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Ten Underrated Sire Records Albums You Need To Revisit Before Wildfire Season Hits and Consumes Us All

Ramones. That’s the tweet. Sire Records formed almost sixty, yes, SIXTY years ago and is still active! Wow, what a difference! Anyway, we attempt to list the ten most underrated Sire Records albums in alphabetical order for your verbal and strangely unique pleasure. No bands are included that are, as they say in WWE, “over,” but you miscreants and general practitioners may deem some “overrated”; that is your prerogative. If you’re reading this out loud, you’re strange but you likely know of Sire’s “punk rock cred,” despite and in spite of the fact that they were acquired by a major label that rhymes with “Forner.” Dead boys talk about heads, so don’t echo the singular bunnyman, and not “men,” no no no. Basically, the kids are united AND divided, and should all kiss roses in Batman movies with Sunny Day Real Estate.

Armor For Sleep “Smile For Them” (2007)

Even though this is the band’s worst album, it is still better than your middle school band’s EP that caused literally no one to smile for them. The band’s lone major label effort may have been divisive with their fan base, but as the kids say, there are lots of bops on it, including the stadium soundtrack banger known as “End of the World”. Apparently this album took a lot of trials, errors, more trials, and tribulations to create, but machines are meant to be broken… and easily fixed by Armor For Sleep. The guitars that sound like spaceships epically open the album with its next best song, the almost title track, “Smile for the Camera”; Rick Moranis should and would be proud.

Belly “Star” (1993)

Rhode Island rarely gets repped publicly but the state does produce very fine bands, one of them being Belly. What do you get when you add one breeder to the hysteria laden main character in Charlton Heston’s epic non-sarcastically awesome “The Ten Commandments”? Well, you can acquire a nice helping of Tanya Donelly, a colorful letter “L” and numbered “7” Greenwood, a soon to be exiting Abong, and a few freaking Gormans high and low. Lavender purple syrup is sweet AF, but low red moons are savory for the kids… Belly even shows a white belly untogether here! Whatever folks, just stay in that sad dress.

Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows “D.R.U.G.S.” (2011)

We are not going to go into the lore as to why many believe this record came and went quickly, but it’s impossible to deny that this full-length studio album is an almost perfect mall screamo LP, and we aren’t taking any more questions on the matter. Mr. Owel, Craig Owens, may be back in Chiodos now, but this project came in the wake of his firing, and while he sure showed ‘em that he could exist sans the other 175 members of Chiodos, sadly there wasn’t any staying power with the illicit substances rock and roll/Warped Tour supergroup which then included members of Matchbook Romance, Underminded, From First To Last, and Story of the Year. Thankfully drugs are back, and thankfully they’re bad for you.

Eisley “The Valley” (2011)

Scene-adjacent band Eisley rival some of the best in the biz with their exceptional harmonies and melodic sensibilities, but for one reason or more, the band and this album (“The Valley”) in particular didn’t break through the mainstream; sad. We wish that better love and general kind behavior was spread globally via Eisley’s tunes, but we know that Haley Joel Osment digs the band, so we guess that that is enough. By the way, that is not a joke despite being on brand. So take back Sunday, say anything that your heart desires, and your new found glory will send an ambulance to one in need. Also, despite what you may think, Eisley is NOT a Christian band but they ARE both Christian and “Star Wars” aficionados, which makes a lot of sense as Jesus and a storm trooper have a lot in common besides the obvious; duh, dorks.

Foxy Shazam “Self-Titled” (2010)

The frenetic and fun warriors known as Foxy Shazam combined Queen and The Venetia Fair in an extremely glorious way, and created one of the better self-titled albums of all time. Opening with a dog barking and a few vibrant spoken words is quite “the” move, but Foxy Shazam likes to make you move it move it, they like to move it move it. Producer John Feldmann is known more for bands like The Used, 5 Seconds of Summer, Goldfinger, and Tevye’s solo EP post-“Fiddler on the Roof” than FS and we’re here to change that stat! Plus, the fact that “Unstoppable” isn’t played during the NBA Finals is a travesty and so our evil thoughts blame the suits! FYI: The album’s sequel “The Church Of Rock And Roll” owns too, but it wasn’t a Sire Records LP.

Harvey Danger “King James Version” (2000)

Most people who are neither sick nor well know Harvey Danger’s megahit “Flagpole Sitta,” but it’s rare to read a publication as prestigious as ours namecheck the band’s biblical LP “King James Version.” If you like your ‘90s alt rock with a nugget of New York Dolls swagger, this LP is for you, and if you don’t, what the hell are you doing here and where have all the merrymakers gone? Seattle should eternally be proud of the danger for their authenticity, loyalty buildings, underground musings of missing the point completely and 1997’s Carlotta Valdez. Most slept on this release, and that’s silly like a silly Sally as it wakes us up every Thursday morning to notify our household that street sweeping is occurring at 8 a.m. till 10 a.m.; don’t get a ticket, fools, and move that ish. It’s just the same as being in love.

Hot Hot Heat “Elevator” (2005)

No jokes – fact: The tune “Bandages” may have introduced you, me, and everyone we know to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada’s Hot Hot Heat, but “Elevator,” HHH’s major label debut and first of two LPs for Sire Records, is just so much better as a whole, and even people in the middle of nowhere wholeheartedly agree unless they don’t. Hot Hot Heat formed in 1999 and over the course of the next seventeen years released five consistently awesome full-lengths but none as solid as “Elevator”; Steven Tyler would be proud even without the love and the hairspray. You are my only girl but you’re not my only is a thing of the past and “Elevator” is as well, but it’s also for the children and the future.

Less Than Jake “In With The Out Crowd”

There was a time during the aughts when ska bands legally had to put down their horns or they’d face the wrath of the general public/private investors and few did it as well as Less Than Jake did it on “In With The Out Crowd”. Sadly, most LTJ super fans and regular pedestrians did not agree… We are here to change that, as “In With The Out Crowd” could never be an overrated LP to anyone anywhere anytime! Unless Less Than Jake was granted permission to be released from their contract, this album, the band’s second of two major label releases for Sire, is likely what got the band dropped. Fun fact: The band released their two crowd favorite LPs, “Losing Streak” and “Hello Rockview” via Capitol Records the century prior, so like Jimmy Eat World, Capitol had ‘em in the ‘90s, and another conglomerate did in the ‘00s.

The Spill Canvas “No Really, I’m Fine” (2007)

Maybe the most successful release here, Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s The Spill Canvas’ best LP “No Really, I’m Fine” did well whilst maintaining permanent underrated status. Appearing on the Billboard 200 is a badass stat for any band, but we still are saddened that “No Really, I’m Fine” debuted at a paltry meh 143 on said chart, and left quickly after. Still, the band likely plays several songs from this record at every show. Mainstream non-scene acts like Switchfoot and Goo Goo Dolls took TSC on tour a few years after this dropped, and if that doesn’t dare you to move with Iris, we don’t know what will! Dig into the band’s catalog for all of the feels, including curling yourself into a ball in the corner of your bedroom, and attempt to smile (for them).

The Von Bondies “Pawn Shoppe Heart” (2004)

Jack White’s wrath… That’s the tweet!