My name is Tim Bruder and I play bass and backup vocals for the Orlando, FL based punk band Dial Drive. I was recently asked by Marie at Punk Rock Avenue to make a list of my top 10 favorite albums and although it was really challenging to limit myself to only 10, these are the albums I find myself coming back to at least 3 times a week or more. There are a lot of bands that I listen to just as much but these are the ones that always had and will have a special place in my heart.
10. The Gin Blossoms – Dusted
This was the first full length album by Tempe, Arizona based alternative rock band The Gin Blossoms and it’s definitely their best work. It’s fast, frantic and has punk rock energy despite not being of that genre and has some of the most heartfelt lyrics I’ve ever heard and I feel anyone can relate to them.
9. Gameface – Three to Get Ready
Gameface was a band that was recommended to me by a friend of mine I used to go visit at a local record store in my home town of Fort Myers, FL. It’s one of those rare albums that I can listen from start to finish without skipping one song. Jeff Caudill is an incredible songwriter and this album has the best energy. Three is one of my all-time favorite music compositions ever. Definitely give this one a listen if you have never heard them before.
8. Small Brown Bike – Our Own Wars
SBB ended up on a mix CD my friend gave me in high school with bands such as Against Me! and The Clash and it was the first time I had heard a band that sounded like they did. I love the compositions, how both brothers’ vocals complement each other and how each song has its own « personality » but they are still cohesive when put together as an album, if that makes any sense. Too good for words to be honest.
7. Bad Religion – Against The Grain
My all-time favorite Bad Religion album. I love how this album flows, how much energy it has especially in the guitar work and drumming, and the vocal harmonies are some of their best. I really can’t say anything that will do this album justice. Absolutely incredible.
6. Less Than Jake – Losing Streak
One of the very first ska punk bands I’ve ever heard was Less Than Jake and this was the first album of theirs I owned. It’s never lost, it’s lustre and always puts me in the best mood or gets me pumped when nothing else will. I still remember the first time I heard 9th at Pine and Krazy Glue and how I just couldn’t get over how I felt inside. Amazing.
5. Toad the Wet Sprocket – Pale
So I accidentally discovered Toad the Wet Sprocket when I was in high school and they quickly became one of my favorite bands. I don’t know what attracts me to them so much but I can literally sit in my room and listen to them for hours on end and they never get old. This album is my favorite and it always helps me think, calm me or concentrate when nothing else will.
4. Pulley – Together Again for the First Time
My favorite 90s punk band hands down is Pulley. So much energy and some of my favorite songs ever written in any genre. This was the first album I heard from them and it made me want to go listen to everything in their catalogue immediately as a result. Tyler Rebbe is my favorite bassist and I hope someday I can play lines as fluently as he does.
3. Bodyjar – Plastic Skies
Wow, what can I say about Bodyjar? They are severely underrated and are my favorite pop punk band. I’ve listened to this album more times than I can count and it’s just so good, every single time. I love their vocals, lyrical matter, and song structures. Really hoping I get to see them and Pulley someday.
2. The Hippos – Forget The World
If there’s nothing in the entire world that can get me out of a funk or get me pumped then I will always break out this album and my #1 and I’m 100% again in no time. This is my favorite ska punk album because everything is so well done. The mix, horn lines, vocal harmonies, song structures, energy and auxiliary percussion really make this album something special and one of a kind. I never got to experience them live and will always keep my fingers crossed for a reunion. So good.
1. Jeffries Fan Club – Nothing to Prove
My all-time favorite album and band. The first time I heard this album, the horn lines gave me chills and I literally couldn’t stop listening to it. I listened to it so much I thought I was going to get sick of it and never want to listen to it ever again, but I only loved it more and more with each listen. If you love third wave ska and have never heard of this band and only listen to one album in this list, then this is the one I’d listen to. Incredible.
Honorable Mention: Dynamite Boy – Hell Is Other People – Ok, so I know this is only supposed to be a top 10 list but I couldn’t resist this. This band is very underrated but the music is so good, infectious and influenced me a lot as a musician. Check this out if you can find it and if you can’t, might I recommend Finders Keepers or Somewhere in America instead.
Thanks again to Marie and the staff at Punk Rock Avenue for having me be a part of this and for everything they continue to do for our scene. Love ya’ll!