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Albums That Changed My Life: Man Overboard

With today marking the release of their stunning new self-titled album, we reached out to our good friends in Man Overboard to be a part of this week's "Albums That Changed My Life" feature and this is what the New Jersey pop-punk outfit came back with....

Justin Collier (guitar)

The Explosion - Flash Flash Flash

'Flash Flash Flash' is an album that I love because it's over before it's really begun. Every song has at least one of those parts that you love and can't get enough of but for the most part, you only get it once in the song. You have to listen to each track multiple times to get your fill of it and when you reach the end of the record you are ready to start all over again. Unlike most watered down music today, this record doesn't give you everything you want.

'Flash Flash Flash' as well as The Explosion's other early releases, their S/T EP, the 'Steal This' EP and the 'Sick Of Modern Art' EP came to me at a time when I was young and looking for something new. The band played Philadelphia quite a bit and was the first show I saw at the First Unitarian Church (the best punk venue in the world) along side Cave In, Paint It Black and Faux. Although The Explosion started out on 'Jadetree', one of the best punk/indie/emo/hardcore/everything you'll ever need labels of all time (wikipedia if you aren't familiar) and went on to sign to Virgin Records and experience the major label destruction path that is pretty common for punk bands (besides Green Day and Rise Against) they did run their own label for a time, Tarantulas Records.

Tarantulas was a pretty sweet label that released stuff not only for the Explosion but early stuff for The Bronx and some other cool bands. Everything was limited and screen printed and special.... this is one factor that lead me to create Lost Tape Collective with Man Overboard. A band that I loved, releasing music for bands that they love.

All in all, 'Flash Flash Flash' is a record that brings me back to the time when I realllllly discovered punk rock and the Philadelphia punk scene. It's 14 songs in 27 minutes. It's 14 songs you'll have to listen to twice. It's 14 songs that changed my life.

Nik Bruzzese (vocals/bass)

Oskar - Idle Will Kill

Its not often I get asked what my favorite record is and how it changed my life, so excuse me if I ramble on. Its really hard to pick one album and band but now that I'm on the spot, I'm going with Osker - 'Idle will Kill'. I remember first hearing about the band through the 'Punk-O-Rama' CDs and then getting further into them and picking up that record, and boy, did it fuck me up. I almost got the sense that this dude hated being in a band and the songs were super sad but it made me wanna live this even more. This band basically said whatever they wanted and didn't apologize for it. This records solidifies Osker's intention not to fit the mold of being just another punk, or anything else for that matter. There are no extremes on 'Idle Will Kill,' just pure sincerity.

Wayne Wildrick (guitar)

AFI - Sing The Sorrow

As a musician, 'Sing The Sorrow' has had more of an impact on me than any album I have ever owned. If we were talking about my favorite AFI album, I would be writing about 'Black Sails In The Sunset,' but there was a theatrical aspect to 'Sing The Sorrow' that, to this day, still seems larger than life. For me, it was a journey, and my ears could not get enough of it.

During the making of 'Sing The Sorrow' I would follow all of the studio updates. This was the first time I ever saw "behind the scenes" of recording a real album. Hearing Jade (Puget, guitar) talk about guitar tones and shaping his own sound was something that really hit home with me. I was always super critical growing up when it came to the sonic aspect of albums. I hated monstrous guitar tones, and everyone seemed to think if you cranked a rectifier, your band was heavy, but Jade proved that this wasn't the case. From the first track on the album, you hear the strings, the notes, the clarity. This was the first time it clicked for me that it's not in the amp, it's how you play that truly carries the dynamics of the song. It's such a simple concept, but even today I don't think kids truly get it. Generic double bass break downs might be heavy, but it's not HARD. I was always fixated on the detail of the album. Burying guitar leads for texture instead of having everything in your face, this helped me understand what true musicianship entailed.

There are so many different sounds on this record, and still to this day I continue to learn from it. My approach to writing music and analyzing it is forever changed because of this album. Since 'Sing The Sorrow' onward, AFI has raised the bar when it comes to true songwriting and musicianship - the humbleness of each member, playing what part fits best, stepping out of the traditional hardcore writing style, using other influences and challenging themselves. To me, that is what hardcore is all about.

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