For the next 2 years, every Tuesday I will be counting down the 100 Albums that changed my life.
In the late 90’s and early 2000’s I was a bit of a Jesus Freak (this is something which will come up frequently on this list). My favorite of the christian music festivals (possibly because it was the closest festival) was Purple Door. Purple Door was a one day music festival in the Pocono mountains in mid-August, it was there where i first saw some of my favorite bands like Five Iron Frenzy, Relient K, Supertones and Danielson Familie. Almost all the christian bands that I loved then (and still love now) were on Tooth and Nail Records. The label had a merch booth at Purple Door where they did a 5 Albums for $20 sale.
By 2002-2003 I was familiar with only one song by Two Thirty Eight called The Sticks are Woven in the Spokes. It was one of 3 songs I really enjoyed on a comp called What On Earth that Tooth and Nail had just released so I picked up Regulate the Chemicals as one of my 5 albums at their booth.
The next day I put the album on my CD player and could not wrap my head around the album. This sounded unlike anything I had heard at this point in my life. My life had mostly been filled with Punk and Ska but this, was something else. It sounded gritty and rough, the vocals weren’t always sang and when they were there was a crackiness in the vocals as if he was straining. Furthermore the lyrics didn’t make a lot of sense to me, “Indian in your eyes?” “Coin-Laundry Loser?” What did these phrases mean?
Despite my confusion I was hooked. A year later I started going to college and met the people who would continue to be the best friends I know. One day I got into my friend Anthony’s car and he was listening “There is no Dana” and I got excited to find someone else who knew of this strange band. Anthony turned me onto their previous and later albums, while I enjoyed their future releases even more there’s always a special place in my heart for Regulate the Chemicals.
I love how some songs will forever imprint themselves in your brain with certain moments. I listened to this album so much in college that now every time I hear Les Wirth (my favorite twothirtyeight song) I immediately think of the train-tracks I used to drive across on my drive home after class everyday.
This album completely changed my perception of what I wanted a band to sound like. In high school, I wanted to form a band that sounded like Blink 182. Throughout most of college I wanted to be in a band that sounded like Two Thirty Eight. I still can’t play guitar or write lyrics as abstract as Chris Staples, but he certainly inspired me to try.
When he's not blogging you can find Mort either tweeting, recording his podcast, writing for Geekscape or playing acoustic comedy punk. This week on Geekscape he wrote a Guilty Pleasure article defending Friday the 13th Part IV: Jason Lives.