52 IN 52

The 52 albums that define my love for music

Week 44/Album 44

Garrison: "Be a Criminal" and "The bend before the break 7""

When: Summer 1999


Having a good friend that tells you about computer stuff as it was happening was great. My buddy John had told me about Napster almost right after it came out, and we went to town. The best part about Napster is that you could type in a genre and it would give you bands to listen to.  One of those bands was Garrison. "Serious Heavy Drama" was the first song I heard that introduced me to "screamo" kinda. Well, they were more post-hardcore and slightly off timing, but I loved it.  The song was released on an EP, that took me forever to find, because "Serious Heavy Drama" was the only song of theirs on Napster.

Where: Sadly, I never saw them. They come out every once and a while, but tend to stay up northeast.  They had a secret show the night I was in NY to see Gameface and Texas is The Reason, but I didnt know until it was too late.  Hopefully they'll make it out again.

Here is the EP, but "Serious" is the first song.

1999 was a weird time in music. Emo kids were screaming. Rock bands were rapping. Everything was a mess. There were a ton of bands popping up almost weekly that were "screamo" and some were really good, but some were also really bad.  Garrison was a great band, but I think they were lumped into the screamo genre, although they were more of a rock band.  In 2000, they released a great full length called "A Mile in Cold Water".  But, in 2001, at a time where almost everything musically coming out was terrible, and my personal life was at the lowest point in my life, Garrison released "Be a criminal" and it helped me get through it all.

"Be a Criminal" is, to me, almost a perfect rock record.  It has elements of everything I love in music.  I have probably listened to this record once a week for the past 12 years. Its in my top 5 of all time, easily.  Plus, the idea of the record is a concept, and I love it. The song names read like sentence, and the artwork is simple, and perfect. I love everything about this record.

Here is "Be a Criminal"