In my impressionable late teenage years and early twenties I bought a series of records that probably haven’t been played since. As an avid reader of Q Magazine at the time, and through the influence of very hip girlfriends, I convinced myself that these albums were somehow important, and that I needed to own them. They meant something, man.
In reality they did not, and continue to mean nothing. They are mostly shit. To reappropriate from Meat Loaf – these albums are lemons and I want my money back. At best, some of these records had one good single. In fact, I couldn’t even put a whole album together using songs that I like from these records. These are the albums I wish I’d never bought:
Albums I Regret Buying
Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
Insipid, boring hipster music for hipsters. An ex-girlfriend of mine was obsessed with ‘Skinny Love’ and in my quest to please her I convinced myself that this album was somehow relevant and not just the ramblings of a heartbroken hermit with crappy recording equipment (like me).
The Strokes – Is This It / Room On Fire / First Impressions Of Earth
Ahh The Strokes. Saviours of rock & roll! With the exception of a couple tracks off ‘Is This It’, their output has been predictable and repetitive. And Julian Casablancas really can’t sing. No amount of burying him in the mix hides the fact that his monotone drawl completely ruins most of the songs. Still, I did go and see them at Boondal with an ex-girlfriend, probably in an effort to get laid.
The Killers – Hot Fuss
Despite being the hottest hyped band since The Strokes (ha), their 80’s pop tribute shtick was completely lost on me. With the exception of one really good song (Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine) and a couple of catchy numbers (Mr Brightside, Somebody Told Me), the rest of the album was filler. Thanks Q Magazine for wasting $20 and 40mins of my life. I actually prefer the band’s second album, where instead of doing 80’s dance pop they rip off Bruce Springsteen and U2.
The Thrills – Let’s Bottle Bohemia
Along with Bon Iver, this album was a major catalyst for the idea of this article. I think I might have listened to this all the way through once. Having put it on again now, it annoys me far less than most of the other records in this list. Still, it’s not inspiring me to put it on high-rotation. As far as bottling bohemia goes, The Dandy Warhols did a far better job.
Kasabian – Kasabian
Song titles like ‘Club Foot’ & ‘Processed Beats’ probably should have raised alarm bells, but alas, Q & NME once again lead me astray. It’s not all bad though, ‘LSF’ kicks along nicely… Actually, that’s about it.
Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
Silent Alarm would have been more enjoyable if it had been 40 minutes of actual silence. I’ve never been as disappointed with an album in my life as I have with this one. Comparisons to the first Franz Ferdinand album turned out to be completely inaccurate. There is nothing about this album that I like. Its only redeeming feature is that it ends. The British music hype machine has a lot to answer for.
Kaiser Chiefs – Employment
Beginning with the most annoying keyboard sound ever recorded, followed closely by the most annoying vocals ever recorded, the album only gets worse from there. Every day I love you less and less. Indeed.
Franz Ferdinand – You Could Have It So Much Better
Franz Ferdinand’s first album was great. ‘Take Me Out’ is absolute genius songwriting. Alas, there is nothing comparable on this cookie-cutter bore-fest.
Kings Of Leon – Aha Shake Heartbreak
It’s really no ‘Youth & Young Manhood’. The beginning of a spiral into hipster oblivion for a promising young rock band.
The Datsuns – Outta Sight/Outta Mind
The album title is apt. Listen to Appetite For Destruction instead.
You might have noticed a bit of a theme occurring as far as genre goes; not everything I purchased around this time was terrible though. Here are some absolute fucking gems that I still love today:
Records From This Era that I Don’t Regret Buying
The Libertines – Up The Bracket / The Libertines
Hard drugs and poetry. Doherty and Baràt are the best British songwriting team since Morrissey & Marr. Neither Babyshambles or Dirty Pretty Things come close to the magic The Libertines produced before (and while) they imploded in a haze of drugs, physical assault and burglary.
Hard Fi – Stars Of CCTV
I never thought I’d still enjoy lad music for party lads. But when it’s this catchy and unpretentious who gives a shit? Recorded in a bedroom somewhere in England.
The Darkness – Permission To Land
80’s hair metal with Queen-sized vocals and tongue firmly planted in cheek. All the best parts of Spinal Tap, without the exploding drummers.
Razorlight – Up All Night
Former Libertines bassist forms his own band and gets off on pretending to be Dylan or Morrison. Catchy, insistent, and very fucking good live.
Of course, you every right to disagree with me, but if I could have that 200 odd dollars back to spend again I’d rather buy the Led Zeppelin & Neil Young albums I’m missing.
By: Clint Morrow