Part 2 of the Top 20 Greatest Underground Debuts. View Part 1 here.
15. The Lawrence Arms - Guided Tour of Chicago - Even though Brendan Kelly dominates the vocals entirely on TLA's first album, Guided Tour of Chicago introduced a driving power in contemporary punk rock. Follow-up albums would highlight more of Chris McCaughan's gentler sensibilities, but GTOC was a force unto itself and a fan favorite.
14. Primus - Frizzle Fry - A few years after his audition for and subsequent rejection from Metallica, Les Claypool took James Hetfield's advice and started his own band. There is no doubt in my mind that Primus was ultimately more important and unique to the scene than Metallica has ever been. Frizzle Fry debuted Claypool's unique vocal and bass style, provoking an immediate underground following.
13. Rancid - Rancid - What can I say about Rancid? They seem to be the luckiest punk band in the history of punk bands. It's hard to put my finger on what exactly it is that makes Rancid so good and even more difficult for me to locate what makes them more marketable than other punk rockers. But they made themselves into an incredibly influential part of the scene, and their self-titled debut still rings true today. Even if Tim Armstrong thinks he's a rock star. Track from B Sides and C Sides.
12. Thursday - Waiting - Post-hardcore had no idea these guys were coming. Thursday's debut was a wall of sound that displayed a little of their now signature darkness alongside some more upbeat tracks. Thursday is still on top of the genre today and will drop Common Existence on February 17. Track from Full Collapse.
11. Circa Survive - Juturna - Following his departure from Saosin, Anthony Green's next project blossomed into Circa Survive, a melancholy, atmospheric, and emotive collective. Juturna did well in defining the band's signature sound, rocking slow, powerful pop masterpieces. After a few years and another full length release, Juturna is still an essential album for underground enthusiasts.