Everything Is Gonna Be Alright, Be Strong, Believe: 20 Hits From 20 Years Ago

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*This is an update to an article that originally appeared on Indie Vision Music back in 2018 for the 15th Anniversaries of the albums below. Some wording and arrangements may have been altered. I hope you enjoy this article as much as I enjoy these albums. Happy 20th to all these and many more that may have been accidentally left off the list (my memory is fuzzy). 15 20 years ago, a collection of what can now be determined as “Classic Hits” were unleashed on a crowd that had an insatiable appetite for what was new and considered “ROCK” music. This was sort of near the end of the “Bye Bye Byes…” and “I’m Not That Innocent…”, charting new territory into the popular spectrum by a bunch of bands not exactly ready for that sort of success and/or their time in the spotlight. This was a pivotal year for music in general and in my opinion was that comeback, “Rock” needed at the PERFECT time. As much as people needed their Nu-Metal, Pop, Rap/Hip Hop, Hard Rock, etc., those of us in the underground music scene desired something new and something different. These bands were just that and sparked a change in direction. This is my list. This is 2003. A snapshot of the greatest year in music post-new millennium. Make sure to scroll all the way to bottom for special IVM Playlist of songs from 2003. Be Strong, Believe……

1. YellowcardOcean Avenue

15 20 years ago this album blew up and made a fan out of virtually everyone and across all spectrums of music fans. Simply put, Yellowcard put 2003 on the map. After a great debut full length (One For The Kids) and follow up Ep (Underdog) this band was definitely going places. Mixing in energetic pop-punk, melodic songwriting, and yes, a violin, there was just nothing quite like this band in the “scene” at that point in time. The fantastic major label debut – “Ocean Avenue”, led by the title track “Ocean Avenue” and singles like “Way Away”, and “Only One”. It was the track “Believe” that really brought on an emotional response and tears to the eyes of virtually everyone especially during the early part of last decade when people were still recovering from 9/11. This whole album for me sums up the year perfectly, “Be Strong Believe”…..

2. ThriceThe Artist In The Ambulance

After two great full lengths, the band switched gears, fine tuned their sound and came back strong with “The Artist In The Ambulance” in 2003. The band had a large fan base even before this album (especially here in Southern California), but The Artist In The Ambulance put them on the map for a global audience. Every song flows together seamlessly and hardly any “Filler” tracks are present. Since I am a radio friendly type guy (sorry, not sorry) I was big on the songs “All That’s Left” and especially “Stare At The Sun”. But to be honest, my favorite song still to this day has to be “The Artist In The Ambulance”. Not sure why but I really dig the subject matter and story told through song. The vocals on this whole record are as strong as Dustin Kensrue has sounded. Don’t get me wrong, “Vehissu” and “The Alchemy Index” had an enormous amount of solid songs. From a nostalgic standpoint, this album has it all for me. Oh and for the record, “To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere” is the best comeback album any band has written in recent years.

3. Slow Coming DayFarewell To The Familiar

This album came out at the perfect time. I had watched these guys from the time of their inception here in Orange County and even booked them a couple of times. Each time I saw them there was just something special in their music performance especially in Orion Walsh’s stage presence. He took his music very seriously and this first full length (and last) was a testament of an artist in pain but searching through the darkness to find hope. This album is mainly about the loss of a family member and the songs clearly reflect that sense of longing. Songs like “Captivated”, “Watching It Fall Apart”, and especially “A Part of Me Died” convey this emotional connection to the audience. The “emo” influence shines through and brings to mind bands like Jimmy Eat World, The Juliana Theory, Brandtson, American Football, Texas is the Reason, etc. So good and a reason this album ranks so high on my list.

4. AFI – Sing The Sorrow

This is a dark record much like the rest of AFI’s past discography. The band reached commercial success with the release of this, their first major label album. A lot of people and especially old school fans didn’t appreciate this shift in sound. I for one, loved it. In fact I didn’t really start listening to them until “Sing The Sorrow”. I guess I have that commercial music mindset. I don’t know what it was but there was just something special about the songs on this record. It had the perfect balance of energy, passion, great singing, and unforgettable melodies not to mention a ferocity and aggression. The fact that this album has a staying power 15 20 years later shows how great this is.

5. Anberlin – Blueprints For The Black Market

Like with other bands on this list, the Anberlin debut record was one of the finest of that year and a great introduction to a band that literally came out of nowhere. Usually independent bands at that time released crappy debut records that showed much need for improvement but in the case of Anberlin they released a debut to make all other bands wallow in shame at their inadequacies. I have a special connection with Stephen and Anberlin. You see, when 3 of the future members of Anberlin were known as “Sagoh 24/7” I became a fan with “then I corrupt youth”. I started exchanging emails with Stephen, I then ended up booking them at our Church here in So Cal, flying them out from Florida (I know, I was crazy). I spent some time in conversation after hanging out that weekend and knew these guys would go on to do great things. I stayed in contact and when I heard there was this demo of a new band a few of the guys were starting, I had to hear it. I then got the crazy idea to follow up “I’m Your Biggest Fan” with a Vol. 2 and called up T&N at which time they accepted my plan. I put Anberlin on it and the rest is history. The funny thing is (and this is a little known fact) but I even exchanged emails with Brandon Ebel before he changed his address about “signing” Sagoh and got replies with their sales figures which was like zero on Rescue Records (LOL). So there wasn’t much interest in bumping them up to the big leagues. I think he had a change of heart once Anberlin formed. Oh and their name was first “Amberlin” but a certain “worker” in a shady industry went by that name so they changed it asap to “Anberlin”. Good move. So let’s talk about this record. It has incredible melodies, a balance between aggression, pop, and rock, while keeping their fingers on the pulse of a changing scene. “Blueprints for the Black Market” is certainly an album that holds up and although they refined their sound on future records, there is still something unforgettable about this “debut”.

6. Fall Out Boy – Take This To Your Grave

This was another one of those “came out of nowhere” debuts by a band just getting their start in the scene. I still remember going to one of their shows in 2003 in San Diego with Dismissed opening and the club was like 1/2 full. Fast FWD to now and the band sells out venues across the country, charts on all the major radio stations, videos featured online and off, magazine features, web features, etc. Simply put, they are a pop band that is still relevant among many fans and new kids alike. Back to this debut, it was a fine introduction to the band’s frenetic pop-punk energy and showcased a group with tremendous potential. You can argue about whether or not the band’s relevance has faded in recent years with the heavy “pop” influence but there is no escaping the awesome energy of the band’s early recordings. The band just came back seemingly from their pop flow to unleash a return to sound on “So Much for (Stardust)” which is an insane collection of songs that harken back to their greatest moments in the spotlight. It the first FOB album I’ve listened to in the past decade that I’ve loved nearly every song. So good and I am so happy they took that dive back to what made them stand out in the first place.

7. MXPX – Before Everything and After

This was one of the band’s most controversial records. Controversial in the fact that the band flirted heavily with commercial, well polished production and recording that would have fit perfectly on any radio station at the time. Led by the single “Everything Sucks (When You’re Gone)”, the album found a band reaching their peak and hitting their strides in songwriting talent. All of this band’s albums are incredible in their own right but this one was a commercial hit that didn’t quite become a commercial hit. Does that make sense? MXPX have always been one of those bands that was right on the cusp of Top 40 major success but for whatever reason didn’t get picked up by the major stations and MTV. I could have totally seen MXPX on TRL back in the day alongside Blink 182, Sum 41, and Good Charlotte, but they got the cold shoulder. Don’t get me wrong, the band always had their inclusions on some video channels (FUSE) and had their songs played on some stations but I am talking about going huge at the time. It’s not their fault but for whatever reason, they got shafted. I do remember Scooby Do soundtrack right around this time which was a cool thing. Anyway, so many great songs on this record that have gone (mostly) forgotten. Check out the spotify playlist below to hear these great songs. Some of my faves include “Quit Your Life”, “Brokenhearted”, “First Day Of The Rest of Our Lives”, “Kings of Hollywood”, “You Make Me, Me”, and “You’re Not Alone”. Oh and for the record, this band still puts out incredible music and has that irreplaceable passionate energy. “Panic”, “Secret Weapon”, “Plans Within Plans” + “Self Titled” and all the recent “singles” are all amazing records!

8. Watashi Wa – The Love of Life

This wonderful little pop-rock band released one of my favorite indie hits of 2003 called “The Love Of Life” on Tooth & Nail Records. This was the album we’d all been waiting to hear and a fantastic progression from their more indie pop-punk releases on Bettie Rocket. Seth Roberts has a commanding but smooth voice that fit the music style just perfectly. “The Love Of Life” is one of those special kind of albums that only comes through once in a lifetime. What Acceptance attempted on “Phantoms” I feel was better executed by Watashi Wa on this record. That’s not to knock Acceptance at all because they are a tremendously loved and adored indie band but what I’m saying is that this came out 2 years before and had a similar vibe and was as catchy as you could possibly get. They had their sights set on commercial success but like all good stories, theirs sort of came to an abrupt end much too soon. Seth went in a slightly different direction on the next release which was really a different band at that point. Although we have gotten Lakes/Eager Seas in recent years, there will always be something uniquely individual and a special addition to the music catalog of Tooth & Nail Records. This band also returned in 2022 with a comeback record titled “People Like People”. There was a lot of familiarity in the new record but a large modern, new direction sort of thing. Go check it out and decide for yourself.

9. Coheed and Cambria – In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3

This band was so far ahead of their time even though they dabbled in a bit of classic prog-rock (Rush), these guys were the real deal. I remember hearing this the first time and thinking “wow, this chick can really sing great rock music!” lol. Seriously though, Claudio has a voice in the upper register of vocal delivery and that is what makes them so unique. I remember cruising around Kauai on vacation one year with my family and all of us singing out to “Good eye sniper…..” (A Favor House Atlantic) and “Blood Red Summer”, two of the band’s big hits from this album. I know the rest of the album had a certain theme (as did most of their catalog) but I loved their “singles” lbecause they were so dang catchy!.

10. Less Than Jake – Anthem

Oh my gosh, you can’t mention 2003 and forget to throw Less Than Jake’s name into the mix. “Anthem” was an insanely catchy piece of work driven by hit songs like “The Science of Selling Yourself Short”, “She’s Gonna Break Soon”, “The Ghosts of Me and You”, and “Plastic Cup Politics”. Musically this was some of the band’s finest work and the culmination of years of talent and songwriting perfection. If I were to pick any favorite ska-punk record of last TWO decades that I thought ranked as a “favorite”, it would be “Anthem” without a doubt. It had that punk rock beat and ska influence with a perfect dose of small horn section. I loved it, still do.

11. Further Seems Forever – How To Start a Fire

No one knew how big this band would end up being with the addition of Jason Gleason after the departure of Chris. “How to Start a Fire” was huge for the band and you heard the songs everywhere in the scene back in the day. It’s amazing what the former members of Strongarm came up with and how they continued to push boundaries in “Rock” and EMO music. They were melodic emo meets rock n’ roll upholding a certain music prestige. There is just something entirely special about this record and the way it came out. From the songs “The Sound”, “Pride War”, and even the title track, it just had that perfect balance between singing, aggression, and melodies that were unforgettable. Even though the band had 3 different singers in like 5 years, it didn’t matter for each album was a unique piece of art by a band that possessed so much talent that they put most of their peers to shame. This album is still an amazing piece of work and I’ve learned to appreciate the songs so much more now. It was incredibly sad for our music scene to lose the talent of Jon Bunch. He truly was one of a kind. Jason Gleason now carries the banner of Further Seems Forever alongside his bandmates and my hope is that we’ll see more new music in the years to come.

12. Beloved (US) – Failure On

You can’t mention 2003 and forget a band like Beloved. This band only released an ep and this full length but they have forever cemented themselves in the halls of melodic hardcore legends. “Failure On” carefully traversed the ropes of melody and hardcore aggression. This heaviness and singing parts established the band as something entirely original and something 2003 wasn’t ready for. This was back in the day of music videos and radio and for this band to have a couple off one album was unheard of for an indie melodic hardcore band just getting their start. This is how well loved this band was and has become. Songs like “Aimless Endeavor”, “Death to Traitors”, and “Failure On My Lips” are some of my faves. The band returned a couple years ago with their cover of U2 “Like a Song” and a new original song, “Abyss”. Two incredibly amazing songs meant to inspire and lead one into a passive set of moody, passive aggression with an uplifting mindset. Check them out and let’s all hold our breath for a reunion record.

13. Relient K – Two Lefts Don’t Make a Right, But Three Do

Relient K have crafted catchy pop-punk/rock for years and this band’s 3rd full length was no exception. This was the perfect album as the perfect time. While the band soaked in commercial success on their next album, this one found the band breaking free from production/songriting quality that was sort of juvenile and underwhelming. Sure, the tongue in cheek humor radiates on this record but there was something commercially appealing about the album that set them apart from so many others in the scene. They had more in common with The Beach Boys and those favorite pop-rock bands of the 90’s than they did with Bad Religion, Pennywise, Face to Face, Green Day and other “punk rock” bands. That was a good thing because this album shared a certain uniqueness that kept them from falling into the trap of repetition.

14. Story of the Year – Page Avenue

Until the Day I Die, I spill my heart for you…..” Oh yes friends, 2003 was all about the mighty Story of the Year. The videos, the songs, this album was EVERYWHERE. Remember FUSE Channel? Yeah you probably don’t but I sure do. This band was so smart to connect with John Feldman (Goldfinger) and together they made beautiful music together and further pioneered a scene of young people pumping their fists in the air with pent up aggression. This band literally came out of nowhere was this “first” album was “Page Avenue”. Love it or hate it, this band knew how to write catchy radio friendly pop-screamo songs.

15. Spoken – A Moment of Imperfect Clarity

2003 was a solid year for music and this band put out one of my favorite albums of that year and one of the finest Spoken albums ever. Their next record was incredible as well but this one established their sound and was a huge step up from “Echoes of the Spirit Still Dwell”. That “Promise” song still gives me chills when I listen to it. Everything about this album is a commercial hit in my mind. Matt’s vocals bordered that “Used” sound (the band) but was still unique and set apart from the pack. It came out at the perfect time. “Promise” and “Sleep Well Tonight” are still some of my favorite songs ever by the band. There was just so much positive and spiritually engaging songs that you can’t help but be brought in to the sound of Spoken. Plus the production was on FIRE with this album. I just love Spoken and 2003 wouldn’t be the same without this record.

16. Something Corporate – North

This FINAL record by everyone’s favorite piano led emo-punk band from my part of the country, Southern California, was without a doubt an unforgettable piece of work. Led by the singles “Space”, and “Me and the Moon” the album took on a more serious and moody direction yet still held on to that fun and lighthearted appeal the band had grasped up until 2003. Practically every song on this record is a winner and the band’s music is timeless. Andrew has gone on to lead some prolific acts – “Jack’s Mannequin” and under his own name “Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness” which have all yielded big singles. The band are reuniting this year for that Emo Festival in Las Vegas and some other spot dates. I’m hoping for more music. The band broke up a little bit later but these 2 records and the EP are the best things about the early 00’s that will never be forgotten, EVER! This record and the next 4 are at the bottom of this list because They are add-ons to the original 15th Anniversary Article written back in 2018. Rather than change up the layout above, I’ll just add these to the bottom. They are amazing, truly.

17. Blink-182 – Self Titled

Arguably the BIGGEST band of the early 00’s and even now. They have inspired countless other like minded bands, triggered some clones and maybe even what some would deem “rip offs” but one thing is for certain, there is only ONE Blink-182! The Self Titled record changed things up a little especially when the first single “Feeling This” dropped shortly before the record. I remember reading comments online from fans who were iffy on the slight change up in sound but once the record was out, it was a whole new ballgame. Songs like the single “Feeling This”, “I Miss You”, “Down”, and stuff like “Stockholm Syndrome” as well as “All of This” featuring Robert Smith of The Cure showed a band that was spreading it’s wings and ready to take that leap into the unknown.

18. Stairwell – The Sounds of Change

Oh my gosh was this record fantastic or what? It was the perfect pop-rock/emo record of the early 2000s that most people had never heard of. When you throw the word “Underated” around, it should be applied to a band like Stairwell with an extra strong adhesive. This record came out earlier on Takehold Records but once Tooth & Nail bought Takehold, the band grabbed their “new” record and ran for the hills, eventually bringing it to Hopeless Records which re-released it in 2003. The band broke up not long after. This was released at a time when bands like Jimmy Eat World, The Get Up Kids, Saves The Day, Brand New, Anberlin, Watashi Wa, Sense Field, Further Seems Forever, The Juliana Theory, Noise Ratchet, Brandtson, etc etc etc, were attracting audiences all across the country and beyond. This record would fit absolutely perfect between Bleed American and Futures (Jimmy Eat World). There was just something special about the guys in Stairwell that set them apart from their contemporaries in the scene. It was a bummer when they broke up because I knew we wouldn’t get another record. Jonathan Caro and some of the guys went on to form My Compatriots, Pilot Whale, and many more not to mention solo projects. Now Stairwell reunited last year for Furnace Fest and there is talk of new music. Jonathan Caro also just launched a new project called Binder of Light with Jeff from Unashamed that will blend some of the old (Bloodshed) with all those new sounds and feels.

19. Dismissed – Taking The Good With The Bad

Where do I even begin with this band. A favorite “indie” act of that time period and the only reason Indie Vision Music branched out into a Record Label in 2003 to begin with. It was a wild ride but I am super proud I was given the opportunity to release the album “Taking The Good With the Bad” by Dismissed all the way back in March of 2003. It was an independent release of course and some of the sounds reflect that but the studio (Love Juice Labs) was the same one most of the Bettie Rocket stuff came out of back in the early 00’s. It was unique enough in its delivery and presentation that it attracted a varied fanbase no matter how small. It wasn’t really “punk”, wasn’t really “metal” or “emo/screamo”, it was entirely Dismissed and to me it felt like they were in a league of their own. A lot of heartbreak, depression, and sadness, but als slivers of hope and life sprung up from these songs. It still baffles me how this release and their 2004 (Final) EP flew under most people’s radars but that was probably due to the fault of my own and IVM as a whole back in the day. When they came back as Kings to You, it was essentially a whole new feel but still consisting of that signature sound, minus the screaming of course. Their songs are all up on digital networks now and I encourage you to check them out. If any release sums up my year of 2003, it’s this one and it’ll be forever cherished. Taking The Good With the Bad indeed.

20. Five Iron Frenzy – The End is Near/Here

A somber, emotionally driven break up record and the farewell all of us fans rightfully deserved. It was a bittersweet record but filled with beauty and class that only Five Iron Frenzy could deliver. “Cannonball”, “New Year’s Eve”, “It Was Beautiful”, “At Least I’m Not Like All The Old Guys”, “Farewell to Arms”, “Anchors Away”, “See The Flames Begin to Crawl” and especially the closer, “On Distant Shores”. It was a graceful end to what seemed like at the time to be a short time in the spotlight. This album came out in 2003 as “The End is Near” and was re-released the next year (after the official breakup) as “The End is Here” packaged together with a full LIVE Record version of all the hits and more. I hated them for breaking up and I despised them for being such a terrible band so much so that fans around the world would nod in agreement. We even hated them on their old message board (remember those?). Okay, not that harsh I know but it is an affectionate hate and one that endures without end to this day. Even though they may have gotten somewhat angrier with age and with clenched fists gripping that old man (and woman) rage, I do appreciate their old music and some of the new stuff is tolerable ;). I hope they never break up again but if they do, we will need another chapter closing record until the over 60 reunion tour with walkers and wheelchairs doing spins. The End is NOT Near. The End is NOT here.

Honorable Mentions:

Switchfoot – The Beautiful Letdown

This album deserves a spot near the top of the list but since it was written 5 years ago and it was tough to edit down, I decided to keep the first 15 the same and needed the last 5 listed. This was a very successful album for not only the band and Christian music as a whole but also for Rock n’ Roll. So good and I mean that in every way. Happy 20th!

The Ataris – So Long, Astoria

Another winner from the year 2003 led by the single and cover of “The Boys of Summer” by Don Henley. Even the title track invokes nostalgic memories and massive sing a longs. Happy 20th to The Ataris and this groundbreaking album.

The Juliana Theory – Love

“Love” was an album that split up the fanbase and alienated some fans. It didn’t matter because for me it still ranks as a favorite in their catalog of “hits”. It was very well produced and composed with some of the band’s strongest songs on record. Happy 20th to “Love” and The Juliana Theory.

Much The Same – Quitters Never Win

A punk rock powerhouse in every possible way. This little known melodic punk act exploded on to the scene in 2003 with this official label debut on A-F Records which was the label started by members of Anti-Flag. I’ve talked with lead singer/songwriter Gunner quite a few times over the years and he seems like a truly genuine fellow. This could have been a total Tooth & Nail band back in the day but kudos to them for going in the direction they did. Solid, solid songs with fast beats and pace and an outlook entirely original. Happy 20th to Much The Same and “Quitters Never Win”.

Mae – Destination Beautiful

Beautiful album and my overall favorite from their catalog. Dave is soft spoken in the way he sings but commands these songs with strength even if it seems more on the gentle side of things. Happy 20th!

Hangnail – Transparent

The best album by Hangnail without a doubt and a total bummer at the same time because it served as their break up anthem. I remember listening to this throughout 2003 and really loving it then hearing they were calling it quits and being heartbroken. I felt like they hit their peak with this one and finally found their voice so to speak. The past few years has held rumors of their return then they released a 20 year old “Live” record and finally a return to form with a “Christmas” themed EP a few years back. What we want is a reunion record of all originals and on Tooth & Nail. Do it! Happy 20th, “Transparent”!

Brave Saint Saturn – The Light Of Things Hoped For

Reese Roper of Five Iron Frenzy and his other FIF bandmates reemerged from the shadows and released their 2nd full length, this time on Tooth & Nail Records. It was loud but had beautiful songs, some worship oriented songs that I guess would be anti-worship, and just some straight forward pop-rock anthems about love and life. Reese proved that his voice belonged to not just Ska-Punk but also pop-rock/indie music, and even Pop-Punk (Roper, Guerilla Rodeo). This was a busy couple years in the early 00’s for the members of FIF with incredible albums and songwriting and this record is certainly no exception. Happy 20th!

The Insyderz – Soundtrack To a Revolution

The punk/ska ensemble known as The Insyderz always seemed to fly under most people’s radars and ended up on Record Labels that either folded, got bought out, disappeared, or began and fell within a few years. This record was no exception to that rule. It didn’t matter though because the band found their voice on this record and the production was top notch unlike some of their earlier material. It was definitely a punk rock record. Happy 20th to The Insyderz and Soundtrack to a Revolution! Now get out there and record a new album for this new decade like only old guys can do!

Next In Line – Traffic

This band and this record meant a lot to me on a personal level. Anthony Catalano was a great songwriter (still is!) and frontman. This band flew under the radar of pretty much everyone but I am proud of it and I’m proud I had the opportunity to work with all these indie bands back in 2003-2004 during the first run of the Indie Vision Music label. “Traffic” wasn’t quite pop-punk, wasn’t quite alternative rock, and wasn’t quite punk rock as a whole. They fit somewhere between Eve 6, LIT, Third Eye Blind, Goldfinger, Everclear, and Smash Mouth. It was a unique combo and in the realm of underground punk, hardcore, ska, and indie rock, they kind of stuck out like a sore thumb. The music certainly wasn’t bad, I mean Masaki Liu produced it alongside Anthony, and mastered by Troy Glessner (all the T&N, Solid State, BEC stuff, plus tons more). It was the biggest sounding IVM release and could have been huge. I was a failure back then and I really got in over my head without having all the connections that could have taken IVM to the next level. Everything was falling apart and that led to the end of IVM label in 2004. Despite all that heartache and bummer inducing pain, it was a fun time and “Traffic” serves as the perfect indie classic.

Comeback Kid – Turn It Around

This was an amazing record and I was a huge fan of this band. Little known fact that I’ve kind of buried and forgotten over the years but I was following Figure Four and when I heard they broke up with some remaining members heading into a punk/hardcore direction I got excited. I remember chatting with someone in the band (sorry the years have burned my recollections) and getting passed a digital demo of songs. I loved them. I am kicking myself for losing those tracks but that’s life I guess. They never would have been an IVM band but it was so cool to hear those songs and getting excited about their future. Facedown Records was a perfect label for them and really launched them into the future. “Wake The Dead” is a huge classic mid-2000’s classic that all fans and scene kids alike still go back to. Happy 20th Comeback Kid and Facedown Records.

Bleach – Astronomy
7-10 Split – The Stars Have Fallen
Seventh Star – Dead End
Side Walk Slam – And We Drive
Gameface – Four To Go
P.O.D. – Self Titled
Cool Hand Luke – Wake Up O’ Sleeper
Dogwood – Seismic
Forgotten Arrival – Through Your Eyes
Sinai Beach – When Breath Escapes
Slick Shoes – Far From Nowhere
Rise Against – Revolutions Per Minute
Nodes of Ranvier – Self Titled
The Rocket Summer – Calendar Days
The Bouncing Souls – Anchors Aweigh
Alove For Enemies – Broken Pledge
Holland – Photographs and Tidalwaves
Symphony in Peril – Lost Memoirs and Faded Pictures

Well, that wraps up my little write up on this look back on 2003 and a 20th anniversary time capsule. Feel free to agree or disagree with my choices. Remember, I am not giving a stamp of approval on the content of any single one of these records. Musically, these were my jams back in the day and something I felt interested in. These are not all “IVM” related material nor do I agree with all their beliefs and content. Personal taste only.

Bonus NEW Music Video From Yellowcard

Bonus: Binder of Light – Fortress (Featuring members of Stairwell, Bloodshed, Unashamed, Rainy Days, My Compatriots)

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March 23, 2018 10:59 pm

A lot of good material here. I have to thank ATV Offroad Fury soundtracks for bringing Less Than Jake and Coheed into my musical rotation. Not to mention Acceptance and Chevelle and many others. It was a good era for music

March 26, 2018 8:47 pm

Man, that was quite a trip. The summer of 2003 was huge for me in terms of music. It was when I first started getting into this whole scene of pseudo-Christian (or not) indie rock, punk, etc. Yellowcard and Story of the Year were on heavy rotation.

One thing I gotta disagree on is the Acceptance/Watashi Wa thing. To be fair, I never got into Watashi Wa, so I will be listening to that album quite a bit over the next day or so.

Graham Wall
March 27, 2018 10:39 am
Reply to  John

Prepare to be amazed! Now I need to listen to that Watashi Wa album again.

March 28, 2018 6:10 pm
Reply to  John

“The Love of Life” is still on my all-time top 10 album favorites

Graham Wall
March 23, 2018 6:30 pm

I was jamming “I’m Your Biggest Fan Vol. 2” just the other day! Good CD. That Buddy Ruckus song is sick, and I like that Farewell to Fashion is on there since Ryan Dunson from Rookie of the Year was their singer. 🙂 I love Slow Coming Day … nice inclusion of AFI, too! Personally, I like “Black Sails in the Sunset” the most, but “Sing the Sorrow” had some good stuff too (both the Leaving Songs and “The Great Disappointment” especially, IMO).

Daniel G
Daniel G
March 31, 2018 11:23 am

Not a bad list at all! Surprised to see Watashi Wa on this list. This album reminders me of Holland’s album ‘Photographs & Tidalwaves’.

Michael H
Michael H
March 31, 2018 11:09 am

Great list and I share many of the same picks. I love Slow Coming Day and it was great seeing them on the list. And Beloved’s album is still pretty much perfect to this day.

I personally would’ve had BraveSaintSaturn’s The Light Of Things Hoped for as one of the top spots though, because that’s one of my alltime favorite albums.

Also, I don’t know if you’re a fan or not, but I’m pretty surprised to not see Brand New on this list with Deja Entendu. That album was a masterpiece.

March 26, 2018 11:05 am

I graduated high school in 2003 and some of these albums (Watashi Wa, MAE, Relient K, Coheed and Cambria, Something Corporate, etc) will forever be cemented as favorites for me.

Side note, I once worked it out for the band Vroom (they had a song from their album ‘…Throws Like a Girl’ that was featured on a T&N sampler once) to come play a mini-festival in Atlanta at The Greenhouse. They ended up performing before the two headliners because they were running late from Virginia, so I saw them, Beloved and Norma Jean back to back to back. Great concert!

friesen Aaron
friesen Aaron
March 23, 2018 7:04 pm
Reply to  Brandon J.

Such an amazing list of records. I love these lists so much. I’ll never get tired of this era of music. Keep these lists coming.

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