25 essential Fueled By Ramen albums released across their 25-year history
Fueled By Ramen has signed some of the most talented alternative bands and musicians to date. With 25 years of greatness under its belt, now is the opportune moment to look back at its incredible discography. In 1996, John Janick joined forces with Vinnie Fiorello of Less Than Jake and brought the label to life. With their shared drive and dedication to music, it didn’t take long for Fueled By Ramen to gain mainstream fame.
What started as a label that guaranteed to bring listeners incredible ska records transformed with the addition of alternative bands such as Fall Out Boy, the Academy Is… and Cobra Starship. From 1996 to the present, Fueled By Ramen has continued to build on its discography with the latest and greatest alternative music has to offer. Most recently, the label signed up-and-comers Meet Me @ The Altar, whose anthems of empowerment have carved out a path for women in pop punk, punk and emo. For 25 years, Fueled By Ramen has highlighted the most important, influential and inspirational voices in the industry and has no intentions of stopping. Here are the best albums Fueled By Ramen has released over the past 25 years.
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The Hippos – Forget The World
The Hippos’ debut album, Forget The World, is filled with clean vocals, classic punk instrumentation and the horns familiar to ska music. They were the perfect addition to Fueled By Ramen’s growing list of artists and musicians. The Hippos situated the label as one started by two people who embraced alternative music, with an incredible amount of devotion in uplifting them. Forget The World opened up various avenues for the label as well as the band that offered nothing but forward momentum.
The Stereo – Three Hundred
The ’90s was one of the greatest decades for alternative music, as bands such as the Stereo blended various subgenres under the alternative umbrella to create a sound all their own. It’s most evident on their 1999 record, Three Hundred, which includes emo-leaning lyrics in songs such as the title track and a mixture of raw as well as clean vocals familiar to pop-rock.
Less Than Jake – Pezcore
Being that Fiorello co-founded Fueled By Ramen, it’s no surprise that Less Than Jake released a totally remixed and remastered version of their highly influential album Pezcore in 2002. The ska-punk band have been recognized for their longstanding commitment to their unique sound. Pezcore in particular features classic ska-punk instrumentation, with songs that have even become synonymous with the genre such as “Liquor Store” and “Throw The Brick.”
Fall Out Boy – Take This To Your Grave
Before Fall Out Boy grew into the alternative superstars they are today, the band released their first record through Fueled By Ramen, Take This To Your Grave, in 2003. With the addition of Fall Out Boy to the label’s lineup came a new wave of alternative music that would become one of the most iconic for emo and pop punk. Take This To Your Grave includes hits such as “Saturday” and “Dead On Arrival.”
The Academy Is… – Almost Here
When the Academy Is… released their debut album, Almost Here, under Fueled By Ramen in 2005, it was entirely different from anything the label had previously released. William Beckett’s vocality alongside clean instrumentation mixed with emotionally driven lyrics made the Academy Is… one of the most recognizable voices in the mid-2000s emo scene. It’s perhaps their greatest album to date and one that’s consistently featured at emo nights.
Panic! At The Disco – A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (2005)
A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out has stood the test of time since Panic! At The Disco debuted the record under Fueled By Ramen in 2005. They single-handedly produced one of the most quoted emo songs of all time, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” Panic! At The Disco provided an entirely new sound to the alternative music genre. The band’s theatrics mixed with the literary and cinematic significance of their lyrics opened up an entirely new world for both the label and the scene. With so many successes such as Panic! At The Disco, the Academy Is…, Less Than Jake and Fall Out Boy, Fueled By Ramen swiftly grew into a recognizable label.
Gym Class Heroes – As Cruel As School Children (2006)
Gym Class Heroes’ rap-rock sound shined through on As Cruel As School Children. They completely embraced the culture with tracks such as “New Friend Request” and “7 Weeks.” As Cruel As School Children explores the cruelty of adulthood with funk and soul elements, which earned it the rightful certified gold status it has received since its 2006 release.
The Hush Sound – Like Vines
The Hush Sound’s Like Vines is a classic indie album that showcases how alternative music was changing from an early-to-mid-2000s sound. They embraced sadness while blending it with hopeful instrumentals. While the Hush Sound question life in “We Intertwined,” the seriousness of their lyrics is featured alongside uplifting riffs and even a brass section. It’s a remarkable album that highlights the importance of variety and exploration of genres for the Fueled By Ramen lineup.
Cute Is What We Aim For – The Same Old Blood Rush With A New Touch
Cute Is What We Aim For initially gained fame for their presence on Myspace, which led them to Fueled By Ramen. While critical reception of The Same Old Blood Rush With A New Touch was less than ideal, songs such as “The Curse Of Curves” have become essential tracks on emo throwback playlists and are enjoyed by elder emos everywhere.
Cobra Starship – ¡Viva La Cobra!
Cobra Starship’s second studio album, ¡Viva La Cobra!, has an electropop-driven sound, with alternative and punk qualities that uplift the devil-may-care attitude of their lyrics. In “Guilty Pleasure,” they recognize that the world could end at any time, but they’ll be the ones “throwing the party.” The 2007 album is a total exploration of genres that blends typical electro-pop with hip-hop and punk sensibilities. In a sense, ¡Viva La Cobra! serves as an example of how alternative music can span every major genre and subgenre.
Paramore – Riot!
Paramore’s Riot! took the band, and especially lead vocalist Hayley Williams, to the top of the alternative music charts. It’s widely listened to by fans to this day and remains one of the greatest albums they’ve ever released. With tracks such as “That’s What You Get” featuring gut-wrenching lyrics of heartbreak and “crushcrushcrush” offering a much heavier and independent tone, Riot! showcases Paramore’s exploration of various sounds as well as their ability to master them.
Phantom Planet – Raise The Dead
Phantom Planet’s fourth studio album, Raise The Dead, features one of their most popular songs, “Do The Panic.” On that record, the band possess a classic alternative-rock sound that carries on from track to track. While other bands were experimenting with new sounds, Phantom Planet were refining theirs and with impeccable results on Raise The Dead.
The Cab – Whisper War
Produced by Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, the Cab’s Whisper War was a highly anticipated release for Fueled By Ramen. Considering the support from alums who are known as alternative music elders (Stump and Brendon Urie), Whisper War was destined for success. Both the pop-punk and power-pop sounds of the album were incredibly unique to the label at the time.
This Providence – Who Are You Now?
This Providence’s Who Are You Now? is an alternative-rock album that highlights their talents wholeheartedly. Its release was so highly anticipated that Travie McCoy and Hayley Williams (among many others) hyped its arrival to their fans. Who Are You Now? afforded them the opportunity to tour with bands such as the Bigger Lights and Anarbor, who were incredibly popular at the time. Its emotional roller coaster of lyrics mixed with hopefulness as they near their dissolution makes This Providence’s 2009 effort a well-rounded work of art despite being their final studio LP.
VersaEmerge – Fixed At Zero
VersaEmerge signed with Fueled By Ramen in 2008 and released their first, as well as their only, studio album under the label two years later. Fixed At Zero featured a new style of familiar sounds that explored alternative rock and imagery found in the lyricism of scene music. While its contents are dark, it has a remarkably upbeat tempo supported by Sierra Kusterbeck’s incredible vocals. Despite the fact that fans never received a follow-up studio album, Fixed At Zero remains one of the greatest released under the label.
fun. – Some Nights
In 2012, fun.’s title track from their album Some Nights as well as the single “We Are Young” became two of the songs that defined the summer. They played on several radio stations and catapulted the band toward astounding success. It may have been their second studio album, but it was their first under Fueled By Ramen. While the band were apprehensive at first, it proved to be a fruitful partnership, as both fun. and Some Nights became fixtures of summer celebrations and, now, fond memories.
twenty one pilots – Vessel
twenty one pilots’ third album, Vessel, was released in 2013 and became their first major-label effort. Across the album, the duo blend alternative rock with hip-hop, electropop and indie. Vessel offers such a diverse tracklist that it comes as no surprise that every song has received gold, platinum or multi-platinum certifications by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Vessel is the epitome of what makes Fueled By Ramen so great—an array of genres in the alternative living under one umbrella.
Young The Giant – Mind Over Matter
Young The Giant’s 2014 album, Mind Over Matter, has a classic indie-rock sound with smooth vocals and punchy instrumentation. While the band started as a predominantly indie ensemble, Mind Over Matter showcases that they still have room to grow and explore as musicians. Each track is incredibly emotional and has the capability of affecting every listener in a unique, powerful way.
The Front Bottoms – Back On Top
As the Front Bottoms continue to grow as a band, as does their sound. On their 2015 album, Back On Top, the group prove that they’ve matured a lot since the days of Talon Of The Hawk. The album features tighter instrumentation, a fuller sound and fully realized concepts of heartbreak, frustration and more. While “West Virginia” is an upbeat anthem of finding oneself after devastation, “Summer Shandy” celebrates friendship and all its joys.
Against The Current – In Our Bones
Against The Current’s debut album, In Our Bones, possesses an unforgettable pop-rock sound, with captivating vocals by Chrissy Costanza alongside the talents of fellow band members Will Ferri and Dan Gow. Their incredible online presence and the support of Fueled By Ramen ushered in a wealth of fans for the growing band and assisted in making In Our Bones one of the most exciting releases of the 2010s.
All Time Low – Last Young Renegade
For over a decade, All Time Low’s pop-punk sound has dominated the scene. Surprisingly, their seventh album, Last Young Renegade, is the first to be released under Fueled By Ramen. In true All Time Low fashion, put out an album that proves that they’re a tour de force of pop-punk musicality, and it grows even more refined with every listen.
nothing,nowhere. – ruiner
Released in 2018, nothing,nowhere. (aka Joe Mulherin) released his heartfelt album ruiner. It features the pressures of the music industry mixed with personal stressors and emotional distress. Fueled By Ramen’s roots in the alternative genre, especially emo, shine through on the title track, as Mulherin sings, “I know what it’s like when you never leave your home” alongside soft instrumentals.
flor – ley lines
The alternative/indie sound of flor’s ley lines is reminiscent of the days when Death Cab For Cutie tracks ruled the iPod Shuffle. Their vocals are soft and subtle while the instrumentation is methodical and captivating. As flor have grown as musicians, they’ve fully transformed on ley lines with a much more grown-up sound. It certainly seems like they’ve found their footing with Fueled By Ramen supporting them.
E^ST – I’M DOING IT
The debut album from E^ST, I’M DOING IT, comes from the mind of Melisa Bester. The Australian singer draws from indie pop to create a sense of naivety in navigating situations as one grows older. The uniqueness of her voice as well as the heart behind her lyrics makes I’M DOING IT one of the greatest albums to be released under Fueled By Ramen in the past 25 years.
MisterWives – SUPERBLOOM
In 2020, Fueled By Ramen’s lineup is far more diverse than ever before. With MisterWives’ impeccable indie-pop lyricism and sound on SUPERBLOOM, they’ve expanded into nearly every genre imaginable. It contains incredibly cheery instrumentation that shines through in cuts such as the title track and “decide to be happy.” With an uplifting message, MisterWives’ SUPERBLOOM perfectly captures the bright future that Fueled By Ramen has right in front of them.