Image Aloha! Today you can read up on the Best of 2012 lists from Ryan Rockwell (Mixtapes), Keith Yosco (The Holy Mess), and York and Josh from Campaign.

Ryan Rockwell (Mixtapes)

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Top Seven Albums of 2012

  1. KENDRICK LAMAR - GOOD KID, M.A.A.D. CITY: A lot of artists get caught up with hype, and sometimes a lot of people buy into that hype. Kendrick Lamar has been one of the most hyped up rappers to come along in a while, and this albums debut numbers lived up to it only being beaten by Taylor Swift. I liked Kendrick's mixtapes fine but never fell in love with any of them and honestly didn't understand the hype completely but always checked when he came out with a new one. His debut album "Section.80" which he released himself was a step up and I listened to it quite a bit. With his debut album I think he finally did exactly what he wanted to. The album kind of tells a story, the lyrics are on point, the hooks are great, and his unique delivery took me a few listens to get into to, but that just made me pay more attention. If you like rap or hip hop at all I recommend this record highly, Money Trees might be my favorite song to come out this year.

  2. FAKE BOYS - PIG FACTORY: I first met the Fake Boys playing with them on a one off show in Florida. From the moment we started talking I knew we were like minded people and we became instant friends. I hadn't yet heard their music but a few hours later I was floored. The songs were so great and their stage presence was so brutally passionate that I was an immediate fan. Fast forward about 4 or 5 months and they finally finished this record, and when I got it I think I listened to it 3 times in a row and it's still in constant rotation. It's somehow a raw and polished pop rock record funneled through buzzsaw guitars and perfect lyrics. This band could play a packed basement or an arena and it would make sense, we co-wrote a song together for each other and theirs is called "you're a loser" off of this record and mine went on our record "Even on the Worst nights" and it's called "You & I", you should really get this record.

  3. TRINIDAD JAMES - DON'T BE S.A.F.E.: This mixtape came out recently from rapper Trinidad James and at first I just laughed a lot, and now I laugh a lot and also listen to it daily. I'm not sure where Trinidad James falls in genre wise other than rap, but he is responsible for my favorite chorus of the year if not in my top 5 favorite of all time. So here's a link to that video and the mixtape is free so check it out and have fun! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCBs5f1vxyw

  4. DOPAMINES – VICES: This is probably the worst Dopamines record, but it's still rocking and grand, playing poppy punk the way it should be, dang how good is paid in full off this record? Check it out.

  5. MACKLEMORE AND RYAN LEWIS - THE HEIST: Like a lot of people, Macklemore snuck up on me out of nowhere. I started listening to this album and then all of a sudden saw that completely independently Macklemore got number one on the iTunes chart beating out Jay-Z. This album mixes fun and funny, with some of the more serious and intense lyrics I've heard in a while. I don't need to go into a deep description of his sound, he's a great lyricist and here's the song that got me into him, check it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIBdAdnTqqo

  6. JAPANDROIDS - CELEBRATION ROCK: There are two bands whom I love, that whenever newer bands get compared to them I get weary. Those bands are The Replacements and The Beach Boys. The Beach Boys especially because I feel like whenever I hear this I automatically check out said band and feel let down. I mean I don't believe anyone liked that band fight fair, except maybe the band members themselves. I'm getting off track here though because the first time I heard of the Japandroids they got compared to the Replacements. The Replacements are one of my favorite bands and I think a prime example of how a band should be in almost all ways. The first time I heard Celebration Rock I liked it a lot, it's immediately catchy, melodic, somewhat raw and still sounds great. I honestly don't know much about this band or even where they are from, I need to find out more, and they need to release more music, this release is great and makes me want more!

  7. PAC DIV – GMB: Pac Div is a rap/hip hop trio from southern California. This is their second album, the first one was called the DiV and I liked it fine, but never loved it. This album actually just came out last week making it very close to the year end. I bought it and burned it on a cd to listen to while I drove around a few days ago running errands. I haven't stopped listening to it much since then. It has in every way topped their debut album, and if I had any complains it would be I wish it was released in the summer because man, it is SUCH a summer album. The DiV have a more old school hip hop style with good and fun lyrics, great beats, and it's just laid back and fun to listen to. I'd say the sound comes across somewhere between Clipse and The Cool Kids, I'll be listening well into next year.

Keith Yosco (The Holy Mess)

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TOP TEN OF 2012
Resisting any sense of particular order, here are my favorite records of 2012

  • Tame Impala // "Lonerism"
  • Downtown Struts // "Victoria!"
  • The Menzingers // "On The Impossible Past"
  • Cloud Nothings // "Attack On Memory"
  • Japandroids // "Celebration Rock"
  • Title Fight // "Floral Green"
  • DIIV // "Oshen"
  • Kendrick Lamar // "Good Kid, M.A.D.D City"
  • Glocca Morra // "Just Married"
  • Of Monsters and Men // "My Head Is An Animal"

Favorite Song of 2012: Elephant" // Tame Impala

Biggest Disappointment of 2012: Aerial Pink's Haunted Graffiti // Mature Themes

Favorite Show Attended of 2012: Title Fight/Tigers Jaw/Single Mothers at Union Transfer, Philadelphia

Best Discovery of 2012: SINGLE MOTHERS

Thanks for reading. Captain We're Sinking's "The Future Is Cancelled" will be the best punk rock record of 2013....

Campaign

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Yorkâ??s Best Albums of 2012 (in no particular order)

  • Mean Jeans - On Mars
  • The Secret - Agnus Dei
  • Trash Talk - 119
  • Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind
  • Toys That Kill - Fambly 42
  • Title Fight - Floral Green
  • Post Teens - The Heat
  • Burning Love - Rotten Thing To Say
  • Deathspell Omega - Drought
  • Torche - Harmonicraft
  • Birds In Row - You, Me, And The Violence

Joshâ??s Best Albums of 2012 (in no particular order)
  • OFF! – LP
  • Dinosaur Jr. – I Bet on Sky
  • Action Bronson & Party Supplies – Blue Chips
  • Post Teens – The Heat
  • Ceremony – Zoo
  • Wu-Block – Wu-Block
  • Violent Future – Demo Cassette