Listening and looking through iTunes and more authentically my album collection I discovered a pattern for many bands that I have followed from their breakthrough debut releases to the present day. These bands came on to the music scene simultaneously while I was developing my taste of music during my younger years. The genres that dominated my IPod back in the day were mainly varied types of metal and rock. The following albums will be recognisable, that’s if you don’t listen to mainstream squalor. The theory I self-label is the ‘First Album Theory’, their debut albums in my opinion being the strongest, most memorable of their careers, before the albums became weaker and less original or where the bands went to conquer another audience.
I’ll start off with the biggest-selling debut album of the 21st Century (contradicting my mainstream slag), Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory, and incidentally my favourite album. I won’t go into describing the sound or the influences as most of you will have heard it, and more importantly I’m no musician or music critic. I was 8 when this was released, and I was playing it full volume and jumping and shouting along to it on my bed immediately. Everytime I listen to it nowadays it has the same effect on me. So skipping the ‘Reanimation’ remix album, Linkin Park released the impressive ‘Meteora’ album but I refuse to listen to what became of their discography afterwards as its Hollywood theming, mainstream rubbish. Millions of dollars accompanied these future records but it still leaves myself and the Hybrid Theory fan club a bitter taste in our mouths. On a personal level, Linkin Park while headlining DOWNLOAD Festival 2014 where they played the entirety of Hybrid Theory as first half of their set, guess where I was… At the front…no. In a moshpit…colder. On the other side of the world unable to go in Australia.. correct. Was not happy at the cruel timing! With the recent tragic news of the death of lead singer Chester Bennington, this dream will not materialise, but more importantly away from my selfish tendencies, we should respect Linkin Park and individually Chester who has now passed on to an improved tranquil, peaceful existence.
Concentrating on the metal scene from the 2000’s, three bands in particular brought incredible debut albums, Parkway Drive with breakdown galore ‘Killing with a Smile’, Bullet for My Valentine with heavy singalong ‘The Poison’, and less known Job For a Cowboy with the crushing technical metal example ‘Genesis.’ I have since bought and collected all the future releases from these artists, and they have been respectfully impressive but still not matching or exceeding those early standards. For me ‘Killing with a Smile’ is one of my highest played albums, and alongside a friend we learned all the lyrics, and the random yet funny quotes the band mixed perfectly into a few tracks. Give it a listen.
Another familiar band to fellow Britons from my generation, will be Enter Shikari. I know they have went and experimented and explored other mix-ups and fused different genres alongside there already original electronic metal set-up, but still ‘Take to the Skies’ remains the stand-out in my opinion. Making myself clear though, I wasn’t one of those morons who clapped during the intro to the most popular song! You know which one, and I bet you still clap to it!
Lastly I’ll conclude on the debut release from Paramore – ‘All We Is Knowing’, a long way from such bands previously mentioned, i.e. Bullet and Job For a Cowboy. Fronted by the beautiful natural redhead Hayley Williams, this album catapulted Paramore to the top of World Rock charts and eventually leading them to gain mainstream success with future discs, even producing the feature for one part of the successful Twilight film series. In comparison, their future albums although exciting and rewarding, still felt they didn’t embrace the heartfelt writing and edginess from ‘All We Is Knowing.’
Finalising: that is my First Album Theory, I’m confident no matter what genres you listen to, it will work with those bands aswell. Maybe the originality, maybe line-up changes may influence, many factors may make reasoning for this link, but take nothing away from the bands listed as they still remain among my favourites to this day.