Top Fifty Albums
By Phantom Troublemaker
Well, here’s the next 10. There are a few things in here that are really going to piss some people off. See if you can guess what I think they are!
30. Paranoid – Black Sabbath
You may wonder why this seminal album is so far down the list. It’s that whole thing I mentioned in the Dio entry about Ozzy being kind of a… well, a joke. It’s really hard to talk about one of the craziest, hardest rocking motherfuckers in the history of music being lame, but there it is. Ever since that damned reality show (I hate “reality” TV. At some point I might write something about that cancer of American society) came on, we’ve all had to think of the Prince of Darkness as this befuddled old retard with no control over his family or personal life, who is constantly being dominated by this pinched up, dyed little shrew of a woman.
What happened to mystery, man? I don’t want to know anything about actors’ personal lives, musicians’ political beliefs or the ending of the next movie I’m going to see! Spoiler/Rant alert: Don’t read any further if you are anything like the author.
I don’t want to know if Harvey Dent becomes Two-Face! I don’t want to know if Tony Stark shows up to talk to General Ross! I don’t want to know that Vader is Luke’s father just because I watched the stupid trailer for the movie on TV and the douchebag Hollywood producers thought that giving every fucking surprising or interesting tidbit away before opening night might have a 1/100th of a tenth of a percent chance of maybe, possibly selling one more ticket to some stupid American sheep who can’t go see something they don’t know every last fucking detail about because God forbid they be surprised or stimulated or even SHOCKED because something occurred in their stupid, mindless little life that they didn’t expect and the Imperial Government of the United States of America didn’t protect their poor, vapid little minds from! FUCK! (breathe) End of spoiler/insane-o rant.
Sorry. Anyway, despite the pussification of the Ozymandias or whatever stupid play on his name he’s using this year, this album kicks all kinds of ass and continues to be Sabbath’s best release. I’d really like a remaster of this one, or maybe a DVD-Audio.
29. Symbols – KMFDM
KMFDM is pretty good as far as industrial music goes. I guess they’re fairly poppy compared to Front 242 or Skinny Puppy, or even the aforementioned Pigface. That’s probably why this album is where it is. That and the fact that you absolutely will not find a better album to fuck to.
-Favorite track – Megalomaniac
28. Goldfinger – Goldfinger
If any entry on this list will generate controversy, I guess this might be it. Some might question its placement; most might question its presence. The album is on the list because it is a fun album to listen to, the band members are each very good at what they do, and the very listenable, poppy one-hit wonder track, Here in Your Bedroom is actually the worst one. If you like the pop-punk at all, go back and listen to the rest of this album. Goldfinger have put out a few more albums, but Hang-Ups – the second one – is the only one that is as good as this one. As to Goldfinger’s position on the list – like I said, I’d pick it before the ones under it.
-Favorite track – Answers
27. I Heard They Suck Live – NOFX
In my opinion, this is my generation’s Alive. These guys do a live show the way it should be done. They change up the songs enough to make them fresh, banter with the crowd and play everything you want to hear. The sound quality on this is great, too – that is not always the case with live recordings, even when the band puts them out. I also recommend the show they did for Fuse TV – it is a documentary, not a reality show, thank you – called Backstage Passport. It’s about the band’s overseas tour and it is highly entertaining. Apparently they are working on another live album, as well. I hope so. NOFX is another outspoken liberal band that just rocks so good I can’t care about their stupid politics.
-Favorite track – Soul Doubt
26. Energy – Operation Ivy
Anybody my age who doesn’t have this album is probably a terrorist. This introduced everybody to ska/punk. These guys almost formed the Dance Hall Crashers, but went on to be most of Rancid, instead. Looking back, that was probably a good decision.
-Favorite track – The Crowd – because my band used to cover it. More on my band later. For now just know that we had no game.
25. Until the End – Kittie
I genuinely really like Kittie. Not because they are chicks, but because they kick ass. The angry rocking level of this album is right up there with any metal band populated by dudes. They really have found their niche at this point. What is cool is that they come off as naturally talented and aggressive, not like they are trying to prove some kind of girl-power bullshit. They just go out and thrash, they don’t have to make a big show out of it.
-Favorite track – Daughters Down
24. Voyage to the Bottom of Laguna Negra – Gargantua
“Phantom, who is this Gargantua? Are they the long-rumored, near-mythological super group consisting of Ted Nugent, Neil Diamond and Parliament whose extra-limited, one-pressing-only album you happened across at a garage sale? Are they a Kerblakistanian grind-core group from the late 90’s that secretly influenced all the great metal bands we enjoy now? Perhaps a jazz-polka fusion act that was marketed to the avant-garde crowd along with Merzbow and John Zorn? Tiffany’s back-up band?”
No! None of these excellent guesses are correct, my friends! Gargantua’s only release is not on this list because my buddy, Richard is the guitarist (Richard angers me by being equally good at two entirely different things. Not only does he communicate with the undead through the sweet sounds of his guitar, he is also responsible for most of the kick-ass tattoos on yours truly), but because they rock harder than Warrant in ’92! Seriously, though, I think if somebody just handed me this album and I didn’t know anybody in the band, it would still get this spot on the list. These guys really do kick ass. They play a dirty, southern kind of rock that really can’t quite be compared to anything else. They do have a song that sounds like Van Halen, though (good Van Halen). Their bassist/vocalist is a guy named Shane Morton who is probably the best front man I have ever seen live. I have taken friends to see his bands who have never even heard the music, and they were totally rocking out by the third or fourth song.
Unfortunately, Gargantua is no more and their album isn’t something you are likely to come across unless you live in Atlanta or know Shane, but if you are ever walking through a swamp at night and detect a ghastly green light, listen very carefully and you just might hear some of the shredding awesomeness that graced rock n’ roll for a few, too short, years.
***Extra-special note!*** Shane has now formed a punk band with Amy “Lita” Dumas called The Luchagors. They’re pretty good live, but Shane’s not the front man, so don’t expect that. Definitely check them out if they come through your town.
Richard now owns a 73-acre fungus/gazelle farm in central Florida and enjoys fishing, watercolors and is an avid philatelist. He also will still break out the ‘ol tattoo gun from time to time when neighbors come a callin’.
Wow, what kind of dick spends this long talking about an album you’ll likely never hear from a band you’ve likely never heard of?
Me, that’s who!
-Favorite song – I refuse to choose between Vulnavia and South of Valhalla
23. Undisputed Attitude – Slayer
This is a collection of punk covers by Slayer. If you can think of anything angrier than Slayer performing Filler by Minor Threat, let me know.
-Favorite song – Mr. Freeze
22. …And Out Come the Wolves – Rancid
Every track on this album is great. If I were doing this list 10 years ago, this might well be #1. Unfortunately for Rancid, time has changed preference and perception. That being said, this album is the pinnacle of ska/punk. When it came out, everybody was comparing it to albums by The Clash. I think this is better than anything The Clash ever did. Yes, I really just said that.
-Favorite song – Old Friend
21. Ill Communication – Beastie Boys
I had one Hell of a time deciding where the three – count ‘em, three! – Beastie Boys albums I chose were going on this list. You already know one of them, and I’m not naming the other two until we get there, but as close as they are in quality to one another, when other bands’ albums enter into the equation the Beasties’ entries get separated from each other. I can’t really explain that, but trust me, it’s true. This is the album that contains my all-time favorite Beastie Boys track and spawned the best EP of all time, Root Down. Overall, however, it is not as solid as the other two that sit further up. I saw them live on the tour for this album and it was great. The Roots opened for them. Wow.
-Favorite song – Get It Together w/ Q-Tip
Man, that one took awhile. It turns out the more I like an album, the more I tend to want to talk about it. Believe me when I say I am severely editing these entries down to keep this thing readable. Until next time, stay creepy.
Ha! There's the first official use of my sign-off! Ah, two-year-old nostalgia - is there anything more ridiculous? Since the Beastie Boys have diabled embedding on YouTube, here's a kickass Gargantua video: