90. Rain Machine- Rain Machine
Somehow I stumbled on to this album before I ever heard about TV on the Radio. Rain Machine is as colorful as the album art. What a great little stumble that was. “Give Blood” was so infectious it was a guarantee to get me up and moving whenever I heard it. The rhythms and beats all throughout the album have a traditional African feel to them and Kyp Malone brings it all together with his wild singing style and guitar playing. There are some darker undertones here that are carried by the lyrics, touching on racism, social injustices and all sorts of stuff. It’s a truly unique album that throws new things at you all the way to the end.
89. Kezia- Protest The Hero
Protest the Hero is a band that doesn’t take themselves seriously all that much, just check out some of their music videos for clarification, but what they accomplished with their debut album needs to be taken seriously. When you figure in how young they were when they released Kezia it’s all the more impressive. It was one of the first metalcore albums I acquired, and while I’ve grown out of most of the other metalcore bands I listened to at the time such as The Human Abstract and All That Remains, Protest the Hero remains quite enjoyable.
88. The Satanic Satanist
Satanic Satanist finds Portugal. The Man adding some classic rock to their sound. This was the perfect touch to their already experimental, psychedelic formula. John Gourley’s voice just floats on top of it all and draws us in with some incredible hooks from start to finish. This album is incredibly consistent and chalk full of standouts like “The Home,” “Do You,” and “Lovers in Love.”
87. Beirut- The Flying Club Cup
Zach Condon spent some time in Eastern Europe and the local music he discovered over there profoundly influenced him. This New Mexican now recreates the balkan style into modern tunes with great success. There’s some great variety in the tunes on this album from march tunes like “Cliquot” to tracks that highlight Zach’s ukulele playing like “The Penalty” to a slow piano driven ballad in “Un Dernier Verre (Pour La Route).” There’s some incredibly unique music presented here and it would be well worth your time to check it out.
86. He Is Legend- I Am Hollywood
I am Hollywood is here to rock, and that’s all it does with it’s southern rock style of post-hardcore. Schuylar Croom leads the way with a diversified and intense delivery on the mikes. He shows us he can sing, scream and growl with the best of them. The energy he brings to the music is very impressive, and when you couple that with the tight instrumentation from the other guys you’ve got a collection of tunes that accomplishes all you could possible want for an album to get you charged up. “Do You Think I’m Pretty?,”  “China White” and “The Seduction” allow you to see the synergy that builds when five guys are firing on all cylinders. The rest of the songs aren’t all that far behind either.
85. Nick Drake- Pink Moon
Pink Moon is a very short album that runs for just under 30 minutes. It doesn’t even take that long to convince us that Nick Drake is one of the best songwriters out there. Even though he failed to receive much recognition during his time, his hushed vocals and syncopated guitar playing have had a huge impact in the scene today. This album is more simple than Nick Drake’s other releases. It doesn’t feature any backing choirs or any instrumentation besides a little piano here and there. We’re just left to focus on Drake, his singing and his plucking and we’re all the better for it.
84. Low- Things We Lost in the Fire
True pioneers of lo-fi, Low deliver one heck of an album in Things We Lost in the Fire. Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker put together some fantastic vocal harmonies. Even when Alan and Mimi are singing by themselves they both have fairly unique voices and can still draw you in. “Embrace” is haunting tune and a good example of Low succeeding even without their dynamic harmonies. This is a very minimalist kind of album, these guys dubbed the term slowcore, and as much as they speak out against it, they live up to that name.
83. Menomena- Friend and Foe
If there ever was a dynamic trio, Menomena was that trio. Danny, Justin and Brent would swap singing duties for different songs and a lot of times they would swap instruments for different songs as well. Their sound is dense with a lot of different instruments with the saxophone, glockenspiel, piano, guitar, bass, and drums in the mix regularly and others not so regularly. I tend to enjoy the songs where Danny and Justin take the lead on the vocals, but “Wet and Rusting” is so good that The Antlers made a whole album around that sound.
82. The Decemberists- The Crane Wife
Proggy-Folk? Okay! This album was a big step for me in terms of developing tastes. Along with Neutral Milk Hotel’s In The Aeroplane Over The Sea this was my first real big dive out of the hard rock, post-hardcore tastes of my high school days. I love the second track, clocking in at over twelve minutes long, it takes you through a several of movements. First, an almost marching drum builds until all order has dissolved and finally settles to allow Collin to croon over some lightly finger-plucked guitar. “Shankill Butchers” is another highlight, it’s a cryptic folk songs that only The Decemberists can do so well. All in all it was a pretty first step into indie.
81. As Cities Burn- Hell or High Water
This was the last step in the transformation of As Cities Burn, and not just because they broke up after releasing this album. Hell or High Water show’s a band once loved for delivering some great post-hardcore fully developed as ruckus indie rockers. They definitely alienated some fans with this release, but picked up many new fans, including me, and then before they got to revel in the glory of the project they finished, they disbanded. It was especially confusing, and disappointing, for all of us new fans, but at least we still get to enjoy these nine groovin’ punchy tunes.
100-91 | 80-71

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