-deprecatory prose and versatile vocal range coupled with synth hooks and driving percussion meant that the album could click equally with emo mall rats and mainstream rockers alike. I don’t know what category I fit into at twelve years old, but the album stuck anyway. It would be years until I had the kind of life experiences to fully relate to these songs, but that didn’t stop my awkward seventh-grade self from becoming immersed in lyrics like, “These humans all suck/I’d rather be home feeling violent and lonely,” or my personal favorite, “I’m just a stupid fuck/with brilliant luck/and sometimes a bright idea.” A decade later, these songs still do it for me.
Paramore – All We Know Is Falling (July 26th)
I sing in a pop-punk band. Most women in my field have heard their fair share of Paramore comparisons. At times, their legacy can feel overwhelming as a front woman. There seems to be this abstract pressure to fit into Hayley’s [Williams} shoes. The truth is, Paramore has completely defined a generation of musicians in a way that few bands have. Each of their four albums displays incredible musicianship and smart arrangement. Their melodies are confounding, catchy, and have inspired many tropes in pop-punk songwriting.
Most musicians in my circles have a Paramore story. I recently had a conversation with my friend Cristalla from the band LTrain. We were sitting by the East River eating ice cream as the sun was setting. She confessed that her and her fiancé originally fell for each other while working on a performance of Paramore’s “My Heart.” I used to blast Riot! in my car at 1 AM and drive through empty suburban streets. Our band’s manager has a riot tattoo under his ear.
My best friend and I always joke about “whoa” bands: Bands that have a certain section where they sing “whoa” instead of a chorus or a bridge. This pattern in pop-punk can be traced back further than Paramore, but there’s no doubt in my mind that their song “Whoa” has set a standard.
Paramore has had a career that most bands in my circle look up to and All We Know Is Falling explains why. My band and I have combed through it with surgical precision. When Hayley hits the big belt in “Conspiracy,” I stop breathing.
It’s amazing to think they were all just kids when they wrote this record. It’s amazing to think this album just turned ten. The songs were so progressive at the time of release that when I listen to it now, it feels current. It doesn’t sound ten years old because the musical ideas introduced on this album have inspired so many bands. When I listen to it, I feel intense nostalgia and gratitude. If Paramore had never been a band, I probably wouldn’t have started a band. Happy 10th, Paramore. May you make decades more of incredible music.
Latterman – No Matter Where We Go… (August 9th)
Like many great bands, I found out about Latterman after their demise. At some point in college, probably a year or two after their breakup, I found myself drowning in the chorus of voices on Latterman’s pivotal album, No Matter Where We Go… Over time, this has cemented itself as one of my favorite albums by a band I never followed very closely. I was too late for live shows, but I’ve been told how great they were. This record, to me, is the epitome of punk - it’s fast, it’s loud, and its message is simple and perfect. The music isn’t complex, but it’s fun and full of passionate imperfections. Nearly every song is gang vocals from start to finish. It’s all about building up your community, taking care of each other, being welcoming to everyone, and having the best fucking time. Within a week of this record’s tenth anniversary, three of Latterman’s four members released their first song as a new band, Tender Defender.
Minus the Bear – Menos el Oso (August 23rd)
In high school, I was blindly infatuated by this dude I ended up going on one or two mediocre dates with years later. He was a HUGE fan of Minus the Bear, so in an attempt to win his affection, I checked them out, starting with their most recent release, Menos el Oso. While our attempt at romance may have fizzled out, my love for the band, and for this album in particular, is still going strong.
Up until that point, I’ve never heard an album so masterfully crafted. The instrumentation was complex, the lyrics were intense – the overall vibe was unlike anything I’ve heard before. It was fairly mellow, yet it carried a sense of urgency that had my heart and mind racing every time I listened to it. The storytelling and overtly sexual undertones were perfect for the minds of hormonal teenagers, and have managed to maintain their relevance in various ways throughout ten years of personal growth. For me, the album was a game changer. I spun it so often and took so much from it that I would not be the woman I am today without it. It has helped shaped me, and it continues to help shape me, as both a human being and as a music fan. Ten years and one subtle Minus the Bear tattoo later, this band has me for life. Thanks, high school love interest...
Vendetta Red – Sisters of the Red Death (August 30th)
Ten years ago, I still read Alternative Press, and would often peruse the album review section. Sometimes there were bands I knew and sometimes a good review of a new band might spark my interest. I had already enjoyed Vendetta Red’s debut, Between The Never and The Now, despite some of its missteps. The review for the sophomore concept masterpiece and their last full-length to date, Sisters of the Red Death, read like one I had never seen. They gave it five out of five stars, and called it, “the comeback of the decade.” A decade later, I can tell you that this record has held up as one of the most unique records I’ve ever heard. I have yet to experience a vocalist with the vast range of Zach Davidson, from his falsetto to his crooning to his blood-curdling raspy screams. The lyrical concept of Sisters… is that of a post-apocalyptic feminist heroine who is half-Medusa and half-Harpy. As a survivor of sexual abuse, she takes revenge on the men of the world, sometimes through castration. You will not find a record with such a subject matter that is also so much fun to sing along to. It’s catchy, it’s vicious, it’s heavy, and it’s whimsical.
Bayside – Bayside (September 1st)
What would you call Bayside – Breakup rock? Pop-punk? As a band that’s always seemed to be on the edge of something big, Bayside has maintained their own style amongst a sea of contemporaries on either side of the spectrum. Credit is due for being such a consistent, prolific, and hardworking band. Their sophomore release, the self-titled record, is anything but a slump. Following a strong debut, the band replaced two of its members while solidifying their sound. Anthony Raneri’s crooning voice and Jack O’Shea’s shredding guitar work are a combination that has not faltered over the years. I’ve seen Bayside many times over the years, and most of their live staples are from this record (“Blame It On Bad Luck,” “Montauk,” and the usual closer, “Devotion and Desire.”). While touring for this record, Bayside were in a van accident that claimed the life of drummer John “Beatz” Holohan. The tragedy spawned a forced-maturity which is evident in the albums that followed, but that all seemed to begin with this lineup and this record.
How did we do? Did we miss any of your favorite albums that turned 10 this summer? If so, let us know! If we did a great job, also let us know! We love to hear from you.
Editor's Note: The views and opinions expressed on our Artist Corner and Blog are exclusively of the author and do not reflect the views and opinions of Punk Out as an organization.