Music: an expression of humanity, escape, a soundtrack to life, deep passion….
So putting together the list of Top 10 Solid State Records got me thinking about Tooth and Nail. Which lead me to put together this list of my top 21 favorite albums released by The Nail. Admittedly T&N have become a little… trendy? I mean, they’ve always followed trends but their current roaster of artist it lacking.
* So any albums that made the Solid State list are not on this list. I’ve also taken into account the first 4/5 years of BEC recordings because the first couple of bands on the label were all T&N artist shoved over to Mr Ebel’s new imprint. And lastly, this is my list. It’s completely biased. So enjoy!
21. Pedro the Lion – Whole ep
Whole was a brief glimpse at the good things to come from Mr Bazan. It’s the most overtly Christian album Pedro the Lion put out but it’s not offensive or cheesy. 6 really good songs that seem like a distant memory to David Bazan’s current outlook on life.
20. Starflyer 59 – Silver
Starflyer 59’s debut is held in high regard by their fans. One of T&N earliest releases. It gets thrown around as a My Bloody Valentine sound alike but that’s an easy and cheap description of the album. To this date it’s probably the best Jason Martin’s guitars have sounded. Hazel Would is a fan favorite.
19. Further Seems Forever – The Moon is Down
A little bit of emo for you. I was a senior in high school when this record came out and at the time of it’s release I fell in love with Further Seems Forever. The Moon is Down is Chris Carrabba’s (Dashboard Confessional) only album with the band. Sadly he left FSF before the release of the album and the songs never sounded right live with Jason on vocals.
18. MxPx – Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo
Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo is probably MxPx’s most accessible record. It was the first record they put out that lyrically set them apart from their earlier releases. They moved away from songs about growing up and being a teen. It’s probably not the fans favorite album but it ranks as one of their finest in my books.
17. Blenderhead – Figureheads on the Forefront of Pop Culture
Blenderhead’s final release was a fun, mathy, pop punk album. Not really an album that had the DC sound but you could hear Fugazi’s influence in Blenderhead’s music. Another great and underrated band.
16. Klank – Still Suffering
Christian industrial music was always known for being too dark and too evil to actually be Christian. Klank was no different. I believe it was Klank who was at the center of controversy for playing Nine Inch Nails at his merch table during Cornerstone festival. The first time I heard Downside on the first Songs from the Penalty Box compilation I loved it.
15. Ghoti Hook – Two Years to Never
With Two Years to Never, Ghoti Hook stepped away from punk to create a rock record. And they were successful. Two Years to Never and the ep they put out on Velvet Blue Music were both super strong rock records and it was sad to see them break-up.
14. Plankeye – The Spark
There were a ton of Christian alternative bands in the mid-90’s. Most were pretty good. With their second record, The Spark, Plankeye moved away from a Jane Addiction sounding punk style to something more straight forward. Open House and Wings to Fly are both top notch songs.
13. Starflyer 59 – The Fashion Focus
With the Fashion Focus, Starflyer 59 decided to stop playing rock music and make a pop record. The result is amazing and The Fashion Focus ushered in a new era for Starflyer 59. From the opener, I Drive Alot, to the closer, Days of Lamech, The Fashion Focus is a strong indie pop record from start to finish.
12. The Crucified – Nailed/Take Up Your Cross
T&N released the demos of the Crucified and introduced us to one the great bands christian punk/metal/hardcore has ever seen. Nailed/Take Up Your Cross is the hardcore/punk version of the Crucified. This was Minor Threat for Christians.
11. Frodus – Conglomerate International
I was always perplexed as to how Frodus ended up on T&N but that’s besides the point. This is DC post-hardcore at it’s finest. Their album rallying against corporate America still rings true 10 years later.
10. The OC Supertones – Supertones Strike Back
Yes, Ska. Yes, The Supertones! This record comes off as a tad cheesy when I listen to now but I still love ska and this record has a special place in my heart. It was the record that launched them in Christian rock stardom. It also revealed them to be minor assholes but hey, the music is still fun.
9. Squad Five-O – Bombs Over Broadway
If you’ve never heard Bombs Over Broadway I highly recommend picking this album up. It’s glam punk. It’s probably the best songs Squad Five-O ever wrote and live it was amazing. The most energy and most fun I’ve ever had a concert to date.
8. Roadside Monument – Eight Hours Away From Being a Man
If you look up Christian Indie Rock, Roadside Monument’s picture will probably pop up. Their second album Eight Hours Away From Being a Man starts with utter chaos, Sperm Ridden Burden, and mellows out, always just tettering on the edge of breaking.
7. Project 86 – Drawing Black Lines
Drawing Black Lines is an album that explodes into your stereo and rips your ears apart. I’m pretty sure it’s the loudest record I’ve ever heard. Although Project 86 has released a lot of good music since Drawing Black Lines nothing even compares to how great Drawking Black Lines is.
6. mewithoutYou – Brother Sister
I think most people will agree that mewithoutYou’s Brother Sister is a perfect record. Musically, lyrically, sonically. There is nothing wrong with it.
5. Joy Electric – The White Songbook
I know I get made fun of for being a Joy Electric fan but this is something I’ve just come to accept. The White Songbook was Ronnie Martin throwing out the playbook and creating something new and fresh from scrap. The White Songbook was Joy Electric’s masterpiece. It’s song crafting at it’s finest. Joy Electric is not just bleeps and bloops, it’s some of the most intricate synth work you’ll ever hear.
4. The Juliana Theory – Emotion is Dead
I love this album. Even after 10 years this record still sounds great. Emo didn’t always suck. I’m super excited The Juliana Theory is getting back together to play this record again.
3. MxPx – Life in General
Life in General is the fan favorite record. This is a classic MxPx album. Chick Magnet launched MxPx into the spotlight. And even though they haven’t had the success has many of the bands who have opened for them over the years, they’ve had a longer and better career. Life In General holds up.
2. Starflyer 59 – Old
When Frank Lenz and Richard Swift joined Starflyer 59, I don’t think people expected Old to be as good as it was. A return to rock for Jason and SF59. Old is the most sonically interesting record Starflyer has put out. The addition of Lenz and Swift was a huge step in the progression of Starflyer and although both of those guys have moved on their impact is still felt.
1. Stavesacre – Speakeasy
Sometimes a subtle shift in sound is all it takes to go from being a good band to a great band. Although Friction and the Absolutes are awesome records, Speakeasy holds up as a classic.