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Top 100 Tooth & Nail Albums of All Time



  • Abandoned Pools - Sublime Currency
    Sublime Currency is a sublime gem of a record from Abandoned Pools. It's a splendid showcase of the whimsical and the melancholic and features one of my personal favourite songs of all-time, the absolutely stunning "Autopilot." - Lucas Munachen

  • Ace Troubleshooter - Ace Troubleshooter
    This is the first album in Ace Troubleshooter’s Tooth & Nail hat trick. It’s hard to pick between their three releases, but when I want to listen to some Ace, this is usually my go-to. These guys added to the wonderful pop punk sound of the day, and they have a nice, cozy spot in my heart thanks to tracks like “Tonight,” “My Way,” and “1 Corinthians 13.” - Scott Fryberger

  • Anberlin - Blueprints for the Black Market
    Nobody will ever say it's Anberlin's best album, but it might be the most nostalgic for me. It's rough around the edges and occasionally ridiculous ("Foreign Language," anyone?), but there are quite a few early flashes of the greatness yet to come. There's a lot to love, from "Readyfuels" to "Naive Orleans," to the surprisingly excellent cover of "Love Song." - Timothy Estabrooks

  • Anchor & Braille - Songs for the Late Night Drive Home
    While Stephen Christian's solo side project has taken on several different shapes across its three albums, Songs for the Late Night Drive Home may be the artist's catchiest and most accessible of the trio. And despite being a little too mellow for the titular "late night drive home" (after all, you don't want to be lulled to sleep behind the wheel), it's a fun electronic pop album full of memorable tracks like "Keep Dancin'," "Live Fast. Die Young.," opener "Watch It Burn," "Nightfall," and the closer, "Still Looking." - John DiBiase

  • Artifex Pereo - Time In Place
    There wasn’t necessarily a great amount of new albums that made their way onto the top 100 list, but out of all of Tooth & Nail’s newer signees, Artifex Pereo might be the one with the most exciting potential. They showed up swinging with their label debut Time in Place, which displays the Louisville band’s proggy take on post-hardcore. Each member of the band is a virtuoso at his instrument, including lead singer Lucas Worley, who can fly through vocal runs and intricate melodies with a dexterity that’s far more common to see in R&B than in scenester rock. The greatest complaint I can level against this strong debut is that many of the songs become indistinct -- it might be proggy to a fault -- and yet, four years after the fact, it’s all shockingly memorable and still a super fun ride. - Chase Tremaine

  • As Cities Burn - Hell or High Water
    It may be the red-headed stepchild of the band's discography, but I've always appreciated the straightforward approach of Hell or High Water. For a band essentially in the middle of breaking up, it's impressive As Cities Burn were still able to produce such a great album. It's worth listening to even if only for the incredible guitar outro of "Pirate Blues," but that's hardly the only highlight. - Timothy Estabrooks

  • August Burns Red - Leveler
    It's actually quite shocking that nothing from August Burns Red made this list. While I'm not the biggest fan of the entire body of work, their talent and impact is undeniable. My favorite from the band is absolutely Sleddin' Hill, but Leveler is what made me finally pay attention to ABR. The heavy "Empires," Latin-infused "Internal Cannon," and that super chill, but great sounding interlude in "Carpe Diem" made a lot of people take notice of what Jake Luhrs has to offer vocally and the true talent of the musicians. Leveler is definitely worthy of remembrance when looking through the T&N/Solid State discography. - Michael Weaver

  • The Brothers Martin - The Brothers Martin
    It's nothing short of phenomenal that two of the biggest, most legendary names in Tooth & Nail's history are brothers, both of whom have put out more music than most other artists would ever dream of putting out. When these brothers, Jason and Ronnie Martin (Starflyer 59 and Joy Electric, respectively) came together once again in 2007, The Brothers Martin released a terrific album that perfectly blended the ridiculously different sounds of their respective projects. "The Missionary" ended up in the pilot episode of one of my favorite TV shows, Chuck, which was a real treat to hear. - Scott Fryberger

  • Calibretto 13 - Adventures In Tokyo
    I randomly heard these guys at Creation Festival one year, and when they played "Hollywood (Is Burning Down)," I immediately went and bought this album (and that is still one of my favorite songs of all time). This record continues the tradition of their previous album, Enter the Danger Brigade, with its hilarious songwriting and scathing rebuke of culture, but with a more polished recording and matured aggression. This album is probably most notable for its unique blend of folk punk and surf rock, as well as having several lyrics that sound like cuss words, but actually aren't! - Russ Shipp, Rusty Shipp

  • Capital Lights - This Is An Outrage!
    This is an outrage! A best-of Tooth & Nail list without Capital Lights is worth as much as a counterfeit dollar. Like Frank Morris escaping Alcatraz, this amazing album somehow managed to slip under the radar. If you're reading this, Tooth & Nail, Capital Lights needs to make a return. Work it out! - Noah Hardwick, Indie Vision Music

  • Crash Rickshaw - Crash Rickshaw
    When Crash Rickshaw was announced as a Project 86 side project, fans were more than excited. Then the album seemed to be panned among fans and critics alike, possibly for not being exactly what they expected. I disagree with the bad reviews, however, and find Crash Rickshaw’s self-titled album to be a highly enjoyable punk rock album. If you haven’t listened in a while, it might be time to revisit it. - Scott Fryberger

  • The Cross Movement - Holy Culture
    The Cross Movement is the epitome of Christian hip hop. Younger Christian hip hop fans might not be as familiar (or familiar at all), but these guys helped bring hip hop into the Christian music market as a viable tool for ministering the Gospel as well as helping the Church understand that rap has its place. Holy Culture is a huge album in that regard, with classic CM cuts like “When I Flow (It’s Gospel),” “In Not Of,” “Cry No More,” and “Start Somethin’.” - Scott Fryberger

  • Danielson Famile - Tri-Danielson!!! (Alpha)
    Danielson Famile is one of the strangest bands to ever surface on the Tooth & Nail label, but their album, Tri-Danielson!!! (Alpha) is one that always stood out. It's the first part of a two-album set and features one of the most classic Danielson songs: "Rubbernecker," which was recently revisited on Steve Taylor and the Danielson Foil's live album, Wow to the Liveness. My all-time favorite Danielson song, "Potty Mouth," is also included in this wacky set of songs. - Michael Weaver

  • The Deadlines - The Death and Life of...
    While The Deadlines' second album was certainly more polished, their horror punk debut was so much more fun. The persona was creepy and the eerie keyboards (provided by "The Creature" -- aka Brent Salo) in the songs helped to sell the music as such, too. "Go Go to the Graveyard" and the entire track listing are great for any Halloween party. - Michael Weaver

  • Emery - The Weak's End
    This was basically number 101 in the overall top 100 and it hurt to see The Weak's End miss this list of Tooth & Nail greats. I certainly get arguments for The Question and/or ...In Shallow Seas We Sail as better albums, but the debut Emery album has stayed with me all of these years. Songs like "Walls," "The Ponytail Parades," and "The Note From Which A Chord Is Built" still bring a smile to my face like few others. - Michael Weaver

  • Fair - Disappearing World
    Acclaimed producer and music-maker Aaron Sprinkle has worn many hats over the past couple of decades, including fronting an indie rock band called Fair. 2010's Disappearing World may be one of Sprinkle's most catchy and accessible projects to date, trading in some of the band's indie edge for a decidedly more pop rock approach. Coupled with thoughtful, relationship-based themes ("Anymore" is especially a heartbreaker), Disappearing World is easily one of my favorite albums the label has ever released. - John DiBiase

  • Falling Up - Captiva
    Falling Up’s third studio release, Captiva, served as a crucial bridge between the two radically different sides of the band’s discography. The first half represented a more mellow and mainstream offering, while the second half delivered ethereal lyrics and more experimental sounds. More than a decade after its initial release, the Aaron Sprinkle-produced album has aged incredibly well and still has much to offer new listeners. - David Craft

  • Family Force 5 - Dance or Die
    For FF5’s second full length offering, they jumped from Gotee to Tooth & Nail. Many FF5 fans regard this as the peak for the band. - Gabriel Jones, The Decent Christian Talk Podcast

  • Fanmail - The Latest Craze
    Fanmail was a punk rock Tooth & Nail super group featuring members of Plankeye (Scott Silletta), Ninety Pound Wuss (Dale Yob), and Value Pac (Jason Feltman). The Latest Craze was their first full-length album and made jokes in the lyrics ("Rock and Roll Star"), album art, and band name about their "popularity." While the album isn't overly serious, "Messed Up" takes a look at real feelings after a breakup, "Lame" talks about God's love and asks, "Where can I go that's too far from You?" and "Wonderful Punches" discovers that the challenges and hard times in life bring us closer to God. Fanmail was a short-lived, but really fun band to listen to and remember. - Michael Weaver

  • The Fold - Secrets Keep You Sick
    Fast pop rock band The Fold (who have found their biggest success by penning the theme to LEGO's Ninjago series), released arguably their catchiest and most memorable album in 2007 with Secrets Keep You Sick. From the ridiculously infectious opener, "Medicine," to highlights like "Down In Doubt and Living Without," "Your Secrets Keep You Sick," and the emotional closer, "Revisited," there's a lot to love about this record. Thematically, it's a bit weighty, as it addresses the loss of family and loved ones throughout ("Revisited" addresses vocalist Dan Castady's friend who had committed suicide, while "Closer" and "Beside You Now" are about the loss of his mother through his Father's perspective). It's still a solid listen some 11 years later. (I mean..."Medicine"...c'mon!) - John DiBiase

  • Fold Zandura - Ultraforever
    Fold Zandura's 1997 album Ultraforever is an album I lobbied for pretty hard in the earlier phases of this list. After Mortal broke up, Jyro Xahn started Fold Zandura as a rock band that blended rock and electronic elements perfectly. Ultraforever is a fantastic album. "Please Believe" is an absolute favorite, but the harder rocking "Wencarla" is another solid contender. If you think you'd enjoy a sound similar to Oasis with some electronica added in, you should give Ultraforever a listen now! - Michael Weaver

  • Hangnail - Facing Changes
    When I was first discovering the pop punk delicacies that the Christian music world had to offer, “All That You Wanted” played a big part in my discovery. Facing Changes is easily my favorite of Hangnail's discography, but you can’t really go wrong with any of their albums (including the finally-released live album that you can get for free from Indie Vision Music). - Scott Fryberger

  • Havalina Rail Co. - The Diamond in the Fish
    You have to hand it to Tooth & Nail founder Brandon Ebel -- he found alternative bands that were simply not on the radar of any record company of the day. Case in point, Havalina Rail Co. The Diamond in the Fish (a reference to a miracle Jesus performed) was so "alternative" that its sound went back fifty years to the days of bebop and cool jazz; of hep cats and fedoras. The vintage sounds here are like a soundtrack for the coolest spy movie that was never made. And it predated the swing revival that would hit America a few years later. The horns and slow grooves Havalina produced still sound great today, and are still the soundtrack for many of my Friday nights out on the town. - Alex Caldwell

  • Hawk Nelson - Letters to the President
    Hawk Nelson was one of Tooth & Nail's last true pop punk bands. While you could argue that songwriting got better as the [original] band progressed, something about Letters to the President still sticks with me today. While it's sad to see that Hawk Nelson missed the top 100 completely, they definitely deserve to be mentioned with the important albums in Tooth & Nail's history -- especially as they serve as the end of an era. - Michael Weaver

  • Ivoryline - Vessels
    There's something really special about this album. Pairing fantastic, underrated lead vocals that could rival Kevin Max with a mix of spiritually bold, convicting lyrics and hard-hitting rock music, Ivoryline seemed to play to all of their strengths beautifully on Vessels. It's a spiritually rich album that even serves as worship music at times, without all of the usual tropes that come with the genre. Vessels still sounds great today and comes highly recommended. Check out "The Healing," "Instincts," "Hearts Open," "Naked," and "Walking Dead." - John DiBiase

  • Jonezetta - Popularity
    Shh-dun-shh-kat. Boots&cats&boots&cats. You probably know exactly which dancy drum beat I’m referring to. It’s nearly the simplest beat in the history of pop and disco, and it’s been a crutch to many bands when they’ve aspired to do something fun or catchy. Often, it comes across as cheesy and uninspired instead. So it’s absolutely insane that Jonezetta would use that beat as the rhythmic backbone to nearly every song on this impossibly great debut, Popularity. Jonezetta were ahead of their time on this record, and they would evolve unfortunately quickly into a more mature act on its follow-up, Cruel To Be Young. Here, the band were geniuses at making songs that could function both as party songs and as thoughtful, complex rockers. The concoction of dance beats, jagged guitar riffs, and indie-pop melodies was brilliant. To date, the title track boasts one of my all-time favorite guitar riffs, and “The City We Live In” is a rare example of melodic perfection. This album was really something special, and if I’d made this top 100 list by myself, Popularity would have had an easy slot in the top five. - Chase Tremaine

  • Joy Electric - Christian Songs
    Joy Electric is a band I saw several commentors wish to see in the top 100. There was a serious discussion about Ronnie Martin and Joy Electric and their meaning to the label, but in the end they were a little too niche to make the final cut. While I'm not a big fan, I got some enjoyment out of Christian Songs back in the day, and I still own the record. "The Voice of the Young," "Children of the Lord," and "True Harmony" are certainly great reminders of the sugary sweet electronic sound of Joy Electric. - Michael Weaver

  • Joy Electric - Robot Rock
    Robot Rock is aptly named. This wondrous bit of synthesizer joy has an early rock and roll vibe, like if Buddy Holly or Elvis was visited from the future and given a moog keyboard instead of a guitar. There is a rock heartbeat in these plastic rhythms, and you have to give Ronnie Martin (brother of Starflyer 59 frontman Jason Martin) full credit for dedicating himself to a sound and an aesthetic so fully. He's a musical "method actor" here (with faux British accent fully in place) and his artistic vision was one that he has seen through fully for more than twenty-five years. There was no heavy metal or classic rock phase for Joy Electric. It's all monosynths and programmed beats all the time. And there's a particular sort of genius to that. - Alex Caldwell

  • The Juliana Theory - Understand This Is A Dream
    The first record from these emotion legends is still one of their best. It’s one of the most influential sounds on Tooth & Nail’s roster. If you want to make sense of a lot of Tooth & Nail music that came after, start here. - Josh Taylor, Blimey Cow

  • KJ-52 - Collaborations
    I’m admittedly not the biggest KJ-52 fan, but I think leaving him out of the conversation is a bit unfair. Collaborations is a fun record, which is jam-packed by features from other prolific emcees and singers. KJ teams up with big names like Playdough, Manchild, Pigeon John, John Rueben, and even Trevor McNevan and Rob Beckley (TFK and Pillar, respectively) get in on the action in a faux rapcore track. It’s aged rather well, so check it out if you haven’t! - Scott Fryberger

  • MxPx - The Ever Passing Moment
    It's certainly not the most important album in their discography, but this will always be my favorite MxPx album. In fact, hearing "It's Undeniable" playing on an X-Games broadcast was my very first introduction to the band. This was the point where the boys from Bremerton started to polish their sound and really lean into the pop part of their pop punk sound. It has aged surprisingly well, too, and the appeal of "Responsibility" has only increased going deeper into adulthood. - Timothy Estabrooks

  • MxPx - Let It Happen
    This is the greatest punk album I’ve ever heard from any band, and the most hardcore thing to come from MxPx. It’s these darker, heavier tracks that really set this album apart with their raw and relentless power, creative arrangements, and Mike’s most hardcore vocals ever recorded. I have never heard a punk band that made better songs than “Small Town Minds,” “Can’t See Not Saying,” “Important Enough To Mention,” “Suggestion Box,” “Creation,” and a handful of others on here. - Russ Shipp, Rusty Shipp

  • Neon Horse - Haunted Horse: Songs of Love, Defiance, and Delusion
    Neon Horse's second album, Haunted Horse, improved on the quirky formula of their self-titled debut. The production is slicker and the sound is more polished, while Mark Salomon favors his smoother voice over the raspier one. This album also bears the subtitle Songs of Love, Defiance, and Delusion, and that about perfectly sums it up. Underneath the frantic songs are lyrics rich with wisdom and conviction, from the warnings of "Strange Town" or "Comin' Up Theventh" to the world-weariness of "Some Folks" and "I Don't Need Anything". The life of Neon Horse was much too short, but Haunted Horse wasn't a bad note on which to go out. - John Underdown

  • Number One Gun - Promises for the Imperfect
    Number One Gun has always been such an underrated band. This was their Tooth & Nail debut, and it’s pop rock at its finest. It’s got that mid-2000s charm that you just don’t hear anymore. - Josh Taylor, Blimey Cow

  • Off Road Minivan - Spiral Gaze EP
    To be completely honest, this EP didn't have a chance at making the top 100. But that's not for lack of goodness. In fact, I wanted to mention this EP simply for the fact that it is very good, and I think this is a band to watch out for. I personally am very excited for whenever they release their first full-length album. - Scott Fryberger

  • Outer Circle - Outer Circle
    Mark Salomon is represented on this list with his main band, Stavesacre, but his punk rock side project sadly didn't make the cut. Outer Circle's lone album is certainly worthy of making the list. This punk rock outing is gritty at times, but is a fun listen from start to finish, highlighted by "It Must Be Wonderful." - Michael Weaver

  • Playdough - Lonely Superstar
    These days, you might know him as Krum. But before his name change, and long before his major trek through the independent scene, Playdough released a couple of major label albums. His debut solo album, Lonely Superstar, set the course for The Greatest Emcee in the World, showcasing a unique flow and delivery that just killed the microphone. He only got better from here, but dang it, he was good from the start! - Scott Fryberger

  • Poor Old Lu - The Waiting Room
    Aaron Sprinkle has become so synonymous with Tooth & Nail that it's almost hard to believe that a band that he was in released most of their stuff outside of the label. Poor Old Lu only released one T&N album, but boy was it good. The band brought their '90s alternative sound into the new millennium with The Waiting Room; alternative was changing (the album came out in the same year as [A-->B] Life, Truthless Heroes, and Again, for the First Time), but Poor Old Lu still stood out as one of T&N's best releases of the year. - Scott Fryberger

  • Run Kid Run - Love at the Core
    I had almost completely forgotten about Run Kid Run before going back and perusing the Tooth & Nail discography for this feature. That would have been a shame, because this album is just a lot of fun. "One in a Million" is such a great teenage love song, and the whole album is pop-emo goodness. It's not the most original thing you'll ever hear, but it will certainly put on a smile on your face. - Timothy Estabrooks

  • Run Kid Run - Patterns
    This record (and, I'd argue, band) never got the attention it deserved. Patterns is a third step in the RKR story that is simply amazing. I want to keep giving you reasons to listen to this record, but I'm supposed to keep it short, so I'll leave you with this: If you love rock & roll with a pop sensibility, listen to this record. But if you hate it, keep doing what you're doing. - Joshua Clifton, Ravenhill/Honey Gold Records

  • Selfmindead - Selfmindead
    In the '90s, Tooth & Nail was known for releasing high quality punk and hardcore music. Along came Selfmindead, who fused the two together to create a record that sounded truly unique amongst their peers. They may not be as well-remembered as other bands from their time, but Selfmindead paved the way for bands like Showbread to come along, and that's something we can all be thankful for. - Scott Fryberger

  • Silent Planet - Everything Was Sound
    Everything Was Sound may just be one of the most consistently brilliant metalcore releases of the past five years. The atmosphere is dark, sombre, and always captivating, and Garrett Russell's vocals drip with conviction and empathy. - Lucas Munachen

  • Starflyer 59 - The Changing of the Guard
    This is a bit of a deep cut in Starflyer 59's discography, coming long after any of the albums that really put the band on the map. Nevertheless, it's a quiet, comforting bit of music with some surprisingly great tracks. Plus, I will always appreciate an album with a track sourced from an episode of The Twilight Zone ("Kick the Can"). - Timothy Estabrooks

  • Strongarm - The Advent of a Miracle
    Strongarm, the greatest melodic hardcore band of all time. This is where it all started -- there is none greater. - Danny Pelletier, Not Beneath

  • Twothirtyeight - Regulate the Chemicals
    Just listen to this record and tell me it doesn't deserve to be in the top 100 T&N albums. I'm a pacifist, but I'll meet you in the parking lot at the Underoath concert coming near you to fight you. I'll be wearing a yellow rose in my hair. - Joshua Clifton, Ravenhill/Honey Gold Records

  • Twothirtyeight - You Should Be Living
    God if You can hear, can You help me and my friends? We’ve been driving all night into dead ends.” So starts the iconic You Should Be Living, and things don’t get much happier from there. It’s one of the most honest and vulnerable albums on Tooth & Nail’s roster. - Josh Taylor, Blimey Cow

  • Various Artists - Happy Christmas, Vol. 4
    I know it might be a little strange to put a compilation like this here, but Happy Christmas, Vol. 4 is a terrific album if you're like me and get tired of hearing "new" versions of Christmas carols that all sound exactly alike. Though not every song here is brand new (Switchfoot's "Evergreen" was on a previous installment of this series, and Relient K's amazing "I Celebrate the Day" is from their own Christmas album), most of it is original material. I love Anberlin's rocking take on "(Christmas) Baby Please Come," Eisley's gorgeous "Winter Song," Copeland's unique rendition of "Do You Hear What I Hear," and Hawk Nelson's fun cover of the Wham! classic "Last Christmas." I listen to this sampler at least once every Christmas. - Scott Fryberger

  • Watashi Wa - The Love of Life
    Watashi Wa is one of those infuriating "what could have been" bands from the Tooth & Nail roster. Disbanding almost as soon as they started, they left behind one album (technically two) that really hit all of the right points in terms of emo/pop rock. Both "All of Me" and "With Love From Me To You" are still some of my favorite tracks from this era of Tooth & Nail music. - Timothy Estabrooks

  • Wish For Eden - Pet the Fish
    There may not be a Tooth & Nail Records without Wish For Eden. Ebel got his first band signed with the help of Michael Knott, and while they may have thought it was Knott's label initially, it was all good once they were in the studio. Pet the Fish is chock-full of that grungy hard rock goodness that dominated the early '90s and is an album often forgotten in time. - Michael Weaver

  • Zao - Liberate Te Ex Inferis
    Liberate Te Ex Inferis is, in my humble opinion, the ultimate Zao record. It's brutally heavy, yet deceptively infectious and beautiful. In addition to Dan's monstrous vocals, you have a record that is nothing short of stunning. - Lucas Munachen

HONORABLE MENTIONS
After 25 years and over 1,000 original albums, the Tooth & Nail Records family of labels has given the music industry (Christian and mainstream) some of the best in rock, punk, hip hop, pop rock, and metal. Jesusfreakhideout and its staff are thankful for all the music and memories we've been given. We don't have the time, space, or energy to mention every single album and artist, though there are a number of artists not on this list that deserve some recognition (Too Bad Eugene, ill harmonics, Training For Utopia, Seventh Day Slumber, Ghost Ship, Soul Embraced, Bon Voyage, Fine China, Sev Statik, Hearts Like Lions, Propaganda, Kutless, Stretch Arm Strong, Eso Charis, Fit For A King, FM Static, Element 101, New Breed, Smalltown Poets, Officer Negative, etc), so feel free to comment below with your favorite Tooth & Nail, Solid State, BEC, and Uprok Records albums!

 

  
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This Friday, December 14
3C Live Good To Me (Live) [DREAM]
Lauren Daigle Look Up Child (Vinyl) [Centricity]
PEABOD Anti-Social - Single [Centricity]
Smalltown Poets Carol of the Bells - Single (independent)

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