Hello. Dan Tsurif of Mercenary Management came to my home office the other day, and we co-wrote this lovely article together about the top nine albums from bands that only released one album. Only. One. Studio. LP. That’s a mouthful. We hope that you enjoy this 100% subjective list, but we expect massive blowback because (after all) this is the internet.
Anyway, here are two disclaimers to potentially mitigate hater risk from all of you reading:
- The band featured had to tour or at least play one show. Sorry?
- Although we like them all, NO BLINK-182 SIDE PROJECTS WERE MENTIONED ON THIS LIST… Sorry!
Please take off your pants and jacket:
The Dissociatives – The Dissociatives (2004)
SW: Started from the bottom, now we’re here.
DT: I don’t typically like post-grunge, but this band was great. Silverchair was great too.
SW: Understatement. Best live band ever.
DT: Silverchair DID co-headline with Blink-182 in the 90s.
SW: And the band released Diorama in the early-2000s. Top ten album of all time for me.
DT: You really like Silverchair.
SW: (nods feverishly) Understatement part two.
DT: Silverchair’s debut album: Good. “Ana’s Song (Open Fire)”: Good. “Anthem for the Year 2000”: Good. Good band.
SW: ANYWAY, this is about Daniel Johns’ side project with DJ Paul Mac: The Dissociatives. I paid a lot of money to order this CD from Australia and then I saw it in a store for $15.99 a few months later. Whack.
SW: (whispers) The purchase was still worth it.
DT: We’re listening now and it sounds… good.
SW: If you never heard this duo before, check it out now. NO ONE sounds like The Dissociatives.
Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows – D.R.U.G.S.(2011)
SW: Put those two words together and what do you Scott?
DT: “Sex Life” was a jammer.
SW: My least favorite song on the record… And I’m not trying to be cool by saying that about a single. It still, as the kids say, slaps.
DT: It’s catchy, and kind of funny, in a teen drama sort of way.
DT: I love that song.
SW: (sighs) I do too. Anyway, Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows may have been the debut screamo supergroup (or among the first): It had members from Chiodos, From First To Last. Underminded (eventually Sleeping With Sirens), Story Of The Year, and Matchbook Romance. Mic drop?
SW: It’s true. And with the exception of Story Of The Year’s The Black Swan and Matchbook Romance’s Voices, I enjoy the debut album from Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows more than any other album by any other band mentioned above.
DT: Strong words.
SW: Uber uber shout out to my boy Brandon Paddock for his underminded (see what I did there?) work on this record… John Feldmann too!
DT: Black Veil Brides headlined the Alternative Press Tour In 2011 with Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows, I See Stars, VersaEmerge, and Conditions. I saw this show six times and D.R.U.G.S. killed it each time!
SW: Lucky. With the exception of Underminded, I got to see each band that formed this supergroup. I never saw D.R.U.G.S. live.
DT: You missed out. They were very tight and well rehearsed live. The band truly sounded live like they did on CD.
SW: CDeez nuts. I was definitely into this album from the moment that it came out.
Snot – Get Some (1997)
SW: I didn’t get into this album when it first came out but I revisited it years later and boy did I get (it) some.
DT: I was 12 in ’97. The first time I heard about Snot was long after (original vocalist) Lynne Strait had passed.
SW: Rock and roll casualty. Very very awful.
DT: Agreed. Tommy Vext (now of Bad Wolves) later joined as lead vocalist, and I dug into Snot’s catalog. I liked it. I liked it a lot.
SW: I liked the opening track. I like it a lot when bands have tracks named after themselves.
DT: The first Snot song I heard was called “My Balls”. I was sold.
Germs – (GI) (1979)
SW: My balls? Snot then Germs? Sounds like some Bloodhound 182 fart jokes. Your floor. A clean floor hopefully.
DT: I was so into this band when I was growing up.
SW: I’m all clean ears.
DT: Germs is the ultimate example of what a punk rock band could be. You don’t need the most musical talent, a crazy expensive equipment/production budget, or major label marketing muscle to have a legacy.
DT: You DO need passion and intensity. You need to create an emotional connection with your audience.
SW: Well, if you saw Decline Of Western Civilization or read any book on LA punk/hardcore, you KNOW that Germs definitely “brought” that.
DT: They certainly did.
SW: Pat. Smear.
DT: Pat Smear was in a couple of cool bands like Nirvana and Foo Fighters later on… Kind of a big deal.
SW: Serve the servants. On a tragic note, Darby Crash passed away too young. Very sad.
DT: Very much so. And, in closing, “Lexicon Devil” was a killer song. I didn’t know that a vocalist was allowed to do that and still have it be considered “music”. (NOTE: This was before I heard “Twist” by Korn). After I listened to this record, I wore a Germs back patch for quite some time.
SW: (ubatratatatgumratatatgum) Dirty.
The Apex Theory – Topsy-Turvy (2002)
DT: Topsy turvy.
SW: Our original list didn’t include this band. I had a random “holy shit” moment and realized that this band/album is oft overlooked.
DT: I agree. Fun fact: I was on The Apex Theory’s street team when I was a kid.
SW: That. Is. Amazing.
DT: I joined online and got ENORMOUS envelopes chock full of CDs; currency in the early-00s.
SW: (laughs) I first saw The Apex Theory as first of three on an MTV Tour (remember those?) with lostprophets (yup) and Andrew W.K. (YUP). This band may be the only band ever with a single in 11/8.
SW: Such good musicians and such a good “Add Mission”.
Minor Threat – Out Of Step (1983)
DT: Minor Threat’s cultural contributions cannot be overstated. They went far beyond any single subculture. I have an immense amount of respect for Ian MacKaye. He truly stuck to his convictions in punk rock more than most.
SW: I’d even go as far to say that he stuck to his convictions in MUSIC more than most.
DT: I agree.
SW: It follows.
DT: Crazily, the biggest song that this band is known for is NOT on Out Of Step.
SW: Whatever, bro. I’ve got straight edge.
DT: This time period was very exciting for emerging US punk and hardcore bands, and Minor Threat was one of the main bands leading the charge.
SW: You’re an old soul. (pauses) Same.
The Postal Service – Give Up (2003)
SW: I give up.
DT: We haven’t even started.
SW: I postal service?
SW: Sorry. (pauses) My wife really likes this album. (pauses) I do too.
DT: I do too! There aren’t too many side projects that completely eclipse the original band. I think that The Postal Service is certainly one exception.
SW: Death Cab For Jew-tie. (pauses) The district sleeps alone tonight.
2. Operation Ivy – Energy (1989)
DT: OpIvy was SO young when the band wrote and recorded this album. It had…
DT: Energy. (pauses) It’s a nearly perfect LP, and in my opinion, OpIvy is the most important band to ever come from the Gilman Street scene.
SW: I disagree. I think that OpIvy is number two on THAT top ten list as well. Green. Day.
DT: Well Green Day knows how important and influential Operation Ivy was back then, and still is today. It’s really cool that GD covers “Knowledge” on both an actual studio album (1039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours), and at nearly every single show since that pre-Dookie album came out.
SW: Respect. Imparting knowledge. Here’s some from your boy Scott: “Bankshot” is still my jam and you should listen to it right now.
DT: And “Sound System” is mine and you should listen to it right now. Tim, if you’re reading this, which I know that you aren’t, please reunite.
SW: Seconded. Onto…
Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols (1977)
DT: Number one.
SW: Number one. This album came out over four decades ago, and it still fucking rocks. Quite hard actually.
SW: The first song on Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols is one of my favorite punk rock songs of all time.
DT: “Holiday In The Sun”. Love it. The opening riff to “Pretty Vacant” is amazing in its power and simplicity as well. As an immature teenager, I loved how Johnny Rotten said, “Vay-Cunt.”
SW: (laughs) Shut up, Butt-Head.
DT: On a more serious note, you cannot escape the influence of this band. It’s found in every corner of the world, through every sub-genre of rock music, and within every “rebellious” fashion trend.
SW: I couldn’t agree more. We labored over some of the bands mentioned on this list, but the number one spot was easily filled by Johnny, Sid, Steve, and Paul… Shout out to Glen as well! All about that bass.
DT: This may come off as condescending, but it is intended in an opposite fashion: Much like Germs, Sex Pistols proved to the world that ANYONE can be in a punk rock band. Anyone.
SW: That wasn’t condescending and I know that you can be. (pauses) Same.
DT: (laughs) Speaking of which, it would be unfair to call Sex Pistols a boy band, even though it WAS a manufactured entity.
SW: But we digress… Sex Pistols and The Ramones are globally synonymous with punk rock.
DT: They both brought unique looks for the time, and it has carried over for decades. Who didn’t start drawing little anarchy symbols in their textbooks after hearing “Anarchy in the UK” for the first time?
SW: In closing, even though BOTH of us enjoy Operation Ivy’s debut more front-to-back, no other album deserves this #1 spot. As evidence, my 100% subjective opinion says such. Yup.
And: Scene. Thanks for reading. Here is a playlist that Dan and I mutually agreed upon:
P.S. Emily Berke thinks that we’re both passionate. She heard this entire interview. You all missed out. Shalom.