Punktuation celebrates the coming of age of ten of the most influential turn-of-the-millennium punk albums ever!
Ahh! The year 2000! What a year it was! This is the year the Playstation 2 was released to an excited world of fledgeling gamers, the ILOVEYOU virus ravaged Microsoft computers around the planet, France won the UEFA Cup, Sydney, Australia hosted the Summer Olympics, and most importantly of all loads of brilliant punk albums were released!
With the year ahead seeing us celebrating the coming of age of so many great punk LPs we have compiled (in ‘birthday’ order) some of the most influential albums that adorned CD racks across the world that year!
How many of these were in your CD collection?
Millencolin – Pennybridge Pioneers
- Released: February 22, 2000
- Recorded: August 1999
Swedish punks Millencolin are a ska inspired band who, in 2000, were moving their music in a new direction – a direction that found the perfect balance between their ska roots and their heavy punk influences.
Pennybridge Pioneers takes ska’s uplifting energy and infuses it into pure punk. Add to that a load of big riffs and a belting rhythm section you get a progressive blend of punk and alternative rock that, looking back, reveals this album to be an influential one for many of the bands that follow.
Produced by Bad Religion’s guitarist and Epitaph Records founder Brett Gurewitz, Millencolin is still one of the main flagship bands of the label. Pennybridge Pioneers ranks high as a landmark record for the band finding a sound that propelled them into the skate-punk fan arena.
Rollins Band – Get Some -> Go Again
- Released: February 29, 2000
- Recorded: Late 1999
Get Some -> Go Again was the fifth Rollins Band released and the first after the disintegration of the band’s original long time line-up.
For this album, and its follow-up Nice, frontman Henry Rollins was backed by the band Mother Superior. Whether this was an integral part of the band’s demise just a year later or not is a conversation for another day.
The album had enough Rollins Band constitution to satiate the palates of fans who were craving for more of Henry’s vocal savagery. Some fans will argue this is the best of the Rollins Band’s releases with tracks from the adrenalin pumping I Go Day Glo, the high octane, Are You Ready to the heavily bass-laden crashing bluesy track On the Day – all of which kept the fans of the band’s sonic savagery extremely pleased.
Goldfinger – Stomping Ground
- Released: March 28, 2000
- Recorded: 1999 – 2000
Stomping Ground was Goldfinger’s gateway into the mainstream. The punk ferocity of this album, blended with their ska heart and soul, was the perfect musical mashup for this new pop-punk worshipping generation.
This may have been a little lost on their ska-punk fans as many tracks lacked that distinct melodic ska beat, but it no doubt it made way for a whole new wave of Goldfinger fans.
You can argue what’s worse; a band veering away from their signature sound or a band that constantly produce the same thing disguised in an alternate package. Stomping Ground is a melding of tracks inspired by ska – Counting The Days, furiously hardcore – Bro, embracingly pop-punk – Margaret Ann and brilliantly all of the above – Forgiveness.
NOFX – Pump Up The Valuum
- Released: June 13, 2000
- Recorded: 1999 – 2000
NOFX easily define the true essence of punk. Their non-pretentious attitude toward making music has led them to gain (a likely reluctant) ‘musical deity’ status.
Pump Up The Valuum was the band’s eighth album, released via Epitaph Records. Probably not one of the bands most iconic albums but the tracks do emulate their humour, controversial opinions and ease at making great punk music simply for the love of it.
They may have taken a poppier hard left from their previous aggressive sound but it didn’t turn out to be a bad thing. The songs are full of humour and the tracks have great energy with absolutely no lyrical restraint.
In true NOFX style there was no fear (or care) they would offend, with their usual ‘no holds barred’ attitude toward everything from antiquated record deals on Dinosaurs Will Die, and the legalisation of marijuana, on Herojuana, to the controversial (and likely highly offensive to some) Louise, a lesbian love story (of sorts). This was definitely one album fans wouldn’t forget.
Rancid – Rancid
- Released: August 1, 2000
- Recorded: Early 2000
Rancid’s second self-titled release is also known as Rancid 5 or Rancid 2000 to avoid confusion with their eponymous debut album. The band’s fifth album was the first to be released through frontman Tim Armstrong‘s label, Hellcat Records.
With producer Brett Gurewitz returning, combined with frontman Tim Armstrong’s superior songwriting and the fact that the band was one of the tightest around, created – some would argue – their rawest and most distinctive album in their catalogue.
At The Drive-In – Relationship Of Command
- Released: September 12, 2000
- Recorded: January – March 2000
The album takes a stranglehold from the unrelenting opener Arcarsenal through the passion of their highly praised single One Armed Scissor to the chaotic aggression that is Mannequin Republic and ending with the melancholic despair of Non-Zero Possibility.
Evolving from a hardcore this album was cited as one of the most vital albums of the first decade of this millennium by NME, and one of the most important rock records of all time according to Kerrang!
Relationship of Command is with no doubt an album that has held its ground over the years and is just as relevant today as it was on its release 21 years ago.
AFI – The Art Of Drowning
- Released: September 19, 2000
- Recorded: Early 2000
At a time when Californian punk was starting to embrace its lighter pop side, AFI was embracing and evolving its hardcore roots and producing music like no one else. Their fifth album The Art Of Drowning embodies their expanding musical depth with their sound embracing punk in a way that appealed to lovers of hardcore, post-hardcore, goth, theatrical punk, and metal.
The album was listed by Alternative Press as one of the ten most influential punk albums of the year 2000. This album full of lightning-fast punk and goes deeper into their own influences without compromising their signature punk sound.
Vocalist Davey Havok has a vocal mastery in his ability to carry you through the emotion of the tracks. AFI was mastering emo long before My Chemical Romance drew their first sonic breath. There is no need for an explanation as to why this album projected AFI into the mainstream.
This band, without doubt, has ‘A Fire Inside’ them. The band are set to release their eleventh studio album in 2021.
Good Charlotte – Good Charlotte
- Released: September 26, 2000
- Recorded: May – June 2000
Good Charlotte were a band built entirely on sincerity at a time that seemingly rejected it. This self-titled debut album had a minimal impact at the time but was just the beginning of things to come.
Their brand of pop-punk was melodic, catchy and appealed to a whole new generation. The Madden brothers came from a broken home, in abject poverty, but what they lacked in cash they made up for in determination.
Their songs took inspiration from their own broken upbringing loading it with one big message – ‘We Care’. Where punk was, typically, deeply seated in social injustices or citing an ‘I don’t give a fuck what you think’ attitude, this new style of punk was reaching out to the lost, lonely and forgotten current generation of latchkey kids trying to find their way in the world.
The opening track Little Things says it all, “Yeah, this song is dedicated to every kid who ever got picked last in gym class, to every kid who never had a date to no school dance, to everyone who’s ever been called a freak. This is for you.” Although it was their 2002 Album The Young and The Hopeless, that changed everything, this 2000 release was the pre-cursor to a new era in pop-punk.
Green Day – Warning
- Released: October 3, 2000
- Recorded: January – May 2000
Warning had more of an optimistic feel in comparison to the band’s earlier albums which embodied anxiety, indifference, and dissidence.
Despite the bands change in direction the album generated three hit singles Warning, Minority and Waiting. It received positive reviews from both critics and fans alike, made it to Gold status and has gone on to sell over three million albums to date.
The Offspring – Conspiracy of One
- Released: November 14, 2000
- Recorded: June – August 2000
Commonly considered by fans and critics alike as a divergence from the familiar punk attitude and ferocity of seminal album Smash, it was pretty much on par with, if not a little more fun than previous album Americana.
Although it didn’t reach the heights in sales of Smash or Americana, the album has become amongst fans, a part of punk rock’s iconic releases. Spawning hit singles Want You Bad, Original Prankster and Million Miles Away the album still reached platinum sales and to this day remains a fan favourite.
The band released a special 20th Anniversary vinyl edition last year to celebrate Conspiracy of One. Details HERE.
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Everyone should have a soundtrack playing loudly in the background of their life. I was born moshing to my own beat and have never swayed from my love of music. Spreading my passion through the written word is my soul’s purpose. My punk heart beats loudly with the rhythm of my rock soul. I plan to continue to mosh like no one gives a shit.
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