SeaAnemone
Eric
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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