18. Saves the Day, 'Through Being Cool' (1999)
Through Being Cool paired galloping, hardcore-inflected riffs with Chris Conley's signature caterwaul to create songs that would inspire countless nautical star tattoos. While most frontmen couldn't pull off singing about missing their mom ("Shoulder to the Wheel") and metaphorically digging a crush's eyes out with a rusty spoon ("Rocks Tonic Juice Magic"), Conley's knack for writing Weezer-worthy hooks to express his self-consciousness is what makes Through Being Cool more than just an important album, it's a rite of passage. "We recorded it in 11 days. Nine days and then two half-days. And that includes mixing. … To make a record like that today, people think they're rushing, but we were just having a blast," Conley told Alternative Press "[Drummer] Bryan Newman and I looked at each other at one point … and we just realized, 'Hey, this is going to be really good, and we should just take a year off school and just tour.' So, we decided to just go for it because the songs in the studio just sounded so bitchin'." J.B.