Top 25 Albums of 2012

top25

This has been our best year yet for countdowns and this list here is the final installment of our 2012 year-end wrap up. Below you will find a mess of our favorite records we listened to throughout the year, starting with a brief list of honorable mentions and some others we unfortunately missed in 2012.

This will be our last post of the year, so we’ll see you again in 2013! Regular posting should resume again in the second week of January.

________________________________________________

The ones that couldn’t fit and the ones time would not allow.

Honorable Mentions:

Legendary Wings – Making Paper Roses LP (Dirtnap Records)
Trust – TRST LP (Arts & Crafts)
The Spyrals – s/t LP (Mock Records)
King Tuff – s/t LP (Sub Pop)
Dikes of Holland – Braindead USA (Screamers Records)
Cousins – s/t LP (Saved by Vinyl)
Ancient Sky – T.R.I.P.S. (Loud Baby Sounds)
Mind Spiders – Meltdown (Dirtnap Records)
Purity Ring – Shrines (4AD)
Cult of Youth – Love Will Prevail (Sacred Bones Records)

Some we missed:

Protomartyr – No Passion All Technique (Urinal Cake Records)
Lower Dens – Nootropics (Ribbon Music)
The Liminanas – Crystal Anis (Hozac Records)
Grass Widow – Internal Logic (HLR Records)
The Eeries – Home Alone (Evil Weevil Records)

________________________________________________

25.) the zoltars should I try once more lp 2012
The Zoltars – Should I Try Once More? LP
Label: Sundae Records
Track 1:
It’s been said that if the slow pace of this debut record deterred you from listening, you were missing out. Well it’s the truth. The Zoltars brought us a one of a kind offering with their jangly, dreamy, slowcore formula, serving as a reminder that nothing sounded quite this somber in 2012.

24.) guantanamo baywatch chest crawl lp 2012 dirtnap records
Guantanamo Baywatch – Chest Crawl LP
Label: Dirtnap Records
Track 2:
Chest Crawl delivered us some of the most vintage sounding surf rock in all of 2012. Their songs somehow manage to come off both tight and sloppy, making for a wild live performance that sounds like it came right off the record. With that being said, these guys easily put on one of the better shows in 2012.

23.) ty segall twins lp drag city 2012
Ty Segall – Twins LP
Label: Drag City Records
Track 4:
Let’s be real – 2012 was the year of the Ty. Twins was Segall’s final nail in the coffin for 2012, but at this rate he’s probably already got stuff lined up for 2013. We already know to be on the lookout for much-needed represses of Ty and Mikal Cronin’s Reverse Shark Attack as well as the Traditional Fools s/t LP. Both will come courtesy of In The Red Recordings, so sit tight.

22.) spider fever st lp 2012 windian records
Spider Fever – s/t LP
Label: Windian Records
Track 3:
Dense, rambunctious punk n’ roll anthems fills this album from front to back, delivering on every little bit of promise we heard in the earlier Spider Fever singles from Hozac and Cave Punk. Mario Rubalcaba didn’t let us down and for that we’re thankful, but whatever comes next is still up in the air.

21.) vincas blood bleeds lp 2012 douchemaster
Vincas – Blood Bleeds LP
Label: Douchemaster Records
Track 2:
When it comes to strong debuts, you can’t forget Vincas down in Athens, Georgia. They combine just the right amount of post-punk snarl with brooding psych rock for a feverishly flattening psych-punk sound. In the end, nothing else from the year sounds quite this sinister, we’re sure of it.

20.) useless eaters c'est bon lp 2012 southpaw records
Useless Eaters – C’est Bon LP
Label: Southpaw Records
Track 10:
Seth Sutton was busy with shit all year, dropping records of all sizes on labels all over the world. Even through all of that, C’est Bon! is easily still his most accomplished release to date and it’s a good time to start paying attention if you haven’t. Just assume now that he is going to be busy in 2013.

19.) plateaus st lp 2012 art fag
Plateaus – s/t LP
Label: Art Fag Recordings
Track 10:
A string of a few strong 7″ singles led to their best and boldest release yet. There’s no denying the caliber of pop-song craftsmanship that’s taking place on their debut LP, meaning Plateaus have been capable of songs like this since their beginning. Knowing that, you’ve got to think there’s going to be more from them somewhere down the road. We’re banking on it.

18.) obn iiis st lp tic tac totally 2012
OBN IIIs – s/t LP
Label: Tic Tac Totally Records
Track 4:
This self-titled record was easily one of our most anticipated coming into the year. It includes over forty minutes of their filthiest punk n’ roll anthems to date, simultaneously leaving us foaming at the mouth for another tour announcement. When they come to your town it would be a shame if you missed out, so be on the lookout.

17.) natural child hard in heaven lp 2012 burger records
Natural Child – Hard in Heaven LP
Label: Burger Records
Track 5:
These filthy Nashville rockers had a busy year with a couple of full lengths and a 7″ in between. Both of those albums came from Burger Records and each had its own twist, but if you’re looking for some straight up, no rules blues-rockin’, then stick with Hard in Heaven. When it’s all said and done it’s the invigorating edge in Hard in Heaven that stands out against the other.

16.) ketamines spaced out lp 2012 mammoth cave southpaw
Ketamines – Spaced Out LP
Label: Southpaw/ Mammoth Cave Records
Track 7:
These guys dropped their debut LP and not much followed after it, but that doesn’t mean we forgot about Spaced Out. Ketamines channel a shit-ton of energy into their trashy psych-outs, bringing a bit of garage-leaning surf-pop into the picture for their own bizarre flavor. We can only hope they’ll be back in 2013 with more of the bubbly, hook-heavy madness.

15.) white laces moves LP 2012 speakertree records
White Laces – Moves LP
Label: Speakertree Records
Track 9:
The debut LP from Richmond’s White Laces did not get the recognition it deserved this year. We did the best we could to change that, but maybe by including it on our lists people will begin to realize what they’ve been missing. Moves is a stunning and cohesive effort all in one, leaving us to question how they might follow it up. If you’ve been missing out on Moves, now is a good time to catch up.

14.) people's temple more for the masses lp 2012 hozac records
The People’s Temple – More for the Masses LP
Label: Hozac Records
Track 1:
This sophomore album from the People’s Temple is one that dropped later than the rest, but it would be a shame if that meant it couldn’t be included on these lists. This double set of brothers from Michigan play with an unmatched level of passion that is easily detected in their invigorating songs, coming together in what is easily their best collection of material yet.

13.) ex-cult st lp 2012 goner records
Ex-Cult – s/t LP
Label: Goner Records
Track 1:
2012 saw the rise of Ex-Cult with their raw and bloody futuristic punk beatings. This record came out kind of late this year so maybe it hasn’t had the proper time to simmer, but once this stuff catches on there will be no denying their ferocity. If these guys come through your town you better cancel any other plans.

12.) nice face horizon fires lp 2012 hozac records
Nice Face – Horizon Fires LP
Label: Hozac Records
Track 8:
Synth-punk seems like the most fitting descriptor for Ian McGee’s hybrid punk rock. After an awesome debut in 2010 he came back stronger than thought possible with Horizon Fires by taking things to the next logical level. You won’t find a combination of chilly synths and ripping guitars as lethal as this one, hereby proving that this is as good as it gets.

11.) cold showers love and regret lp 2012 dais records
Cold Showers – Love & Regret LP
Label: Dais Records
Track 4:
As far as recognition goes, Cold Showers were another who went criminally under-appreciated this year. It’s not clear how that is possible, but if you actually took the time to check Love & Regret, then you know it belongs here. Dark synth textures and deep, brooding vocals work together to create a murky complexion that supplies a juxtaposing backdrop for icy cool guitars.

10.) cop city chill pillars hosed lp 2012 floridas dying
Cop City/ Chill Pillars – Hosed LP
Label: Florida’s Dying
Track 9:
Thinking back to last year, the Pillars of Chill have come a long way. There’s not a record from 2012 that sounds quite as washed-out and possessed as Hosed. With their debut album we got some good insight toward their sound – on Hosed they totally tightened it all up and created their very own monster. These guys have found their stride and we need to watch out.

09.) ty segall band slaughterhouse 2012 in the red LP
Ty Segall Band – Slaughterhouse LP
Label: In The Red Recordings
Track 6:
To keep it simple, Slaughterhouse tore us all a new one – it was far from clean and raw as can be which was all part of the plan. By now it’s a known fact that Ty Segall and his band put on the most lethal live performance. In essence, that’s almost exactly what Slaughterhouse is.

08.) gap dream st lp 2012 burger records
Gap Dream – s/t LP
Label: Burger Records
Track 2:
Gabriel Fulvimar delivered us an album this year that is truly one of a kind. Hazy as can be and totally stoned to the bone, these spaced-out pop jams will keep you coming back with their intoxicating atmosphere and psyched-out guitars. With that being said, it’s not wrong to say this is one of the better guitar albums of the year either – Fulvimar lays down plenty of nasty licks.

07.) white fence family perfume lp woodsist 2012
White Fence – Family Perfume 2xLP
Label: Woodsist Records
Track 9:
Tim Presley brought us on one hell of a journey with Family Perfume. It’s almost as if the album is a trip through the man’s conscious state of mind and to put it bluntly, it’s a fucking mess. But it’s a special kind of mess and it goes to show that this dude is constantly thinking about his songs and ways to make them better – he’s said it himself. Presley has been churning this stuff out at an above-average rate, so it’s a safe bet we’ll be hearing plenty more in 2013.

06.) spider bags shake my head lp 2012 odessa
Spider Bags – Shake My Head LP
Label: Odessa Records
Track 10:
Again with the overlooked albums of 2012, Spider Bags own Shake My Head probably tops the list. This is undeniably their most accomplished offering to date, leaving behind some of the alt-country twang from past albums and replacing it with a rollicking pop twist. The best part though is that Shake My Head ends up giving us a little bit of everything, evidenced by two sides of a record that sound absolutely nothing alike.

05.) terry malts lp killing time 2012 slumberland
Terry Malts – Killing Time LP
Label: Slumberland Records
Track 10:
The formula is so simple but the result is easily one of the best records of 2012. Fuzzy, hook-heavy guitars dominate this LP from front to back, broadened by crushing rhythm sections and Phil Benson’s calming, recognizable croon. Since this album they’ve dropped a 7″ on Windian Records, suggesting that we might be hearing more from Terry Malts in the new year. We’ll see where they go next!

04.) crooked bangs st lp 2012 western medical records
Crooked Bangs – s/t LP
Label: Western Medical Records
Track 6:
It’s tough to imagine a stronger debut album, but Crooked Bangs totally blindsided us this year. Sharp, tight and moody qualities together combine into head-splitting action, serving up an album that is so fast you won’t know what the fuck hit you. Lead singer Leda Ginestra spearheads the trio with her bold and gloomy tone, signing a majority of songs in French and simultaneously leaving us to wince in terror.

03.) naomi punk the feeling lp 2012 couple skate captured tracks
Naomi Punk – The Feeling LP
Label: Couple Skate Records/ Captured Tracks
Track 1:
Naomi Punk initially dropped this album on a smaller label and were then quickly picked up by Captured Tracks. That happening alone says an awful lot about this band. After an effort like The Feeling, it doesn’t seem out of the question that they’re capable of doing something like it again. The folks at Captured Tracks are thinking the same thing. We’re hoping a third album won’t take as long to drop as the second, but considering their DIY approach, it could be awhile.

02.) raw nerves st lp 2012
The Raw Nerves – s/t LP
Label: 1:12 Records
Track 11:
Hailing from New Zealand, nothing hit the spot quite like the Raw Nerves did this year. Their debut features 11 of the finest garage rock bangers from 2012, mixing in a bit of doo-wop, soul and surf for a well balanced mix. The entire album is easy to love with its straightforward nature and honest delivery, to the point where each new track is just as different as the last. Here’s to hoping these guys can make it to the US in the new year!

01.) ty segall white fence hair lp 2012 drag city
Ty Segall & White Fence – Hair LP
Label: Drag City Records
Track 2:
Hair is undoubtedly the result of a match that was destined to be. With these two guys forging their own prolific paths in the music world, it’s nothing short of a miracle that they met to deliver this record. At this point it’s not clear whether anybody knows if this was a one-off project or if they’ll be working together again anytime soon. We’d like to think these two will join forces another time, but then again, perhaps this is the kind of thing that will be better left all alone. We’ll see what happens in due time.

________________________________________________

That does it everyone – 2012 is in the books. Now that the year is over, we’re hoping to start making some real changes around here. Thanks to all the people, bands, labels and friends who helped make another awesome year – you know who you are! We should resume posting around the second week of January – see you then!

Advertisements

Top 10 EPs/Cassettes of 2012

top10ep

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.

________________________________________________

Honorable Mentions:

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)

________________________________________________

10.) magic shoppe triangulum australe ep 2013
Magic Shoppe – Triangulum Australe EP
Label: Optical Sounds
Track 1:
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.

09.) digital leather yes please thank you southpaw 2012
Digital Leather – Yes Please, Thank You EP
Label: Southpaw Records
Track 4:
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.

08.) spanish moss kelp cs lp 2012 burger spot on sound
Spanish Moss – KELP EP
Label: Spot-On Sound/Burger Records
Track 2:
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.

07.) thee marvin gays it's easier to be dumb ep 2012 kizmiaz records
Thee Marvin Gays – It’s Easier to be Dumb EP
Label: Kizmiaz Records
Track 1:
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.

06.) thee holy ghosts st EP 2012
Thee Holy Ghosts – s/t EP
Label: Panther People Records
Track 1:
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.

05.) teen velvettes grab your board ep 2012
The Teen Velvettes – Grab Your Board EP
Label: Self-released
Track 2:
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.

04.) blasted canyons 2nd place ep 2012 castle face
Blasted Canyons – 2nd Place EP
Label: Castle Face Records
Track 1:
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.

03.) cool ghouls alright cs 2012
Cool Ghouls – Alright CS
Label: Self-released
Track 3:
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.

02.) ttotals silver on black ep 2012
Ttotals – Silver on Black EP
Label: Self-released
Track 3:
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.

01.) sandcastle ep 2012 nutritional content
Sandcastle – s/t EP
Label: Nutritional Content
Track 1:
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.

Top Thirty 7″ Records of 2012 (#15-01)

7inch

Welcome back! Today is the continuation of our coverage of the Top Thirty 7″ Records of 2012. If you missed it, you can find the first half of the countdown right here.

(We’re going to begin with 7″ records which just may be the toughest category considering we covered over 110 unique singles throughout 2012. As you’re going through the list below, you’ll notice that each record has a rank – our ordering is representative of our anticipation for future releases from these bands in the new year, but also just as importantly, anything that we thought stood out throughout 2011. Bear that in mind as you go through! So without further ado, here goes nothin’.)

________________________________________________

15.) natural child mother nature's daughter 7 jeffery drag records 2012
Natural Child – Mother Nature’s Daughter 7″
Label: Jeffery Drag Records
A-side:
By now we all know what to expect from this rowdy Nashville crew – electrified blues rock and a filthy attitude. They had a busy year and this was a big part of it, coming out between their other two full lengths on Burger Records – it even came with its own rolling papers! After their busiest year yet we’ll have to see how they follow it up.

14.) thresholder beyond the far horizon 2012
Thresholder – Beyond the Far Horizon 7″
Label: Self-released
B-side:
This 7″ came out from fucking nowhere and blitzed us all. These guys live in Brooklyn now but originally came from places like Texas and Canada. We’re glad they met each other. Right now there’s no telling what we’ll hear next, but let’s just hope there’s more of this brooding post-punk to come in the new year.

13.) useless eaters black night ultraviolet 7 ep manimal 2012
Useless Eaters – Black Night Ultraviolet 7″
Label: Manimal Vinyl
A-side:
This 7″ shows us Seth Sutton at his most pivotal moment. Nothing in his ever-expanding discography has sounded quite like this, yet we’re still left wondering what we’re going to hear next. His 7″ on Anti Fade has dropped since this, however predictions for the future are still up in the air. At this rate Sutton will probably be even busier in 2013.

12.) fins lawnmower 7 obscure me records 2012
Fins – Lawnmower 7″
Label: ObscureMe Records
B-side:
This grungy trio blindsided us all with their noisy, melodic grunge-punk, coming off equally as pissed-off as it is sloppy. Four tracks sustain this wild pace with shredded guitars and plenty of scuzz, leaving us anticipating any future beat downs from Fins.

11.) shiva trash 7 bleach bath 2012
Shiva Trash – Bleach Bath 7″
Label: Cholo Punks Records
A-side:
Well-crafted garage rock with a touch of twisted surf thrown in, we really couldn’t ask for much more but to bring them to Philadelphia. Their 7″ features three original tracks, each of which has a demented mind of its own, characterized by tight, metallic guitars and spastic energy. We know these guys have more up their sleeves so sit tight!

10.) straight arrows all the time 7 goodbye boozy 2012
Straight Arrows – All the Time 7″
Label: Goodbye Boozy Records
A-side:
If it’s from Goodbye Boozy it’s always guaranteed to be loud, crude and noisy. This Straight Arrows 7″ is no expection. Clocking in at just under five minutes, the two tracks on this single combine for a rowdy, hard-hitting pummel comprised of dire post-punk and twangy alt-country stompers. Let’s hope we hear some new stuff from them in the new year.

09.) protomartyr baseball bat 7 ep x records 2012
Protomartyr – Baseball Bat 7″
Label: X! Records
B-side:
One 7″ led to another which eventually led to their debut LP on Urinal Cake Records this year. This 7″ sees Protomartyr hitting their stride just before the release of their debut album No Passion All Technique, going to show that these guys are just getting started.

08.) cold showers decay 7 art fag 2012
Cold Showers – Decay 7″
Label: Art Fag Recordings
A-side:
2012 finally saw the much-needed release of more material from LA’s own Cold Showers. This 7″ eventually led to their debut LP on Dais Records, giving us an idea of what to expect with an instantly memorable track like “So I Can Grow.” It could be awhile before we hear something new from these guys, so now is a good time to catch up if you’ve been slacking.

07.) crystal swells  7 harsh side sludge freaks 2012
Crystal Swells – HarshSide/ SludgeFreaks 7″
Label: TRBLFKR Records
B-side:
Hailing from Vancouver, the manic surf-rock monstrosities on Crystal Swells debut 7″ knocked the ball clean out of the park. All four tracks are blown-out and berserk in their own sloppy, deranged way, showing off reverb-drenched guitars with a gritty, acid-soaked complexion in splitting burnout tracks like “Harsh Flux” or “Freaks in Heat.”

06.) gap dream ali baba 7 suicide squeeze 2012
Gap Dream – Ali Baba 7″
Label: Suicide Suqeeze Records
A-side:
If you were to ask us, we’d tell you Gap Dream blew up this year. After an excellent debut LP in January that’s now onto its second pressing, Gabriel Fulvimar was back with this 7″ in September. It’s a continuation of where he left us on his Burger Records debut and “Generator” just may be his best individual song to date.

05.) heavy times i'm single 7 hozac records 2012
Heavy Times – I’m Single 7″
Label: Hozac Records
B-side:
By now we’ve been over it a million times – Heavy Times are capable of bringing us some of the catchiest and tightest guitar hooks in the game. Consistency has been a huge part of their constantly growing discography and they appear to be far from slowing down. They even had a second 7″ this year on Windian Records that we sadly did not get a chance to cover. But with 2013 on the horizon, we’re expecting another full-length from these filthy Chicago punks, so be patient!

04.) spider bags papa was a shithead 2012 sophomore lounge records 7
Spider Bags – Papa Was a Shithead 7″
Label: Sophomore Lounge Records
B-side:
Considering their evolution since the A Celebration of Hunger-era, there’s probably no other band that grew into themselves better than Dan McGee’s Spider Bags. There’s an excellent LP titled Shake My Head to show for that from this year, going hand-in-hand with the sweaty ruckus found on this 7″ – the fiery progression of a track like “I Wish That I Never Had Fed You” should become instantly memorable.

03.) peoples temple looters game 7 hozac records 2012
The People’s Temple – Looter’s Game 7″
Label: Hozac Records
A-side:
The two songs on this 7″ are polar opposites of each other, going to show just how dynamic this brotherly band can be. These guy play with an unmatched level of passion that is easily palpable in their songs, going from bluesy and invigorating to dazey and strung-out within two short tracks. Their new album dropped a bit later than we wanted, but this single still did its job by holding us over.

02.) hot lunch 2012 killer smile 7 who can you trust
Hot Lunch – Killer Smile 7″
Label: Who Can You Trust? Records
A-side:
This debut 7″ from Hot Lunch caught us so off-guard it wasn’t even fair. There’s not another single that could equal the caliber of intensity that radiates off these two scorching songs, suggesting a live performance that is probably out of this world. They’re currently working on their debut full length for 2013 on Who Can You Trust? Records, so be on the look out for Hot Lunch in the new year.

01.) zig zags monster wizard 7 tubesteak tuesday 2012
Zig Zags – Monster Wizard 7″
Label: Tubesteak Tuesday Records
A-side:
2012 saw an awesome beginning for these grungy punks. Based out of Los Angeles, Zig Zags dropped two smoking singles of their own and then a third split with Iggy Pop, quickly setting themselves up with an initial batch of material that is extremely difficult to match. We haven’t heard much about their future plans, but we’re definitely banking on something new sooner or later. Catching them live is a top priority right now, mainly for the fact that the four songs on their own singles are absolutely (and consistently) catastrophic. Here’s to hoping we get to hear more from Zig Zags in 2013.

________________________________________________

That does it for 7″ records – our year-end coverage continues in a few days with a list of EPs/Cassettes and full length LPs. Please stay tuned for more!

Top Thirty 7″ Records of 2012 (#30-16)

7inch

It’s that time of year again folks, the time where everybody’s favorite year-end tradition comes back to haunt them – lists! Frankly, if you ask us, the year wouldn’t be the same without these things, which is why we’re bringing you our third edition of year-end wrap-ups today.

We’re going to begin with 7″ records which just may be the toughest category considering we covered over 110 unique singles throughout 2012. As you’re going through the list below, you’ll notice that each record has a rank – our ordering is representative of our anticipation for future releases from these bands in the new year, but also just as importantly, anything that we thought stood out throughout 2012. Bear that in mind as you go through! So without further ado, here goes nothin’.

________________________________________________

It’s tough to admit but there’s always going to be those releases that just barely missed the mark – what’s even worse is that time limits us all and we just couldn’t cover every 7″ we wanted to. Below you’ll find a short list of the singles we couldn’t fit on our list, as well as a few we just didn’t have the time to cover:

Honorable Mentions:
Protomartyr – Kings Boots 7″ (Urinal Cake Records)
Grand Trine – Bohemians 7″ (Almost Ready Records)
VVhile – VVhile is Vanity 7″ EP (Jazz Chairs/Twin Toe)
Bare Mutants – Without You 7″ (Hozac Records)
Tight Genes – Cop Again 7″ (Goodbye Boozy Records)
The Nervous Ticks – Badlands 7″ (Goodbye Boozy Records)
Mining Boom – Dining Room 7″ (Self-released)
Unwed Teenage Mothers – If You Think… 7″ (Speakertree Records)
Wobbly Lamps – Neon Tee Pee 7″ (Polyvinyl Craftsmen)
Cold Warps – Slimer 7″ (FunDog Records)

Some we missed:
Heavy Times – K-9 7″ (Windian Records)
Terry Malts – Living With the Human Race 7″ (Windian Records)
Useless Eaters – New Program 7″ (Anti Fade)
Hierophants – Bow Down to… 7″ (Anti Fade)

________________________________________________

30.) lonesome savages all outta love 7 ep kind turkey 2012
The Lonesome Savages – All Outta Love 7″
Label: Kind Turkey Records
B-side:
With the combination of Dead Luke and Max Elliot (formerly of Zola Jesus), the Lonesome Savages were born. Together they create these crunchy blues rock dirges, showing off that gritty, Midwestern twang that’s easy to love. Looking forward into the near year, we’ll have to see where they go next.

29.) adam widener make out 7 ep 2012 fuzz city
Adam Widener – Make Out 7″ EP
Label: Fuzz City Records
A-side:
Formerly in Bare Wires and the Zygoteens, now Widener makes pop music on his own terms. After hearing his two 7″ singles from this year, there’s no second-guessing what he’s up to. Now we wait on what comes next!

28.) the babies moonlight mile 7 woodsist 2012
The Babies – Moonlight Mile 7″
Label: Woodsist
A-side:
The Babies have come a long way to say the least. This 7″ is surely proof of that. We didn’t get a chance to cover their sophomore LP this year, but “Moonlight Mile” is a pretty good indication of what you’d be getting into. Throw in a warming and folksy B-side like “Places” and you’ve got yourself a 7″ gem.

27.) ghost of chance paddle boat 7 obscureme 2012
Ghost of Chance – Paddle Boat 7″
Label: ObscureMe Records
Track 2:
Ghost of Chance came bearing a peculiar 7″ that blended elements from both garage rock and frothy dream pop, a combination we don’t hear very often. They also mess around with rhythm and tempo mix-ups, making for sudden changes in tracks that occur within moments, requiring close, careful listening.

26.) magic shadows 2012 sunburned mind 7 under the stairs
Magic Shadows – Sunburned Mind 7″
Label: Self-released
A-side:
Hamilton, Ontario burnouts Magic Shadows dropped this 7″ with more pent-up and psyched-out aggression than thought possible to fit onto wax. Hopefully we get to hear more of these sinister ragers in 2013 because these guys aren’t messing around.

25.) wax idols schadenfreude 2012 suicide squeeze 7
Wax Idols – Schadenfreude 7″
Label: Suicide Squeeze Records
A-side:
These are easily two of Hether Fortune’s best tracks to date, leaving us ready for her sophomore LP Discipline and Desire that is due to drop early next year via Slumberland Records. We’ve been lucky enough to hear some of the new material already, but we’re still waiting for the bigger picture. Sit tight until March and we should have a better idea of what to expect.

24.) heroes and heroines 2012 two weeks 7
Heroes and Heroines – Two Weeks 7″
Label: Self-released
B-side:
For their debut 7″ Heroes and Heroines brought us their own strand of bubbly garage pop from Los Angeles. Featuring an unmatched level of innocence, the two tracks included here are about as charming and blissful as you could possibly hope for.

23.) missing monuments love you back to life hozac
Missing Monuments – Love You Back to Life 7″
Label: Hozac Records
B-side:
Clean and razor-sharp power-punk anthems dominate this particular Missing Monuments 7″. All three of these tracks feature Julien Fried’s signature shred, not to mention carefully organized pop song structure and a fun, lovable innocence.

22.) zig zags scavenger 7 mexican summer 2012
Zig Zags – Scavenger 7″
Label: Mexican Summer
A-side:
This debut Zig Zags 7″ hit us like a ton of bricks. Bringing us their sludgy punk energy from Los Angeles (and past bands like Unnatural Helpers and the Intelligence), we’re bound to hear more from them in 2013. At least that’s what we’re hoping.

21.) Lecherous Gaze bagagazo 7 who can you trust 2012
Lecherous Gaze – Bagagazo 7″
Label: Who Can You Trust? Records
A-side:
Lecherous Gaze left us a fucking monster on their debut 7″ from German label Who Can You Trust? Clocking in at over 10 minutes of heavy-guitar (and guitar-heavy!) rock and roll, there was no way to possibly forget this lethal single. Let’s hope we hear some more in the new year.

20.) king tuff wild desire 7 suicide squeeze 2012
King Tuff – Wild Desire 7″
Label: Suicide Squeeze Records
A-side:
The exhilarating qualities and guitar wizardry of “Wild Desire” would probably be enough to get this 7″ up here even without a B-side. Suicide Squeeze dropped this single just before King Tuff’s sophomore LP on Sub Pop this year, quickly leaving us all foaming at the mouth for what would eventually come next.

19.) martyr privates bless 7 bon voyage 2012
Martyr Privates – Bless 7″
Label: Bon Voyage Records
A-side:
Martyr Privates served up their debut 7″ so hot and heavy that it’ll burn you if you get too close. Harsh repetition, searing guitars and crunchy melodies go a long way to help give us hope for their future. We haven’t heard much about what it includes yet, but let’s keep our fingers crossed.

18.) pharmacy dig your grave 7 ep kind turkey 2012
The Pharmacy – Dig Your Grave 7″
Label: Kind Turkey Records
A-side:
If you’re talking solid 7-inches then you can’t forget this. Four tracks, each totally different yet still somehow cohesive from this prolific Seattle band. On top of this they had a pretty busy year, dropping both an EP and a full length on Seayou Records.

17.) red dons auslander 7 dirtnap records 2012
Red Dons – Auslander 7″
Label: Dirtnap Records
A-side:
Tight, sharp, world-ending post-punk meltdowns with just the right amount of caffeine from Portland. It’s beyond fitting for the Dirtnap label and is easily some of their best material to date. It’s not clear whether or not we’ll hear more from Red Dons in 2013, but it seems likely to happen sooner or later.

16.) plateaus do it for you 2012 hozac records 7
Plateaus – Do It For You 7″
Label: Hozac Records
A-side:
Do It For You was the much-anticipated follow up to Plateaus debut 7″ from last year. This was followed by a second single on Art Fag, which finally led to their debut LP toward the end of 2012. The LP version of these songs don’t stand a chance against the 7″ recordings, however this single still belongs on this list.

________________________________________________

That’s all for today. Finish the countdown by checking out Part 2 of our Top Thirty 7″ Records of 2012!