There was so much great music released in this year, maybe more than in any other year since I started compiling these lists. Narrowing the list down to just 50 was damn near impossible. In fact, just about everything on the list could be flipped around in some way, but these are what I’ve decided to go with. I’ll be posting 10 of my favorite albums from 2012 each day this week with the top ten on Friday. Much more commentary to come as well. Cheers.
50. The Devil’s Own – Graces & Eights (Self-Released)
The songs on Graces & Eights straddle the line between Southern-tinged indie rock and raucous cow-punk-n-roll anthems. Think something like early Lucero meets Ninja Gun at a Two Cow Garage after party. It ain’t all that pretty and polished, but I think you might like it.
MP3: The Devil’s Own – Blues Are Comin’
49. Cut Teeth – Televandalism EP (Topshelf)
Cut Teeth is from Chicago. They play face-melting post-punk that’s noisy, discordant and downright muscular. It’s an unrelenting clash of in-your-face vocals, angular guitar riffs and smashed drums. RIYL: ATDI, Jehu, Baxter, etc…
MP3: Cut Teeth – Who Is Thomas Driscoll?
48. Cheap Girls – Giant Orange (Rise)
Cheap Girls is a band that is remarkably consistent and knows their sweet spot. You know, that relaxed fuzzy sound that the Lemonheads, Buffalo Tom, and the Gin Blossoms perfected in the early 90′s. If you love the buzzing mid-tempo power-pop of the band’s first two albums, you’ll love Giant Orange.
MP3: Cheap Girls – Ruby
47. State Lines – State Lines EP (Tiny Engines)
The four songs on this 7″ EP are undeniable. I wish there were more. State Lines sounds like New York’s answer to Shook Ones but with less hardcore, more melodic proto-emo guitar lines and a bit more nuance. Like a youthful re-imagining of Saves The Day and None More Black, State Lines delivers some amazing emo-tinged pop-punk.
MP3: State Lines – 5′s On The Elephant
46. Basement – Colourmeinkindness (Run For Cover)
When did Basement become a grunge band? On Colourmeinkindness, the guitars are overdriven and thick and the whole mess just sounds huge. I mean, You’d Prefer An Astronaut sort of huge. Based on their previous full-length, it’s different than what I had expected but actually pretty great. RIYL: Sunny Day Real Estate, Static Radio, Bush, etc…
MP3: Basement – Covet
45. New Bruises – Chock Full Of Misery (Kiss Of Death/No Idea)
New Bruises first full-length in 7 years was worth the wait. It is full of melodic-yet-abrasive fist-shaking pop-punk that sounds more like the Midwest than it does like the band’s Florida home. Despite calling this pop-punk the record has a dark and almost desperate tone that makes it stand out.
MP3: New Bruises – There Was Only One Johnny Cash
45. Alone At 3AM – Midwest Mess (Suburban Home)
Alone At 3AM plays a polished style of twangy rock-n-roll that’s easily comparable to what Drive By Truckers and Lucero both do, and the heartfelt songs on Midwest Mess are sad enough to make you wanna drink all night and soaked in more than enough booze to make you regret it. RIYL: whiskey, heartbreak, guitars, etc…
MP3: Alone At 3AM – Weekends At The Cape
43. Save Ends – Strength vs. Will EP (Self-Released)
The five songs on this EP are full of super-catchy mid-tempo indie-punk that sounds like the Get Up Kids vs. New Found Glory with the added bonus of male/female vocal harmonies. You could say they sound like The Anniversary, but I think Save Ends is better.
MP3: Save Ends – Sweet Defeat
42. You Blew It – Grow Up, Dude (Topshelf)
Typically introspective and plinky emo with a rough and ramshackle DIY basement show charm about it. Grow Up, Dude is what PROPER might have sounded like if Evan had slightly grittier yelled vocals and a bit more unhinged fervent energy. Also, this band is from Orlando? Sersiouly?
MP3: You Blew It – I’m Bill Paxton
41. Masked Intruder – Masked Intruder (Red Scare)
There’s no denying that Masked Intruder seemed to rocket from obscurity to “it” band in 2012 even if the band members themselves will deny everything they’re accused of. These masked men from Madison, WI will just as soon steal your heart as they will your wallet with their doo-wop infused pop-punk.
MP3: Masked Intruder – Heart Shaped Guitar