1. Good Charlotte – The Chronicles Of Life and Death
2002 was a massive year for music, and Good Charlotte released their second studio album The Young and The Hopeless that featured the still very popular pop-punk songs, ‘The Anthem’ and ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous.’ It’s a brilliant album and builds up a lot of hype at their live shows, but there’s only so much you can take before you see the opening sequence of their music video on Kerrang! and turn over the channel to try your musical luck elsewhere. But, two years later in 2004, Good Charlotte brought out what I would consider as my favourite album by them, The Chronicles of Life and Death, and the album was available in ‘Life’ and ‘Death’ editions. This – or these – albums didn’t quite get nearly enough recognition as they should have though, and they’re entirely made up of well performed and produced songs that it’s a guaranteed good time when it’s playing. The Chronicles of Life and Death have some right gems on there such as ‘Predictable’ and the well-known ‘I Just Wanna Live.’ It’s a very underrated album, but the fact that the songs aren’t consistently shoved down your throat makes it all that bit sweeter.
2. The Used – In Love and Death
Before ‘The Bird and The Worm’ drove The Used into the mp3 playlists of many, we were blessed with the wonders of In Love and Death. I remember Kerrang! practically playing 24/7 in our living room and no matter how many times ‘All That I’ve Got’ would play, I could never quite bring myself to turn over the channel. (There are some songs that can I can withstand on repeat!) Fast forward to the release of the surreal sound of ‘Pretty Handsome Awkward,’ the previously overplayed ‘All That I’ve Got’ disappeared from our televisions and seemingly entered the abyss. Lies For The Liars was a brilliant album, featuring party anthems and potentially earning the title of most relatable album for misunderstood teenagers in 2007. Wow, 10 years ago… In all fairness, Lies For The Liars could have been the album to feature on this list, but there’s something charming about In Love and Death that really draws you to the album, and really sets the tone for what was to come for The Used in their future. It’s got every bit of life, emotion and spirit that an album should have, and even after something like thirteen years, it’s an enjoyable listen.
3. Bullet For My Valentine – The Poison
Everyone who entertained the idea of being a metal head – back in 2009 when the alternative scene started booming and heavier tracks were the norm – will remember at least one song from Bullet For My Valentine’s The Poison. The Welsh boys garnered a lot of attention, and dragged all local metal fans to pack out their venues and cause a mayhem that I haven’t seen since. MSN personal messages were plagued with lyrics from ‘All These Things I Hate’ and ‘Tears Don’t Fall’ and, in all honesty, it brought a connection between opposites. It’s almost like listening to a blast from the past when this albums on, like everyone gathering outside the Newport Venue awaiting eagerly to get in and throw their limbs around; or listening to ‘My Fist, Your Mouth, Her Scars’ on a pair of massive, cheap headphones on full volume because you got grounded. It was such an aggressive song, that it almost calmed you whenever you did listen to it in a rage. But since BFMV have been growing their fanbases all over the world with releases such as Scream, Aim, Fire and Temper, Temper, the guys still remember their roots, honoring 2005’s ‘4 Words’ at worldwide shows and festivals, and hearing such a massive roar of the crowd in return. It’s just a wonderful feeling seeing the local guys grow into something huge, and not lose their old favourites.
4. Green Day – Dookie
Most old-school Green Day fans will say that Dookie is their favourite album, and with hits such as ‘Welcome To Paradise’, ‘When I Come Around’, and ‘Longview’ featured on it, it’s hard not to be drawn into it more than others. There’s a charm about the early 90’s Green Day, and it was hard to choose between Dookie, Kerplunk or Insomnia. They’re all brilliant albums from the Kings of punk-rock, and brought people a lot of joy with their releases. Green Day has inspired people from every walk of life, from influencing music to art, from poetry to standing up in your beliefs. It was only a matter of time before they brought out American Idiot and Revolution Radio where they portray their political agendas and theoretically growing up and attempting to create a better world for the next generations. Dookie was not only a catchy punk-rock album that influenced artists such as Lady Gaga and early pop-punk era icons, No Doubt, but it was a real album, written by real people who knew what their fans were going through. Whilst most albums are written and produced keeping in mind “what will sell?” Dookie feels like the album they wanted to make. For that, I’ve listened to Dookie so many times over the years of my musical ventures and it’s always been a favourite. I cried when I was blessed with the live version of ‘When I come Around’ earlier this year at Nova Rock.
5. Taking Back Sunday – Tell All Your Friends
These are the guys that turned emo cool, with their at times mismatched instruments and the iconic voice of Adam Lazzara. Back in February, at the Manchester show as part of their tour with Milestones and Frank Iero, they spoke about how The Smiths turned them into sad boys – and they might have been the start (or close to the start) to the ever expanding accounts of honest emotions within music. 2002’s release of Tell All Your Friends brought the thumb-through-the-cuffs and side fringes into a booming fashion. The album showed fearless emotion through instruments and lyrics, and is still relatable to this day. I can’t imagine anyone not getting excited at the sound of ‘Cute Without The ‘E” over the speakers, especially since it’s been almost 15 years since they burst open the hearts of many. Taking Back Sunday are still doing so well for themselves, keeping their roots close at heart and still opening their chests for fans to this day. Their most recent release, Tidal Wave done so well among life long fans, and a perfect way to garner further followings.