Run-D.M.C, "Hollis Crew (Krush-Groove 2)"
It sounds downright primitive today, but this album (Run-D.M.C., their debut) was a massive milestone in the development of rap as a cultural force. Somewhat forgotten now, Run-D.M.C. were the first rap act to have a gold record, proving that this new genre could have significant commercial appeal. They would follow that up with rap's first platinum album and first multi-platinum album, as their sales and fame kept increasing (they would, alas, peak with that third album, Raising Hell). Run-D.M.C. changed the way rap sounded, the way it was made, and the way it looked. Rap wouldn't ever be the same.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "The Cave ('Cognito Fiesta Version)"
From the debut album from the Bosstones, which is almost an EP in length. The Bosstones pretty much came out of the gate sounding like they would for the next couple of decades, without too many changes. The songs would get stronger, but the basic structure of the band was all there from the beginning. Dicky Barrett might have sounded a little less gruff. A little.
Screeching Weasel, "I Can See Clearly Now"
Yes, a cover of the oft-covered Johnny Nash song. Yes, snotty punk covers of happpy pop songs are a huge cliche. No, it doesn't stop this from still being fun.
clipping., "True Believer"
I feel like I should be outsourcing this entry to a certain reader/listener who knows who they are. clipping. started as a remix project, moved into rap and became something truly fascinating. As documented several times during this project, I really enjoy when rap intersects with other types of electronic music, and this album showcases many different kinds of sounds, from noise to ambient textures to all kinds of stuff. All accompanying a space opera with the lyrics, leading to one of the truly unique albums in my collection, and a true gem. The world needs more avant garde projects like this one.
Seam, "Stage 2000"
We've encountered Sooyoung Park before with Bitch Magnet, and here he is with his next band. Park decided to go in a bit quieter direction, although there's still plenty of big guitar moments in it. If you're thinking to yourself, geez, this sounds a lot like Superchunk, well...you're right. This album actually featured head 'Chunk Mac McCaughan on drums, although he left the band after this record. And if you're thinking this sounds a fair bit like Slint, well, both bands are part of the extended Squirrel Bait family tree. You're so smart!