What’s up my dinguses. My name is Summers and I’m an internationally renowned and appreciated twitch streamer, tour manager, driver and I guess I also play in a band called Eat Defeat. The great country of Canada has asked for my top ten favourite records of all time, and who was I to turn down this opportunity to further the special bond between our two countries.
I haven’t really left the house in about 7 weeks, humour me. I’ve tried to go for basically my all time favourite, still listen to start to finish to this day as opposed to ‘influential’ or whatever. There’s a bunch of albums that fully shaped my songwriting and listening tastes but that I just don’t connect with in the same way any more. There’s also just some bands that I don’t think have had ‘great’ albums but just have great tracks across a lot of albums (hi Sum 41). Anyway, here you go.
10. Mixtapes – Even On The Worst Nights
Man, this one is such a low key banger. Like, I can forget about this album for months on end but the second I remember it exists, it’s just perfect start to finish. The songs are catchy, the dual vocals work SO well and the lyrics are jaded and biting. It’s just everything I really strive for when trying to write lyrics and melodies.
9- Lightyear – Chris Gentlemans Hairdresser and Railway Book Shop
I had to pick something from the golden age of the UK underground ska scene and this for me is just the pinnacle of the whole movement. It’s chaotic and fun and completely bonkers and it encapsulates what the band was about so perfectly. I feel like a lot of people prefer their debut because it’s got pretty much all of the big singalong tracks on, but as a complete album, this is untouchable.
8- The Swellers – My Everest
I know, right, I didn’t choose Ups and Downsizing. This was the hardest decision because The Swellers are just so, SO influential for me as a band and I really do celebrate their entire catalogue. They were consistently writing bangers until the very end. But this is the first album of theirs I really fucked with, and it never gets old. It’s the perfect middle ground between pop and skate punk. It’s just chef’s kiss.
7- Jeff Rosenstock – WORRY.
Jeff is a good friend of mine at this point, and whilst I had listened to a bunch of his stuff before we met, it was primarily The Arrogant Sons of Bitches (and honestly Three Cheers for Disappointment is probably number 11 on this list) so I wasn’t really aware of what his solo stuff was about before seeing him live. I fell in love with the songs, and when I got home from that tour and actually listened to WORRY., jeeeez. It’s perfect. I could write a whole article about just how much I love this record.
6- Carly Rae Jepsen – E.MO.TION
Just an absolutely perfect pop album. Taylor broke down the barrier for rekindling my love of pop music, but CRJ really showed me how amazing modern pop music could be. This is my default album to go to when I encounter someone unwilling to accept the joy of pop music into their heart, no-one can resist. Also, Canadian, bonus points, right? P.S. she follows me on Instagram.
5- Motion City Soundtrack – Even If It Kills Me
I think this is a fairly recent one (as in the last few years) despite the age of the record itself. MCS have a knack for like, fun lyrics which kind of border on nonsense sometimes and seeing that applied to essentially a breakup record is something else. So many of these songs make me cry it’s not even funny. I fucking LOVE this album.
4- Yellowcard – Ocean Avenue
Man, this one is kind of a sleeper, you know? Like, I know pretty much no-one who would say their favourite band is Yellowcard. They were a solid band with some huge tunes but I rarely hear people talk about just how fucking PERFECT this album as a whole is. Like, it’s banger after banger after banger. Even the reworked acoustic version (which I got to see performed live!) is leagues above other bands of this era. I can’t say I really explored any other Yellowcard album (and maybe I’m missing out…) but this album is a pop punk masterclass.
3- We Are The Union – Who We Are
Ok so whilst most of the rest of the top 10 are fairly interchangeable as far as placement, deciding the order of the top 3 was haaaaard. I love this album so much that lyrics from the opening/closing tracks were the first tattoo I ever decided to get (in pretty huge letters across my entire forearm…). It’s such a brilliant combination of everything I love about pop and ska punk – the energy and instrumentation from ska punk and the hooks and sensibilities of pop punk. It was tough to actually pin down a WATU album since they really have been pretty flawless in terms of output, but this one if always going to hold a special place in my heart. Our old band, Kickback UK, actually opened the first ever UK WATU show. I fanboyed kinda too hard.
2- Less Than Jake – Anthem
Less Than Jake are my favourite band, ever. So it was really tough to narrow my choice down to just one album when they, again, have such a ridiculously stacked back catalogue. Borders and Boundaries was the album that made me fall in love with the band, but Anthem holds up for me as just a perfect ska punk album. The spectrum of songwriting is all over the place, from the summery anthem The Science Of Selling Yourself Short to the angsty Escape From The A-Bomb House, but every song is just absolutely stellar in it’s own way. I know it’s a controversial one for best LTJ album, but it’s always going to be mine.
1- Taylor Swift – Red
This album absolutely made me fall back in love with pop music and pop songwriting. It’s fucking perfect. It’s intelligently written, the production is tremendous and I just couldn’t say enough good things about this album if you gave me a month to do so. It’s weird how it seems like a gateway BACK into pop music for a lot of people who assumed they’d ‘matured’ past it. Don’t @ me, this album is fucking perfect.