For the record, I suck at blogging and I apologize. Maybe one of my New Year’s resolutions will be for me to pay more attention to this blog of mine. In all seriousness though, I have been busy with the paying gig and school, so please excuse the lack of posts and whatnot. I really do plan on changing that.
Moving from Ohio to New Mexico earlier this year was pretty hard on me for more reasons than one. The number one thing, aside from extremely missing all my friends and family back home, is the lack of continual live shows out here. Sure, I could drive to Albuquerque to catch something, but that is a 6 hour round trip I would prefer to avoid alone. El Paso even had a couple good shows I was all about until I found out they were either sold out or that I had to be up at 5 a.m. the next morning. Yeah, getting old sucks. Luckily for me, I still can keep up with new music and pretend I know what is going on. That is not to say that Las Cruces doesn’t have a music scene, I just have not gotten my feet wet in it yet.
Regardless of my situation, 2012 was an exceptionally good year for music. I am sure you can easily think of 5 albums that blew your mind this year. I know I can, in fact I have a whole bunch. With 2012 is coming to an end, I suppose it is my time where I get to tell everyone my top albums of 2012.
I think what kills me the most about talking about all these great releases is that I was not able to review them like I originally intended to. So, do me a favor if you can; if you have not heard of any of my top picks below, please check them out. Thanks.
In no particular order, here are a bunch of releases that amazed me in 2012:
Masked Intruder – Self-Titled Release
-Surprise release of 2012 if you ask me. The most unique pop-punk you could imagine by a group of fun dudes in ski masks. I can not even tell you how many times this album played over and over in my car this summer.
Luther – Let’s Get You Somewhere Else
-I was so looking forward to this release by these Philly champs. Easily one of the best releases of the year. This band is going places.
Ma Jolie – …Compared To Giants
-More Philly love. Once upon a time, Ma Jolie played a basement show for a couple of cool dude’s birthdays in Akron. They rule and you need to check them out. Still shocked no one has signed them yet.
Cherry Cola Champions – Self-Titled Release
-Last year they made my 2011 Best of list with their EP. This year they debuted their full-length release and it just rules. I can not even tell you how many times I have spun this amazing album. Solid dudes too.
Lucero – Women & Work
–A bunch of good ol’ boys making some good ol’ music. I really dug this album a ton.
Tony Sly / Joey Cape – Acoustic Volume Two
-This covers project sequel by two of the best names in punk rock was just all so good to listen to. Sadly as many of you know, Tony Sly passed away on July 31st. Needless to say, this record is more important than ever to this fan of Sly who has been providing tunes to my ears since I was a young punk rocker. RIP Tony…
The Menzingers – On The Impossible Past
-This band continues to impress me and I am so stoked to watch them mature as musicians in such a short amount of time. Now that they are on the Epitaph roster, I am pretty sure things will only excel for them.
Cheap Girls – Giant Orange
-This is one of those bands that if you have no idea who they are, you need to familiarize yourself with them immediately. I loved this release from start to finish. I am also so bummed to have missed them live twice this year!!! Oh well.
The Sidekicks – Awkward Breeds
-Right at the beginning of the year, The Sidekicks shot out an incredible release. I love this northeast Ohio band.
Annabel – Youth In Youth
– Right at the end of the year, Annabel shot out an incredible release. I love this northeast Ohio band. Deja vu. You have no idea how proud I am of these guys.
All Dinosaurs – Rules Of Civility And Decent Behavior
–Right in the middle of the year….just kidding. All Dinosaurs did release an hard album that I am still having trouble getting my hands on the vinyl version. I am not even sure if that is the right album cover above, that is how hard of a time I am having finding it!
Old Flings – Spite
–Found this pop punk folk indie 90s rock awesomeness totally on accident. This Asheville, NC trio has my approval. Looking forward to seeing more from these guys.
Joyce Manor – Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired
-This was the quickest and most well written release of the year if you ask me. 9 songs in 13 minutes and it all makes perfect sense.
Dikembe – Broad Shoulders
-This was a release I almost overlooked – I said almost… Boy am I glad that did not happen. Killer album.
Hot Water Music – Exister
-It took me exactly two listens of this album for me to fall in love with it. These punk rock heroes have not lost their touch at all.
Japandroids – Celebration Rock
–An amazing follow up to their debut that continues their musical expression of fun and living life the rock n roll way.
Dinosaur Jr. – I Bet On Sky
-I have adored Dinosaur Jr. since I was a kid. This release shows no wear and tear of the boys whatsoever. Love this release.
The XX – Coexist
– I remember years ago when I heard Portishead for the first time and the chills I got. The XX brought back that feeling on their sophomore release.
The Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten
-Haters, hate. I loved this release. Catchy as hell.
Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds – I’d Rather Die Than Live Forever
–It’s like The Lawrence Arms unplugged, but different. Seriously though, this was a solid release by a great musician that may have slipped through the cracks for many. If you like honest, real situations expressed in music, listen to this.
The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter
-This band continues to impress and remains one of my all time favorite bands out there. I will admit, this album took a couple listens for me to fully appreciate it and now I just can not stop listening to it.
The Fake Boys – Pig Factory
-Once upon a time, a bunch of dudes from hardcore bands decided they wanted to play the music that they grew up on. The result is this gracious nod to the 90s that is enjoyable as hell by this music lover.
Titus Andronicus – Local Business
-There is just something about this album that appealed to me. Punk / Indie / Rock goodness.
NOFX – Self-ENtitled
-I was like 6 years old when this band first started. I have been a fan of them since high school. They have once again not failed in putting out a clever, hilarious pop-punk gem. If you can not appreciate this band for doing things their way for over 30 years, then I must tell you, they probably do not care, nor do I.
Mixtapes – Even On The Worst Nights
-Pop punk dudes and a nice young lady from Ohio continue to make fun singable tunes for all to love. It was almost impossible to not like this release.
Minus The Bear – Infinity Overhead
-I really can not say much about this release aside from how great it is.
I am sure I missed a couple there and for all you know, I added more after I initially posted this. Like I previously mentioned, 2012 was a great year for music. It seemed like every other week something new and noteworthy dropped. I really think that this year was the best year for music releases in a long time.
I am proud of all my friends who are in bands that released albums this year as well as the ones who played tons of shows and toured their hearts out. Nothing pleases me more than seeing you all do what you do for the sake of loving music. Keep it up everyone.
In 2012, a bunch of bands called it quits or parted ways. Leatherface broke up as did Daytrader (I really thought they were going to find a replacement for Tym too). I was so bummed when Spraynard announced they were finished. Refused broke up again, although I was not really phased by this. I was bumming when I learned Ween announced they were no more. Apparently Chumbawumba disbanded too but no one cared. Ninja Gun even announced at the Fest that they were through – that sucks in my book.
Luckily for us music lovers, as fast as bands break up, new ones form and release sounds for us all to hear.
Let’s see what 2013 has in store for us all. I can only hope it is just going to continue to get better.
Happy Holidays everyone!