28. Bad Religion, 'Stranger Than Fiction'
As if a major-label deal floating towards a hardcore punk band in their 14th year wasn't unlikely enough, Bad Religion's Stranger Than Fiction somehow united Rancid's Tim Armstrong (he duets on furious lambaste "Television"), Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski (he directed the video for "21st Century [Digital Boy]") , and CHiPs cop Erik Estrada (he cameos in the clip for the hook-filled, sinister "Infected."). Following seven records on guitarist Brett Gurewitz's indie stronghold Epitaph, the Los Angeles veterans released their venomous Atlantic Records debut, a Taser-proof preview for the end time and home of their three highest-charting Modern Rock singles. Even if life is the crummiest book Ph.D.-holding frontman Greg Graffin ever read, he absorbed enough to make these rants feel awfully cathartic. Reed Fischer