2008 gaslight anthem list

best of year lists – records (part one)

It’s that time of year folks. Since I’m home, sick, in bed I thought I should get on with it. I’m doing different posts for different mediums cos I like too much stuff to put it all in one, dig?

So without further ado…

The Ergs! – Hindsight is 20/20, My friend.

One of the reasons 2008 sucked was The Ergs! break-up. Which is one of the reasons this comp gets on my list. Also, it features the covers Hey Jealousy and the awesome Only Babies Cry, off the Books About Miles Davis 7, originally by the amazing Paul Baribeau. The Ergs! always had the capacity to make everything better.

Murder By Death – Red of Tooth and Claw

It always feels a bit weird putting your friends bands on lists, but really, Red of Tooth and Claw rules. This was the kids first record on Vagrant, and as with each previous release they’ve continued maturing into better and better musicians. Adams vocals are much stronger and deeper, Sarah’s cello glides effortlessly in and out of the melodies, it’s all fucking great. Fuego is the stand out song, and Spring Break 1899 is near perfect too. Murder by Death have always sounded like the soundtrack from HBO’s (too short lived) Carnivale. You should probably get this now.

The Riot Before – Fists Buried in Pockets.

The Riot Before make me remember why I fell into punk in the first place. Gruff enough for the earnest not to leave a bad taste in your mouth. Songs about having books to depend on after break ups and politic injustice sit side by side with tracks entitled You Can’t Sexy Dance to Punk Rock. The Riot Before frequently make my morning commute almost enjoyable.

The Gaslight Anthem – Senor and the Queen EP

Right at the beginning of 08 this EP cemented Gaslight as my new favourite band, and made my (now ex) boyfriend happy, because now something other than Sink or Swim would be played. I can’t gush enough about these 4 songs. And hell, Blue Jeans and White Tee Shirts became one of my favourite songs ever this year. This ep was still a little bit Lucero before it became all about The Boss. It’s perfect. Oh, and Brian hates it when people mistake the Sam Cooke thing for a Tom Jones thing.

Ben Nichols – The Last Pale Light in the West

You know what’d be nice? A new Lucero record. You know what is almost as good? A Ben Nichols record. This mini album is based on Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. Far less riffy than Lucero, and being an *inspired by* album, there’s no space for songs about girls. All of this being said, it’s superb. Ben’s vocals lend themselves perfectly to this subject matter, the lyrics are vivid, and the guitars are just melancholy enough.

I’m going to post the next five later, I got sidetracked with IMing during this one and now I’m all tired. More meds = more sensical writing.

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