He Said She Said: Albums From the Past Decade of Our Lives

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When this decade began, He Said was but 15 years old, bored, jobless and chubby. It ends with him 26, overworked, overstimulated and chasing away his self-imposed demons with too much of everything and too little of most things. But the one constant has been the power of music to lead him out of the proverbial wilderness.

It's weird to think that the 2000s were our first full decade of total awareness. The first decade and a half were wasted on learning to walk, write, read, drive and get rejected by prissy junior-high chicks. The last decade is the first one we can now look back on with a view that isn't colored by our parents or mainstream pop culture.

This decade saw He Said's ears go through erratic changes from month to month, with his tastes seemingly changing every minute from hip-hop, street punk and Oi!, heavy metal, '77-style punk, garage, classic country, noise, doom and proto-punk. There was never a dull moment, seeing that He Said came of age at a time when the Internet was bursting at the seams with new and old sounds for him to get his downloading mitts on.

2000: At The Drive-In, Relationship Of Command

From the first salvo of the drums on At The Drive-In's breakthrough release on Grand Royal, we instantly found ourselves in a foreign land of afros, manic guitars, and multi-syllabic rantings on murder and decay. This all led to us discovering the MC5 and the Stooges over the winter break from school and broke our mental cherry. Everything else before seemed slow, plodding, and without purpose. He Said still puts this album on full blast whenever the coffee or Red Bull doesn't quite do the trick. Try it for yourself.

2001: The Strokes, Is This It?

Oh, you mean that we can like music that's not about working-class ethics and smashing the state? The Strokes' first album came into our lives right after high school graduation and injected us with a dose of slacker cool that wasn't missing from the Oi! and street-punk that was happily polluting our personal airwaves. The hair started growing out and the clothes starting getting sloppier and tighter and we met Lady Whiskey. Thanks, Julian.

2002: Queens Of The Stone Age, Songs For The Deaf

Other than the next album in this list, He Said cannot think of another release that came into his life this past decade that meant more to him at the exact perfect time. We even got the front logo tattooed on the back of our arm. From the first ten seconds in, when you hear the car door slam and the engine start up, we were hooked and booked. QOTSA released two other albums after Deaf (so far); both moved him, but not in the way that this sexy bitch still does.

2003: Turbonegro, Scandinavian Leather

For He Said, the mark of a great album has been that point while you are listening that you feel at home. You look around at your surroundings and say, "I could stay here awhile, maybe even get the lead singers face tattooed on my forearm and start wearing obscene amounts of denim." Turbonegro's comeback album was that album for us, when we finally found a skin we could be comfortable and empowered in.

We understand that's strange, seeing that our favorite song on the album is titled "Wipe It Till It Bleeds." The album even helped us name our first official blog excursion for the Houston Press with the song "Drenched In Blood (D.I.B)."

2004: Eagles Of Death Metal, Peace Love and Death Metal

There are points in a mans life when he fully accepts his masculinity not as some sort of fratty birthright, but as an actual weapon. For He Said, Peace Love and Death Metal was the first album where he could give a good Little Richard howl out into the ether and let his ass shake for better or worse. He's never found a girl who could keep up with the rhythm and filth of EODM's output, but keeps looking anyway.

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