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★ I'm With The Band's 2008 reader poll, my votes

As you probably know by now we’ve been running a reader poll over on I’m With The Band, the aim being to find out from our readers what they thought were the best albums released in 2008. Well the poll is now closed and while we’re going through all the results, and working out the prize packs, I figured I would share with you my Top 5 Albums of 2008.

Without further pomp and ceremony, here’s my Top 5 Albums of 2008.

At number 5 we have Bayside‘s album Shudder.

Another solid release from these New Yorkers, I think it’s about their 3rd or 4th full length release, not including live albums. With each release the band has grown musically, and this album is no exception. The album opener Boy kicks the album off, No One Understands, and I Can’t Go On really carry the rest of the album, and Moceanu is just really different with kind of a polka vibe happening. Really looking forward to catching their set at Soundwave.

At number 4 it’s Rise Against‘s album Appeal To Reason.

The last Rise Against album, The Sufferer and the Witness, was possibly the best album I bought last year, miles above everything else. This album didn’t quite live up to that, however there are a number of really solid songs that pushed it up into my top 5 and keep the CD in my car, The Dirt Whispered, and The Heads Unworthy just to name a couple.

The third place was taken by local Newcastle rockers Here Come The Birds with their self-titled ep.

Some times in these reader polls people will throw in a token local to make up the numbers, this is not one of those choices. Quite honestly Here Come The Birds debut ep made it into this list on their own merits, definitely some of the best music I’ve heard all year. It was no surprise to see them win the Tooheys Extra Dry uncharTED Competition earlier this year, and I’m pretty sure 2009 will be an even bigger and better year for the band.

Alkaline Trio‘s album Agony & Irony comes in at number 2.

It was pretty difficult to put this album in 2nd spot as I’m such a huge fan of Alkaline Trio, however it didn’t quite hit home as strongly as Crimson or From Here To Infirmary. Stand out tracks are Into The Night, I Found Away, and In Vein. I don’t care who is on the other stages at Soundwave, these guys are a must see.

And a very very easy number 1 is Kings of Leon‘s 4th studio release Only By The Night.

A stellar album through out, The Kings of Leon 4th studio album is an absolute cracker. The day I bought the album I think I listened to it through and through at least 5 times, it was just that good from the get go. Stand out tracks…..the whole album! Simple as that! If you didn’t get tickets to their upcoming tour, you may just have missed on the tour of the year for 2009.

There were a few other bands with releases that came pretty close to making the list, Funeral For A Friend, The Amity Affliction, Underoath, NERD, Kanye West, Death Cab For Cutie, but for one reason or another they just didn’t quite make the final 5.

Anyway, we’ll be announcing all the results the first week of January, and soon there after we’ll start sending out the prize packs.

Stay tuned!