Best of 2012 - Brittany Strummer's picks (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Best of 2012

Brittany Strummer's picks (2012)

staff picks

[Brittany Strummer is a News Editor by day, cat lady by night.]



Hold Tight!: Blizzard Of '96 [12-inch]

Animal Style

I was initially sent this record to set up as a Punknews stream and ended up falling in love with it.




Keith Morris is pushing 60 and ups the punx more than anyone else in the scene.


Dan Vapid and the Cheats: Dan Vapid and the Cheats

Torture Chamber

If you've made it this far down my list then this pop-punk choice should come as no surprise. Dan Vapid is a pop-punk god and this record is pop-punk gold.


Ceremony: Zoo


I never liked Ceremony until I listened to this record. I'm told their previous one is awesome too. At first spin I didn't give this release too much thought but then I saw them live and was blown away so I decided to give it another shot. I'm glad I did.


Teenage Bottlerocket: Freak Out!

Fat Wreck Chords

A perfect Bottlerocket record. This band can do no wrong.


Jeff Rosenstock: I Look Like Shit

Quote Unquote Records

This was an unexpected but pleasant surprise. When Jeff described this release as being unfinished songs that were meant for Bomb the Music Industry! stuff I was expecting some poorly recorded demos but he polished all of these songs up nicely and the result rules.


The Hextalls: Rock You to Sleep


My boyfriend introduced me to this band and within a few days I was singing along to every word. This album has a perfect opener with the group declaring they're the fucking greatest band in the world and then there's random Kenny Rogers references sprinkled all over the record which makes the Jackass fan in me happy. This record is so hilariously great and every time I hear "Holy Fuck, I'm a Dad" I think of Rich and Adam (soon Joe!).


The Dopamines: Vices

It's Alive

This was one of my most anticipated releases for the year because after their previous release, I was expecting the best. It's not as great as the last record but it's still a classic Dopamines record and that's all I could ever want.


Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds: I'd Rather Die Than Live Forever

Red Scare Industries

Now before the accusations start flowing in of me ranking this album so high because of a biased opinion due to me being a Larry Arms fan girl, just know that I was expecting this album to suck. I did not like the EP prior to its release (A Man With The Passion Of Tennessee Williams), so my expectations for this album were at an all time low. I figured I would buy it just to have it as part of my Lawrence Arms obsession. Mr. Kelly didn't help with my thoughts on the album either. Every blog entry of his that mentioned the release said it was going to be really different and that people were going to hate it. So, when I got the CD in the mail from Red Scare I played it just because and was taken aback. The opening track, "Suffer the Children, Come Unto Me," appeared on the aforementioned EP but it was almost completely different on IRDTLF. It actually sounded good. I was intrigued and my faith in Beex was restored. Each track sounds different from the one before sung in Kelly's "normal" voice (with some exceptions on "What's a Boy to Do?" and "American Vagina") and it sounds... so... good. I love it. Definitely deserves the number 2 spot on my list.


Masked Intruder: Masked Intruder

Red Scare

I am a sucker for catchy pop-punk and Masked Intruder stole my heart with their self-titled debut. I love the harmonizing vocals, woah-ohs, chants and hand claps. The lovesick criminal schtick is adorable and hilarious with lines like "Every single day is lonelier than the last / Cried so many tears that I had to wring out my mask." One minute they're trying to unsuccessfully serenade the object of their affection ("Heart Shaped Guitar") and the next they're making a living off their criminal ways by robbing people at knife-point ("Stick 'Em Up"). It must be hard to find love when you're a criminal but at least a good song or 13 can come of it.