To follow our tradition, the next portion of our year-end wrap up will take a closer look at the EPs and cassettes that dropped throughout 2012. Below you will find some of our favorites from the year, arranged in order to represent our anticipation of future material from these bands.
If you missed it, the first portion of our year-end wrap up was our Top Thirty 7″ Records of 2012 – you can see Part 1 and Part 2 of that list too. Once you’ve caught up, go on and check out our favorite EPs and cassettes from 2012. Also stay tuned for our list of LPs which we’ll be posting sometime next week.
Lantern – Dream Mine CS (Bathetic Records)
Residuels – s/t EP (Self-released)
The Janitors – Worker Drone Queen EP (Self-released)
Shark Week – EP (Self-released)
Gracie – Death of the Sunset EP (Eye in the Sky Records)
White Hex – Heat EP (Avant Records)
Volage – Maddie EP (Self-released)
SSWAMPZZ – SLEEPER EP (Miscreant Records)
Magic Shoppe – Triangulum Australe EP
Label: Optical Sounds
Magic Shoppe is the brainchild of Josiah Webb from Boston, MA. Triangulum Australe easily included some of the most hypnotizing psych we heard all year, gathering like-minded influences to bands like Spacemen 3 or the Warlocks. You shouldn’t be making comparisons like that unless it’s really true, so thankfully someone out there wasn’t messing around.
Digital Leather – Yes Please, Thank You EP
Label: Southpaw Records
By now most of us should know what Shawn Foree is capable of. His latest material quickly fit into his prolific and extensive discography (which also includes an album we unfortunately missed this year), combining both electronics and instrumentation to create a balanced hybrid pop sound. Needless to say, this forces us to believe that Foree is a master of his own craft.
Spanish Moss – KELP EP
Label: Spot-On Sound/Burger Records
Soaring, acid-fueled psych rock freakouts dominate this dazzling EP to the point where “relentless” would be an understatement. Ripping guitars constantly lead the way to create undeniably epic meltdowns, forcing us to wonder just when we might get to hear more of this stuff. Singles and full-length albums alike seem to be on their horizon, so we’ll see what happens.
Thee Marvin Gays – It’s Easier to be Dumb EP
Label: Kizmiaz Records
Thee Marvin Gays hail from Belgium, showing off six psyched-out tracks that are all as different as the last. Spanning from sweltering heat waves to bank-robbery bandit rock, these guys play with a fast, fun-loving energy that is easily contagious. We’re still looking to hear more from them – they have a full length LP somewhere out there too.
Thee Holy Ghosts – s/t EP
Label: Panther People Records
Simply twangin’ garage rock from down in Gainesville, FL, at times bringing in a bit of surf, psych, blues and doo-wop for a beachy, inviting twist. Right now these guys are on their “Fuck Christmas It’s the End of the World” tour through the East coast, so if they’re in your town before the world does indeed end, why not go down swingin’ with their invigorating blues rock? It sure sounds like a great way to go out – it’s what I’m doing tonight.
The Teen Velvettes – Grab Your Board EP
Teen Velvettes is the moniker of Michael Cotter from Brighton, UK. As far as surf pop goes, this is about as good as it gets. The sound is as authentic as is could possibly be, almost like Cotter traveled back in time from the 50s to grace our ears with the glimmering guitars of this stunning EP. Beachy vibes and plenty of sunshine is abound and rumor has it there’s going to be more of this stuff in the future – we sure hope so.
Blasted Canyons – 2nd Place EP
Label: Castle Face Records
It’s tough to imagine these guys sounding any less psychotic, but they took one small step toward cleaning up their batshit punk rock on their 2nd Place EP. Synth-punk is still a fitting descriptor for their wild sound, now we’re just left wondering where they’ll take us next.
Cool Ghouls – Alright CS
San Francisco’s own Cool Ghouls showed up on our radar a little later than we would have hoped. More importantly, the good news is that they’re currently working on a full-length LP for Empty Cellar Records. If their LP turns out to be anything like Alright, then soulful vocal harmonies, bluesy guitars and ripping brass sections should be aplenty. We’ll find out soon enough.
Ttotals – Silver on Black EP
Right now Ttotals seem to be just getting started. Their self-released EP Silver on Black doesn’t exactly make it sound that way (quite the opposite in fact), but these guys have clearly stumbled onto a sound that is all their own. Dense, noisy psych rock comes along with waves of vibrant ambient bursts, supplying each track with an array of colors that fills any open space. Give them enough time to work and this duo is bound to come back stronger than they started.
Sandcastle – s/t EP
Label: Nutritional Content
Listening to these tracks on their own is one thing – listening to this EP in its entirety is an experience. This Melbourne band doesn’t have much else for us to talk about yet, but with a debut like this one there’s got to be more up their sleeves. Three tracks span just under twenty minutes of weird, ripping, garage-leaning post-punk, sprinkled in with the right amount of teasing ambient haze to keep this stuff just as mysterious as it is unrelenting. There’s a notable cohesive element as each song tends to bleed over into the next, easily sealing up an exceptional EP that is bound to leave a mark as these guys go forward. We can’t be too sure what’s in store for their future, but we’re patiently waiting for whatever comes next!
That about does it for our list of EPs. Next up would be full-lengths – expect a post regarding our Top 25 Albums of 2012 sometime next week after the holiday. Don’t forget about the 7″ countdown either – see Part 1 and Part 2 right now.