Top 10 records of 2008


2 jan. 2009, 23h22m

This is my first entry, so I thought I make it a rather meaningful one. If you continue to read, you will find my favourite records of the year 2008, bottom up, with short annotations (maybe not 100% grammatically correct, but who cares). Enjoy or not, you decide.

Scam of the Year

First of, I’d like to name the rip-off of the year. In my opinion, that would be the, what it feels like, 152nd release of Against Me!’s “New Wave” After releasing three different versions (CD, Vinyl+CD, CD+DVD) of their latest album in 2007 , they put out the deluxe version this year which included the original tracks plus the b-sides of their 4 singles and another tune. And as if that wouldn’t be enough, they created a digital EP, consisting only of those 5 new tracks. For a real fan that is eager to collect every release this means to own some songs at least 6 times. I still think that “New Wave” is a decent record, I just can’t make my peace with that kind of distribution strategy.

But now for something more fun, my favourite albums of 2008

Die Toten HosenIn aller Stille

Well, I was a little bit anxious about this record, it was highly anticipated and after all of Campino’s side-projects as theatre and films I wasn’t expecting much. But what I heard wasn’t half-bad. The record lacks a bit of power and humour, but I liked it much better than the last Die Ärzte release. The old men of German Punk Rock are back, audible softer than usual but still pretty darn catchy.
Favourite tunes: Disco, Alles was war, Die letzte Schlacht

StoneRiderThree Legs of Trouble

Discovering Southern Rock / Southern Metal over these last couple of months let me inevitably cross paths with the Fight Paris successor Stonerider. Since they now relinquish the unfitting rap-like singing-style one is able to truly enjoy the groovy southern rock beats. Looking forward to the next album.
Favourite tunes: Bad Lovin’ Never Felt So Good, Wild Child, Ramble Down

Rainald Grebe1968

Thanks to Grebe’s creativity I spent the last months of this year laughing about his lyrics in a year, which featured no Funny van Dannen album. Granted, neither their styles nor their senses of humour are comparable, but both of them make great entertaining and criticising music, though Grebe sometimes seems a bit odder than van Dannen, or at least DIFFERENT odd.
Favourite tunes: 1968, Der Präsident, Die 90er

Norma JeanThe Anti Mother

This mixture of enormous energy, aggression and melody was the most enjoyable Mathcore record I heard this year. Though I’m not quite sure whether this is still Mathcore or not since I never was very adept in music genres, this record bested nearly every other album of same or similar style. Only criticism would be the guest vocals of Page Hamilton on "Opposite of Left and Wrong", but you can always skip that one.
Favourite tunes: Surrender Your Sons…, And There Will Be A Swarm Of Hornets, Robots: 3, Humans: 0

TalcoMazel Tov

First of all, I don’t know a word of Italian (anymore), but this album blew me away, despite the lack of knowledge about the lyrics. Honestly, I was a little bit disappointed in the last Streetlight Manifesto album, so this record came to rescue my enthusiasm for Ska-Punk. The sheer tempo and variety of instruments are what make this album what it is, a party-record. Who says Italians only listen to Eros Ramazzotti?
Favourite tunes: Il Treno, Tarantella Dell'Ultimo Bandito, La Torre

Tom GabelHeart Burns

Yeah, he did it. Of course he did. Considering Against Me! my favourite band, there was no way that Tom Gabel would put out a solo EP that I couldn’t enjoy. One may think what one wants about his (blown-up ???) ego, but he is undeniable a great singer and songwriter. And I was relieved to hear that he used more than just an acoustic guitar on this record as his videos let to assume.
Favourite tunes: Harsh Realm, 100 Years of War, Anna Is a Stool Pigeon

The Loved OnesBuild & Burn

This beautiful album was the best Fat Wreck Chords release of 2008. At first glance, that seems to be a good thing but to be honest, the label-intern competition wasn’t very strong. But that shouldn’t take the blaze away. It was like Michael Phelps was swimming against a bunch of Eric Moussambanis at Peking 2008. He still would have swum seven world records. It’s like that, only with music. Too confusing? Okay, better listen to these songs.
Favourite tunes: Pretty Good Year, The Bridge, Louisiana


Ferretis a great Label, they have great bands with so many different styles but even so, this band stands out quite more than just a few inches. Their second album outreaches almost everything else this year and even their own debut. A style, somewhere between drama-queen and tough guy, piano rock and post-hardcore hasn’t revealed itself to me like it did here a second time. Brav-O.
Favourite tunes: Red Cape Diver, Ghost Animals, A Black Man's Breakfast

The Gaslight AnthemThe ’59 Sound

Reading in reviews that this band is similar to Against Me! I was getting my hopes up to find small musical compensation for the rather lazy year of my favourite band. After listening to this record, I couldn’t help but ask myself where exactly those similarities are to find and after a while I gave up. I hadn’t found a proper substitute for Against Me!, better yet I had found a great band that in my eyes complete stands for itself and needs no comparison. But anyway, thanks to those reviewers.
Favourite tunes: Old White Lincoln, Miles Davis & The Cool, The Backseat

Protest the HeroFortress

The best record of 2008 was released on January 29th, which gave me almost one year to enjoy but also to compete it with every album released this year. Maybe that made is so difficult for every other record to impress me because after I listened to Fortress that seemed nearly impossible. This album is objectively the best one I’ve listened to this year and since this is the same subjectively, the first place is well deserved. Congrats.
Favourite tunes: Bloodmeat, Palms Read, Sequoia Throne

So, these are my favourite records of 2008. If you bothered to read, thanks a lot. And let’s all hope for a great musical 2009, cuz hey, what’s the point if there’s no great music.



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