1. “Roots Radicals” by Rancid
This track will always be special because I went to the same High School as Lars Frederiksen, Westmont High, in Campbell, California. This track is about getting drunk, realizing you’re broke, and being a rebellious 15 year-old living in Downtown Campbell. I was about that age when I got my hands on And Out Come the Wolves. This record/song was relevant to me because I lived in the same place that Lars was singing about, I was into punk rock like Lars, and obviously drinking was regarded as the coolest thing to do once high school started. It was just relevant to me at the time.
2. “Carpenteria” by Slick Shoes
When our bassist, Jonathan McMaster, turned me onto Slick Shoes I never looked back. They’ve been one of my all time favorite bands since discovering them, and a lot of that has to do with the feelings I get when I listen to this record. The only time I’ve ever been in love was in my Sophomore/Junior year in High School, and when that girl dumped me I listened to Slick Shoes Far From Nowhere all throughout that breakup. The angst, and emotion in that record, especially “Carpenteria” was so comparable to the angst, and emotion I had built up from that breakup, both lyrically and musically. I would sit in my car and scream every word at the top of my lungs, haha. Every once in awhile you can still catch me doing that.
3. “The Decline” by NOFX
NOFX was always a band that I hated to love. They have such a (for a lack of a better word) cult following, and it’s just not a friendly environment at their shows, haha. But the thing I love about this band is that they’re honest, and they actually address significant issues in their music. I mean, there isn’t anything wrong with singing about a girl, especially if singing about a girl is just a fraction of your record, but NOFX in my mind is a band that looks at people individually, as well as collectively in society, and takes stabs at the bigger problems. “The Decline” is 18 minutes of pure punk rock gold, from lyrics about how Americans don’t learn from past mistakes, to the topic Christians who pray for salvation, yet prey on religions that they consider to be lower than theirs in status. It was refreshing to hear a band tackle these topics so bluntly, and the fact that they arranged it into a frequently evolving 18-minute song that has the dynamics of a punk rock song, but the complexity of an opera score, made it that much cooler to me.
4. “Saturday Night” by The Misfits
First off, hate my opinion if you will, but Michael Graves was my favorite Misfits singer. What initially attracted me to this song was the fact that it was the first punk rock “ballad” I’d ever heard. I could still tell it was the Misfits, but at the same time I was really shocked at how well they pulled off creating a song like that. I have always believed that a good band can play different types of songs effectively and that’s exactly what the Misfits did with this one.
5. “Jaded” by Green Day
This was the first song that ever made me want to fucking mosh. Every time I listen to this my heart rate jumps, my blood starts boiling, and I just want to get up and run into something as hard as I can, with a big smile on my face, singing the words “I found my place in nowhere”. That feeling has been present since I was a young kid, and I’m sure it’ll be present when I’m an old man.
6. “S.O.S.” by Kid Dynamite
Shorter, Faster, Louder was a record that really opened me up to the type of Punk Rock I’d go on to eventually play in my mid to late teen years. It’s more melodic vocally, which is something that has always felt natural to me in regards to my vocal style. After discovering this song and Kid Dynamite, I was turned onto Dan Yemin’s other bands: Lifetime and Paint it Black.
7. “May 16” by Lagwagon
This song is a classic, I’m stoked I get to play FEST 11 with Lagwagon, that’s a dream come true for sure. “May 16” was huge for me throughout high school going into college because my interpretation of it is drifting apart from your friends. Like every person who grows up and meets new friends along the way, sometimes you faze people out. It’s not an intention; it’s just something that happens you know? You grow up, you find other interests, and you start focusing on things that end up shaping your life. Deep down in your heart you know you’ll always have a bond with that friend, and you’ll be proud of them from afar, but at the end of the day you’re probably not going to go to their birthday party/wedding or anything despite how long you may or may not have been friends. It’s a cool concept that hit home with me.
8. “Anarchy in the UK” by The Sex Pistols
This song was probably the first song that ever got me interested in punk rock. I heard this song when I started playing one of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater games (can’t remember which one it was), when I was in grade school. This song brought the rebel out of me as I entered my teen years. I wanted to know who this band was and what other bands were like them. I stumbled onto a lot of bands that I’ve grown to love because of this song.
9. “Merica” by The Descendants
This was the first song I’d ever heard by the Descendants, and it served as a gateway to the rest of their discography. Such a good, classic band. They were the first 4 piece with a lead vocalist I’d ever seen/heard of before, which I thought was really unique especially when you consider how full they sound live.
10. “My Girlfriend’s Dead” by The Vandals
I shouldn’t have to explain this one. When you’re growing up there’s always that one girlfriend you despise after the relationship ends. This song was perfect for the teenage me.
1. NoFX- Separation of Church and Skate
One of the first punk albums I got obsessed with. As cliche as it sounds, my friends and I used to skateboard around town and blast this record through our headphones.
2. The Shins- Australia
Now, this isn’t a punk song. But without this song, my whole outlook on music would be different. Before I heard this song/album, I was very close minded musically. I will always have a special place for this song, without it I don’t know what I’d be listening to or what I’d be doing.
3. Blink 182- Anthem
When I was a kid, I would watch Blink videos on MTV(Yes they actually used to play music videos). I was enrolled in a Summer Day Camp, and one of my friends there burned me a copy of Enema of The State. Anthem was the song I would always listen to more than the others. Fast songs, man.
4. Bouncing Souls- Sing Along Forever
The lyrics in this song mean so much. Why listen to a band that doesn’t speak to you in one way or another? “Give me a reason to care, I’ll sing along forever.”
5. Crime In Stereo- The Impending Glory of American Adulthood
I had this album for quite some time before it really did something for me. Tony and I were driving through Colorado in 2008 or 2009 and I put this album on. The rest was history, top 5 albums of all time. Great record that covers so many issues about the world and life.
6. First To Leave- Drag The Lake
I was on Myspace one day (yes it was that long ago) and I clicked on my friends profile, and this was his profile song. I sat there listening to this song for at least an hour on repeat. Went to my local record store and bought the CD. It was a style of punk I had never heard before, and I liked it more than any other style I had heard before. It will forever be an important moment in my life.
7. Kid Dynamite- Sweet Shop Syndicate
There isn’t a Youtube video for this song. Probably cause its only a 20 second song. When I heard this song I thought “Wait, is it over already?” But then I realized something great, you don’t need a 3 minute song to get your point across. Say what you need to say and move on.
8. Latterman- My Dreams About Not Sleeping Until 3PM
I’ve never heard a band that is more passionate about what they have to say. I can feel every word. And the fact that two of them sing the whole time it’s like a double mind fuck haha. I also love the fact that they recorded all three of their records in a bedroom. Latterman is the true definition of punk rock, and that’s why I love them so much.
9. Saves The Day- Blindfolded
I got into this record during one of the lamest times of my life. I’ve literally never related to a piece of music more than this. Every word made sense, every melody makes you want to cry. It’s such a depressing, yet beautiful album. In my eyes it’s one of those timeless records that gives you nostalgia every time you play it.
10. Lifetime- Irony Is For Suckers
The first Lifetime song I ever heard, it was my introduction to one of my idols, Dan Yemin. Every one of his bands is amazing and I look up to all of them so much. Lifetime was the reason we started this band, and I couldn’t be more glad that I heard this band when I did.
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