Bands who were good at one point in time

Bands who were good at one point in time; a playlist devoted to the bands who used to make great music, and have fallen from such high heights. I figured I'd do a song-by-song breakdown for this playlist, since I feel like a little more than just the title is needed to be said. This blog is just going to be me running through the songs I put in the playlist, and explaining why each of them has ended up on the list.

1. Against Me! - Pints of Guinness Make You Strong
Against Me! Has only ever put out one album in my eyes; though they've actually put out five. Against Me! Is Reinventing Axl Rose was the band's first album; a folk punk masterpiece. The album speaks volumes about anarchy, defiance of the man, and the like, something I don't think is typically done very well in song form, but each song holsters its own message and they're all written extremely well. The band went on however, to be completely hypocritical to the message they started out with; signing with a label was fine by me, but they back peddled on everything they'd sung about, only to now produce pretty awful and terribly generic trash.

2. Incubus - Vitamin
Incubus has a couple of good albums, one amazing one, and a bunch of bad ones. They started out pretty strong in 1995 with Fungus Amongus, and then made what I would consider to be a near perfect album in 1997; "S.C.I.E.N.C.E.", which could best be described as "funk metal". I can't think of anything else that sounds even similar to S.C.I.E.N.C.E; such a unique sound and creation of music gave great promise as to the band's quality, but they slowly began to make worse and worse music following that album. In my opinion, "Make Yourself" was not a very good album, with it's headlining songs being the famed Drive and Stellar. Nothing the band ever released after S.C.I.E.N.C.E ever even got close to it's level of quality, sadly.

3. Tokyo Police Club - Cheer It On
I feel like it's almost a little harsh to put Tokyo Police Club in this playlist, but it's somewhat deserving. In 2006, they released their first EP, "A Lesson in Crime". The album only clocks in at about 14 minutes, but every song feels varied and fleshed out; it's perfect as it is. Following that was "Elephant Shell", which I found to be a huge disappointment. It's a mess of pseudo-emo indie rock, and should be forgotten. Elephant Shell is the sole reason Tokyo Police Club made it onto this list however, as in 2010 they released their second full-length album, "Champ", which rekindled some of the magic from "A Lesson In Crime"; hopefully they can continue on a bright path, and not return to the styles of "Elephant Shell".

4. Muse - Cave
It wasn't until relatively recently that I noticed Muse's general level of quality for each album they've put out has dropped since Showbiz in 1999. I actually liked Muse's first four albums (Showbiz, Origins of Symmetry, Absolution and Black Holes & Revelations), but I've liked fewer and fewer songs from each album in chronological order. I probably wouldn't have put them on this list even, if it wasn't for the atrocity "Resistance" they released in 2009. It's almost as though they don't know what made them a really cool and unique band before, as on their most recent album, both the instrumentation and lyricism has become rather safely played, generic and boring drivel. I can only hope this band returns to greatness, but those hopes are low.

5. Cake - Comfort Eagle
Cake has put out five pretty good albums, and one awful one. They had a pretty unique sound, and some really great songs like Comfort Eagle and The Distance, and had seemingly been a good band, when they hadn't put out an album since 2004; a nice ending for a good band. They didn't end up stopping there though, as they released "Showroom of Compassion" this year. This album is fairly innocuous, it was received somewhat well by critics as well, but it's such a disappointment and downfall from what the music they used to make. I wish they could have let things lie, with "Pressure Chief" in 2004.

6.Destroyer - Rubies
Destroyer is a pretty great band that's put out a lot of albums (Nine to be exact, and also four EPs). Most of their albums, I don't really have any qualms with; I actually quite liked them. This year however, they released an album called, "Kaputt", which fell kind of flat. Daniel Bejar, the singer-songwriter, seemingly has misinterpreted why his fans liked his music. He's got a pretty unique voice, and interesting lyrical styles, but he wants to do away with that all and push onto more instrumental music (which I don't think was ever very impressive on his prior albums; it's not his hook).  Destroyer hasn't put out anything awful yet, but the direction in which he's taking the band, makes for a bit of a disappointment when drawn in comparison to what it once was.

7.Smashing Pumpkins - Cherub Rock
The Smashing Pumpkins have had sort of a weird track record and band life. Their two key albums are "Siamese Dream" and "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness"; the band was never the same after July 11, 1996, when touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin died from a heroin overdose, and Chamberlin was fired for his partaking in heroin as well. The next album they released was "Adore", but the magic was gone. After that, it's been a slew of the interchanging of band members and sounds, with Billy Corgan being the only remaining member from the original band.

8. Interpol - Obstacle 1
Interpol is a pretty weird band, well, at least the quality of their music has been. All of their lives albums seem to be substantially better than their studio-recorded ones, but their first two were pretty good. "Our Love to Admire" and "Interpol", their two most recent albums, just kind of miss the mark on what made Interpol special before. The message in the lyricism has always been weird with the band, and that was one of their greatest quirks, but the past to albums have almost taken it too far, of sorts. They don't quite capture me, as "Turn on the Bright Lights" and "Antics" did before, with the lyrical concepts and meanings being overly abstract and the meanings kind of boring. It also doesn't help that their general level of instrumental quality has dropped since their earlier work too.

9. Band of Horses - Cigarettes Wedding Bands
I've always found Band of Horses to be a nice sounding band; they don't have the most unique sound in the world, but they had done a pretty good job with their first two albums, "Everything All the Time" and "Cease to Begin"; each with a couple of sour songs, but well done overall. The band released, "Infinite Arms" in 2010 though, after having signed to a major label, and the material began to feel a little too radio friendly. Just to clarify, I don't have an issue with bands signing onto labels; if they're making more money and producing the same level quality of music, that's great. "Infinite Arms" is just a really dry album though, with nothing to really care about from it; there aren't any standout songs. I don't even necessarily tie the lack of interest in their new album with them signing to the label, but it has been since then that they have not produced any good music.
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