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SD’s Top Records of 2014

top albums of 2014

Below you will find a list of records from 2014. They are separated by format and they are listed in no particular order. Compared to years past here at SD, this list is extremely condensed, but these records still represent our most recommended releases of 2014 and we can only hope these bands are back in 2015.

To begin, we covered around 90 different full-length albums this year…there are 40 of those listed below. If you want to listen or buy (good luck) any of these records, browse for them in the search bar on the top right.

Full Length Albums:
Shovels – s/t LP (Homeless Records)
Wand – Ganglion Reef LP (God? Records)
the People’s Temple – Musical Garden LP (Hozac Records)
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – I’m In Your Mind Fuzz/ Oddments (Castle Face/ Flightless)
Average Times – s/t LP (Hosehead Records)
Watery Love – Decorative Feeding LP (In the Red Recordings)
Martyr Privates – s/t LP (Bedroom Suck/ Fire Records)
Straight Arrows – Rising LP (Hozac/ Agitated/ Rice is Nice Records)
Ausmuteants – Order of Operation LP (Goner Records)
Ultimate Painting – s/t LP (Trouble in Mind)
Purling Hiss – Weirdon (Drag City)
Musk – s/t LP (Holy Mountain Records)
Golden Pelicans – s/t 12″ (Total Punk Records)
Goat – Commune LP (Sub Pop)
Cellphone – Excellent Condition LP (Telephone Explosion)
Zig Zags – s/t LP (In the Red Recordings)
White Fence – For the Recently Found Innocent LP (Drag City)
Useless Eaters – Bleeding Moon LP (Castle Face)
Meatbodies – s/t LP (In the Red Recordings)
Buck Biloxi & the Fucks – s/t 12″ (Total Punk Records)
Buck Biloxi & the Fucks – Culture Demanufacturer 12″ (Red Lounge Records)
Ex Hex – Rips LP (Merge)
Eastlink – s/t LP (In the Red Recordings)
Endless Bummer – Volume 1 (In the Red Recordings)
Honey Radar – Chain Smoking on Easter LP (Treetop Sorbet/ Third Uncle Records)
So Cow – The Long Con LP (Goner Records)
the People’s Temple – Weekend’s Time LP (State Capital Records)
Manateees – Sit n’ Spin LP (Pelican Pow Wow)
Spray Paint – Clean Blood Regular Acid LP (Monofonus Press)
OBN III’s – Third Time to Harm LP (Tic Tac Totally)
Slushy – Pasttime Gardens LP (Grabbing Clouds Records)
Ex-Cult – Midnight Passenger LP (Goner Records)
Wreaths – s/t (Killing Horse Records)
Dinos Boys – Last Ones (Oops Baby Records)
Os Noctambulos/ Plantains – Split LP (Stolen Body Records)
Ruined Fortune – s/t LP (Hozac Records)
The Young – Chrome Cactus LP (Matador Records)
Verma – Sunrunner LP (Trouble in Mind)
Porno Mags – s/t LP (self-released)

Then we covered at least 70 different 7″ singles… here are 28 of them.

7″ Singles:
the People’s Temple – Utopia 7″ (Agitated Records)
Negative Scanner – Ambitious People 7″ (Trouble in Mind)
Travel Check – $66 7″ (Howlin’ Banana Records)
Bad Axe – Coachman 7″ (Permanent Records)
Straight Arrows – Petrified 7″ (Agitated Records)
Ausmuteants – Stale White Boys Playing Stale Black Music 7″ EP (Easter Bilby)
Sheer Mag – s/t 7″ EP (Wilsuns Recording Company)
Aaron & the Burrs – Release the Bats 7″ (UT/ Feral Kid Records)
Pain Dimension – Brainwash 7″ EP (Croque Macadam/ Reqiuem Pour un Twister)
Wet Blankets – Dieter Caught My Bus 7″ (Goodbye Boozy)
TV Freaks – Leeches 7″ (Hosehead Records)
I Get Mynze – Big Whup 7″ (Pelican Pow Wow)
Suburban Homes – The Suburban Home 7″ EP (Market Square Recordings)
The Tone – American Bedroom (self-released)
the Abandos – s/t 7″ EP (self-released)
Total Heels – Barb Wire 7″ EP (self-released)
Yardsss/ Ex Rev – Split (Self Group)
Radar Eyes – Positive Feedback 7″ (Hozac Records)
Strange Attractor – Barely Doin’ Crime 7″ EP (Mammoth Cave)
Straight Arrows – Make Up Your Mind 7″ (Agitated Records)
Inutili/ Wand – Split 7″ (Aagoo/ Goodbye Boozy Records)
Advlts – s/t 7″ EP (Southpaw Records)
the Frowning Clouds – Beetle Bird 7″ (Goodbye Boozy)
Ex Hex – Hot and Cold 7″ (Merge)
Radar Eyes – Positive Feedback 7″ (Hozac Records)
Night Sun – No Pressure 7″ (Burger Records)
Lumpy & the Dumpers – Gnants in the Pisser 7″ (Total Punk)
Dan Melchior & Russel Walker – Split 7″ (Kill Shaman)

Last but not least, we covered about 25 EPs in 2014…here are 10 of them, without counting any cassettes (there are too many of those, as everything gets released on cassette now).

EP and Cassettes:
Old Smile – Steep Blue Hill CS (self-released)
Likers – Men of Honor CS (Suicide Bong Tapes)
Mountain Bike – Demos CS (Howlin’ Banana Records)
Bicycle Day – I Had a Place to Be CS (Lollipop Records)
Dusty Mush – s/t 12″ EP (Howlin’ Banana Records)
the Beds – Ride Again CS (Ranch Records)
Jensen Serf Co. – Triple Freaks A Beach 12″ (self-released)
Gross Pointe – s/t CS (Dumpster Tapes)
Humanshapes – s/t EP (self-released)
Nuclear Family – s/t EP (self-released)

There are plenty of reasons why it is always worthwhile to compile these lists: first and foremost, they’re fun – they remind you of all the great music you heard the last twelve months of your life. You also see some trends and patterns – for example, we heard a ton of Agitated Records releases in 2014, not to mention lots from Straight Arrows, Ausmuteants and Howlin’ Banana Records too, and you can’t forget the powerhouses – In The Red, Goodbye Boozy, Goner Records or Total Punk. As usual, we’ve missed out on a ton of great records too (the Achtungs, Fire Retarded, Mordecai, Lumpy & the Dumpers, Morgan Delt, etc).

Some added random closing thoughts: If we had to choose one single band to look out for in 2015, it’s probably WAND. If we had to choose one single record that we thought was overlooked this year, we’d pick the SHOVELS s/t on Homeless Records. If we had to pick one band from 2014 to see live again, it would be a tie between AUSMUTEANTS, WATERY LOVE and MEATBODIES.

Now looking forward into the new year, we hope to revert back to a regular posting schedule. After an extended absence here, we’re slowly but surely emerging again in 2015 – see you soon!

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Top Ten EPs/Cassettes of 2013

top10eps 2013

For the final installment of our (late) 2013 lists, we’ll follow tradition with a list of 10 EPs and cassettes that stood out from 2013. We covered a large range of cassette tapes over the year, while we covered at least 22 other EPs throughout 2013. Check out the list right below, and then be sure to catch up on the others if you haven’t been able to! TOP 30 ALBUMS OF 2013 – TOP THIRTY 7″ RECORDS OF 2013 > #30-16, #15-01

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Just Missed:
Psychic Baos – The Death of Bob Plant CS EP (Magnetic South Recordings)
Thee Tsunamis – A Goodbad Man Is Hard to Find CS EP (Magnetic South Recordings)
The Bad Doctors – Re-Animate EP (FDH Records)
Little Legend – No Way To Tell EP (The Record Machine)
Los Roys – Rolls Roys EP (Self-released)
Fuck Mountain – The Mountain Strikes Back CS EP (Self-released)
Inutili – Satori 12″ EP (Bat Shit/ Goodbye Boozy Records)
Real Numbers – Only Two Can Play 12″ EP (Three Dimensional Records)
The Soupcans – Parasite Brain 7″ EP (Telephone Explosion/ Jackshack Records)

Some we missed:
Sweet Talk – Flash of Light 12″ EP (12XU Recordings)
Perfect Pussy – I have lost all desire for feeling CS (Self-released)
Raw McCartney – Introducing: Raw McCartney CS (Self-released)
Retreevers – s/t CS (Suicide Bong Tapes)

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10.) vince and his lost delegation ep sdz records 2013
Vince and His Lost Delegation – s/t 12″ EP
Label: SDZ Records
Track 4:
Vince Posadzki leads his band out of Paris, but originally hails from Québec City. The man has been in a slew of different bands based in both locations, but this is his first true solo record after it all. It’s easily his best and most personal work, adding another quality name to our growing list of French bands.

09.) mmoss quilt new hampshire freaks 2013 ep beyond beyond is beyond
MMOSS & Quilt – New Hampshire Freaks 10″ EP
Label: Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records
Track 2:
MMOSS and Quilt teamed up for an exceptional EP of wooded psych-folk that is mesmerizing and hazy. The 10″ EP comes from Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records in Brooklyn, a label that only grew bigger in 2013. Ranging anywhere from spacy and strung-out to experimental and ethereal, this EP offers an awful lot through just 3 tracks.

08.) Blank Range phase II cs sturdy girls 2013
Blank Range – Phase II Cassette
Label: Sturdy Girls Records
Track 6:
Blank Range easily became one of our favorite new bands from 2013. After this first cassette EP and a 7″ to follow, these hazy Nashville folk rockers are only warming up. There’s bound to be something bigger in their future and it’s only a matter of time before that happens.

07.) the tone demo 7 ep 2013
The Tone – Demo EP
Label: Eye Vybe/ Piss Drink Records
Track 4:
Right after Philly’s premier basement rockers The Eeries broke up, Mike Kriebel packed up and headed to Los Angeles. But even before that he wrote these four songs on this little demo EP, which is soon to be released as a cassette tape and a 7″. We’d like to think there’s going to be more from Kriebel in the future.

06.) raw nerves 112 records sunburn ep 2013
The Raw Nerves – Sunburn EP
Label: 1:12 Records
Track 3:
The Raw Nerves followed up their awesome debut from 2012 with this snotty little EP. Brimming with eight soulful minutes of garage rock n’ roll based in New Zealand, the Nerves serve up each track with a particular style. Whether it’s gritty speed punk, doo-wop flavored pop ditties or progressive songs like “Not Gonna Try,” this EP includes their best material to date.

05.) squids wizard of lonliness ep 2013
The Squids – Wizard of Loneliness EP
Label: Self-released
Track 2:
Originally crossing our radar as Heroes and Heroines, this Los Angeles-based band changed their name to the Squids but left everything else the same. They answered their first 7″ with this EP full of sunny and glimmering garage pop, tracked and mixed 100% analog for an absolutely gorgeous sound. If you’ve been sleeping on this EP now is the time to catch up.

04.) mad doctors fuzz tonic ep 2013 doctor gone records
The Mad Doctors – Fuzz Tonic EP
Label: Doctor Gone Records
Track 2:
The Mad Doctors hail from Brooklyn and offer up an absolutely menacing batch of evil, surf-inflected garage rock that can be accurately described in one word – psychofuzz. These five songs are shocking and invigorating, quickly leaving us ready for whatever they unleash next. The EP came released in a run of cassette tapes that the band only sells at shows, so you know what to do if you really can’t live without one!

03.) theo verney tv ep cs 2013 italian beach babes
Theo Verney – T.V. CS EP
Label: Italian Beach Babes Records
Track 6:
Theo dropped two scorching releases in his first year as a solo artist. This cassette EP came first followed by a 10″ on Hate Hate Hate Records, both of which expose us to his snarling blues-psych guitar proficiency. After a few one-off singles and now these two EPs, we’re looking forward to hearing from this Brighton-based multi-instrumentalist sooner than later.

02.) zig zags 10 12 cs 2013 burger records
Zig Zags – 10 – 12 CS
Label: Burger Records
Track 3:
10 – 12 is the only other release on any of our year-ends lists that we didn’t actually cover in 2013. You could call that a mistake, sure. But after our love for all their singles and this tape from literally the third day of 2013, we’re foaming at the mouths for whatever comes next from these sludgy LA punks. On top of this they released their first record in Europe on Who Can You Trust? this year, as well as a split 7″ for Volcom Entertainment with The Shrine. They’re making sure they cover a much ground as possible before releasing their first proper LP, so we’ll just have to be patient!

01.) haunted leather in her golden room stolen body records 2013
Haunted Leather – In Her Golden Room 10″ EP
Label: Stolen Body/ Cheap Miami Records
Track 5:
Haunted Leather followed up their latest LP with In Her Golden Room in 2013, creating an absolutely hypnotizing take on sun-baked psychedelic rock. They leave you out to swelter in the heat of the sun as their songs stagger on, brimming with steady, thud-heavy rhythms and jangly psych guitars. It’s a similar feeling to bright and streaky rays of light shining across your eyes, all stirred by a sultry, slow-burning flame throughout. Considering this is their 3rd release to date, we’re confident in thinking this is just the beginning for Haunted Leather.

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That’s going to do it for our year end lists from 2013. Thanks for waiting around while we got our act together! Shame on us! But now we can begin to plan for an awesome 2014 – we really hope to take things to a new level this year. Regular posting will resume next week on January 13th – see you then!

Top Thirty Albums of 2013

top30lps

To continue our year end coverage, we’re now focusing on the Top Thirty Albums of 2013. At the beginning of the year we began our weekly installment of Friday’s Find with eMusic, which meant we covered more full-length albums this year than in the past. Beginning with a list of some albums that just couldn’t fit, we’ve put together this list to show your our favorite albums from the past year. From veterans like the Oblivians to newcomers like Summer Cannibals, you’re bound to fall in love with these albums. If you haven’t been able to, now is your chance to pick up the physical copies of these records before they’re gone for good!

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Just Missed:

Teenanger – Singles Don’t $ell LP (Southpaw/ Telephone Explosion Records)
Cough Cool – 29 LP (Bathetic Records)
Zulus – s/t LP (Aagoo Records)
Bad Indians – Are On the Other Side LP (CQ Records)
Wau y los Arrrghs!!! – Todo Roto LP (Slovenly Records)
Hot Lunch – s/t LP (Who Can You Trust? Records)
Party Bat – Real Drugs LP (Tic Tac Totally)

Some we missed:
The Frowning Clouds – Whereabouts LP (Anti Fade Records)
Pampers – s/t LP (In The Red Recordings)
The Zoltars – Walking Through the Dark LP (CQ Records)
Babes – s/t LP (Pizza Burglar Records)
Cheap Time – Exit Smiles LP (In The Red Recordings)
Protomartyr – All Passion No Technique LP (Urinal Cake Records)
Nightmare Boyzzz – Bad Patterns LP (Slovenly Records)
Bad Vision – s/t LP (Every Night Is A Saturday Night/ Adagio 830 Records)
Warm Toy Machine – Not Tired to Blow LP (P.Trash Records)
Fins – s/t LP (Obscure Me! Records)
Boardwalk – s/t LP (Stones Throw)
Kaviar Special – s/t LP (Howlin’ Banana Records)

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30.) verma coltan lp trouble in mind 2013
Verma – Coltan LP
Label: Trouble In Mind Records
A-side:
Coltan is like a forty minute drift through the cosmos where you encounter anything from seething psych to flaring noise rock. This Chicago-based band has forged a path for themselves with this monumental take on instrumental space rock. We’ll see where it lands them next.

29.) los dos hermanos bourbon blood and seafoods lp 2013 howlin banana records
Los Dos Hermanos – Bourbon, Blood and Seafoods LP
Label: Howlin’ Banana Records
Track 5:
Slowly but surely we’ve been hearing from many bands in France taking on this garage-y/ surf revival of sorts. Howlin’ Banana Records is a major player in that right now, leaving us with a few quality examples over the last year. This sloppily concentrated debut from Los Dos Hermanos is at the head of the pack, delivering us a lethally metallic batch of reverberating surf pop.

28.) sun stone revolvers spaceship x lp optical sounds 2013
Sun Stone Revolvers – Spaceship X
Label: Optical Sounds
Track 4:
Sun Stone Revolvers followed up their debut album this year with Spaceship X. Their psychedelic rock is mesmerizing and propulsive, held together by rollicking beats and thick clouds of colorful vapor. They’re a perfect fit for the Optical Sounds label and we’re hoping to encounter more in 2014.

27.) tough age st lp 2013 mint records
Tough Age – s/t LP
Label: Mint Records
Track 4:
Formed after the death of Korean Gut, Mint Records released the debut from this punk rock supergroup in Vancouver. Their songs are muscular, catchy and melodic, combining a healthy bit of pop and surf rock into the picture for a clean and wholesome sound. Their record hits like a ton of bricks and they do it as fun and effortlessly as possible.

26.) ubt ego orientation lp 2013 psychic handshake recordings
UBT – Ego Orientation LP
Label: Psychic Handshake Recordings
Track 7:
After their 2010 s/t debut, the friendly duo in UBT (Uncle Bad Touch) came back with this ecstatic batch of psychedelic garage pop. These songs are undeniably fun and innocent, brimming with bubblegum hooks and breezy flute melodies with an occasional metal-tinged flare-up for good measure. The album even came released on hot pink wax, what more could you ask for?

25.) mind spiders inhumanistic lp 2013 dirtnap records
Mind Spiders – Inhumanistic LP
Label: Dirtnap Records
Track 9:
Marked Men frontman Mark Ryan continues to deliver as Mind Spiders. Inhumanistic brings his punk in an arguably new direction, weaving a colorful, synth-driven punch into his already highly caffeinated pop. That’s three albums in as many years for Mark Ryan and Mind Spiders, so is it even fair to call this a side project anymore? We would say no.

24.) brown brogues triflin' lp 2013 stolen body records
Brown Brogues – Triflin’ LP
Label: Stolen Body Records
Track 3:
From across the pond in Manchester, the duo in Brown Brogues brought us an album all on its own in 2013. Triflin’ shows off a troubling blend of slow, shadowy psych rock and pummeling post-punk, flooring us with loads of shocking fuzz and excess grunge in the process. They’ve quietly released a handful of other records, but unfortunately this was our first real encounter.

23.) ausmuteants amusements lp 2013 aarght records
Ausmuteants – Amusements LP
Label: Aarght! Records
Track 9:
This is probably the latest entry on our list, but it just goes to show (once again) that something good is happening down under in Australia. Aarght! Records in Melbourne had the pleasure of releasing this driving, 60s-inflected synth punk, boasting members from a plethora of local bands the Living Eyes, Hierophants and Frowning Clouds. Their punk is angular and disco-inspired and we’re still not really sure how they’re name is pronounced, but that’s no reason you shouldn’t be listening.

22.) ketamines you can't serve two masters lp 2013 mammoth cave southpaw
Ketamines – You Can’t Serve Two Masters LP
Label: Southpaw/ Mammoth Cave Records
Track 6:
Dating back to their debut 7″ on Hozac in 2011, the Ketamines have been promising and consistent since Day 1. When your album spends 11-straight weeks in the Top 10 albums for Canadian college radio stations, you must’ve done something right, right? No shit. Paul K. Lawton and James Leroy continue to freshen up their pop every chance they get, this time honing their twisted sound with heavy Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys.

21.) ancient sky all get out lp wharf cat records 2013
Ancient Sky – All Get Out
Label: Wharf Cat Records
Track 1:
Ancient Sky continue to pioneer their own take on space rock by mixing in murky folk and other noisy elements for an ultimately vast and expansive psychedelic experience. In the end that’s the special quality in Ancient Sky’s music – you’re not just listening, you’re experiencing. As each track immerses you deeper and deeper into their realm their goal becomes clear.

20.) owen temple quartet rot in the sun lp 2013 casbah records
Owen Temple Quartet – Rot in the Sun LP
Label: Casbah Records
Track 8:
Belligerent is but one way you can describe this wild record. Another band based in France, Owen Temple Quartet creates a strand of primitive punk rock that is all their own. Their sound is arguably sloppy and harsh, bringing to life a blunt and medieval concoction of punked-up snarls. We’re not entirely sure what they’re up to now, but we’re hoping they’ll be back.

19.) oblivians desperation lp 2013 in the red recordings
Oblivians – Desperation LP
Label: In The Red Recordings
Track 6:
The Oblivians released their first proper album in 16 years in 2013, continuing their tear of blues-inspired fuzz punk. On top of that they put on a summer-long North American tour, making old fans ecstatic while simultaneously welcoming new fans aboard. Call it wishful thinking, but who knows if this is supposed to lead to anything else in the future.

18.) hussy pagan hiss lp 2013 southpaw records
The Hussy – Pagan Hiss LP
Label: Southpaw Records
Track 4:
Bobby and Heather Hussy led a busy 2013. This year they released Pagan Hiss, their third LP, along with a handful of 7″ (and one 10″) singles and cassettes. They’ve turned in just under a half hour of crafty, psych-inflected trash punk on their LP, resulting in this scorching grab bag of twisted and explosive guitar-driven stomps. It’s their wildest ride yet and there’s still bound to be more up their sleeves.

17.) thee open sex st lp magnetic south 2013
Thee Open Sex – s/t LP
Label: Magnetic South Recordings
Track 1:
Fronted by Rachel Weidner’s bold, shrieking howl, Thee Open Sex brought us an unmatched debut in 2013. Crafting their boisterous rock with a sweeping wave of psych, their sound is brooding and sinister but with a positively uplifting edge. As far as debuts in 2013 go, there’s is not to be overlooked. This was their first release on vinyl and hopefully it starts a new trend for the band.

16.) summer cannibals no makeup lp 2013 new moss records
Summer Cannibals – No Makeup LP
Label: New Moss Records
Track 5:
This grungy Portland crew has been on our radar since their beginning. After some initial early singles and a good bit of touring the band came back with their self-released debut on their own New Moss Recordings. We’ve heard they have plans to get back in the studio for a sophomore LP (they also just released an EP), giving them another chance to flex their muscles. It’s still early on for Summer Cannibals, but the future is looking up.

15.) catholic spray earth slime lp 2013 born bad records
Catholic Spray – Earth Slime LP
Label: Born Bad Records
Track 2:
Again with the string of French bands, Catholic Spray also finds themselves leading the charge out of Paris. Their dark wave of surf rock is warbled, wonky and downright weird, led by cavernous vocals and exceptionally grungy guitars. In the end, Earth Slime compares to sitting out and melting under the sun until you’re a baked and disfigured mess. The cover art is a totally different story.

14.) missing monuments st lp dirtnap records 2013
Missing Monuments – s/t LP
Label: Dirtnap Records
Track 3:
King Louie’s Missing Monuments turned in this monster LP for Dirtnap and then a 7″ EP on Slovenly Records this year. Their album is full of melodic guitar shredding and King Louie’s burly howling, penning one grandiose pop banger after another. This album still hasn’t surfaced on vinyl yet and our fingers are crossed for whenever that day comes. Reportedly, as Louie claims himself, that’s the only real way to credit this as an official release anyway.

13.) useless eaters hypertension lp 2013 jeffery drag records
Useless Eaters – Hypertension LP
Label: Jeffery Drag Records
Track 11:
The release of Hypertension was easily the biggest and best thing yet from Useless Eaters frontman Seth Sutton. Bringing to life twelve new tracks of this quirky and wiry pop-punk, Sutton continues to create his own path as an artist one record at a time. We have no idea what’s in store going forward but we’d be wrong not to expect more at this point. After this Sutton had a relatively quiet year, but now something currently appears to be in the works.

12.) jons in the hole and out of the water lp 2013 southpaw records
The Jons – In the Hole and Out of the Water LP
Label: Southpaw Records
Track 8:
Operating out of the backwoods of the Baltimore suburbs since 2000, the Jons released their first proper full-length this year on Southpaw Records. Combining an absolutely ecstatic blend of rock and roll and invigorating punk, the Jons do serious damage with their psych-infused slop attack. We haven’t been able to witness them live but you get the feeling it’s a wild experience.

11.) fuzz st lp 2013 in the red recordings
Fuzz – s/t LP
Label: In The Red Recordings
Track 4:
There’s no denying that after their first three singles we were anticipating this monstrosity. After a massive amount of touring and selling out practically every copy of their record(s) this year, Fuzz became a regular name thanks to their authentic metal sound blended with a generous helping of modern techniques. The trio did their homework for this one and there’s evidence all over the record. Now who knows what comes next.

10.) white fence live in san francisco lp 2013 castle face
White Fence – Live in San Francisco LP
Label: Castle Face Records
Track 13:
Live in San Francisco is the only album on our list that we didn’t get to properly review this year. Even so, it’s such an accurate snapshot of White Fence performing in all of its 43 minute glory that it’s a staple to the year. The record fairly balances Presley’s four studio albums, pulling only a couple from 2013’s Cyclops Reap. This far in and it’s the obvious winner of Castle Face’s Live in San Francisco series.

09.) lantern rock n roll rorschach lp 2013 sophomore lounge
Lantern – Rock ‘n’ Roll Rorschach LP
Label: Sophomore Lounge/ Cardinal Fuzz Records
Track 4:
Philadelphia’s friendly punk crew in Lantern had a huge 2013. They came out with their biggest and best record yet, which was appropriately released on labels in both the United States and Europe. As they continue to make a name for themselves with this soulful punk n’ roll, we’re sure this is only the beginning.

08.) living eyes st lp 2013 anti fade records
The Living Eyes – s/t LP
Label: Anti Fade Records
Track 10:
On top of leaving us with 7″ gold in 2013, the Living Eyes also put out one of the year’s most promising debut albums. Coming from Anti Fade Records, the album saw two short pressings that quickly sold out. The Living Eyes only appear to be getting started, and we’ve been told to expect a sophomore album at some point in 2014. Again as far as debuts go in 2013, this would be towards the top of the list.

07.) cool ghouls st lp 2013 empty cellar burger records
Cool Ghouls – s/t LP
Label: Empty Cellar Records
Track 4:
San Francisco’s Cool Ghouls made a strong case for one of the most impressive debuts in 2013. Their brand of folk-inspired garage rock leaves you in a sunny, western state of mind, mixing in a generous helping of blues and soul for a twangin’ good time. After their initial release – their Alright cassette – we were looking forward to something, and we got even more.

06.) heavy times fix it alone lp 2013 hozac records
Heavy Times – Fix It Alone LP
Label: Hozac Records
Track 8:
After some disheartening rumors that these Chicago punks had broken up, they quickly answered with their most complete album yet. It’s their second full-length for Hozac Records, cramming these short, sweet and melodic pop-punk nuggets down our throat one after another. Like their previous albums songs average about two minutes each, but they hit harder and harder each time. We’re not sure of the word on the street for Heavy Times these days, we’re just glad they’re still around.

05.) purling hiss water on mars lp 2013 drag city
Purling Hiss – Water On Mars LP
Label: Drag City Records
Track 3:
It was only a matter of time before something like Water On Mars came to be. When you see Mike Polizze and the gang performing live, you imagine their recordings and think something like, “Why don’t their albums sound like this?” With Water On Mars they’ve changed their typical approach to recording, leaving us with a clean and polished record that shows a different side of the band. If you’ve never been lucky enough to catch them live, you wouldn’t even know the difference, so this album was coming sooner or later. The fact that it’s this good, well, that’s a different story.

04.) white fence cyclops reap lp 2013 castle face records
White Fence – Cyclops Reap LP
Label: Castle Face Records
Track 5:
Tim Presley’s strongest output yet came in the form of Cyclops Reap. The record capitalizes on all of the crucial elements that made his previous albums special, leaving us with 11 solid and cohesive tracks that actually feel like an album. There’s no second volume or lengthy tracklists, leaving us with the thought that less is more this time around. With this being the fourth full-length he’s turned in, we’re sure this is just the beginning.

03.) the-everywheres-st-lp-father-daughter-records-2013
The Everywheres – s/t LP
Label: Father/ Daughter Records
Track 4:
Again speaking of strong debut albums, the Everywheres stole the show and top the list of debuts with their self-titled LP for Father/ Daughter. Samuel T. Hill has mastered his own lysergic strand of psychedelic pop, decorating tracks with slithering guitars and a warming, technicolor atmosphere. This record is about all we’ve heard of Hill’s project, but we’re eagerly anticipating anything that comes down the line.

02.) strange attractor back to the cruel world lp 2013 mammoth cave fdh resurrection
Strange Attractor – Back to the Cruel World LP
Label: FDH/ Resurrection/ Mammoth Cave Records
Track 1:
No other record was quite as absurd and disgraceful as this disheveled mess from Strange Attractor. Boasting 14 mangled tracks ranging anywhere from crusty speed punk to squealing noise rock, Strange Attractor’s plan is a little more complex than just shoving mindless racket down your throat. Weaved into their nasty songs are a slew and angry and disgusted messages about aliens and feeling utterly helpless, so why not join them on their downward spiral straight to hell?

01.) dead ghosts cant get no lp 2013 burger records
Dead Ghosts – Can’t Get No LP
Label: Burger Records
Track 6:
Released three years after their debut LP, Can’t Get No is a perfect example of a band at the height of their powers. Their sophomore album has it all, ranging from swampy psych and hazy surf to bluesy and bubbly pop and everything in between. The Dead Ghosts have taken their time releasing a handful of quality records over the past five years, but by now it’s clear they have absorbed a thing or two on the way. If they continue their usual trend they’ll be silent for awhile, but if it means they come back like this again we’ll just have to wait patiently.

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We were a little late on our LP list this year, but better late than never! We hope you enjoyed 2013 as much as we did, and we can only hope you’ll stick around for another year of fun as 2014 begins. We’ve got some big plans this year that were put on hold through 2013, so sit tight!

Top Thirty 7″ Records of 2013 (#15-01)

7inch

Welcome back! Today continues our coverage of the Top Thirty 7″ Records of 2013. If you missed the first half, we’d recommend you backtrack and take a look – see the beginning of the countdown right here before moving on!

(As 2013 comes to a close, we’ve put together the fourth edition of our annual year-end lists covering the most crucial records of the year. We’ll begin this year’s wrap-up by counting down 7″ singles, ranked in order to represent our anticipation of the band’s future releases in the new year. It’s also a list of anything we thought stood out in 2013, so save up some extra cash and make sure you cop these premium singles before it’s far too late. Happy holidays and most of all, happy reading. Now sit tight for the next round of countdowns, the Top 25 Albums of 2013!)

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15.) ex-cult mister fantasy 7 goner records 2013
Ex-Cult – Mister Fantasy 7″
Label: Goner Records
A-side:
Was it possible for these guys to sound any angrier than they did on their debut LP? That’s exactly the case with both of these raw and bloody cuts of punk rock. It’s like taking a 7″ out of it’s sleeve and finding a circular saw blade that trims your little fingers right off your hand. Proceed with caution.

14.) natural child guantanamo baywatch surf and turf split 7 suicide squeeze 2013
Natural Child/ Guantanamo Baywatch – Surf ‘n’ Turf Split 7″
Label: Suicide Squeeze Records
A-side:
Suicide Squeeze Records truly left us with a gem at the tail end of the year. Combining the landlocked blues of Natural Child with the surfy and honest twangs of Guantanamo Baywatch means this 7″ couldn’t have a better title. It almost goes without saying, but watch out for either crew in 2014. Also, it’s up for debate that this is Natural Child’s best standalone track yet.

13.) fuzz sleigh ride 7 in the red 2013
Fuzz – Sleigh Ride 7″
Label: In the Red Recordings
A-side:
2013 turned out to be the year of Fuzz, dropping a slew of 7″ singles and eventually their crushing debut. Sleigh Ride was the second of three 7-inches, becoming the first indication that the trio wasn’t just messing around. “Sleigh Ride” is an anthem in itself, boasting a burly, blues-fueled crunch wrapped around a jolting time-signature change-up. Throw in the gnarled metallic shards on the B-side and it’s a done deal.

12.) gold losing your hair 7 ep 2013 mammoth cave records
GOLD – Losing Your Hair 7″ EP
Label: Mammoth Cave Recording Co.
A-side:
Chris Reimer, late guitarist of the band Women played drums on this EP. The band used his equipment to record the four songs too, appropriately dedicating the 7″ to him. Jewel-toned guitars and a chilling atmosphere fuels their entrancing dream pop, delivering a remarkable debut from the one and only Mammoth Cave Records.

11.) golden pelicans the earls 7 total punk 2013
Golden Pelicans – The Earls 7″
Label: Total Punk Records
A-side:
Once again, Total Punk means Total Punk and you get the feeling Golden Pelicans know that too. This 1-2 punch follows their debut 7″ from last year, berating us with a snarling and shredded take on rowdy punk rock. The 7″ ends up leaving a garbage-flavored aftertaste and you never would’ve thought it tasted (or sounded) this good.

10.) natural child crs blues 7 jeffery drag records 2013
Natural Child – CRS Blues 7″
Label: Jeffery Drag Records
B-side:
What would any of these year-end lists be without these Nashville scoundrels? They crammed in a late entry from Suicide Squeeze, but this CRS Blues 7″ steals the show. They channel their inner-Stones on the B-side “Nathan’s Blues,” while the A-side is a bluesy 6-minute burner filled with smoke. It’s moody and silky smooth, leaving us to say the Natural Child boys can do no wrong.

09.) slushy candy 7 randy records 2013
Slushy – Candy 7″
Label: Randy Records
B-side:
Randy Records churned out gem after gem in 2013 and the sugary sweet 7″ debut from Slushy was right on point. Recorded with an extra sticky analog twang, the fun-loving duo from Chicago only has this single and a pair of cassettes under their belt. Even so their future is looking up without a doubt in our minds, so we’ll see what happens going forward.

08.) ancient slang fake future 7 gloryhole records 2013
Ancient Slang – Fake Future 7″
Label: Gloryhole Records
A-side:
Ancient Slang came out from way in left field during 2013, bringing this 3-track debut with them comprised of angular and shadowy post-punk. The single has a stunning cohesiveness even though it’s only tree tracks long, leaving us highly anticipating anything from this grungy Indianapolis trio going forward.

07.) vacation club daydream 7 randy records 2013
Vacation Club – Daydream 7″
Label: Randy Records
A-side:
Randy was at it again with this two-song banger from Indianapolis garage crew Vacation Club. These guys lay down some gritty garage tunes loaded with an undeniably ecstatic approach. These two songs are fun and loose, fully exposing us to their progressively innocent and noisy garage pop.

06.) young sinclairs hurt my pride 7 ep croque macadam 2013
The Young Sinclairs – Hurt My Pride 7″ EP
Label: Croque Macadam/ Requiem Pour un Twister Records
B-side:
Talk about a busy year. The Young Sinclairs busted out at least four different singles in 2013, all of which end of making up an album’s worth of twangy, folk-inspired garage. Hurt My Pride stood out from the rest, delivering three clean and wholesome tracks for an ultimately timeless sound.

05.) feel alright oahu ohio 7 mammoth cave records 2013
Feel Alright – Oahu Ohio 7″
Label: Mammoth Cave Recording Co.
A-side:
The Mammoth Cave released a handful of quality records on the year, but none we’re as memorable as this stunning debut from Feel Alright. Penning their pop with an airy and featherweight approach, this is about as charming and pristine as garage could come. Our fingers our crossed for more in 2014, because as promised this stuff will restore your faith in humanity.

04.) jensen serf company electric sister 7 daddy kool records 2012
Jensen Serf Company – Electric Sister 7″ EP
Label: Daddy Kool Records
A-side:
The duo in Jensen Serf Company turned in this stellar 7″ EP at the beginning of the year. Combining a good bit of psych, surf and punk rock, the band has honed in on a sharp and wild sound that is all their own. They’ve turned our heads with two killer EPs now and we’re thinking 2014 will have some more of that.

03.) uh bones only you 7 ep randy records 2013
Uh Bones – Only You 7″ EP
Label: Randy Records
B-side:
No label impressed us more than Randy Records in 2013. This Uh Bones 7″ EP was the initial reason for the infectious love, exposing us to their heavily-reverberated take on soulful garage pop. The 7″ unfolds with a grainy analog twang, decorated with Luke Trimble’s crooning over a hazy layer of colorful synth. We already know there’s bound to be more from this Chicago crew in the new year, so let’s hope they don’t keep us waiting for too long.

02.) straight arrows never enough 2013 best of 7 list
Straight Arrows – Never Enough 7″
Label: Hozac Records (Hookup Klub #31)
B-side:
For those who kick themselves (myself included) for not subscribing to Hozac’s Hookup Klub, this Straight Arrows 7″ is one huge reason surrounded by almost 30 others. It was their lone release in 2013, but boy is it heavy. B-side track “Can’t Stand It” could be their best standalone track to date, offering up an absolutely dazzling combination of garage, psych, punk and ecstasy that will steamroll you. They haven’t dropped an LP since 2010 and we’re really not sure what to expect going forward, other than we’re expecting.

01.) living eyes eat it up 7 goodbye boozy 2013
The Living Eyes – Eat It Up 7″
Label: Goodbye Boozy Records
A-side:
From down under in Geelong, Australia, garage sensation the Living Eyes destroyed the year of 2013. Goodbye Boozy in Italy dropped this sick little 7″, starting a new era for the band as they take their punk in a different direction. There’s a sophomore album on the horizon for these guys, and quoted from Billy Gardner himself, “it’s a bit more ‘Eat It Up’ style.” We’re still patiently waiting for details on said LP, but we’re certainly not asking them to rush anything either. Just as long as there is more of this streamlined punk in our future, all is well.

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There you have it, folks. The conclusion of our Top Thirty 7″ Records of 2013 right before your eyes. Before the end of the year we still plan on bringing you our Top 25 Albums of 2013, which you should be expecting shortly after the Christmas holiday. Please sit tight and stay tuned!

While you wait, take a look at our album countdown’s from the past three years: 2012, 2011, 2010

Top Thirty 7″ Records of 2013 (#30-16)

7inch

As 2013 comes to a close, we’ve put together the fourth edition of our annual year-end lists, covering the most crucial records of the year. We’ll begin this year’s wrap-up by counting down 7″ singles, ranked in order to represent our anticipation of the band’s releases in 2014. It’s also a list of anything we thought stood out in 2013, so save up some extra cash and make sure you cop these premium slices of wax before it’s too late. We covered a total of 97 different 7-inches this year and we hand-picked 30 of them right below, beginning with a list of some that just couldn’t fit. Happy holidays and most of all, happy reading – Part 2 comes tomorrow covering records #15-01, so sit tight!

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Just Missed:
Zig Zags – Scavenger 7″ (Who Can You Trust?)
Dumb Doctors – I Am You 7″ (Academia CHS PVD)
Rabbit Holes – It’s Not Alright 7″ (Big Action Records)
Ar-Kaics – She Does Those Things To Me 7″ (Speakertree Records)
Nervous Talk – Introductions 7″ (Mammoth Cave Recording Co.)
Ancient Sky – Castle 7″ (Wharf Cat Records)
Les Rivals – Sugar Babies 7″ (Mauvaise Foi Records)
Dead Ghosts – I Sleep Alone 7″ (Randy Records)
The Hussy – Way With Words 7″ (Black Gladiator Records)
Thee Commons – Sunburn at Midnight 7″ EP (self-released)
Space Agency – Bombay Potatoes 7″ (Market Square Records)
Painted Palms – Carousel 7″ (Polyvinyl Records)

Victims of time:
The Lees of Memory – We Are Siamese 7″ (Velocity of Sound Records)
Missing Monuments – Blast! 7″ EP (Slovenly Records)
The Soupcans – Parasite Brain 7″ EP (Jackshack/ Telephone Explosion)
Ubu Roi – Nice Dude 7″ EP (Help Yourself Records)
Kyle Kaos – Negi Zonin’ 7″ EP (Party Nogg Records)

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30.) energy gown I watch the sun 7 2013
Energy Gown – I Watch the Sun 7″
Label: Self-released
B-side:
Chicago drone-rockers in Energy Gown self-released their own mesmerizing debut in 2013. Strung-out and spacey, their brand of psych is hypnotic and soaked in acid. After a 16 minute 7″ there has to be more up their sleeves heading into 2014, so we’ll have to wait and see.

29.) cop city chill pillars gift shop 7 hozac records 2013
Cop City/ Chill Pillars – Gift Shop 7″
Label: Hozac Records
A-side:
Nobody twists and bends their psychedelic pop like the Pillars of Chill. After an excellent sophomore album in 2012 these guys continue the illness with two cuts of mutated pop seemingly from the same batch as their previous LP. Listen long enough and you’ll feel a second head grow out of your shoulders.

28.) ttotals spectrums of light 7 twin lakes records 2013
Ttotals – Spectrums of Light 7″
Label: Twin Lakes Records
A-side:
After a killer EP in 2012 the Nashville duo followed up with this 7″ on Twin Lakes. Their take on psych rock is murky and saturated in smoke, employing colorful electronic samples to go with their menacingly bluesy sound. They’re taking their time dropping these records and we’re patiently waiting.

27.) blank range scrapin' 7 sturdy girls records 2013
Blank Range – Scrapin’ 7″
Label: Sturdy Girls Records
B-Side:
Blank Range brought two top-notch releases in 2013: Their Phase II cassette and this two-song 7″ from Sturdy Girls. Both give us a look at their kaleidoscopic take on hazy rock and roll as they only begin to get started.

26.) gap dream chill spot 7 burger records 2013
Gap Dream – Chill Spot 7″
Label: Burger Records
A-side:
Gabe Fulvimar and Burger Records started the second wave of Gap Dream with this 7″. His sophomore LP was announced shortly afterward, delivering a magnified version of this blurry and warbled electronic pop. It’s probably still too early to say, but Fulvimar probably has much more going on under his hat for 2014.

25.) cannon it's cool no worries 7 ep 2013 bon voyage records
Cannon – It’s Cool, No Worries 7″ EP
Label: Bon Voyage
A-side:
Bon Voyage doesn’t always drop a ton of records, but whenever they do we’ve been sure to pay attention. 2013 brought us the dense and twisted pop from Brisbane-based Cannon, leaving us with a smoking batch of mangled and ecstatic garage pop nuggets.

24.) shark week santurce 7 analog edition records 2013
Shark Week – Santurce 7″
Label: Analog Edition Records
B-side:
After a solid debut this Washington DC trio came back even stronger than we could have predicted with this single. They named the 7″ after the neighborhood in Puerto Rico it was recorded in, delivering their honest and soulful take on rugged, Western-tinged rock and roll.

23.) last year's men clawless paw 7 sophomore lounge records 2013
Last Year’s Men – Clawless Paw 7″
Label: Sophomore Lounge Records
A-side:
Chapel Hill wrecking crew Last Year’s Men dropped this 7″ loaded with two explosive cuts of their jagged, garage-minded rock and roll. With at least 3 records to their name since 2010, they clearly value quality over quantity.

22.) travel check wild tropics 7 howlin banana records 2013
Travel Check – Wild Tropics 7″
Label: Howlin’ Banana Records
B-side:
Monster garage rock label in Paris Howlin’ Banana Records released this 7″ from Parisian psych-outs Travel Check. Their trippy rock sounds cloudy and sinister, backed by a thud and veiled in vapor. 2014 would be a lot better if we heard from them again.

21.) buck biloxi and the fucks holodeck survivor 7 total punk 2013
Buck Biloxi & the Fucks – Holodeck Survivor 7″
Label: Total Punk Records
A-side:
Buck Biloxi & the Fucks have a nasty attitude and it shows on this blown-out piece of wax. They eventually released their debut full-length this year on Germany’s Red Lounge Records too. Total Punk means Total Punk and these guys fit the mold, no questions asked. Hopefully they’re up to no good in 2014 – take a look at Hozac’s upcoming releases for some added insight.

20.) red hex shoulda known 7 negative fun records 2013
Red Hex – Shoulda Known 7″ EP
Label: Negative Fun Recordings
A-side:
Negative Fun Records unleashed this bloody sucker punch and knocked our heads clear out of the park. Red Hex concoct an absolutely raw and gruesome blend of angry punk and post-punk, complete with shrieking vocals and shredded guitars for a heinous and angular sound.

19.) fuzz sunderberry dream 7 in the red recordings 2013
Fuzz – Sunderberry Dream 7″
Label: In the Red Recordings
A-side:
Fuzz began turning heads right at the end of 2012. Since then this turned out to be their third 7″, released just shortly before their monstrous debut album. Included is a menacing non-album track and an absolutely lethal cover of King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man.” They speak for themselves.

18.) ketamines all the colors of your heart 7 pleasence records 2013
Ketamines – All the Colours of Your Heart 7″
Label: Pleasence Records
A-side:
The Ketamines came back in a wave this year, dropping their sophomore album and enough 7″ singles that we started losing track. All the Colours of Your Heart was the first in a set of four, leaving us with two fun-filled cuts of twisted bubblegum pop that’s as menacing as it is catchy. Besides their relentless pop, this 7″ has a bit of a jazzy feel weaved into it, naturally leaving us to wonder where they’ll go next.

17.) bad visions 7 visions 112
Bad Vision – 112 7″
Label: Every Night Is A Saturday Night/ Adagio 830 Records.
A-side:
From down under in Melbourne, Bad Vision came into our lives at the beginning of 2013. That’s when this rotten little 7″ first came out and it was eventually followed by their full-length debut at the end of the year. Sharp and melodic, this self-described “garage rock/proto punk” will absolutely flatten you.

16.) lantern mr mars 7 goodbye boozy 2013
Lantern – Mr. Mars 7″
Label: Goodbye Boozy Records
A-side:
Loving Philadelphia trio cleaned it up this year with a slew of releases on labels all over the globe. This is one of their most vibrant releases yet, shoving their soulful strand of punk n’ roll down our throats with the squeal of a saxophone. These guys have the heart and the soul and they’re only getting started.

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That’s all for today – follow the link to see Part 2 (#15-01) of the 7″ Countdown! Now join us in saying happy (belated) birthday to the Styrofoam Drone – the blog turned four years old yesterday on the 18th.

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.

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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)

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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.

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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!

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.

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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)

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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!

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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.