3 underrated records that have heavily influenced my writing:
FINCH: SAY HELLO TO SUNSHINE
Yes, What It Is To Burn is the Finch record that most fans hold closest to their hearts, but for me, it was 2005’s astronomically-underrated follow up, Say Hello To Sunshine.
This is the album that took the band from great to important. Grossly ahead of its time, the album was embedded with odd time signatures, fast tempos, unusual screamed vocal patterns, completely unpredictable drumming and a haunting atmosphere that seemed to be Danny Elfman inspired.
I remember specifically telling the band in person that this was one of my favourite records of all time. Their response was, ‘Really? We don’t get that a lot…’ That hurts me.
Midtown - Living Well Is The Best Revenge (2002)
I was already a fan of Midtown when Living Well Is The Best Revenge was released in the spring of 2002, but in my eyes, this was the record that crowned them as pop punk royalty.
Everything from the huge production of Mark Trombino, to the perfectly executed vocal performances of all three singers, to some of the catchiest melodies I’ve ever heard, this record should have made them bigger than Fall Out Boy.
Unfortunately, label problems, under promotion and other exterior factors kept this record from achieving the commercial success it so deserved. I stand behind the statement that the song Like A Movie has the best bridge of all time, regardless of genre.
He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood (2004)
Everything about this band and this album was daring, risky and cool as hell. They had incredibly vicious heavy elements mixed with subdued almost stoner rock vocals with a Seattle 90s tinge.
The frontman looked like he would fit in more at a Doors show in the 1970s than fronting a heavy band, but for some reason that incongruent look made the band that much more interesting. With lyrical content ranging from literary references to almost Cobain-esque abstract metaphors, they stood out among a pack of groups that all seemed to be doing the same thing.
It was this album’s audacious style that reminded me that rock & roll is not supposed to be safe and encouraged me to think outside the box regarding my own compositions.