Top Albums from the year of the dragon 2012

Top Albums from the year of the dragon 2012

When I listen to things that i come in via the internets or that I pick-up myself in the store i look for a few things in a band’s music. Firstly does its sound rings authentic in a way that I’ll want to come back to it or does it just fall flat? Secondly does it have a freaking hit or a stand-out track. If there are no instant tunes it’s a looser but if I am in another room and come running back to my desk wondering what that song was I flag it with some random number of stars in iTunes — depending if I am feeling generous – nobody sees this so it’s just for my amusement because seriously I won’t remember a week from then until I look back in my listening history. Thirdly does the album carry a mood and sound all the way through or at least until the 5-6th track am I still listening and am I wanting more? If a record can do any combo of these things then we’re pleased around here. Totally know there are things we didn’t get or heard so this is just a slice of good music that was put out there this year and presented itself to the RS blog. So keep on sending it. We promise if you promise to bring you more in 2013. The last 1/4 was mostly a let down in 2012 but we won’t let that get us down.

Speedy Ortiz Sports EP Review - top albums of 2012
12. Speedy OrtizSports EP – One of our most stalked independent artist is the gal singer from Speedy Ortiz Sadie Dupuis. If you mixed the voice of Tanya Donelly from throwing muses with almost any respectable 90’s noise outfit each song would be finely represented on the Sports EP. Finely dissonant guitar chords chopped up on melodic vocals is this. We happen to know she is a record geek all the way through and it comes across as she brings her bandmates with her to a leve we can understand. So in a way the output is expected and not a missed hit really. Start with “Silver Spring” then visit the rest. You’ll be a fan like we are. We like them better than Screaming Females. [ BUY IT ]

11. Bob MouldSilver Age – Just a solid record that was missing from current rock landscape of crap bands who think they know how to rock. This guy is the master.

10. Nude Beach - II It’s a little old school poptopia in a Elvis Costello meets joe jackson kind of way but this makes it very neat. Seriously mostly classic sounding love songs that sound like they were produced by Nick Lowe in the 70’s so if that is your thing. Check them out. We like it.

09. Diamond RugsDiamond Rugs – Call it a super group or whatever. This is just a good record. Maybe it’s a one-off band I don’t care. “Gimme Beer”, “Be God”, “Country Mile” and “I took note” are really good songs.

08. Nada SurfThe Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy Super solid indie pop release from the guy who could make the phonebook sound like magic. Single “When I Was Young” is classic Mathew Caws.

07. Tame ImpalaLonerism – Fuck this is great. Equal parts beatles and stones if they just did psychedelic music. Ok sort of lazy comparison but it you like spacey music that is mixed in a peculiar way then try a track or two. It gets a little formulesque at times but it’s unique. So high high praises for this music.

Harmonicraft - torche top album of 2012
06. TorcheHarmonicraft Its pure rock. A little down tuned with a unique metal sound. No gimmicks other than being great. Melody leads instead of a blatant chorus at times. In your face at other times fast prog. It’s awesome and nobody gets it. If anything their album artwork is awesome. So….

05. METZMETZ – Holy noise! Yes, i was confused I thought bands stopped making records like this but suspect we’ll see more musicians revolt against a clean discernable sound. this record rocks all the way through. Whilst no hits perse it will make you question what you like about bands that are just loud but no identity in their guitar work.

04. Jason LytleDept. Of Disappearance – Mr. Lytle formerly of grandaddy is the dr. of psycho depressing music made for soundtracks. Every note is perfectly spun for a backdrop in a western taking place on a concrete highway littered with broken down cars. A modern odyssey and backdrop to real mayan end of days.

03. The Jon Spencer Blues ExplosionMeat and Bone – Back to basics is this JSBX record. Actually I don’t think they ever do anything else. No disco era for them. it’s either massive guitar swagger or bust. You can’t go wrong with picking this up and just blasting through your boombox. In fact if you don’t do that please stop reading my blog. Start with “Bag of bones” and “boot cut” then do it. Just do it.

02. King TuffKing Tuff – Hey here is indie record on subpop that is not afraid to be a psych rock band with melodies and cheeky song titles. Might be a little poserish but it’s gridy and fun in a more nasal bon scott kind of way. Stand out tracks “Unusual world” which is this light rock ditty akin to psychedelic furs, “Alone & Stoned” and of course lead-off guitar hit “Anthem. If somebody every titles a song like that and it’s not ripper stomper – shoot them.

Criminal Hygiene – Beneath the Flame (Live @ Down and Out) from CRMNL HYGNE on Vimeo.

01. criminal hygieneCRMNL HYGNE LP This is a LA Band that needs to get the fuck out of dodge and over to the east coast. It’s our number one pick because it reminds us of the good ole-days of slanted and enchanted meets Sorry ma forgot to take out trash. Most of you will hate it for which reasons I won’t be able to help you because this record is not polished but shines because of it’s basic elements of song like fIREHOSE were forever loveable . The music stands-out all on it’s own. [ BUY IT ] The standout tracks are “Alan, I’m in Love”, “Immortal eighteens”, “blak water” and “get an education”

Related articles:
The Best of 2011
Criminal hygiene rearrange your record collection
Lucky 13 Best Albums of 2010 – Part II
Speedy Ortiz is Hipsterer than you

Lucky 13 Best Albums of 2010 – Part II

Lucky 13 Best Albums of 2010 – Part II

Continuing, overall this year was a bountiful one musically with our best of list deserving 13 great albums. Yeah! Shit I cut a bunch just because they would have only eeked in based on the merits of previous releases but in fairness we all have our internal logic (See part I for our Best 2010 Album guidelines) which makes these lists so much fun. So please share yours. We’ll have a separate year in review post about the things that sucked and rocked in the music industry and only go into a few reasons why the music on these records is worthy of your time and money. What I would like to see is a Web Blog equivalent of a Grammy but that whole scene is more splintered. The VMA’s are a joke. So who knows. Might be too many disparate choices. I am interested to know what’s on your list though. Without further ado here’s 2K10 year’s best of albums!


6) Elvis CostelloNational Ransom
Some of my favorite pop songs have been written by Costello from This Year’s Model and his whole 70’s era. This one is good old Americana rock and roll with just enough roots and blues to make it a tasty album all the way through and he’s a Brit! Great playing on here making it a great dinner party record to sip some whiskey to with a blaring fire with friends. I can hear the smoke and smell the cinder burning.
Listen: Download MP3: National Ransom [Buy]


5) The Gaslight AnthemAmerican Slang
This is Jersey pride stinging you in the face. These are the rock stories of youths gone wild in the suburban and urban streets. The ability to tell the tales and paint pictures is what catapults this band’s scenes in the tradition of Springsteen and Dylan. Yup close as classic rock as you’ll get without sounding too melancholy for the 60’s. Much respect.

Listen: Download MP3:The Queen of Lower Chelsea [Buy]

4) Ted Leo & The PharmacistsThe Brutalist Bricks
It’s about time that Jersey’s native son is on a New York label again like Matador. Hopefully there will be many more releases like this one. He heaves his voice and modish riffs like he has a millions songs to give and no concern for the future. The record has a nice live feel minus all the emo hand clapping so lets hope that he see’s some bucks so he can keep making music like this for us.
Listen: Download MP3: Gimme The Wire MP3 [Buy]

Tame Impala
3) Tame ImpalaInnerspeaker
This is one of those bands that came out of the blue for me. Ripped it up in all sorts of interesting ways. They sort of remind me of British Sea Power in their big rock compositions but more Revolveresque vocally with these interesting dream groove space jams. Big Bonham drums that just power you into the future with flanger effects, phasers and small stones. This is near perfect psychedelic rock.
Listen: Download MP3: Desire Be Desire Go [Buy]


2) Male BondingNothig Hurts via Subpop
The right mix of trashy bass, Melody and sing-song guitardness is up in this English bands tunage produced by John Agnello. At their heart they remind me of fIREHOSE but sound nothing like them. They use reverb like any proper British group of record geeks should. I don’t know… try it in case you haven’t already. This band has heart.
Listen: Download MP3:All Things This Way [Buy]


1) True Love¡Pas Net! via Mainman Records
Besides the fact I’ve known these guys since forever and the various groups they were each in before. They have never faltered to deliver quality rock-and-roll that nods to just the right amount of genres and musical stock. Any lame metaphor would not be perfect enough. They put a lot of care in their pop-rock which is alla The Creation, Nada Surf, Sweet, Bowie,gbv and feel free to insert any weird 70’s references. All three in this trio can sing and play an instrument which makes for better bubblegum chewing for us all at the risk of biting our lips in sobering retarded awe. This is fantastic marathon beer drinking rock music without breaking a swet. A sobering experience for critics and in my humble opinion this is what albums should be like from a start to finish. When it’s over you want more and you don’t know why. This one reaches the finish line breathlessly.
Listen: Download MP3:Bitter Wine [Buy]

Download Bonus: Here’s a track from their first self titled LP. If you don’t like this something is seriously wrong with you and I don’t think we can be friends.
Listen: DOWNLOAD MP3: Over The Rainbow [Buy]

Best of the recent past:
Best of 2009 DJ Spork Podcast Best of 2008 listy
Kiss 2008 goodbye DJ Spork Podcast
Giving Thanks to 2007 DJ Spork Podcast