The first Warped Tour included No Doubt, Deftones, No Use For A Name, Quicksand and CIV in 1995. All of them released important albums the same year, one that also gave us full-length debuts from Foo Fighters, Blink-182, and AFI and important releases by Radiohead, Rancid, White Zombie, Pennywise and Smashing Pumpkins. These are records whose influence still shines today, bursting forth in ways both super-obvious and sublime, in the sounds of Sleeping With Sirens, Bring Me The Horizon, Paramore and Fall Out Boy. Even Coldplay and One Direction (!) have paid tribute to some of the records the editors compiled here.
NO USE FOR A NAME – ¡Leche Con Carne! (Fat Wreck Chords)
Even after frontman Tony Sly’s death in 2012, the No Use legacy lives on, with Strung Out, Rise Against, Bad Religion, NOFX, Alkaline Trio, Frank Turner, Yellowcard, Simple Plan, Gaslight Anthem and many more contributing to 2013’s tribute compilation, The Songs Of Tony Sly: A Tribute, which featured several songs from this classic fourth album. ¡Leche Con Carne! Helped them explode on a critical and commercial scale.
BLINK-182 – Cheshire Cat (Cargo Music/Grilled Cheese)
Long before “All The Small Things” (or Travis Barker), Blink-182 left San Diego, California for the first time to join the GoodTimes tour with Pennywise, Pivet and Unwritten Law, in support of this lovably goofy debut album. Aren’t Tom DeLonge, future APMAs host Mark Hoppus and original drummer Scott Raynor just adorable in this video for “M+Ms”?
QUICKSAND – Manic Compression (Island)
Walter Schreifels wrote the songs in Gorilla Biscuits, played in Youth Of Today and started post-hardcore icons Quicksand before he’d turned 25. The band’s second (and final) major-label album of thick but smart grooves is a masterpiece. Schreifels acted as svengali for CIV’s Set Your Goals the same year and has since produced records for Hot Water Music and Title Fight. Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega has performed with Deftones since 2009.
RADIOHEAD – The Bends (Parlophone/Capitol)
Radiohead could have slinked off into the sunset as one-hit wonders after scoring radio gold with post-grunge alt-rock anthem “Creep,” but they decided to stick around and, you know, change everything instead. AltPress was along for the ride, giving the band their first U.S. magazine cover [AP #87] the same year they released their sophomore album. Thom Yorke’s pained falsetto breathes urgent life into the guitar-driven, increasingly experimental songs on The Bends, particularly on the hypnotic “Fake Plastic Trees” (recently covered by Frank Ocean) and “Just,” which Streetlight Manifesto bravely tackled in 2010.
STRONGARM – Atonement (Tooth & Nail Records)
Mixing American evangelical Christianity with breakdowns was perhaps the most contrarian thing a band could do in the mid-‘90s scene. Like fellow “spirit-filled hardcore” bands Focused, Focal Point and the first incarnation of Zao, Strongarm proved Christians can scream with as much vigor as anyone, while confusing and/or offending plenty of churchgoers in the process. In 1998, four out of five Strongarm guys teamed up with singer Chris Carrabba and rebranded themselves as Further Seems Forever.
WHITE ZOMBIE – Astro-Creep: 2000 – Songs Of Love, Destruction And Other Synthetic Delusions Of The Electric Head (Geffen)
White Zombie graced our cover [AP #81] in 1995, but the band’s singer went solo after this fourth and final album. Nevertheless, a Rob Zombie show 20 years later is still likely to include the industrial groove anthem “More Human Than Human,” one of many songs referencing the type of cult horror, exploitation and genre flicks Zombie now directs.
INTEGRITY – Systems Overload (Victory Records)
While hardcore bands kept singing about unity, Integrity harnessed the confrontationally anti-“positive” combination of occult imagery, magnificent heavy metal dive bombs and singer Dwid Hellion’s shattered psyche to make Those Who Fear Tomorrow arguably the first true metalcore album. While the scene played catch-up, the ever contrarian Cleveland native flipped the script with the throwback hardcore vibe of the inarguably dark Systems Overload, which finally received the mix it deserved with the 2013 reissue on Magic Bullet.
EARTH CRISIS – Destroy The Machines (Victory Records)
Plenty of hardcore kids discard lifestyle politics when they “grow up,” but Earth Crisis 2015 remain true as ever to the militant vegan straight edge they popularized in determined musical Molotov cocktails like “New Ethic” and “The Discipline,” both from a debut full-length that met the ambitious challenge of following the abrupt, incendiary Firestorm EP. Like Integrity, Earth Crisis was on our list of 23 Bands Who Shaped Punk [AP #240].
FUGAZI – Red Medicine (Dischord Records)
Even if Minor Threat’s Ian MacKaye or Rites Of Spring’s Guy Picciotto had hung it up before Fugazi, they’d still be remembered as two of the most important figures in hardcore punk. The notoriously press shy Fugazi gave AP a rare interview back in 1991 [AP #42], which hit the stands a month before Andy Biersack’s first birthday. Last year, AltPress.com politely reminded the world Fugazi are still the best punk band in the world in a detailed op-ed. The adventurous Red Medicine is one of several important chapters in a diverse post-punk discography that’s as relevant today as ever.
PENNYWISE – About Time (Epitaph Records)
The third entry in Pennywise’s sizable contribution to ‘90s punk, About Time was the last recorded appearance of bassist Jason Thirsk, whose own “Bro Hymn” was updated in his honor following his tragic death the following year. About Time was co-produced by the late Jerry Finn (Green Day, Blink-182) and Brett Gurewitz of Bad Religion/Epitaph.
FOO FIGHTERS – Foo Fighters (Roswell/Capitol Records)
In the wake of Kurt Cobain’s suicide, Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl semi-privately channeled his grief into songs like “Big Me” and “This Is A Call,” singing and playing all of the instruments on recordings eventually released as Foo Fighters. Grohl then recruited ex-Germs guitarist Pat Smear and the rhythm section from Seattle’s Sunny Day Real Estate to make his project the full band that graced our cover [AP #90] as Foo Fighters the same year.
AFI –Answer That And Stay Fashionable (Wingnut Records)
Before the acronym was retconned to stand for “A Fire Inside,” A.F.I. meant “Asking For It.” But they were no less combative on their punky full-length debut than in their better-known future incarnation. Answer That… followed a series of 7-inch releases, many issued by then-bassist Geoff Kresge. Rancid’s Tim Armstrong co-produced this mash-up of feisty tongue-in-cheek punk and aggressive hardcore (later reissued by the Offspring singer Dexter Holland’s Nitro Records) years before the evolving sound and polished image makeover that carried them to platinum-plus major-label success.
MXPX – Teenage Politics (Tooth & Nail Records)
The second album from the Pacific Northwest pop-punk trio remains a cornerstone of their catalog, as documented by the guys, their friends and fans in AP’s 2007 Oral History [AP #229]. MxPx scored a cover feature written by AP’s publisher, Mike Shea, in 2003 [AP #183.2] but they still weren’t old enough to buy beer when they made Teenage Politics.
ELLIOTT SMITH – Elliot Smith (Kill Rock Stars)
Look no further than Elliott Smith’s second album for a beautiful tragic window into the late singer/songwriter’s haunted soul, as he wrestled with depression, addiction, loneliness and existential angst in arrestingly minimalistic folk dirges recorded mostly alone with his acoustic guitar.
SHELTER – Mantra (Roadrunner)
Before Pierce The Veil, Circa Survive, We Came As Romans, Chiodos, Coheed & Cambria or Converge were on the label, Equal Vision was exclusively home to Hare Krishna hardcore. Guys in the Cro-Mags and Cause For Alarm were into the Indian spiritual practice of Krishna Consciousness (as was late Beatle George Harrison), but it was Shelter who turned “Krishnacore” into a full-on subgenre. Chanting! Meditation! Vegetarianism! Abstinence! Mantra was Shelter’s first big label release, smoothing their earlier sound into something almost slick enough to nearly mainstream Vaisnavism for the first time since the 1970s. And talk about an early adopter: Cappo is now a well-respected yoga teacher.
RANCID – …And Out Come The Wolves (Epitaph)
As of this posting, there’s roughly 50 bands confirmed for Hooligans United, the forthcoming Rancid tribute album. On this album, Rancid celebrate street punk with reverence for everything from the Clash to Minor Threat. They championed the tribal spirit of the old wave even harder than their contemporaries, lending a timeless spirit to just about anything Tim “Timebomb” Armstrong touches. For several years, AP founder/publisher Mike Shea used Armstrong’s image from Rancid’s ’95 cover story [AP #79] as his social media avatar.
DAMNATION A.D. – No More Dreams Of Happy Endings (Jade Tree)
Damnation A.D. was a singular influence on Arma Angelus, the shortlived metalcore band featuring Pete Wentz on vocals and Tim McIlrath on guitar. A jagged, doomy, monstrousl riff kicks this record off, setting the stage for the dark metallic hardcore that fills the rest of the record via the brutally honest self-examination of vocalist Mike D.C., brother of producer Brian McTernan (Thrice, Senses Fail, Hot Water Music).
JAWBREAKER – Dear You (DGC)
Fall Out Boy covered Dear You’s kickoff track “Save Your Generation” on a Jawbreaker tribute album and count themselves among My Chemical Romance, At The Drive-In, and Bayside as devotees of Blake Schwarzenbach and the group never sounded better than on their only major-label album thanks to slick production from future Warner Bros. chairman Rob Cavallo.
LIFETIME – Hello Bastards (Jade Tree Records)
Lifetime made a radical switch from hardcore toward melodic punk on Hello Bastards, barely more than 20 minutes (!) of fast-paced unpretentious and strangely romantic barnstormers. This album and 1997’s stylistically similar Jersey’s Best Dancers were a direct influence on both Saves The Day and Fall Out Boy, as documented in AP’s Oral History of Lifetime [AP #203].
ANTIOCH ARROW – Gems Of Masochism (Gravity)
Gravity Records was home to the most vital bands of the initial “screamo” scene (which described something less accessible than what the tag would later embody). But Antioch Arrow bucked the trend on their swansong release, fully embracing their post-punk goth-rock worshiping side.
CIV – Set Your Goals (Lava/Atlantic)
CIV was essentially Gorilla Biscuits rebranded with singer Anthony Civarelli’s nickname, played with a healthy dose of Buzzcocks and pop-punk mixed into their recipe. This resulted in the minor MTV hit “Can’t Wait One Minute More” and a whole new generation discovering the extensive hardcore pedigree of Quicksand frontman, ex-GB guitarist and secret CIV svengali, Walter Schreifels.
OASIS – (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? (Creation/Epic)
The same year What’s The Story broke the Britpop kings in America (it eventually sold over 22 million worldwide), we wondered if frontman Liam Gallagher and his songwriter brother Noel were “The Last Rock N’ Roll Stars” [AP #89]. Oasis was so massive that Wibbling Rivalry—an interviewer’s recording of the brothers bickering—cracked the British charts.
DEFTONES – Adrenaline (Maverick/Warner Bros.)
Both Korn and Suicide Silence have covered “Engine No. 9” from this album, which wasn’t as commercially successful as the ’95 debuts from nü-metal hit-makers Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach or (gulp) Crazy Town. It did, however, lay the creative roadmap for a much more consistent and acclaimed career path for Deftones, who have influenced nearly every single band AP has profiled in the past few years.
NO DOUBT – Tragic Kingdom (Trauma/Interscope)
There was a time when Gwen Stefani could get groceries without being recognized, but Tragic Kingdom changed all of that. “Just A Girl,” “Don’t Speak,” “Spiderwebs” and “Sunday Morning” are all (!) on this record, which explains how a SoCal ska-punk band ended up with a diamond (10x platinum!) certified album alongside pop culture elites like Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Metallica and Britney Spears.
SMASHING PUMPKINS – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (VIRGIN)
Billy Corgan received the Vanguard Award at the inaugural APMAs for a number of reasons, but really, he could’ve won for this double album alone. Smashing Pumpkins’ third and most successful record clocks in at over two hours (nearly six on the 2012 reissue), garnering comparisons to Pink Floyd’s The Wall and the Beatles White Album for its ambitious scope and diverse soundscapes, like the bombastic “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” cinematic ballad “Tonight, Tonight,” moving and mellow “1979” and the wall of guitars that is “Zero.” Mellon Collie was the last Pumpkins album to feature the entire original lineup of Corgan, guitarist James Iha (later in A Perfect Circle), bassist D’arcy Wretzky and drummer Jimmy Chamberlain.
SUNNY DAY REAL ESTATE – Sunny Day Real Estate (Sub Pop)
Sunny Day Real Estate split before this album was released and were so uninterested in it they didn’t bother to create album art or even name the thing. Sub Pop often listed it as LP2. A lot of fans call it The Pink Album, thanks to the label’s execution of the band’s extremely vague suggestion about what to do with the cover. Nevertheless, Jeremy Enigk’s emotive vocals and the band’s post-emocore stood the test of time. Dave Grohl was such a fan he recruited William Goldsmith (drums) and Nate Mendel (bass) for the first Foo Fighters lineup.
AT THE GATES – Slaughter Of The Soul (Earache Records)
Killswitch Engage, All That Remains, As I Lay Dying, Bleeding Through, Darkest Hour—none of them could’ve existed without this massively influential fourth album from melodic death-metal pioneers At The Gates. Buzzsaw riffs, blazing solos and ferocious screams would become the standard after this release.
DEADGUY – Fixation On A Coworker (Victory Records)
Metalcore has scarcely sounded as fierce as on this off-time, off-kilter collection of angry missives driven by a rage too vulnerable to be macho and too insistent to be overlooked. It’s the last will and testament of the “classic” Deadguy lineup before vocalist Tim Singer and guitarist Keith Huckins left New Jersey for the Pacific Northwest, where they formed Kiss It Goodbye.
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CAP’N JAZZ – Burritos, Inspiration Point, Fork Balloon Sports, Cards In The Spokes, Automatic Biographies, Kites, Kung Fu, Trophies, Banana Peels We’ve Slipped On And Egg Shells We’ve Tippy Toed Over aka Shmap’n Shmazz (Man With Gun)
Scary Kids Scaring Kids and We Are Scientists are both named after Cap’n Jazz songs. While the emo forefathers made a bunch of compilation appearances and whatnot, but this was the only full-length album from Cap’n Jazz, who crafted melodic emo-pop just arty enough to make “emo” more acceptable to stuck up indie rockers, which the band’s members carried forward in bands like Joan Of Arc, Owls and most notably, the Promise Ring.
SLEATER-KINNEY – Sleater-Kinney (Chainsaw Records)
Before she co-created Portlandia, Carrie Brownstein was 1/3 of Sleater-Kinney, whose debut album arrived via Queercore ‘zine-turned-label, Chainsaw Records. The band’s hometown of Olympia, Washington also gave birth to other riot grrrl heroes Bikini Kill and Bratmobile, as well as K Records and Sleater-Kinney’s future home, Kill Rock Stars. The band cranked out seven records in just 10 years before going on hiatus. Famous fans Gerard Way, Norman Reedus, Andy Samberg, Sarah Silverman, Ellen Page and Portlandia partner-in-crime Fred Armisen recently teamed up for Sleater-Kinney’s comeback video, from their first album in a decade, No Cities To Love.