Crossed Keys: 10 albums you should love as much as they do
Sunday, September 22, 2019 - 16:44
- by Tom Dumarey
“Set fire to all that you hold dear, so you don’t have to face your fears,” sings Crossed Keys vocalist Joshua Alvarez on the band's upcoming EP 'Saviors'. In his case that would mean setting fire to the following ten records that you should love as much as he does.
Crossed Keys is a melodic punk band that channels the sound and energy of the VFW shows that served as the foundation for the tri-state area underground scene throughout the 90's and early aughts. Alvarez is joined by drummer Dave Wagenschutz (Kid Dynamite, Good Riddance), bassist Andrew Wellbrock (Zolof the Rock & Roll Destroyer), and guitarists Beau Brendley (The Curse, Kill The Man Who Questions, R.A.M.B.O.) and Dave Adoff (Step Ahead, Jackie Thousand).
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Slow Riot for New Zerø Kanada
One of my first bands upon moving to Philadelphia was an instrumental quintet called Belegost. We were a non-vocal Lord of the Rings themed punk rock band, featuring ex-members of Crucial Unit, Virinia Black Lung, Hypatia & others. This record was the one that inspired me to do a band without a singer and it still remains one of the bands that I take great pride in having been a part of.
Inquisition - Revolution, I Think It’s Called Inspiration
This is Thomas Barnett’s band before Strike Anywhere. I found this record in the used bin while working at vintage vinyl records in Fords, NJ and decided to give it a shot. It ended up being one of my favorite records of all time and had me all excited to hear his “new band”, Strike Anywhere. Lo and behold, i’m still obsessed to this day.
The Cure - The Head On The Door
Perhaps it’s not as obvious now as i imagine it is, but the truth is that i was a sad weirdo in high school. The music of The Cure made those years bearable and this was always my favorite record of theirs.
Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend
I remember seeing the video for the title track of this record on 120 Minutes. It was this riff-heavy rocker of a tune set to anime, two things i loved, so I was hooked. Funny thing is that i don’t love any of his other records nearly as much as I love this one, but from start to finish, this record is perfect.
Also worth mentioning, lest i be misconstrued: i don’t love anime anymore. Admittedly, it was just a phase.
Torches To Rome - Torches To Rome
There was a time when I was ready to get into any band that Ebullition Records put out. My favorite era of that label was in the late 90’s when they were putting out bands like Yaphet Kotto & Submission Hold. Of that crop of bands, Torches To Rome best blended the agression of chaotic hardcore with a melodic sensibility.
Side note: if anyone knows where i can get a Torches To Rome t-shirt, let me know.
Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary
There was a time in Philadelphia hardcore when the main resource we had for discovering new bands was the Very Distro catalogue. Ask any punk over the age of 30 from here. I came up in a time when so many bands ripped off Sunny Day Real Estate so hard that Very had a little house symbol by certain band reviews that meant that “this band probably bought their house on a really sunny day”. Still makes me giggle a little.
Avail - 4am Friday
What can i say about Avail that hasn’t already been said in 1,000 blogs? They’re the perfect band and this is a perfect record.
Ned’s Atomic Dustbin - God Fodder
Yet another discovery from 120 Minutes, 'Grey Cell Green' was unlike any song i had ever heard before. I’m actually not sure if I’ve heard anything like it since, either. Still kills me every time I listen to it.
The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses
I also grew up in a time when Pearl Jam was the big band and the jocks in my high school were really into that stuff, wearing their t-shirts and professing their love for “alternative music”. For me, it was fine, but it lacked the finesse and charm that British bands just naturally exuded. The Stone Roses remain one of my most cherished bands from that time and i love this record.
Swiz - No Punches Pulled
Swiz is one of my most favorite Jade Tree bands and i still love them to this day. Recently, Dag Nasty have been touring with original singer Shawn Brown singing. In my mind, Shawn’s best band is Swiz, not Dag and if I could bend reality to my will, Swiz would be the more celebrated of the two. Sadly, this is not the case.
Nothing against Dag Nasty. I love that band too. I will say, however, that the last few times i saw Dag in their current iteration, they played the Swiz song 'Ghost' and it crushed so hard.