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Post Hardcore

I've been away from Sputnik and all I have to show for it is this shitty post-hardcore list.
1Flipper
Generic


There is nothing particularly striking about the simplistic punk album, in my
eyes. Besides obvious standouts like "Sex Bomb," most of Generic is likely to fly
past your radar; still, the sloppiness and sort of punk aloofness is endearing at
least and incredibly influential at most.
2Husker Du
Zen Arcade


It's no secret that Husker Du influenced more than a little with their brand of
hardcore punk. In fact, it'd feel a little like I was patronizing if I went over how
fucking awesome Husker Du are, and how important their role in post-hardcore
was, so I think I'll just let this one go. Plus, this is the last thing I'm writing for
this list, so hooray! Don't worry, I promise they're not all this bad.
3Rites of Spring
End on End


Rumbling and ragged, there's a feeling that Rites of Spring is brimming with
discontent on the verge of disaster. It is an unstable vehicle heading towards
the edge of the cliff. A more fitting soil in which post-hardcore sets its roots
could not be found. Genre distinctions regarding Rites aside, it is impossible to
deny that subsequent post-hardcore did not take cue upon cue from the band
that took hardcore punk to new dimensions with personal lyrics, less
straightforward chord progression, and trademark raspy yelling... basically,
everything Dischord Records would later come to epitomize, as well.
4Beefeater
Plays For Lovers
5Big Black
Atomizer


As sort of a companion piece to Songs About Fucking, Atomizer works
perfectly.Where the former is a more fluid, cohesive and catchy set of tracks,
the latter contains some of the quintessential punk band?s most memorable
tunes in the likes of "Passing Complexion" and "Bazooka Joe." More chaotic and
less focused as it may be, Atomizer is still a shining example of Big Black's
capabilities as one of the most essential forbearers of post-hardcore and general
punk music.
6Embrace
Embrace


I am not sure if Embrace is in fact more or less in the vein of post-hardcore
than Rites of Spring, but the cousin to one of the genre?s main forbearers is
unabashedly a strong influence as well. Uncompromising and rough, Embrace?s
tendencies to rock socks off earns them a spot on the list because they were so
damn influential to the 90's post-hardcore aesthetic that would be running
rampant 5 years from Embrace?s release date.
7Big Black
Songs About Fucking


Big Black... everything about the band screams, crass, intense, gritty. Later in
this list, Nick Butler will be noted as referring to the band Nomeansno as "PUNK.
AS. FUCK." Not to take away from that apt description of Wrong, but I argue
that it applies much better to Songs About Fucking, an album that I have
always associated as a definitive and quintessential punk album, as well as a
tremendous influence on a genre like post-hardcore. Atomizer might have a few
of the best singles Big Black has recorded in "Bazooka Joe" and "Passing
Complexion," yet Songs About Fucking is largely considered as Big Black?s most
thorough, their pinnacle, as well a peak in punk music in general. As it is
certainly a pillar of energy, of intensity, of fucking, I'm not at liberty to disagree
with that assertion.
8Fugazi
13 Songs


There is a definite consensus that Fugazi is the unquestionable apex of essential
as far as post-hardcore is concerned. Is this fair to the lingering competition,
though? It would seem not, looking simply at individual albums. 13 Songs is
boisterous and unrestrained. It is a party, and one that picks up right where Big
Black, Embrace, and Rites of Spring left off. Even if it might be their best
compilation of tracks, by no means does 13 Songs equate to the unquestioning
authority over the "rest." No, that comes later in Fugazi's career; but 13 Songs
is an undeniably fun stepping stone towards their future.
9Nomeansno
Wrong


PUNK. AS. FUCK. Seriously, if you could throw all the ingredients you need to
create the perfect punk band into a pot, NoMeansNo would probably pop out
after you're done boiling. Awesome, manly basslines, excursions into dirty,
manly jazz, intricate, manly (well, kinda) guitar lines, and near-psychedelic
invention, all locked into an endless, furious groove. All that, and songs called
"Big Dick" and "Brainless Wonder". On "The Tower", they prove they can play
straight up rock-n-roll with the best of them, too, and "Rags And Bones" boasts
one of the most addictive riffs in punk history. Refused would later improve on
this blueprint, but they needed NoMeansNo to lay the foundations for them
first, and Wrong is the album where they absolutely nailed it. - Nick Butler
10Fugazi
Repeater


One of the most beautiful aspects of the band Fugazi is that you can basically
make a convincing argument that near any of their 6 LP's is in fact their best.
For instance, Repeater marks their early years, and is generally regarded as a
fan favorite, yet would rank lower than most as far as I am concerned. Repeater
is much more akin to 13 Songs than it is to subsequent releases; and dancier
tracks like "Repeater" and "Turnover" are heralded as some of the band's best.
11Rain
La Vache Qui Rit


This EP is incredibly overlooked, especially considering all its connections with
similar DC post-hardcore acts. It would have been even more unknown if
Dischord hadn't resurrected it and re-released it, which makes total sense
because Rain really employs the whole emotive, twin-guitar thing to a fucking T.
Obviously, it?s going to sound closer to 80's hardcore (not my specialty) than
90's post-hardcore, but either way this is a pretty awesome find for any fans of
Embrace, Rites of Spring, etc. upon etc.
12 -----------
------------
13Tar
Jackson


Turns out my birth-year was also the birth-year for many an influential and/or
noteworthy post-hardcore album. Coincidence? (Yes, probably). Either way, Tar
is an oft-unrecognized act that deserves its dues. Not quite as ear-wrenching as
The Jesus Lizard, Jackson opts for a more straightforward sound that enhances
its listenability, if you ask me. Highlights like "Goethe" and "Short Trades" hit
their mark, and any fan of Jawbox should see the deep-seeded similarities
between this and For Your Own Special Sweetheart.
14The Jesus Lizard
GOAT


Noise and dissonance at its finest, GOAT is an album that elicits an even more
pronounced sense of evil than the hell-fire than adorns the cover. Dark, bleak,
and crass: The Jesus Lizard incorporates post-hardcore elements into noise rock
seamlessly, creating one of the clear, top albums of the decade.
15Unsane
Unsane


Right when you start to think this whole sound is getting lumped together and
homogenous here comes Unsane. Living up to their name (I won't even make
the way-too-obvious comment, here), Unsane have pretty horrible production
quality, but it only makes the loud, violent, noise rock more affecting. The lyrics
really further these themes well, too, when the vocalist yells things about "fuck
you," or "shut the fuck up," know what I mean? It's all pretty self-explanatory,
Unsane is insane (okay sorry, I couldn?t resist).
16Drive Like Jehu
Drive Like Jehu
17Nation of Ulysses
Plays Pretty For Baby


Pretty much if you like D.C. hardcore from the 90?s?well you?ll probably already
own this. Its certainly an essential album in the ?post-hardcore? world, although
classifying this is almost just stupid and against the point. It?s a punk album full
of aggression against those that oppress the youth, the perfect teen angst
album for those who like to dress snazzy. When you hear the haunting wails on
?N.o.u.s.p.t.d.a.? you?ll wonder why you cant be back in the early 90?s being one
of the ?cool? kids rebelling against the white man with The Nation of Ulysses.
Plus there?s trumpet. Soooooooo experimental people. - John Hyperbole Hanson
18Fugazi
In On The Kill Taker


Fugazi certainly made their finest album to date at the time of "In On The Kill
Taker" they still had not reached perfection. While "In On The Kill Taker" is a
beautiful and very varying experience, some of the moments on the album
seem a little too textbook of the band and also some of them drag on a little too
far ("Sweet and Low's" subdued feeling kind of makes the closer of the album
drag). Still, the band certainly has a very important and great record with this
release, and compared to many other bands, it'd be a near classic. But with a
band with Fugazi?s capabilities, it is in turn left as just a great solid release with
its decent share of flaws. - Jared W. Dillon
19Unwound
Fake Train


I like noise rock. Sometimes it?s loud. Sometimes it?s quiet. It?s always
interesting though. Sometimes it?s minimalist. Repeating the same note over.
And over. And over. And sometimes they don?t play the same note twice. I
guess it?s like Forrest Gump said: ?Mama always said?? I think he was right.
Mama did say a lot of things. ?Waiter what?s this feedback doing in my soup??
?Analyzing the complexity and absurdity of life through noise? ?Bring it back.?-
Zach Savage
20Quicksand
Slip


Slip is an incredible record of poignant, bludgeoning music and most importantly
is influential record in post-hardcore or 90's rock in general. If you're a fan of
destructive and original music then you must buy Slip. - anonymous Sputnik
reviewer
21Jawbox
For Your Own Special Sweetheart


There's a certain poetic beauty to Jawbox (ironic, considering the name which
conjures much more gruff imagery). Rather than simply "wow-ing" with brute
force, For Your Own Special Sweetheart commands attention by way of some
(oddly) beautiful moments, meaningful lyrics, and generally a very different feel
one would expect from hearing a track like the raucous "FF=66." Out of the
ashes of Jawbox, many other prominent acts would rise... some of them
nothing like their predecessor, but all of them expectedly containing the same
sort of aptitude and knack for songwriting displayed so obviously by Jawbox.
22Shudder To Think
Pony Express Record


By incorporating a sort of drawl, a hesitation, in their music, Shudder to Think
are a perfect example of a band that are still well within the confines of the
predominant 90's post-hardcore archetype, yet don?t conform to the rapid-fire
sort of Drive Like Jehu aesthetic. There is many a standout on Pony Express
Record, but mayhaps "Hit Liquor" stands out in particular because it was
featured on Beavis and Butthead.
23Maximillian Colby / Rye Coalition
Split 7''
24Unwound
New Plastic Ideas


There?s no doubt in my mind that other bands may have left a more poignant
mark on the scene than Unwound; but the more I write about them, the more
I'm convinced that they might be the only band that can rival Fugazi in terms of
overall quality in this realm (well, come pretty close, at least). New Plastic Ideas
evidences this perfectly-- exceedingly consistent, New Plastic Ideas is neither
new (let's be honest, it has been done before), but it's far from plastic music.
Particularly organic, I'm a sucker for the way that Unwound pulls off this album
with a certain smoothness. From start to end, NPI is particularly engrossing--
more so than many other birds of this feather. I know Leaves Turn Inside You is
the favorite around here, but do not forget New Plastic Ideas. It displays
Unwound aiming for an entirely different sound, and achieving it achingly well.
25Shellac
At Action Park


Abrasive, arty, nasty, noisy, innovative and unique, Shellac are proof that there
is still massive scope for experimentation and carving out new sounds with a
standard guitar, bass, drums lineup in the indie-rock format. At Action Park is
simultaneously interesting, difficult, catchy and just plain fun. In terms of
musicianship, At Action Park has a lot to offer and sonically, you're unlikely to
hear anything else quite like it. - Andrew Hartwig
26Drive Like Jehu
Yank Crime


It just feels right to write about Drive Like Jehu in the same sitting as I have Big
Black. In many respects, the former are just as much a quintessential, 90's
post-hardcore staple as the likes of Fugazi and Unwound, yet so much of their
sound harkens straight back to the likes of Big Black. Personally I prefer their
self-titled previous album to Yank Crime, the fan favorite, but this is less a
matter of dispute and more a testament to the band's consistency.
27Shotmaker
The Complete Discography 1993-1996
28Hoover
The Lurid Traversal of Route 7


If Godspeed You! Black Emperor somehow was ticked into making a post-
hardcore record (please: someone make this happen), it would sound much like
these Dischord darlings. More proof that the aforementioned label owned this
realm in the early 90's, Hoover's creative brand of creaking, mulling, murky
post-hardcore is equally creepy and stupendous.
29Lync
These Are Not Fall Colors


Actually, there most certainly are. This forgotten gem belongs right alongside
Jawbox and Drive Like Jehu as essential post-hardcore from 1994. A quieter,
weirder little brother to the aforementioned (a Bitchfork-esque album, if you
will), Lync brings spastic moments of catchiness to complement the discordant
messiness. Lovely.
30 -----------
------------
31Refused
Songs To Fan The Flames of Discontent


With an exceedingly fitting name in tow (even if it is hyperbolic and self-
referential, just like its more-famous predecessor), Refused's "other" album is
more direct, more based in hardcore, and harder-hitting than the album that
they are known for. Concentrated and less fantastical, the post-hardcore band
prove to be at their best when they are not bogged down by huge, complicated
tendencies.
32The VSS
Nervous Circuits
33Lungfish
Indivisible


Lungfish have always been a staple in the Dischord collection, making them
somewhat of a necessity to this list considering the massive influence Dischord
in general initiated. And it?s for good reason that they made the label their
home for about two decades. The Baltimoreans were infamous for offering a
myriad of free shows, and for their incredibly expansive discography. Ever-
consistent, their sound reached somewhat of a plateau as they aged, but
Indivisible alone should be proof enough of how essential a band they were.
34Roadside Monument
Eight Hours Away From Being A Man


Remember how Frodus used to be on Tooth and Nail records? Yeah, me neither.
One would assume they?re way too cool for that shit, but that was the case.
Apparently, they left before Musical Affirmative Action started and they were
forced to hire shitty bands like Emery to level the playing field. Anyway,
Roadside Monument are in a similar realm as Frodus, except that they forgot to
leave T & N. Their aggressive nature and song titles like "Sperm Ridden Burden"
are exceedingly out of place compared to the record label today. But see, that?s
exactly what post-hardcore needs more of today-- more sperm ridden burdens!
In all seriousness though, that particular track rules all sorts of face, as does
this album. It is highly recommended for fans of crushing, aggressive post-
hardcore like Frodus, and they do the soft/loud thing very well, too.
35Fugazi
End Hits


End Hits is particularly notable simply because, more so than any others in
Fugazi?s large discography, it doesn't have any outstanding qualities that sets it
apart from the rest. It is definitely not the most simplistic (13 Songs), nor is it
the most experimental (The Argument); rather, End Hits couples Fugazi?s many
influences and traits, marrying them under the cityscape on one of my favorite
album covers of all-time. Intense and passionate, but with an air of elegant
restrain, I believe End Hits is Fugazi at their most powerful. Whether or not it is
a positive attribute is subjective, of course, but this is definitely Fugazi balancing
themselves.
36Unwound
Challenge For a Civilized Society


This album has never been particularly distinctive in my collection, as it falls
somewhere in the middle of Unwound-- both stylistically and quality-wise. It
comes after the brashness of New Plastic Ideas but falls far short of the
experimentation and insanity of Leaves Turn Inside You. Still, it serves as a
barometer for Unwound?s general quality-- Challenge For A Civilized Society is a
would-be highlight in many other bands? discographies.
37Refused
The Shape of Punk To Come


In what is widely regarded as their most prominent work, Refused... well,
remember that poster in every third-grade classroom, "Shoot for the moon!!
Even if you miss, you will land among the stars."? Here, Refused shoot for the
stars, and don't quite make it to the moon either, but land in Africa or
something where their brand of over-saturated post-hardcore infused with
(insert random genre here) makes for an interesting inclusion, at least.
38 ----------
------------
39KARP
Self Titled LP
40Far
Water & Solutions


Tending towards the softer side of the genre, Far lets up in intensity but
compromises nothing else. No unlike an older Brand New, Far aren?t too far
away from alternative rock, but damn do they make this style theirs. "Bury
White" and "Mother Mary" are up here with anything on Devil and God, and
Water and Solutions really perfects the quiet/loud formula. Plus, the
41Bluetip
Join Us


More proof that indie was slowly seeping into post-hardcore was Bluetip. It's
difficult to decide whether they're more like an indie band who was influenced
by their peers on the Dischord label, or a Dischord band who was influenced by
the leanings of indie peers, but either way Join Us is another essential facet of
the softer post-hardcore collection.
42Burning Airlines
Mission: Control!
43Faraquet
The View From This Tower


While they certainly are not the first ones to incorporate mathematics into post-
hardcore music, Faraquet sort of perfected it in my eyes on The View From This
Tower. Odd time signatures and complex rhythms perfectly complement the
interesting drumming and impressive guitar patterns in general. Faraquet opt
for a less straightforward, more meandering approach in The View From This
Tower, and it makes for a listen perfect for those looking to branch back into the
nineties post-hardcore sound but not all the way to The Jesus Lizard in terms of
harshness.
44Shellac
1000 Hurts


Definitely one of Steve Albini's best, 1,000 Hurts is a centerpiece of this list in
many respects. With sharp guitars, nonsensical lyrics, and rough-yet-distinct
production, Shellac is Albini without interference. And that?s the best kind. With
mathy riffage and songs like "Prayer to God" which are simply fucking
spectacular, Shellac tear shit up on this album.
45At the Drive-In
Relationship of Command


Some users will surely complain that this album belongs at the top of this and
any post-hardcore list. Those people are idiots because this is obviously in
chronological order.
46Cursive
Domestica


I am convinced that a rain cloud is constantly perched over Tim Kasher's head,
blocking out every happy ray of sunshine, leaving him trapped in a perpetual
darkness where love only leads to pain and hope only leads to crippling
disappointment. Or at least I am convinced that that?s what he wants me to
believe, and it?s hard not to feel that way after listening to Domestica (or any
Cursive album for that matter). After going through a bitter divorce in 2000,
Kasher channeled his frustrations into what would become Domestica, a profile
of the decline and collapse of a semi-fictional couple?s love. Kasher's wounded
vocals crack under the weight of his own emotional agony. Complimenting his
vocal catharsis, the intertwining dissonance of Kasher's guitar work bleeds with
a resounding urgency; the modern day trumpet blasts at Jericho, collapsing the
walls of a once sturdy love. Cursive?s Domestica is a reminder that behind every
great album is a relationship gone horribly, horribly wrong. ? Adam Thomas
47Fugazi
The Argument


The Argument is Fugazi's studio album. I know they worked primarily in the
studio from In On The Kill Taker on, but The Argument represents the band?s
full exploration of a studio sound. Two drummers, lots of overdubs, this is
Fugazi's patient record and is rewarding because of that. The Argument is a
fantastic road album because the songs are relatable through any terrain. They
are paranoid and bleak complimenting the cityscape. They are also textured and
beautiful complimenting the countryside. Fugazi in my mind had always been
the quintessential '90s band and over the past few years my opinion of them
has shifted to them being the quintessential American band. The members of
this group completely understand the American ethic. Their music may
frequently speak up against American ideals, but the band?s business model
clearly latches onto the capitalist ethic. The honesty that has been so prevalent
in the band?s music is also a key part of that American representation. The
music on The Argument is a timeless example of the retaliation of punk rock
and another example as strong as Fugazi?s opus simply does not exist. ? Jared
W. Dillon
48Frodus
And We Washed Our Weapons In The Sea


Listening to the album at hand, it is impossible to deny that Frodus is pretty
damn badass. If you have heard some of the albums on the list but have yet to
hear ... And We Washed, chances are this is your most glaring omission. Cleaner
production a still-vehement guitar-attack? Yeah, Frodus rule.
49Sicbay
The Firelight S coughs
50Unwound
Leaves Turn Inside You


In retrospect, it's easy to pinpoint the seminal technology of the 21st century
as one of the main forces behind the decade's incredibly widespread musical
dispersion. Listeners found they had infinitely more choices than before due to
the internet. There were blatant negative and positive repercussions stemming
from this central theme of the decade, but one thing's for sure-- never before
was it so easy to find under-the-radar masterpieces like Leaves Turn Inside You.
Nobody's disputing that Unwound is not your average radio material; and
without the internet, the tellingly-dark, bland album art of Leaves would have
never neared my fingertips. What is widely believed to be Unwound's opus
personifies the opposite of everything that relies on a chorus, that releases a
single, that begs you to bob your head. Unwound were never one for
catchiness, as evidenced by their Fugazi-equse 1994 masterpiece, New Plastic
Ideas (my personal favorite), but Leaves marks a sharp turn to the left. It's
always hit me as a contrarian album, in every which way-- Unwound ditch
coherence, beauty, any semblance of warmth on their icy, disgustingly
melancholic and ambitious venture. Leaves Turn Inside You may be the most
uninviting album of the decade, but vocalist Justin Trosper, with cold,
understated prose in hand, let's us know it's okay to revel in the bleakness. The
astounding 80-minute string of seamless noise dabbles in dream-pop, post-rock,
post-hardcore, among a plethora of other genres, but it's unnecessary to pin the
album down to a single label. Either way, the apathetic, depraved listeners
everywhere that live for reveling in the reverb and trance-like state that Leaves
induces should be thankful for the decade's newfound spread of music, for the
fairly obscure album couldn't have so deeply affected so many otherwise.
51Burning Airlines
Identikit


If there is one premier standout example of a precursor to the more polished
soundscapes that post-hardcore acts found themselves working with later in the
decade, it is probably Burning Airlines. Formerly of Jawbox, J. Robbins is at it
again, working with similar melodies and lyrics that made Jawbox so essential in
the 90's, and placing Burning Airlines in a parallel 00's canon.
52Mclusky
Mclusky Do Dallas


Fuck this band.
53Bear vs. Shark
Right Now You're in the Best of Hands


A general good time for the whole family. I mean that too. My past middle age
parents both dig this band when I play them around the house. There's an
accessibility under the initial aggression. I think Paffi labeled it as "abrasive pop"
in an interview with an ex-classmate of his from college. Bear vs. Shark's
instruments often rock in either soft modal ways, or in straight forward
pentatonic ways, both of which give them modern take on classic styles. The
songs are verse chorus verse, etc. but there's something fresh in this
combination few bands can pull off. It's one of the reasons At the Drive-In were
such a success. They presented punk in a way few had heard it before; infused
it with new life. That's what Bear vs. Shark does. They rip a little from At the
Drive-In, Fugazi, Hot Water Music, Braid, and others but come out as something
excitingly new, because they know where to accept what's tried and true, and
they know when to add their own flourishes. - Nick Greer
54Hot Cross
Cryonics


Admittedly, this doesn't really fit within the confines of post-hardcore as neatly
as many as the other obvious ones here do. Still, the way in which it
incorporates more experimental in the sense that they?re not in the emo vein at
all, and the instrumentals are worth fawning over. Rather than being
straightforward and predictable, the technical album is thrown in the post-
hardcore pile at times even-- in my eyes, adding a little more legitimacy to its
modern sound, if you will. Plus, there's absolutely spectacular lyrics here-- it's a
band that, quality-wise, falls nicely in-between Saetia and Off Minor... not a bad
place to fall at all. - Nick Greer
55On The Might Of Princes
Sirens


On The Might Of Princes inhabit a sort of sweet spot somewhere between
screamo and post-hardcore, and they never fully commit to either. This is sorta
a nice thing and a horrible thing at the same time (I mean, they're not all that
far apart in the first place). Anyway, Sirens is an above-average album with nice
flow. It has post-hardcore grooviness with some hardcore emotive screaming,
and to be honest most of it is pretty conventional in terms of approach and
songwriting. Still, Sirens is perfect for an easy listen every now and then.
56Boysetsfire
Tomorrow Come Today
57Million Dead
A Song To Ruin


So Million Dead can be a splash too obvious sometimes but more than make up
for that with their energy, sweet lead vocals, and solid songwriting. If you're a
fan of punk music at all just listen to the first 22 seconds of "Smiling at
Strangers on Trains" and try not to enjoy it. That portion could sell this album
alone. Oh ya the rest of that song slays to. Get on it. - Nick Greer
58Cursive
The Ugly Organ


Sometimes I wish every band would be like Andrew W.K. (who is crazy in a good
way) but more often than not bands end up having a Tim Kasher (who a lot of
times seems crazy in a bad way). Still, you can't argue with results. The Ugly
Organ almost completely abandons what Cursive did on Domestica, which was a
complex, multi-layered indie album rife with aggressive post-hardcore moments
to mirror its relatively simple story perfectly ? a man and his wife on the road to
divorce. Instead, The Ugly Organ throws much more into the mix, including
Pinocchio and lyrics where Kasher actually refers to himself as opposed to a
doppelganger. There are strings and hopefulness aplenty, and I would say that
the end of "A Gentlemen Caller" is the most inspiring thing ever if "Staying
Alive" didn't sit at the end of the album like the Incredible Hulk about to tie
helicopters into pretzels with its message of holding on. Overall, while Domestica
might be a better musical statement, The Ugly Organ offers more of everything
and also it won?t depress the hell out of you. ? Channing Freeman
59 ---------
---------
60mewithoutYou
Catch For Us The Foxes


Telling you guys what's so great about a mewithoutYou record is about as
enlightening as Richard Dawkins is for Aaron Weiss, but I guess Catch For Us
The Foxes could make its mark as the most unexpected of the band's records to
make its way onto this list. It's certainly the most humble of their canon,
having a curfew on the demanding punk of A-B: Life but all in all acting as a
stepping stone to their gorgeously naturalistic future. It certainly feels like a half
measure, but by merging both sounds into something more streamlined we
have a record of lyrical exploration as unique as its three siblings. Rock songs on
the record are straightened out and the allusions they carry are at their most
digestible: watch for the parallels between the book of Luke and the lyrics of
"Torches Together" ("You played the flute / but no one was dancing") and the
direct New Testament quotations in "The Soviet" and the album's title. In a
sense, what's so important about Catch For Us The Foxes is that it represents
one strand of the band's spiritual discovery, and where the time line currently
ends (It's All Crazy!) it seems Weiss and co. have universalized the spirituality
they've always had since their post-hardcore days. Their story has a sequence,
and while its conversion lies far away from this Christian rock record, it is far
from meaningless -- oh, and it's catchy as hell, top to bottom. -- Robin Smith
61These Arms Are Snakes
Oxeneers or the Lion Sleeps When Its Antelope Go Home


In the end, Oxeneers is interesting as hell. There are clutch aspects to the TAAS
style but there are also some limiting features. I wish they wouldn't have such
static harmonies, and would occasionally let the vocals loose a little more.
However, the production, instrumentals, and general sense of rhythm is
amazing, and sends TAAS to the upper crust of the post-hardcore world.
Unfortunately, without the emotional aspects, it's difficult to give oneself up to
their style without reservations. In the words of Eminem, I can't "lose [my]self"
like I can with more complete bands like Glassjaw and Thrice. Oxeneers is TAAS'
best current (circa mid-2007) album and should not be overlooked but also
shouldn't be put on a pedestal for its rhythmic ingenuity. - Nick Greer
62Decahedron
Disconnection Imminent


If there was ever a post-hardcore supergroup to be praised, it was Decahedron.
Compsed of Shelby Cinca (lead singer of Frodus) and another Frodus guitarist,
along with bassist Joe Lally of Fugazi fame, Decahedron was basically an amped
up, modernized combination of the two groups. It combined Frodus' sheer
aggression with the more experimental, whimsical even, bass lines of The
Argument. The product is spectacular-- easily my favorite album found while
compiling this list. The lyrics are poignant, always conspiratorial, often centering
around the evils and dangers of modernization and technology, with a 1984-
esque aura of paranoia. Never does it get tedious or monotonous, the entirety is
an encapsulating post-hardcore masterpiece in every sense of the word.
63In Pieces
Lions Write History


Cheesy? Maybe a bit. In Pieces' enjoyable record, Lions Write History falls much
farther on the ?enjoyable? side of the line than it does "essential." Heavy on the
melody and a little short on the hardcore, In Pieces still manage to impress and
leave a strong impression, if you can excuse their sometimes-overbearing
simplification of post-hardcore into verse-chorus-verse structure.
64mewithoutYou
Brother, Sister


While which of mewithoutYou's is their magnus opus is certainly debatable, the
band?s dexterity and skill is only out-shined by their likability-- evidenced by
legions of fans. With indie leanings galore, the band?s poetic lyrics (whose
religious ambiguity is enough to ensnare any 16 year-old Christian) have long
been the focal point of mewithoutYou. There is little on display here that is too
reminiscent of 90?s post-hardcore, but listen to Weiss?s ramblings and bouncy,
shifting melodies along with the superb aura for a softer brother (sister, more
like) to more intense post-hardcore acts.
65Armchairpolitician
Seven Segment Decoder


I often forget that this came out so recently. In short, Seven Segment Decoder
marries the best aspects of two eras of post-hardcore: the abnormal song
lengths, spiraling and progressive song structures... positioned alongside
splintering yelling and brash discordance. The songwriting is what truly
separates them from contemporaries though. Rather than just go "complicated"
and bug the shit out of listeners, the musicianship performed by
Armchairpolitician is sophisticated as well, not simply technicality for
technicality?s sake. Highly dynamic, Seven Segment Decoder incorporates
electronic interludes and jazz breaks, not unlike Refused set out to do. Unlike
Refused though, I would argue that, a decade later, the product
Armchairpolitician creates is much more tasteful and deliberate, a foray of
hardcore music that stays interesting but does not stray too deep beyond the
point where it becomes unfocused.
66Meet Me In St. Louis
Variations On Swing


Meet Me in St. Louis are the latest addition to the growing and highly dominant
U.K. post-hardcore scene. Million Dead, The Murder of Rosa Luxemburg, and
bands like them have been creating a lot of attention with their fast paced
seemingly random blend of pop-punk, hardcore and math rock. Meet Me in St.
Louis is the most successful band to attempt this sound so far in terms of sheer
originality. Combining Million Dead?s pop sensibility with The Murder of Rosa
Luxemburg?s technical backing, Meet Me in St. Louis' sound is basically pop
songs broken down into ten second burst of energy that are strung together
into three minute explosions. Where the band merely flirted with their music?s
pop backing on their debut EP, "Variations on Swing" their latest releases sees
them branching out into realms of electronica and more concise post-hardcore
to create a much more rewarding, eclectic and dynamic sound. - Jared W. Dillon
67La Dispute
Somewhere at the Bottom of the River...


It worries me a little that people take La Dispute too seriously sometimes. Don't
get me wrong- the Michiganians famed post-hardcore LP certainly harbors
angst, anger, and all those oh-so-poignant emotions that accompany heart-
wrenching breakups. On the other hand though, I can't help but love
Somewhere At the Bottom Of the River... for what seems to be an entirely
different reason than the one you presumably voted it the 66th best album of
the decade. Sometimes I want to hear the agony and suffering of Jordan's
Dreyer's screaming. I even listen diligently from time to time to hear the deep,
metaphorical lines of a relationship that went up in flames. Maybe it's because
my disposition is too upbeat and optimistic, but I can't help but sing along to
"Bury Your Flame" every time it comes on with almost inexplicable jubilation-
"An unshakable absence / Like most of my insides crawled out of my mouth and
went west!" See, where others are bent on detecting torment, it sounds more
like some goddam beautiful dynamism, to me. It's so easy to lose myself in the
maze-like forest of refreshingly experimental arrangements and off-kilter
rhythms. The unadulterated passion is great, of course, but for those of us that
haven't had the post-breakup, lovelorn desire to burn our exes at the stake,
there's still plenty to love on Somewhere At the Bottom Of the River...
68Young Widows
Old Wounds


Young Widows bring abrasive goodness back into the (pretty damn large) world
of post-hardcore. Young Widows is equally catchy and noisy, sort of like a toned
down Lightning Bolt with a little more catchiness. They display how large and
frankly, indistinct, the genre has become in the present day, but they also
display how much they fucking rule, on Old Wounds.
69Down I Go
Tyrant


In such, Tyrant obviously tries to develop into a slice of progressive music, but
ultimately all that is left of this is the little tinges. This actually is for the better -
in the same way that As The Roots Undo lets its unravelling theme build around
the punk within it, Down I Go sweep their dictators in and out of favour and
ultimately teach us a whole lot while still maintaining the right to pounce about
lividly. It is only fitting that the hardcore/whatever outlet pack up their latest
lesson with "Ivan The Terrible" ? a track difficultly diverting our attention from
its own intensity to plummet into melody and beautiful violin composition. With
all this weird delicacy brewing inside of the sub-conscious, the simple concept-
album that is Tyrant technically has something for everyone ? it just depends
on how you like the blend. Now really, is Hitler a b-side or something? - Robin
Smith
70A City Safe From Sea
Throw Me Through Walls


On their debut nonetheless, the band at hand performs an exemplary job at
balancing catchiness and bouncy melodies without smothering the listener with
sugar and synths (which seemed to be the Thing To Do, in 2009). It is a rare
recent post-hardcore effort that doesn?t emulate earlier stuff much (Burning
Airlines-ish, if I must namedrop) and more importantly, isn't complete shit.
71Brand New
Daisy


Honestly, I was close to making the decision to exclude Brand New altogether,
considering most of their material is much closer to alt. rock and pop-punk than
it is anywhere near post-hardcore. Upon a subsequent listen to Daisy just to
make sure though, I realized how misguided that idea was. Daisy is a fine
record, chock full of aggression and unbridled passion, and even their production
and lyrics have taken a decidedly post-hardcore turn on the latest. Genre
semantics aside though, Daisy is a sublime record. Straightforward and brash, it
exists as a wonderful counter to the rest of Brand New?s ambiguity and
hesitation. Due to sheer nostalgia, I can't imagine it ever topping Deja as my
favorite BN, but it is a notable post-hardcore record in its own right.
72The Brass
Homosapien


EP's are a favorite form of music of mine. I'm lazy, and often they?re easily
digestible. Less is more, sometimes. So, it comes as a surprise that there's a
distinct lack of EP's on this list... perhaps it is just a trend in the genre. Anyway,
The Brass attempts to remedy this problem (in my book), with their
Homosapien EP. Three solid songs bursting with resonance and energy, the EP
is incredibly well-paced and a lot of fun. The Brass throw elements of pop-punk
and screamo in there so you get a bit of a punk medley when listening. Fuck
yeah.
73My Heart to Joy
Seasons In Verse


Catchy and harmonic, My Heart to Joy ditched their emo roots to create a more
conventional, in-the-lines post-hardcore album. And while the results are
somewhat mixed, their keen knack for songwriting and the vocal skills on
display set it apart from much of their peers in one of 2009's too-oft
unrecognized albums.
74Crash of Rhinos
Distal


From my (probably misguided and slim) perspective, post-hardcore is
increasingly hard to find at a high quality. 2011 follows that trend, but Distal
shows us that what we DO find is worth the lack of quantity. Even though its
approach is somewhat conventional, Distal delivers an impassioned, furious
seven songs that rival just about any from this year. Catchy yet rough, the
English band deliver not an album of ups and downs but of solid highlights
throughout. Intense but not overly so, Distal doesn?t attempt anything
exceedingly creative but is every bit deserving of all the praise it hasn?t yet
received.
75 ------
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