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CD's Revisited: The Evens - The Evens

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I 100% bought this album because of Ian MacKaye. That might have been a mistake at the time. Not because this is a bad album or anything, but when I bought The Evens I was at a point in my life where I was looking for music that was loud and fast, and it was naive of me to believe that this album would fulfill that need when I already knew that most Fugazi albums didn't do anything for me (I would even go as far as to say that at the time, I knew any Fugazi song that wasn't "Waiting Room" didn't really do it for me).

I remember listening to this album a few times and trying to force myself to like it, if only to justify spending money on it. Other than "All These Governors," I don't think there's a single song that really spoke to me at age 15, and even then I'm not sure if the song itself meant a whole lot to me outside of liking the melody. I didn't outright hate it, but for context a lot of what I was listening to at the time was har…

CDs Revisited: Sum 41 - 'Half Hour of Power'

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I didn't realize how long it's been since I've written anything. That's on me. I'm going to make an attempt to finish this project before my next birthday but I'll also accept before it's 2020.

Anyway: Sum 41's Half Hour of Power. Far from the band's best work, but also far from their worst. Maybe. I guess that's debatable. For a band that I barely ever listen to anymore, I still have a lot of strong opinions about Sum 41. Like a lot of people my age, I fell into the perfect demographic for All Killer, No Filler- aware enough to buy into anything that was being promoted as counter-culture but still dumb enough to not really understand anything beyond that. In spite of that, they're a band that I'll jump to defend, because no matter what, I think they're a band that made some large (and positive) strides with their music between their debut and the two albums that followed it. (Their post-Chuck albums are... well, they exist and I…

CDs Revisited: Sugarcult - 'Back to the Disaster'

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Okay, so technically this is a DVD that happens to come packaged with a CD. I've only watched the DVD once since getting this, but I remember listening to the CD half frequently enough to warrant its inclusion in this project. (Also the packaging is in a jewel case made for a CD so I jotted this release down before fully remembering that the live album is the supplementary half)

I got this my junior year of high school. It was a Secret Santa gift from someone who was on the student government with me. I recently found out that this girl and I are no longer Facebook friends and I have no idea when that happened. Anyway, the summer of that same year I had been listening to Start Static a lot, so of course I was happy to accept a gift that had live renditions of some of my favorite songs.

And that's all I really remember about the CD at the time. On my first listen, I had a stray thought that their singer sounded a bit like Billie Joe Armstrong and then I found out that Sugarcul…

CDs Revisited: Motion City Soundtrack - 'Commit This to Memory'

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I have a much more complicated relationship with this record than necessary. I've gone back and forth on whether I like it or not, though most of my indecision has less to do with the music itself and a lot to do with the emotions and memories I have associated with this particular album.

Let me back up: I absolutely loved I Am the Movie. At the time when I bought it, it was Motion City Soundtrack's only commercially available LP and I still hadn't fully grasped the idea that I could use the internet to buy or download literally anything (to clarify: this was 2004 and I had already used the internet to buy or download plenty of things, but using it as my first resource to get things still hadn't become an everyday thing), so even though I was aware that the band's early releases existed I was content with listening only to this one album over and over. Then I got to see Motion City Soundtrack on the 2005 Epitaph tour (alongside Matchbook Romance and From First to …

CDs Revisited: Ben Weasel - 'These Ones Are Bitter'

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I used to really like Screeching Weasel. Wait, that's not entirely accurate. I used to really like the following Screeching Weasel records. Boogadaboogadaboogada, My Brain Hurts, Anthem for a New Tomorrow, and, to a lesser extent, Wiggle and Kill the Musicians. I enjoyed songs here and there from their other records, but overall I think that I thought I liked them a lot more than I actually did.

Because of that, I was excited to buy one of the clearance bundles sold by Asian Man Records when Weasel and the label parted ways (I don't know what went down, but the important part here is that after they decided to no longer work together, Asian Man started cleaning house and sold bundles that included shirts, koozies, and both CD and LP copies of Phase 3, Invasion USA, The Brain That Wouldn't Die, and These Ones Are Bitter.) The bundle wasn't as exciting as I thought it was going to be, but that is partially because Mike Park had miscalculated how many of each LP he had, …

CDs Revisited: Reel Big Fish - 'Why Do They Rock So Hard?'

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I've mentioned already that my first Reel Big Fish album was Cheer Up, and I feel like that opened my mind up to the idea that their later albums were listenable (or at least through We're Not Happy 'Til You're Not Happy). However, and I think this has happened to almost everyone who has gotten really into Reel Big Fish, I went through a period when I thought that this album, Why Do They Rock So Hard? was my all-time favorite album by them. Everything Sucks was championed by the underground scene, Turn the Radio Off was the well-known one with the big singles, so obviously Why Do They Rock So Hard was the underdog that was secretly their best. At least that's how I thought of it.

I got this album in the summer of 2004. I ordered it through some kind of mail-order club. I don't remember if it was Columbia House or some equivalent service, but I do remember that I got it alongside Sublime's self-titled, the Beastie Boys' Licensed to Ill and Fungus Amongu…

CDs Revisited: Queens of the Stone Age - 'Rated R'

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To further prove the idea that I was a very impressionable teenager, and how that's influenced me to this very day, let me take you back to a day in the summer of 2003 when I was at camp: one night I was hanging around my cabin and listening to one of the counselors go through another's CD collection and more or less criticizing every single one (being the snarky music asshole was kind of his thing). I don't actually remember most of the albums mentioned that night, but I do remember that he was infuriated by seeing a copy of Load, and when he got to Songs for the Deaf by Queens of the Stone Age his reaction was "What the fuck? How do you own this album but you're missing fucking Rated R, easily the greatest Queens of the Stone Age album?" (two things: 1) I'm paraphrasing what he said, but most of those words were uttered in some order, and 2) You have to remember that this was in 2003 so the QotSA discography was rather small at the time).

That reaction…