So everyone knows that I rarely see daylight.  I tend to keep my waking hours to those when everyone else is asleep.  However, last semester, upon joining Temple University’s Intellectual Heritage department, I was assigned a class that met at 9am three times a week.  This semester, I have a class that meets at 8am.  So I am a little horrified, but last semester I managed to make it work.  How did I do it?  Two alarm clocks, one bottle of Five-Hour Energy Extra Strength, three cans of Diet Pepsi and, perhaps most importantly, one album clinically designed to wake the dead.

I would like to thank all of my wonderful neighbors at ****Locust Street for never once complaining about Refused being blasted at 6am.  No, that wasn’t a spoiler.  Neither Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent nor The Shape of Punk to Come are on this list.  While the greatest hardcore band of all-time would seem like the obvious choice of a musical alarm clock, this list proves that there’s more than one way to skin a cat.  There are certainly selections likely to audibly abrade you, but there are also those that charm you to life, and those whose sing-along-ability will encourage basic brain functions, no matter how little sleep you’re running on.  So if you despise the daylight hours as much as I do, yet find yourself having to participate in them, this list may be of use to you.  These are 10 albums that’ll get you up better than Viagra.

10. The Eyeliners – Sealed with a Kiss (2001)

You may not realize it, but you’ve likely heard songs from The Eyeliners’ third LP on MTV’s The Hills and Next.  It was quite difficult for me to not fill this entire list with “Power Pop” albums (see: Pop Punk, but by girls who could beat the asses of Blink 182 any day of the week), so I’ve chosen this as the “perfect” one.  These songs about heartbreak, betrayal, and Blondie records are the most sing-along-able, infectious, and riot-inducing that you are ever likely to hear.  I’m guessing Joan Jett signed them because they reminded her of her Runaways, but they’re actually even better.

9. Backyard Babies – Total 13 (1998)

If you’re into “Sex, Drugs, & Rock’N’Roll,” but want to maintain a level of hipness, then Backyard Babies are the band for you (afterall, Morrissey’s favorite band of all-time is the New York Dolls)… and their second LP is the epitome of their brilliance.  It’s a Zagat’s guide to mosh pits and also informs you of fairy tale romances you can have when you’re too drunk to stand.  It’s fully-loaded with nothing but crass-as-fuck anthems.  It’s the most drug-addled, sleaziest, and fun-loving album you could ever own without people suspecting that there’s spandex in your closet.

8. Butch Walker – Sycamore Meadows (2008)

Of course, any list revolving around inducing pep needs to include at least one “guilty pleasure.”  I’m not too embarrassed to admit that I love Butch Walker , but his fourth studio LP sounds like either Tom Petty at his catchiest or Bon Jovi at their most acoustically sincere.  Although this Butch manages to appeal to 30-something frumpy secretaries, for those tattooed love boys who only accept denim if it’s skintight, this album appeals to the desire for the sun to beat-down-on-and-wake-up-your-tattooed-hung-over-ass like nothing else I’ve ever heard.  I’ve only been to a beach once in the past decade and this served as my soundtrack for the week.

7. Makaveli – The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory (1996)

There was a relatively brief and beautiful moment around 1996, before “Rap” decided to give it up and pander to upper-middle-class white tastes.  “Gangsta Rappers” and the likes of Marilyn Manson were dominating Billboard charts.  The ideals of white heteronormativity were being curb-stomped at the same rate as ants and America’s youth couldn’t have been happier about it.  This is my favorite album from that period.  Not only does it have to be consumed like a ten ton truck, but it instills in you the emotionally-charged Cliff’s Notes to contemporary revolution.

6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Yeah Yeah Yeahs (2001)

So Karen O may have recently written an “opera” and covered Led Zeppelin but, at one point, YYYs were the closest and most brilliantly sloppy disciples of Riot Grrrl (In fact, former buddy Allison Wolfe first introduced me to Karen in 2002 when they opened a gig for Girls Against Boys in front of about 10.)  Their debut EP, clocking in at under 14 minutes, embodies the aesthetic of both Bratmobile and the Velvet Underground and is easily as abrasive as anything that’s been released since.

5. Kate Nash – My Best Friend is You (2010)

It’s hard to imagine a more pleasant way to wake up than hearing the loveliest girl on the planet proclaim “You’ve come so far!  Well done, darling!”  My fantasy girlfriend has the world’s best knack for turning life’s saddest moments into sugary injections of pep and, conversely, for turning history’s sweetest sentiments into brash and biting critiques of the current state of “love und romance.”  By the album’s end, things have mellowed out quite a bit but, by that point, your heart’s smittenness could have already dragged you halfway across the globe.

4. Nine Inch Nails – Pretty Hate Machine (1989)

When Nine Inch Nails left us they were more or less halfway between Disturbed and Muse.  However, when we met them, they were halfway between Depeche Mode and Skinny Puppy.  Their debut release was previewed as Industrial’s prodigious child.  Was the album perfect for hating your parents?  Absolutely.  Was it perfect for fucking a like-minded, suicidal, “angst-ridden,” drug-experimenting teen?  “Absolutely” doesn’t even begin to explain it.  But you could also dance to it.  “Head Like a Hole,” “Terrible Lie,” and “Down in It” serve as jumper cables to your central nervous system and then “Sanctified” and “Sin” get you sincerely pissed off enough to want to get out into the world and skullfuck the status quo.

3. Morrissey – Beethoven Was Deaf (1992)

Although long out of print, history’s most underrated live album has the Mozzer at both his most kick ass and his most laughable.  It features 9/10ths of his greatest solo work, Your Arsenal, including “You’re the One for Me, Fatty,” “We Hate it When Our Friends Become Successful,” and “The National Front Disco,” (possibly the funniest concept of any pop song ever written), all of which would make the blokes from Monty Python seem to have a sense of humor on par with Jeremy Irons.  In addition, it also boasts classic Mozzian tales of the heroism of Jack the Ripper, the pretensions of poetry, and the love of a good Nazi.

2. The Donnas – The Donnas (1997)

I realize the heresy in saying this but, this really is the best Ramones album of all-time, recorded by… not the Ramones.  I’ve heard dozens of people (from my mom to highschool punker classmates) say that it’s “unlistenable” because of Donna A’s nails-on-a-chalkboard/cat-in-heat vocals and a quality of recording that resembles an 80s classroom tape recorder, but isn’t punk supposed to be at least a little painful (and doesn’t that just add to its “alarming” quality?)?  This album crams 23 tracks into 41 minutes and each one plays like a KISS anthem carried out by adolescents on amphetamines, meeting their instruments for the first time… and I’m pretty sure it couldn’t be paid a higher compliment than that.

1. Be Your Own Pet – Be Your Own Pet (2006)

Be Your Own Pet were an alarm clock (and a ball shot) personified.  Their debut LP embodies all of the beauty of Riot Grrrl and Garage Rock and also an ecstatic and violent playfulness that exudes from a toddler who has just managed to demolish the chains of his or her playpen.  Drive-bys and flashmobs might be less effective at shaking you into consciousness than this 33-minute record by four teens from Nashville.