I wasn’t too sure I wanted to get suckered into this “What?!” business so early, but right now I think I’m doing this more for my own amusement than anyone else’s. Let’s face it, no one really cares about what I was listening to 10 years ago. Even I don’t care, but the nostalgia in some of these tracks was too much to not get pulled into.
Although I firmly insist that no one at The Metal should ever have to explain themselves to anyone, I feel like my choices need a little background. I started off highschool as one of those wannabe goth kids, with my Tripp pants, black nail polish and a mother who refused to let me listen to Manson and wear heavy black eyeliner. I slowly but surely morphed into a pop-punk scene kid, fully equipped with skinny jeans, slip on Vans, the swoopy scene kid hair and Sharpie tattoos. I went to an all girls private catholic school for four years (after having been at a private catholic elementary/middle school since pre-k. Do the math- that’s 14 years.)
Needless to say, metal influence back then was very rare, if at all. My mother listened to the more poppy side of country and my dad was really into classic rock (which you can’t really ever go wrong with. Can’t say the same about country, though.) Yeah, I listened to 103.3 The Edge all the time when I finally discovered it. But outside of Steve K’s underground show, the dayside folks weren’t playing much more than Metallica, and maybe some Megadeth? There was a metric fuckton of Nirvana though, holy shit. I discovered a few things that I liked on my own, but as I edged closer to junior/senior year, I started paying more attention to the music my friends were listening to, which is what this list is mostly made of. So, without further adieu..
These first two are my “Honourable Mentions” solely because they are still very relevant to my musical interests. They are the only ones that have stuck with me for 10+ years, and I wanted this list to be bands I gave a shit about only when I was in catholic school prison.
HM #1: Coheed and Cambria, “The Light and The Glass“: In Keeping the Secret of Silent Earth: III has been out for almost 13 years now, and I can firmly state that this is still one of my favourite albums of all time. As I’m writing this, I’m having an incredibly hard time even picking a song because they’re all so perfect- there are very few albums in my collection that I can listen the whole way through without skipping a song, and this is one of them. I vividly remember always having this album on while I was taking a bath, forcing myself to wait until this song was over to get out and sitting in cold water for a half hour.
I guess I’m choosing this song because I feel slightly obligated to pick one of their 8+ minute epics, and I didn’t want to choose something obvious like “Three Evils…”, “A Favour House Atlantic” or the title track. There’s just something about how “The Light and the Glass” gets heavier throughout its progression that makes me love this a little more than the other tracks. The progression also reminds me a little of my favourite Zeppelin song..
HM #2: Killswitch Engage, “End of Heartache“: I want to tell you to go fuck yourself if you don’t think KSE is a great band, but unfortunately everyone is entitled to their opinion, even though your opinion is clearly fucking wrong. Even if you don’t like them, you have to admit that they completely nailed their “Holy Diver” cover. Completely. Fucking. Nailed it. (Edit: I had no idea there was an official vid for this, and I’m dying right now. If I didn’t know better I’d have this this was the best Dethlehem video yet)
Don’t get me wrong here, I love that Jesse is back in the band, but I think he lacks the power that Howard has in his clean singing. At the same time, Jesse can still pull off all of the songs KSE did when Howard was in the band, and that’s no small feat.
End of Heartache came out 12 or so years ago, and it was one of the sole metal influences I had back then. It was the one that really put metal on the map for me. When I first heard the title track (on the radio, believe it or not), I knew I just had to have that album. So, I waltzed into (probably) Hot Topic and used my allowance money to get it. I was really surprised my mother let me buy it, considering the cover had a heart with nails in it. Since then, I have unfortunately lost my hard copy to the sands of time (i.e. a messy teen bedroom) but this album still consistently makes the cut when I’m changing around my music. This is another one of the albums I can listen to the whole way without skipping. It’s just too good, and another one of my Top 10s of all time. It was hard to pick one off of here too, but I chose the title track because that was the one that really suckered me in. And if you plan on gracing mine and Mike’s collective presence on Sunday, you might get to catch me shed a few tears when they play this song.
Now I’m going to get into my real top 10, which *shouldn’t be as long as Co&Ca and KSE, but fuck knows since I wasn’t anticipating this whole thing being as long as it already is.
Edit: Shoutout to anyone that actually knows the greatness of some of these songs. Other than myself, you are who I’m writing this for.
10: Story of the Year, “Anthem of Our Dying Day“:
“I’d scream this song right in your face if you were here”
I never really got into this band as a whole, but this song always came up on AOL Radio. When I finally got an iPod (and subsequently iTunes) in late 2007, this was one of the first songs I bought through my new music inlet, that and “Until the Day I Die”. It still has one of the highest play counts because of how many times I sat on my computer with this song on repeat for hours, even though I haven’t listened to it since, maybe, 2009 at the latest.
9. Scary Kids Scaring Kids, “My Darkest Hour“:
“You left me at the altar! My heart in my hands I am tired and broken”
I specifically remember this one time my highschool friends and I went out to celebrate two of our birthdays. After dinner, we ended up dancing around the plaza parking lot to this song and a bunch of other emo classics, until the posse of parents came to break up our fun. Other than the fond memory of almost breaking my ankles in my shoes, I can’t find much that’s special about this song, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t blast this song and bedroom dance to myself late at night after my mother went to sleep.
8. Motion City Soundtrack, “Don’t Call it a Comeback“:
“By will alone we set our minds in motion”
Referring back to that time when I first acquired apple products, I Am The Movie was the first full album I had on my iPod for a long time before I finally found the patience to take all of my CDs and import them onto iTunes. There were only a couple of songs on this album that I didn’t think were lacking, and “Comeback” was one of them, only to be outdone by “The Future Freaks Me Out”, but that’s another one that seemed too obvious for this list.
7. Brand New, “Soco Amaretto Lime“:
“You’re just jealous ’cause we’re young and in love”
Ok, this one is kind of a cheat since I really didn’t start listening to this until after highschool, but this is too much of a staple to not have put on the list. It has the essence of my early college days at ECC, highlighted by late nights walking for hours just to meet up at campus (since we didn’t have cars), goofing off at supermarkets, simply being the free teen spirits that we were and enjoying it while it lastedas true adulthood was near on the horizon.
6. Armor For Sleep, “Car Underwater“:
“What hurts more is I would still die for you”
This was originally the “Iris” cover that New Found Glory did back in.. whenever, but then I found this gem while scrolling through some of my old jams. It’s on here because this is the first one that I still remember all of the words to, even though today is the first day I’ve played it since.. Jeez, I can’t even remember. It’s just been that long. They’re actually the first band on this list I got to see live when i was senior in 2008 at Club Infinity before it closed. And then reopened. And then closed again. And then became Howdy’s. And then closed again.
5. Lostprophets, “Start Something“:
“If you don’t stop there, you’ll make it through. Stop dreaming, start something”
Surely this is the heaviest track in my top 10, if you can even call it heavy to begin with? I think this was my first taste of screams in any song; now that I think about it, this might even pre-date highschool. If I still gave a shit about Lostprophets, I’d still be jamming this album (if I still had it, that is). Start Something is another one of those where I wouldn’t skip a track. 15 year old me weeps eternally about their singer going to prison for fucking babies.
4. The Academy Is…, “We’ve Got A Big Mess On Our Hands“:
“Don’t give in, don’t give up, I’ll be gone, You don’t look innocent enough”
Me being into this band was purely a product of who I hung around with. I remember having a hard time liking most of the album this was on, but this song was just too catchy and upbeat for me to not dance to. Actually, since I’m thinking about it, I saw The Academy Is… and a couple of these bands on the same bill, that Club Infinity show I mentioned earlier. That should be a solid indication of what my top three looks like; two you most likely know of, and one you should know.
3. Panic! At The Disco, “Time to Dance“:
“When I say shotgun, you say wedding.. Shotgun wedding! Shotgun Wedding!”
At first I wanted to choose one of the songs with an obnoxiously long title, but I’m going to save that for #1. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the songs on whatever album this came off of (the only one that I owned of theirs; it was a burned copy). But this one was my favourite. I got to see them with a friend in Rochester, and I specifically remember being somewhere in the middle when I got sucked into my first ever most pit. That’s right, folks! My first mosh pit was at a pop-punk show.
2. Fall Out Boy, “XO“:
“It starts eyes closed, to fingers crossed..”
This was actually my #1 until about a minute ago when I remembered how much I was infamous for my love for the current #1. But I couldn’t leave FOB off the list, and they’re too important for me to have dropped them any further down. I can’t believe I still know the words to this one too. I’ve heard a few more recent songs from FOB and by god, they’re just awful. What used to be an emo staple has now become pop trash, and 17 year old me just can’t deal with it. Fuck you, “Uma Therman”.
Edit: Funny, Mike almost got a video of me lip-synching this earlier, but it was blurry as fuck and I made him delete it. I don’t need a video of that on the internet, and you don’t either.
Cobra Starship, “Send My Love To The Dance Floor, I’ll See You In Hell (Hey, Mister DJ)”
“Hey, Mister DJ! You better put a record on, yeah!”
I was borderline obcessed with this band during my senior year, and everyone knew it. Well, my friends knew it. This song was always on repeat when I was walking to work, and I had to force myself to be conscious of whether or not I was dancing. CS was at that Club Infinity show, and I was lucky enough to get to meet the guys. I remember saying to their vocalist that I snagged a photo of him picking his nose, to which he responded “Yeah, probably picking all the drugs out of my nose”.
#TBT to that time in highschool when I met CS’s singer and wore chalk pastels for eyeshadow and colored my hair with sharpies because mom wouldn’t let me dye it. Also, naturally blonde. Didn’t see that coming, didja?
Assuming you’ve taken the time to get this far, I’d like to thank you soooooo much for reading this. Teenage me wants to thank you too. This is probably the longest thing I’ve ever written that wasn’t school oriented (if only school shit came this easy). And I’d like to thank Mike for putting up with playing my song choices all morning. And for not posting a video of me singing.
Like what you’ve read? Got any questions? Comments? Concerns? All of the above are more than welcome either here or on our facebook page. Thanks again for reading! And stay tuned!