It's late enough in the year where this is allowable so here we go.
Top 15 LPs of 2008
1. Chronic Seizure - Ancient Wound (Fashionable Idiots/No Way)
As if this is a surprise to anyone. Chronic Seizure know that simply slapping four chords and some shouting over a fast drumbeat for 35 seconds doesn't make a song. Some of these songs gestated for over two years before finally getting the vinyl treatment and it was well worth the wait. This is how hardcore is supposed to sound; if you can't get into this then you're probably an idiot, you love youth crew or chugga-chugga beatdown shit. You decide which is the worst.
2. Teenage Bottlerocket - Warning Device (Red Scare)
Anticipation is a double edged sword. TBR had been playing a decent chunk of these songs for almost two years before the record hit the streets and by the time I actually got it, it was safe to say that I knew fully half the songs. Luckily for them the energy of their live shows carries over to the album because it's stuffed to the brim with the same Ramones-Weaselcore pop punk that the world needs. These guys are getting huge and totally deserve it.
3. Off With Their Heads - From The Bottom (No Idea)
To put it lightly, I didn't have a very good summer. As my graduation from college and transition into the real world got closer I thought I had most stuff figured out. Then the bottom dropped out of pretty much all those plans; it wasn't a whole lot of fun. Listening to this record helped me a lot, because as cliche as it sounds, hearing someone else having the same problems or in quite a few case worse ones, it lifts you up. It also doesn't hurt one bit that Off With Their Heads finally reached their long hinted at potential with this LP. "I Am You" indeed.
4. Total Abuse - Total Abuse (Deranged)
This makes me want to stab myself in the leg every single time I listen to it, and that's a compliment. Total Abuse added in a healthy dose of noise and experimentation to their already roaring hardcore formula and came out a "total" winner. HA HA HA HA GET IT!?!?!? If they actually do break up then we're all fucked.
5. The Bronx - The Bronx (III) (White Drugs)
Finally free of their major label contract, The Bronx made hands down their best record so far. They managed to combine the manic energy and pure adrenaline rush of their first LP with the more measured songwriting skills of the second. Lyrically this thing is paranoid as fuck and Matt has never sounded better.
6. Invasion - La Caza (La Vida Es Un Mus)
Six songs just isn't fucking enough. Each time I throw it on I want more and end up listening another two or three times it seems. The most obvious thing that makes these guys stand out is the insane echo effect that makes the whole thing sound like the inside of a fever induced nightmare, but even without that they'd still make the list. This is some next level shit people.
7. Disfear - Live the Storm (Relapse)
Is "professional crust" an oxymoron? It might be but listeners can't argue with the results if they sound like this. Forget the At The Gates reunion, remember Disfear at Subterranean.
8. Annihilation Time - III: Tales of the Ancient Age (Tee Pee)
Thin Lizzy and 1983 era Black Flag. Denim jackets and empty cans of Schlitz. Dudes and punks. Hot summer days and Annihilation Time.
9. Terrible Twos - Terrible Twos (X!/Criminal IQ)
Imagine this scene if you will. The essence of the early New Bomb Turks walk into a bar and sees keyboard atmosphere of more recent Locust recordings hitting on his girlfriend. A scrum ensues but in the end the two reunite over a cold beer; they're both missing some teeth and a little bit uglier but they're friends now. That is the most accurate musical description I can give of this band. Not even joking.
10. World Burns to Death - the Graveyard of Utopia (Prank)
The most historically accurate band of all time? This LP has Jack Control ranting about the atrocities of Russia over some period that I can't remember. Recorded in Japan, it features guest guitarists from Japan's finest bands laying down solos on just about every song. Completely seriously the credits of the LP list who wrote the lyrics, the music, and who played on the solos. Holy fuck. I just wish it was more than eight songs.
11. Warcry - Not So Distant Future (Feral Ward)
Look at the cover art. Look at the name. Know that they share members with Tragedy, Remains The Day and Hellshock. Know that Todd Burdette sings. Know that they strip music down to its most d-beat essentials for eight raging songs. Come on.
12. Pennywise - Reason To Believe (Myspace)
The band who put out the first punk rock record I ever bought gives away for free their best album in ten years. Say what you will, I clearly don't give a fuck.
13. Sex Vid - Communal Living (Dom America)
This came super late in the game so who knows, maybe it would rank higher if I had more than a few scant weeks to listen to it. One of the most hyped and also mysterious bands of the last decade finally puts out a 12", but it's still barely over EP length. Annoying and great until the end I guess.
14. Triclops! - Out of Africa (Alternative Tentacles)
I seriously don't even feel qualified to write about this album. A mindfuck of an acid freakout that has vocal effects than render the guy sounding like a tortured baby layered on top of music that in one song managed to combine psychedelic freak outs, pressurized build ups, quiet breakdowns and blastbeats. If you aren't comfortable leaving your comfort zone then don't listen to Triclops!.
15. Drunkdriver - Born Pregnant (Parts Unknown)
Time will tell if this is a smart or stupid choice driven by temporary infatuation. I heard this band for the first time literally less than two weeks ago in a record store and immediately I knew I had to find out who/what it was. It sounded like the worst, most blown out YouTube video I could imagine with tortured screams heaped on top. I almost feel wrong for liking this as much as I do.
Dustheads - Little Pieces (Don Giovanni). Pisschrist - Victims of Faith (Yellow Dog). Paint it Black - New Lexicon (Jade Tree). Protestant - The Hate The Hollow (Halo of Flies). Report Suspicious Activity - Destroy All Evidence (Alternative Tentacles). Socialcide - Unapproachable (Even Worse). Victims - Killer (Combat Rock/Havoc).
Top 7"s of 2008 (no particular order)
The Youths - Generationless (Regulator/S.H.O.)
Sex Vid - Nests (Dom America)
Needles - Twisted Vision (Lengua Armada)
Pinhead Gunpowder - West Side Highway (Recess)
Homostupids - Cat Music (Fashionable Idiots)
Double Negative - Raw Energy EP (Sorry State)
Deep Sleep - Manic Euphoria (Grave Mistake)
Daylight Robbery - Washtenaw (Residue)
Canadian Rifle/American Cheeseburger - split (Rock Bottom)
Aerosols - 3rd EP (Youth Attack)
The Agenda - Pessimism of the Mind, Optimism of the Will (Fashionable Idiots)
LP of 2008 That Pitchfork and I Actually Agree On
No Age - Nouns (Sub Pop)
And you know what, if it wasn't for the stupid fucking interludes it might have made the actual list instead of making me create a little category for it.
LP of 2008 That Should Have Come Out In 2005 And While Pretty Good, Is NOT The Second Coming Like Lots Of Annoying Idiots Think It Is
Dillinger Four - C I V I L W A R (Fat Wreck Chords)
This is directed at you, Punknews.org comment community.
Most Overtly Metal LP of 2008 That I Love In A Totally Non-Ironic Fashion
Lair of the Minotaur - War Metal Battle Master (Southern Lord)
Look at the cover art. Look at the album title. Investigate song titles like "Horde of Undead Vengeance," "When The Ice Giant Slayed All" and "Black Viper Barbarian Clan." Listen to the riffs. Fucking shred. Repeat.
Best Album of 2007 That I Didn't Get Until 2008
Pissed Jeans - Hope For Men (Sub Pop)
I have no idea why I thought I didn't like this band until recently. At least I can admit to my mistakes and own up to the fact that this album rules.
Singles Collections of 2008 (3-Way Tie [for last[minutemen references!]})
The Ergs! - Hindsight Is 20/20 My Friend (Dirtnap)
Why did they have to break up? WHY!?!?! Further proof that there is no god.
Jay Reatard - Singles '06-'07 (In The Red) and Matador Singles '08 (Matador)
One of the most prolific guys out there today proves it by the mere fact that he needs two fucking singles collections in one year! I prefer the '06-'07 one slightly but the more recent offerings show the progression to where he's headed.
So there you have it. If I think of more stuff I'll add it on but probably not. If you didn't find something good this year then it's your own fucking fault.