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Well, dear readers, another year is nearly in the books. As we have managed to escape another prophesied apocalypse, I suppose it’s time to focus on the small things- like my annual summation. Here are the albums that really stood out amongst the throng for this year of our lord, 2012. Thank you for sticking with us and taking the time to read our silly contributions to the critical zeitgeist.
 

Shane’s Top 10 albums of 2012

 

 

 

Anberlin – Vital


If you’re looking for stirring, emotive songwriting with more hooks than a fisherman’s cap look no further than Anberlin’s latest effort. In the realm of stellar song-craft, this band always delivers in spades… and Vital is, as its name implies, energetic and astonishingly good.
 

Belasco Transmuting

Review
 
Brimming with sweeping atmospheres, memorable melodies and boundless vitality, Transmuting is the type of record that will exist in a loop on your chosen music player for months. Infectious, hook-heavy and emotive, it’s the kind of record the Alt-rock generation was reared on. You can’t go wrong with this one.
 

Big Wreck – Albatross

Review
 
I am a dyed-in-the-wool Big Wreck fan, and was elated to hear the group was re-emerging… even in an altered state. Albatross, like the band performing it, is a perfect fusion of the old school and new school— a beautiful blend of Big Wreck and Thornley that does not disappoint in the slightest. If you were a fan of the band back then… you’ll be enrapt by this new arrival. A must buy album.

Coheed & Cambria – The Afterman: Ascension

Review
 
With their latest contribution, the first of a two-part prequel to the Amory Wars saga entitled The Afterman: Ascension, Coheed & Cambria have crafted another brilliant addition to their ongoing musical saga. Blending mirth, murder, marauders and madmen in a melting-pot brimming with melodious marvels, this is definitely one to keep in the rotation.

delay_trees_doze_hires

Delay Trees – Doze

Review
 
The 2012 release of Finnish indie-rockers Delay Trees, Doze, is the perfect album to score an evening to, moving seamlessly beneath the undercurrent of abrasive, attention-seeking contemporary pop to establish a soothing melodic stronghold in your record collection. The timelessness of the tracks, the gripping melodies and stirring motion of the compositions will have you coming back to this album again and again. It is an instant classic, and I cannot endorse it highly enough.
 

The Flip Is Another Honey

Mike Doughty – The Flip is Another Honey

Review
 
This record expertly encapsulates Doughty’s entire career by distilling the sound of his various musical incarnations and combining them all in a melodic amalgam. If you’re a Mike Doughty fan, this album is a must have. His fingerprints are all over it, and the enticement is enhanced by his interpretations of material that you may already be familiar with. The record is hook-heavy, dynamic and immeasurably listenable. Pony up some scratch for a copy, because it will be well worth it.
 

Crux

Hurt – The Crux

Review
 
Hurt is one of those beautiful and rare bands that is so brilliantly unique that nearly every comparison you hurl at them sounds plausible. Are they Neo-Zepplin? The Rolling Stones of Metal? None of it sounds far off… Their 2012 release, The Crux, is as devastatingly dynamic and soulful as each of their prior releases, emotionally bucking and shifting like a wild stallion being broken. Equal parts aggression, sophistication and sensitivity, this album is a definite declaration that the group is going to be around for a good long while.
 

lizzard

LizZard – Out of Reach

Review and Interview
 
This 2012 effort from French experimental rock/metal trio LizZard, Out of Reach, is a mercurial, polymorpheous rock masterpiece. The band’s virtuosity is on full display, fusing technical ecstasy and irrepressible energy that fully envelops the listener like an iron maiden, holding you in its grasp from the first instant to the last. The album will have you springing for your repeat button on every track. There is no tangible let-down on this record at all. Every cut is able to stand alone, and yet works perfectly in the context of the record itself. For being the group’s first full-length effort, it certainly creates colossal expectations for their future releases.

Sea WolfOld World Romance

Review
 
Indie-icon Sea Wolf’s 2012 effort,Old World Romance, is easily the album that best encapsulates the timbre of the group’s live performances. They have a wonderful vitality live that seemed slightly removed from the energy of their previous releases. That’s not to say those efforts were lacking at all, but more to point out the measurable intensity this album was imbued with. Old World Romance is a phenomenal record deserving of multiple plays and will definitely elevate the band’s already burgeoning rock-stardom.

Silversun Pickups – Neck of the Woods

 
Silversun Pickups has built a career on the back of solid, melodic yet energetic compositions, and Neck of the Woods is certainly true-to-form in that regard. The record’s vitality is matched by its craft and subtlety, with finely articulated points of introspection interspersed between raucous riffs, driving drums, thunderous bass and jangling, spacey arpeggios. This is a rock record amongst rock records… give it a listen.

 

 

 

Honorable Mentions
Ben Folds Five— The Sound of the Life of the Mind

Margot & the Nuclear So and So’sRot Gut, Domestic

Now,Now— Threads

Glen Phillips— Coyote Sessions

Soundgarden— King Animal

 

Top Five EP’s of 2012

Athletics— Who You Are Is Not Enough

Chamberlin— Look What I’ve Become

Rubblebucket— Oversaturated

Frightened Rabbit— State Hospital

Yellow Ostrich— Ghost

 
 

This concludes our broadcast day… Mahalo!!!
 

 

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