Features | Articles

Top 10 Albums My Muggers Should've Stolen

By Scott Reid | 2 July 2008

10. Unbelievable Truth :: Almost Here (1998)

Thom Yorke’s brother’s band, which ten years ago somehow warranted me buying this sub-Travis bore. It comes on slow and unassuming, then gets way too comfortable, way too soon—much like my muggers! Two of them approach me on a park’s narrow pathway, sandwiched between thick trees and the Sackville (hey everyone, welcome to Testicle Town!) river. They say nothing, just stare and block the path, waiting for me to ask what they want. I avoid the bait, and as I start to walk around them, over the boggy soil that soaks in the river’s shit smell, they ask what’s in my backpack. Why, that’s none of their business…

9. Headstones :: Picture of Health (1993)

I didn’t see the six guys sneaking up behind me, and I didn’t get a chance to chat them up after-the-fact, but I think they’d relate to Hugh Dillon whining about a “heart of darkness” that swims in his veins. And something tells me they’d think “God loves me / God loves you / God loved Hitler / and 6 million Jews” is deep, or at least cool because it mentioned Hitler, and these fucks probably think Hitler is right on. Dillon could be their spiritual guide, their Lizard King, all thanks to the guy they left bleeding in the park.

8. Headstones :: Teeth & Tissue (1995)

Ditto, except I have no idea how this one ended up in my collection since Picture had the “Tweeter and the Monkey Man” cover. If these muggers are going to jump me from behind and pin me to the ground to steal the Headstones’ debut, they may as well follow-up chronologically, right? And I know they’d love it: I heard a great story once about Mr. Hard Core Logo himself that I can’t really get into (sorry), but it involves drugs and urinals and getting kicked out of a university party he wasn’t even invited to. Trust me: this guy…this is my muggers’ kind of guy.

7. Lawrence Gowan: …but you can call me Larry (1993)

I only admit to owning this record (uh, twelve year old me was a big fan of “When There’s Time for Love”) because the guy I got this CD from—traded for the Wayne’s World soundtrack —would later, in our graduating year, threaten to kill me by following a plan he’d detailed step-by-step in one of those Hilroy exercise books. He and his cousin had spent “hours” on it, and was promised to include “needles and gasoline and shit.” He’d also later promise to “show up at my place with a baseball bat” if I didn’t buy his Doors boxset for 75 bucks. Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place: I can’t stand the Doors!

So it’s fitting that I could give this schmaltzy adult contemp record back to his community, is what I’m saying.

6. The Doors :: The Doors Boxset (1997)

Cough.

5. Burning Brides :: Leave No Ashes (2004)

Because this record is about everything to the extreme: mindless grunge riffs and song titles (“Alternative Teenage Suicide”) and angsty sloganeering, which they totally could have yelled during their next mugging:

Bubbles-looking asshole mugger (BLAM): “Give me your shit.”
Dude: “No, that’s my shit!”
BLAM: “Oh yeah? There was something holding me back I need to fight it more than ever before, now I’m ready for the attack!
Dude: “…Huh?”
BLAM: “Why do you come to fucking testify? You’ve got wings girl but you’ll never fly! NUH NUH NUH
Dude: “I’m not a gir…”
[Dude gets kicked in the face, has stuff stolen]
BLAM, running away: “Go go ready to go!

4. House of Pain :: Fine Malt Lyrics (1992)

Chet recently made fun of me for owning this record, as if owning this record wasn’t bad enough. The Butch Vig mix of “Shamrocks and Shenanigans” tacked on the end, after the only-reason-anyone-should’ve-bought-this Pete Rock mix of “Jump Around,” would surely get these prick muggers pumped for the next time they pull a knife on a stranger minding his own business and threaten to “gut him” if he doesn’t “hand it over.” BOOM-SHALOCK-LOCKA-BOOM, ev’rybody!

3. The Cure :: Wild Mood Swings (1996)

Maybe, just maybe, that one mugger in the blindingly bright-white jumpsuit, too stupid to realize that people flying overhead could see him picking pockets at night, would hear “Jupiter Crash” and have one of those existential, Drew Barrymore-movie-esque “what am I doing with my life!?” moments as Smith sings “Is this how it feels / Is this how a star falls?”

Though, of course, this would happen well after he got laughed at by a used CD store clerk, who’d offer a dime for the jewel case and point towards a table full of these awful-covered turds. Wild Mood Swings is like the Chucky of shitty ’90s albums, it’s impossible to get rid of; so while Asshole-in-White-Jumpsuit would likely give in, realistically he’d never survive long enough to have his Riding in Cars With Boys epiphany after “Mint Car” melted his brain.

2. Nailbomb :: Proud to Commit Commercial Suicide (1995)

Just the brand of let’s-punch-some-fucking-holes-in-walls noise-metal bollocks that the guy screaming “GIVE ME THE FUCKING BAG I’LL CUT YOU IN PIECES YOU FUCK YOU DON’T MEAN SHIT TO ME” would be thrilled to find in the bottom of my shit-soil stained backpack. Allmusic crows that “Fans of balls-out, no-holds-barred metal will love it.”

1. The Polyphonic Spree :: Together We’re Heavy (2004)

Actually, they did steal this one, it was in my walkman, and the visual of those guys putting it on after a long night of stealing people’s hard-earned shit brought me brief moments of bliss between boots to the face. I imagine “Hold Me Now” blasting out of their stolen stereo and speakers and giddily flash them a bloody smile, like Brad Pitt in Fight Club when “fuckin’ Lou” is pummeling him. They rip my Sony MDR-V6s from my neck and run straight toward a McDonalds across the street. “Hold me now…”