This week's "Albums That Changed My Life" contributor is Michael Kennedy of The Wonder Years!
The band recently announced they will be touring in the fall supporting Yellowcard across the country alongside We Are The In Crowd. Dates can be found here.
Thursday - Full Collapse
My first favorite band, my first tattoo, the first (and only?) record I learned front to back on drums, this is the big one for me. I remember when I first heard "How Long Is the Night?" and thinking A) this is the greatest ending to a song that I could ever imagine, and B), that is what a complete Record sounds like. Up until that point I viewed CD's as just a bunch of songs recorded at, presumably, the same time. Full Collapse taught me what to look for in the future. On top of all that, to this day Tucker Rule is my favorite drummer, hands down. No single drummer, band, or record has meant more to me.
When I first heard Hatebreed's "Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire", I was all like "hell fuckin yeah, this is the answer to my prayers" and I moshed (read: push pitted) in my bedroom. I was elated, yet eventually dissatisfied. The lyrics were just a little bit to tough for my suburban 9th grade self. When I first heard the song "All In A Year" on my friend's Facedown records sampler after marching band practice I was like "Whatttt, I can have the heavy and relatable lyrics? Thank you hxc lords from above!!" and it was so. This record had everything I could have wanted from a punk record and was my doorway into hardcore.
The Early November - For All Of This
I am a highly sensitive man at 24. If you extrapolate backwards you can probably guess that I was a mess in high school. Ace Enders got my struggle and helped me on my teenage journey of emotional discovery. Every song on this record fit perfectly into a little niche of my life movie during those formative years and are still in my mind when I look back. Few songs in this word give me a stronger, more viscerally joyful reaction than "All We Ever Needed". While some bands and records have floated away from me as I've gotten older and been replaced by weird angry folk punk or that "Walk The Moon" single, this simple and beautiful record has stayed beside me. Considering we just toured with this band I probably shouldn't be such a sap...but uh...yeah.
I was gifted the edited version of this record by my cooler, more X Games friendly neighbor for Christmas when we were in 6th grade. I was blown away. Up until "EOTS" I was listening to Ace of Bass, MJ, and the Starship Troopers soundtrack, I had no idea you were allowed to sing about rad shit like aliens and bike seats being uncomfortable. From the totally accessible guitars, bass and lyrics to the wildly inaccessible drumming, this record was everything my life needed at the time. Strangely enough, due to a transcription in Modern Drummer, "Adam's Song" was the first song I ever learned note for note on drums. I still listen to the edited version.