Jeff Rosenstock (Bomb the Music Industry!)
Best Albums of 2012
This was hard as immediately upon finishing this list I thought of a half dozen or so more contenders (The Smith Street Band, Cheap Girls, P.O.S., Titus Andronicus, Future of the Left, Japandroids, Menzingers, Regina Spektor and tons I bet I'm still forgetting) BUT I can still say these 9 albums and 2 7"s are at the very least AMONGST the very best records of the year in my opinion. This was a good year for music.
- THE CHARIOT - ONE WING: Look, get over the whole Jesus thing. I'm sure there are hardcore bands you listen to that say tons of shit that ain't easy to agree with regarding violence, but we still listen anyway. So fuck it. The Chariot are the best live band in hardcore today, and this is the most interesting hardcore record I've heard in awhile. If you're curious watch this: http://youtu.be/KP1kxvuuGLg
- NAS - LIFE IS GOOD: "Summer on Smash" aside (which is basically a glorified Ciroc jingle), it's great to finally hear a mainstream rapper make a record that is not about money over everything.
- CONVERGE - ALL WE LOVE WE LEAVE BEHIND: Sounds like what would happen if that crazy Converge band all the kids are listening to made a hardcore punk record like all the adults used to listen to.
- CERCE - CERCE: Super-energized female-fronted hardcore band. Your first thought upon hearing this will likely be "where is this band from? what do they look like? what is happening to me?!"
- JOYCE MANOR - OF ALL THE THINGS I WILL SOON GROW TIRED: Totally unique micro-punk anthems. For a 12 minute record there sure is a lot to go back and discover on this one.
- ROAR - I'M NOT HERE TO MAKE FRIENDS: Owen Evans is insanely good at what he does, making beautifully sad ELO-esque pop music that sounds like it's from another time. Also I put out this one too!!
- CLASSICS OF LOVE: Jesse Michaels hasn't sounded this good, maybe ever? Fuck, this record is awesome.
- JOHN K. SAMSON – PROVINCIAL: Whenever this dude puts out a record, I pretty much know I'm gonna love it and I'm pretty much always right. Bonus points for consistency!!
- FIONA APPLE - THE IDLER WHEEL… : Fuck, someone needs to give Fiona Apple a hug or something. Here's what you can say while hugging: "Congratulations, Fiona,on making an emotionally bare, vocally intense, musically kinda avant-garde record that a major label (likely contractually) had to put out and mainstream media had to cover. Hell yeah."
- THE SIDEKICKS - AWKWARD BREEDS : Okay, I know it's kinda cheating 'cause I put this one out but The Sidekicks are just so good, and it's really hard to describe why. When ya say stuff like "great hooks, energetic performances, interesting songs" it doesn't quite do it justice. You should probably have this already.
- HOP ALONG - GET DISOWNED : Beautiful singing that borders on schizophrenic, unique song structures that do the same, engaging the whole way through, great lyrics, sounds great… and then it's done and you're like "okay, let's listen to that one again."
P.S. I also completely forgot that Jimmy Cliff record which came out this year which destroyed my braaaaaain. Great songs, sounds great and this seventy year old man is singing the shit out of all of it. Should be somewhere in there.
Dave Hause (The Loved Ones)
Here are some records I like that came out this year:
- Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas
- Cory Branan - Mutt
- Kathleen Edwards - Voyageur
- Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel
- Japandroids - Celebration Rock
- Jack White - Blunderbuss
- Bonnie Raitt - Slipstream
- The Lumineers
- Jimmy Cliff - Rebirth
- The Killers - Battle Born
- Cheap Girls - Giant Orange
- Hot Water Music - Exister
- Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten
Paul Pendley (Red City Radio)
Best Albums of 2012
- LUTHER- LET'S GET YOU SOMEPLACE ELSE: I cannot say enough about this. It's a punk record that rocks. It's a rock record that punks. It's insanely catchy, well written with great lyrics and clean production that makes everything shine. This is my album of the year folks and it should be yours.
- THE SIDEKICKS- AWKWARD BREEDS: Would have been AOTY if not for Luther with the late charge down the stretch. I can't say enough how gorgeous the melodies and harmonies are on Awkward Breeds. "Incandescent Days" is my Song Of The Year.
- APOLOGIES I HAVE NONE- LONDON: This album is pretty much flawless. Dynamic and soaring. Every song an epic, an anthem leading you to the best album closer of the year.
- ARLISS NANCY - SIMPLE MACHINES: These guys are our friends and I've known them for years but I can objectively say they released one of the best records of the year. If you haven't heard these guys yet do yourself a favor and rectify that.
- OLD FLINGS – SPITE: What do you get when you combine 90's alternative ala Superdrag and Seaweed with late era Samiam and a little Morrisey? Something I'm going to love. You could not come up with a better formula for making me a fan.
- CORY BRANAN- MUTT: Cory Branan's Mutt is just that, an album that flies from sound to genre in an instant without ever losing its identity. Cory has always been an under appreciated genius but this masterpiece may change that.
- THE MENZINGERS- ON THE IMPOSSIBLE PAST: I'm not sure if there is anything I can say about this record that hasn't been said so let me say that these guys deserve every bit of their success.
- HOSTAGE CALM - PLEASE REMAIN CALM: This sound is the sound Hostage Calm was meant to have. I'm jealous that they've managed to write a perfect pop record with the lyricism to make it as powerful as it is endearing.
- PENTIMENTO -S/T: These guys should be on everyone's radar and this record is the reason why. Label problems aside these guys have a bright future.
- RED COLLAR - WELCOME HOME: This album boasts one of the best songwriters of our generation. You would do well by yourself to become acquainted with Jason Kutchma.
- MASKED INTRUDER - S/T: Whatever you want to call this sound Ramonescore, pop punk et cetera, no one is doing it this well right now. But to label them as just that would be doing them a disservice as there are plenty of interesting things going on here.
- PERDITION - HISPANOLA: Another friend band but this record earned it's way onto this list by just being bad ass.
- THE SMITH STREET BAND - SUNSHINE AND TECHNOLOGY: This band was a total surprise until I saw them at Fest. Holy shit do I feel like an idiot for that.
- MA JOLIE -…COMPARED TO GIANTS: This is just a great up tempo punk record. Vocals remind me of North Lincoln which is a good thing.
- DIKEMBE - BROAD SHOULDERS: I listen to this when I read. I'm not sure what that means but I find myself humming melodies from this record long after I've put the book down. Great record.
- LIKE BATS- MIDWEST NOTHING: So many people are sleeping on this record and that is a shame. Gritty Midwestern pop punk at its finest.
- THE HOLY MESS- CANDE RU LAS DEGAS: With every release the Mess get better and here is another example of that. Well done, Philly.
- THE JEALOUS SOUND- A GENTLE REMINDER: Comeback record of the year! Cue the LL Cool J!
- CERTAIN PEOPLE I KNOW - S/T: Bob Nanna, nuff said.
- YOU BLEW IT! - GROW UP, DUDE: This normally isn't my cup of tea but these guys do it so well it can't be ignored.