Count Me Out are by far my favorite of the 2000-era Straight Edge hardcore bands. Every time I listen to this record, it reminds me of the night I bought it. I had booked the first Carry On east coast tour and the first night of the tour was at the M&M Hall in New Jersey. At the time, I was playing bass for Carry On and I asked Count Me Out to do the dates with them and they did. They were just finishing up a US tour to support their new album 110 and they extended it a few more days to play with Carry On. They headlined the show and absolutely killed it. At the end of the night, I bought this album and listened to it on repeat the entire way back to Clifton Heights, PA, where I was living at the time. I listened to 110 non-stop, figured out all the guitar riffs, learned all the words and basically obsessed over how awesome it was. I also gave this record a glowing review in my print fanzine Cut The Tension as well as an interview in issue #3. The only thing I didn't like about this album is the re-recording of the song "What We Built." The newest recorded version of "What We Built" sounded great, but I always felt cheated out of what could have been another amazing song. I often wonder what that song would have sounded like had they just written one more song for the album. I also dislike instrumental songs, but somehow the instrumental "Two" at the end of the record is the perfect closer for a perfect album. In 2003, when it was time to start writing riffs for my own band One Up, I used this album as a sonic guide. I loved the tension that playing power chords in a diminished scale pattern added to 110 and wanted to utilize that tension for my band. This album helped to shape my writing style and guitar playing more than any other album.
The first thing I heard from the Permanent record was the teaser MP3 Indecision Records posted on their website for the song "Stakes Is High." In all honesty, I was not very impressed with that song when I first heard it. It wasn't until I heard the song in context with the rest of the album that I was completely floored. The music on Permanent is more mature without losing the intensity 110 had in spades. This album came out around the time the drummer Colin was playing drums for American Nightmare as well. I always felt that Permanent had a bit of an American Nightmare influence to it. This was probably due to how much of a juggernaut that band became. In all honesty, what band in 2001/2002 didn't want to sound like AN? The only Count Me Out song that I don't like is on this album: "One More Reason Why." I always felt that the song was always a bit of a clunker. This factors into the equation since 110 is such a flawless album. Permanent is an extremely strong follow-up to 110, but for my money, I am going to go with 110 as my favorite of the two albums.