Artist: Tokyo Police Club
Album: Elephant Shell
Release Date: 4/22/2008
I had to get this out there. I have been listening to it on repeat for the last three or four days. It is by no means a new album nor a groundbreaking one. It is, however, intoxicatingly catchy. Back in the day (2007-2008) when I worked at the Purdue Student Radio (Not the other nice radio stations at Purdue like Cary, this one was in the basement of the union with a soundboard that’s heyday was before I was in existence) we used to receive tons of pre-release and promo albums so they bands could try to get some airplay. Purdue Student Radio might not have been the place to send it as our station had such a limited range and the stream was broken for a while. I mean no disrespect to PSR as it was tons of fun, it was just in bad shape when I was there. Anyway, this post isn’t about PSR it’s about Elephant Shell. So, this album showed up in a stack one day and the band’s name intrigued me, so I gave it a play. On the first listen I was hooked. It has some of the best hooks and the songs have a quirky charm to them. Even now I find myself singing along to Centennial and The Harrowing Adventure Of… (Ouuurrrrrr Cen…Tenniallllll). The lead’s voice (Dave Monks) is unique and suits the indie pop jams of Tokyo Police Club. As I said, it’s not Earth-shattering, but I just really have fallen in love with this album. Go check it out and tell me what you think.
Artist: Pedro the Lion
Release Date: 4/16/2002
I was first turned on to this album in High School by a friend of mine during one of our music swap hangouts (Those were always so much fun, discovering tons of new music and always knowing whatever you were getting was going to be amazing). This album is brutal, and I mean that in the best possible way. Control is honest and blunt in a way most music can’t touch. Not new topics to Pedro the Lion or David Bazan (lead singer/songwriter), Control deals with infidelity, romance, and greed and does so with a sound that is entirely too fitting. When I say this album is honest, I don’t just mean honest in content, but honest in performance. Everything is saturated with pain and regret. Not to get too far removed from reality, but this is an immersive album. I am taken in every time I listen; it never fails to elicit an emotional response. I can’t recommend this album enough. It is heartbreakingly honest and amazing even years after my first listen.
Welcome to my continued journey back into my musical past. This time I am going back to glory days of 2002. I was a plucky, little freshman just getting my feet wet with different genres of music. One style I really latched onto was Ska. I think it was because while I like/liked punk it just wasn’t upbeat enough for me. In comes Ska with it’s oft fast, two-tone beats, horn accompaniment, and mix of punk in the third-wave bands. I was all in. So, here is my top 5-ish albums from my freshman year in high school.
Reel Big Fish – Turn the Radio Off
Reel Big Fish – Why Do They Rock So Hard?
Reel Big Fish – Cheer Up!
Less Than Jake – Hello Rockview
Less Than Jake – Losing Streak
Mustard Plug – Yellow #5
These are still some of my favorite albums. They are extremely fun and definitely worth the listen.
UPDATE: After thinking about the matter further there is one album I forgot to put in the mix which deserves to be there just as much as the rest. So, it has been added and should be respected as much as the others.