2012 was a kick ass year for music with so many good releases, so with a little statistical help from last.fm I’ve made a list of my TOP 10 ALBUMS for 2012! :)
WUGAZI – 13 Chambers
My no.1 feel-good album of the year by Minneapolis based Wugazi, brilliantly combines D.C. legends Fugazi with iconic hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan. a year’s worth of cutting up every imaginable Fugazi record and trying out every Wu-Tang acapella they could get their hands on, resulted in 13 Chambers. It’s safe to say I’ve played this album about a million times this year, and if you want to know why all you have to do is listen. it offers something for any music lover, from punk heads to hardcore kids to hip-hop and indie twats, it’s really hard not to instantly fall in love with this album. BRILLIANT!
LOMA PRIETA – I.V
Loma Prieta formed in San Francisco in 2005 and have this unique bay-area sound I’m totally into. If you ever wondered what Converge and Orchid would sound like if they had some crazy babies, this it is. their latest album I.V is 100% chaotic. At times, it’s a little confusing because there is so much going on in such a short period of time. An average Loma track is about a minute and thirty seconds of nonstop noise. this noise, at first, seems pretty random, but with each repeat spin the listener can pick up on the “melodies” and timing of the riffs. this is not for most listeners, as this is one of the heaviest albums I have heard in a long time, but also one of the best.
RIGHT AWAY, GREAT CAPTAIN! – The Church Of The Good Thief
RAGC is the side project of Andy Hull (lead singer of Manchester Orchestra) armed with a stripped down, lo-fi indie folk sound that is irresistible to fall in love with/fall asleep to.
This year sees the release of the last album in the magnificent trilogy which can only be described as the perfect end to a very emotional journey Hull has been taking the listener through since the first release.
CEREMONY – zoo
Ceremony is another bay area all-time favourites of mine, and earlier this year I had the pleasure of attending a crazy show supporting the release of ZOO, which was amazingly fun, despite waking up the next day all black & blue.
Before Zoo was released, hardcore bands were overheard saying “I hear it’s an indie album.” But it’s more than that: Ceremony’s fourth LP is their most solid demonstration of punk awareness. It’s an album that analyses the genre as a launching pad to other things, and while Farrar insists in ‘Adult’ that “We have to give up on things we love sometimes” Ceremony’s misanthropy has never sounded more genuinely punk.
Listen / Download
VALES – Clarity
Although only an EP and not a full length, Clarity by Vales (previously known as Veils) has been imo the most important release in UKHC this year. the south-west based, female fronted band has released this 5-song-masterpiece, which is more like a story. with each song the listener is being taken through a roller coaster of emotions and by the time you get to the last song it feels like a strange catharsis. these songs are very raw and powerful, and have helped me through rough times this year, which is why I have to include this on my list. 2013 is gonna be amazing for the band, deff one to watch!
Listen / Download
BIRDS IN ROW – You, Me, and The Violence
Holy shit. that’s pretty much the only thing I can mumble every time I put BIR on. the french crust/sludge/hardcore trio has a tendency of leaving any listener with their jews hanging on the floor. their first full length “You, Me, and The Violence” has more energy than one million energiser bunnies put together and the filthiness and raw sound they create is new levels of genius. the dynamics between the vocals and the heavy hitting instrumentation bring this record together to create absolutely beautiful violence. It might not hit you at once, but with repeated listens, it is sure to reveal its many layers.
BAT FOR LASHES – The Haunted Man
Following the eye watering success of her previous album in 2009 which made me weep every time this song came up (#foreveremo) comes The Haunted Man, a beautifully composed and delicate piece of music, with the ever so addictive and dreamy voice of lead singer Natasha Khan that simply suck you in and leaves you totally hypnotised.
CODE ORANGE KIDS – Love is Love // Return to Dust
COK have found little trouble in inventing their own brand of chaotic hardcore in an already thriving scene.
This band could easily explode in 2013 due to one simple reason: not many bands in the position of Code Orange Kids do hardcore like Code Orange Kids do. Whether you want to pump your fist in the air or to viciously run around and throw down in an enormous circle pit or even if you are one to stand in the back of a crowded club and just let the subtle beauty of music slowly wash over you, Love Is Love // Return To Dust will make your brain fucking explode.
TRASH TALK -119
Its kind of hard for me not to automatically like every record by the stoner punks at TT. but then again, not many bands can make me feel like I want to circle pit around my living room table/ shred with my imaginary skate skills/ smoke my entire stash in 10 minuets, like TT does. 119 is nothing new really, it’s the same old combination that makes this band win time after time, it’s fast, it’s filthy, and it’s HELLA fun! another great record from the boys.
TEENAGE BOTTLEROCKET – Freak Out!
Wyoming based pop-punkers Teenage Bottlerocket have released what can only be described as the best pop-punk album of the year. loud guitars, dead-catchy songs and an overall feeling of “we don’t give a fuck nor take ourselves too seriously” is exactly what you’d expect from a pop-punk act. there’s just something about Fat Wreck bands that will forever be attached to the word FUN and TBR is just one of them, which is why i’m an obvious fan, because let’s face it… who doesn’t like that silly kind of fun music? only douche bags, obviously.
My I-can’t-listen-to-Manchester-Ochestra-anymore-so-i’ll-take-the-next-best-thing album! bad books are MO+Kevin devine, and while their first album wasn’t all that, their second one is bang on! lot’s of love for this one.
One of my favourite hardcore acts which was pronounce dead in 2009, has mysteriously came back to life (I approve) and there’s no better way to get back in action than releasing this mind blowing album, full of their usual anger and aggressive sounds.
The Oh Hellos are two siblings hailing from Texas. bending and blending styles and genres into a unique mixture of eclectic folk rock which is impossible not to instantly like!