In a new series, entitled 100 Albums You Might Have Missed, the Merchants of Rock peruse the last decade to showcase great albums that fell below the mainstream rock radar. Ten solid albums each year that may have been overlooked once but surely deserve a second chance.

In this first installment, we look at the year 2000. Be sure to check out the playlist at the bottom of the page with one song from each of these albums.


Vroom – Throws Like a Girl

Released: April, 2000

An energetic and spirited rock album put out by three friends from Liberty University. The trio put out three full albums (this is the second) and one EP until the band dissolved around 2004. Vroom’s sound is textbook indie rock with power-chords a plenty and coming-of-age themes ranging from alienation, faith and of course, break-ups. The production value is surprisingly good for a “college band” and proof that good music does exist out there, you just have to know where to look.



Jimmy Page & The Black Crowes – Live at the Greek

Released: February, 2000

This hard-rockin’ high-powered double live album features guitar god Jimmy Page teaming up with the Black Crowes during a two-night performance at the Greek Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. Most of the material consists of driving Zeppelin classics with several vintage blues tunes such as “Shake Your Moneymaker” and “Mellow Down Easy” scattered about. A riot of a good time that truly belongs in any rock fan’s live collection.



Elliot Smith – Figure 8

Released: April, 2000

A much more polished album compared to Smith’s prevous releases help to balance the somber tones Smith is known for. This results in some real winners such as the rather upbeat tracks “Son of Sam” and “LA” as well as the highly melodic “Junk Bond Trader”. Smith has referenced the title in relation to the Schoolhouse Rock cartoon which depicted the “image of a skater going in this endless twisted circle that doesn’t have any real endpoint.” This was the last album Elliott Smith released before he died in 2003, and while it might not have been his personal best it certainly has its merits.


Ween – White Pepper

Released: May, 2000

Probably Ween’s least “out-there” album, and not coincidently my personal favorite from the group. With that being said, the album still has that bizarre touch that is decidedly Ween. White Pepper runs the gamut of styles, showcasing the band’s unique ability to play pretty much any genre they feel like playing. In the end, the album is full of personality and top notch pop tunes.




The White Stripes – De Stijl

Released: June, 2000

Released a year before the band’s widespread commercial success of White Blood Cells, De Stijl is a great example of what the White Stripes are all about. The record showcases the band’s minimalist sound firing on all cylinders. Jack White’s raw punk meets blues guitar is all over this record, setting a high standard for the level of work he keeps up ten years later.




Juliana Theory – Emotion is Dead

Released: August, 2000

The second album from Pennsylvania-natives The Juliana Theory which helped them rise a little above the sea of emo-rock bands starting to emerge. Their pop-power riffs and catchy hooks result in some real anthems that lead singer Bret Detar delivers without flinching and there is enough heavy guitar presence to give them some credibility. The album is a mixed bag of piano-based love songs, screaming punk and epic rock ballads. There is a craftsmanship (and a showmanship) to this band that should not go unnoticed.


Jets to Brazil – Four Cornered Night

Released: August, 2000

Based out of Brooklyn, NY, Jets to Brazil shows a softer side of former Jawbreaker frontman Blake Schwarzenbach. Leaving behind the hardcore punk base of Jawbreaker, Jets to Brazil is a much sappier, yet accessible rock sound. Four Cornered Night is the band’s second release, their first being 1998’s Orange Rhyming Dictionary. The band broke up less than a year after the release of their third album, 2002’s Perfecting Loneliness. With a melodramatic rock style covering a wide range of topics, this album is the band’s most artistic and personal venture. But with greater risks come greater rewards.


Phoenix – United

Released: September, 2000

The debut album from French pop powerhouse Phoenix. While the band didn’t catch the ear of the mainstream until 2008′s undeniably catchy Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, they have been turning out catchy tunes for the better part of the decade.





Kent – Hagnesta Hill

Released: April, 2000

The last album recorded in English by Swedish rock band, Kent, due to a lack of breakout success in the UK and America. It’s a real shame because these guys have such a unique sound blending elements of indie rock, dance and face-melting guitar greatness. Lead singer, Joakim Berg’s melancholy falsetto style works perfectly during quiet ballads like “Kevlar Soul” but still brings down the house for driving anthems like “Revolt III”. It’s a great album packed full of solid rocking tunes. And if you’re feeling real brave be sure to check out the Swedish version as well.


The Jealous Sound – The Jealous Sound EP

Released: September, 2000

While a five song EP is technically not a full album, this little gem offers a highly concentrated dose of indie pop-rock perfection. There is no filler just an energetic and rockin’ collection of tunes courtesy of former Knapsack frontman Blair Shehan and the rest of his L.A. band-mates. As lead guitarist, writer and singer it’s clearly Shehan’s show and that’s fine. The songs offer enough diversity in pace and style to keep you interested and ensure its value as a repeat.



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