Marilyn Manson – The High End Of Low

RELEASE DATE: May 26, 2009
Marilyn Manson’s uppermost rock bottom made for the veteran shock-rocker’s seventh studio album and the follow-up to Eat Me, Drink Me. Exploring near-experimental levels of the musician’s characteristic death rock, the glam-dirge shuffle of the cumbersomely-titled first single reminded everyone that Manson always means business. Dirty, dirty business.

Mayday Parade – Anywhere But Here

RELEASE DATE: Oct. 6, 2009
Mayday Parade’s sophomore jaunt provided enough emo-pop longing to keep your typical teen diary full of crestfallen ruminations on youth and young love. Now, it’s impossible to spin the Florida alt-rock quintet’s first album on Atlantic Records without getting at least a slight hint of sweet-smelling nostalgia, even though the world we loved will never be the way it was.

New Found Glory – Not Without A Fight

RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2009
Produced by blink-182’s Mark Hoppus, New Found Glory’s sixth album Not With A Fight saw the Sunshine State pop-punkers wrestling with hindsight on “Listen To Your Friends” and offering a heartbreaking wake-up call on “Don’t Let Her Pull You Down.” Paramore’s Hayley Williams pops up on “Tangled Up,” giving a veritable scene snapshot of a very particular time.

Paramore – brand new eyes

RELEASE DATE: Sept. 29, 2009
The plausible pièce de résistance of 2009 albums, Paramore’s brand new eyes cemented the Hayley Williams-fronted outfit’s status as one of emo’s true heirs to the throne. Not that anyone was questioning it before, but the stunning mid-career effort from the Tennessee rock pioneers made every other emo-pop act get out their shovels and keep digging.

Rancid – Let The Dominoes Fall

RELEASE DATE: June 2, 2009
Seven years prior to Tim Armstrong’s TV turn in The X-Files’ 2016 revival, the heavily tattooed frontman and his highly decorated punk unit Rancid dropped their seventh album, Let The Dominoes Fall. A potent mix of street-inspired ska-punk, it bottled the infectious Bay Area grooves of the band’s best work and came off like a master class of punkers operating at the top of their game.

Saosin – In Search Of Solid Ground

RELEASE DATE: Sept. 8, 2009
Saosin continued spilling their post-hardcore hearts out on In Search Of Solid Ground, the SoCal emo-rockers’ second LP and last with lead vocalist Cove Reber. And while the band assumed a length hiatus shortly thereafter—later seeing the return of founding singer Anthony Green—this sophomore quest still stands a high point for guitar-based alternative music.

Read more: Watch Saosin and former vocalist Cove Reber reunite onstage
Say Anything – Say Anything

RELEASE DATE: Nov. 3, 2009
It sounds like there might be an accordion in “Hate Everyone,” but that didn’t stop Say Anything’s eponymous fourth entry from satisfying the eager ears of existential pop-punk fans everywhere. Gifted songsmith Max Bemis, just as earnest and overwrought as ever, energetically led the Los Angeles-based rock ensemble in defending the genre once more.

Set Your Goals – This Will Be The Death Of Us

RELEASE DATE: July 21, 2009
San Francisco punk practitioners Set Your Goals lit up the summer of 2009 with a swift but melodic set of old-meets-new-school pit jams on their spirited second effort, This Will Be The Death Of Us. A token of its era, the foot-tapping collection sports some killer guest spots from New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert and the Movielife vocalist Vinnie Caruana.

Silverstein – A Shipwreck In The Sand

RELEASE DATE: March 31, 2009
Silverstein shot for the stars with A Shipwreck In The Sand, the Canadian post-hardcore outfit’s fourth studio album. Perhaps their heaviest effort to date, bangers such as “Vices” proved the band still had the fire inside of them. But the offering’s more conceptual framework afforded the tunes a thematic energy unlike any of the act’s previous releases.

Suicide Silence – No Time To Bleed

RELEASE DATE: June 30, 2009
Suicide Silence held it down for deathcore in 2009, the late Mitch Lucker turning in a throaty performance on No Time To Bleed that’s just as terrifyingly transcendent today as it was 10 years ago. The brutal instrumental backing matches the vicious vocal delivery, and the second slab of wax from the SoCal death crew is a perfect encapsulation of their act back in the day.

Taking Back Sunday – New Again

RELEASE DATE: June 2, 2009
Enlisting the superstar production team of David Kahne (Paul McCartney, the Strokes) and Matt Squire (Good Charlotte, Sum 41), New York rockers Taking Back Sunday took to reinventing themselves on their fourth full-length, New Again. Coming after the departure of guitarist Fred Mascherino, the album reframes the classic TBS sound with a subliminal shock of ominosity.

Thirty Seconds To Mars – This Is War

RELEASE DATE: Dec. 8, 2009
The moment of truth for Thirty Seconds To Mars came with their third studio effort, This Is War, and the pointed lyrical directives of band figurehead Jared Leto. At the time, it was the group’s first album in four years, and valiant singles such as “Kings And Queens” and the militant title track drew a line in the sand for detractors of the actor and musician’s alt-rock output.

twenty one pilots – Twenty | One | Pilots

RELEASE DATE: Dec. 29, 2009
Before they even considered themselves “Fairly Local,” a Josh Dun-less twenty one pilots were still finding their sound on this sparse, self-titled debut. The physical edition of the 2009 release is now so rare that TØP vocalist Tyler Joseph joked in a Reddit AMA about stowing away a CD copy that he’s “looking to sell to make a bunch of money some day.”

The Used – Artwork

RELEASE DATE: Aug. 31, 2009
It’s interesting to learn that the Used originally wanted Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo to produce Artwork, the fourth full-length from singer Bert McCracken’s Utah-bred rock clan. And though Cuomo’s participation never came to fruition, the group continued to refine their sound on the stunning set that kicks off with the guilt-fed bounce of “Blood On My Hands.”

We The Kings – Smile Kid

RELEASE DATE: Dec. 8, 2009
It doesn’t get more 2009 than We The Kings’ “We’ll Be A Dream,” the comfy blanket of a hit single from the Florida pop-rockers’ second album. Featuring none other than Demi Lovato on a second-verse vocal slot opposite lead singer Travis Clark, the tune sprinkled Smile Kid’s heartwarming pop power all over the airwaves for one brief, magical moment.

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