The Decemberness means it’s almost time to reminisce about the past year, although tbf I think about the whole year the whole year round. I will be joining everyone else online in this annual ritual at some imminent point, but for now here are my favourite albums from 2012. The ones I’ve listened to the most probably.
This year 99% of the albums I’ve listened to have been incredible. No, seriously, what an amazing year for releases! If you disagree with my choices, that’s cool. You should know that I mostly listen to underground / up and coming bands, so before you shout at me that Parkway Drive aren’t included… I haven’t heard it. I haven’t heard a lot of 2012 releases tbf. I heard these.
Last year I struggled to put together a top 10, this year I could make a top 20. Easily. You should know that I had extreme difficulty in picking these and if your favourite, or even your own, album isn’t here arghhhh I’m sorry. Maybe I haven’t heard it.
Right, so for anyone who cares here’s my favourite albums of 2012, in a very alphabetical way. Because I’m a chicken.
Bury Tomorrow - The Union of Crowns
This was the album of 2012 I was looking forward to the most. It’s natural to try to compare new albums with their predecessors, but this isn’t Portraits, and I won’t lie that I wasn’t ever so ever so slightly disappointed that it isn’t a continuation of one of my favourite albums ever. It is every bit Bury Tomorrow though, and sounds huge from start to finish. There are lots of potential releases on it and every single that has been released from it so far are TUNES - An Honourable Reign slammed itself into place as my favourite BT track the second I heard it. Sometimes the slow burners end up becoming the best, eh.
Deaf Havana - Fools and Worthless Liars
Forever a DH fan. I guess I’m a converted DH fan really, because I’m of the old skool DH fanbase. I still listen to their first album/EPs and I still love them. But I also love the new sound too. Jamesy has one of my favourite voices ever ever. I don’t know of any other UK band who’ve managed to adapt their sound quite so smoothly and successfully as they have, whilst still managing to sound like them. And this album is the result, and proof that change, no matter how tough to begin with, is sometimes the best outcome. Fool and Worthless Liars is outstanding.
Death of an Artist - X
Yes, yes I know this is one of the bands I work with. That really doesn’t change that fact that this album is RAD! It had all round pretty damn good reviews from the established mags too. Check it out if you haven’t yet.
Demoraliser - A Living Nightmare
The best thing anyone’s shown me all year. I saw them play a couple of times this year and was impressed, but hadn’t listened to them on cd at all, then heard good things about the album and decided it was time to sort that out, and literally within one song I was hooked. It sounds MASSIVE and ticks every single thing I like about music. It reminds me so much of The Returners by The Ghost Inside, which is one of my favourite albums ever. If you like TGI you really should check this out.
Don Broco - Priorities
Absolute fan of this album. Every track is a TUNE! I put it on in my car and drive with a massive smile on my face for 37 minutes (40 if I play Hold On twice) before allowing it to just go back to track one and play all over again. The fact that this is also one of only 2 albums I’ve bought this year that every person in my family loves as much as me, which is a big thing considering one kid is into dubstep and the other doesn’t really care much about most music I listen to at all, and the fact that I can, and have, listened to it for hours and hours at a time whilst driving the length and breadth of the UK, makes it my favouritest album of 2012.
Enter Shikari - A Flash Flood of Colour
This is the other album of 2012 that every one in my house likes. It’s not surprising really as it’s Shikari at their best (I think). The crossover appeal of this album, this band, is what I also love about it, aside from the fact that every track on it is incredible in it’s own right. There are no other bands that sound quite like Shikari. None. The fact that they have managed to hold onto such a unique sound exclusively for so long is quite astounding.
Feed the Rhino - The Burning Sons
I have sooo much fucking love for this band. They’ve got a sound that is their own. I love how frantic and wonderfully brutal their live sets are, and this album is beast. If you’ve got this how bloody ace is Tides eh? It’s like a little piece of calm in a tempest. This album is what I put on in my car when I’m tired and need waking up. Oh oh how I wish I’d listened to Jimbo’s recommendations to check out his band much sooner than I did, but better late than never eh. Get this, then go see them live.
Lower Than Atlantis - Changing Tune
Another banger of an LTA album. How do they do it? 3 killer albums in 3 years? Crazy. It’s packed with the usual brilliant lyrics from Mr Duce (I’m a fan, can you tell?) and the more I hear it the more I love it. I will stick my neck out (unusually) and say that I don’t think it’s quite as strong an offering as World Record, but meh, minor niggle really as it’s still bloody excellent. Normally Strange is my favourite track. Useless piece of information is that my youngest son Josh is a MASSIVE LTA fan too. He also rates Changing Tune highly.
Polar - Iron Lungs
Another band I absolutely adore. Like thiiiiiis much. I loved their EP but this is a definite huge step up. So many potential singles on it too, and no skippers. When I listen to it I get taken back to any of the many times I’ve seen them play and just grin. And I love that I know what K.C.M stands for.
While She Sleeps - This Is The Six
One of the most anticipated albums of the year for me. I bought it the morning it was released and listened to it every day solid for a week, each time it sounded like it was the first time I played it. If you’re a Sleeps fan you don’t need me to rave on and on about how great it sounds, you know. Is anyone else kinda wondering how they’re gonna top it though? Hard task if you ask me but I’m keeping the faith.
I also love 2012 albums from Young Guns, The Ghost Inside, Shadows Chasing Ghosts, Hildamay and sooo many other bands! 2012 was too good. Too good.
Special mentions also to Chick Rides Artist, Housefires, Palm Reader, Subsource, Violet and Try Me/Love Me who all released EPs this year that I think are RAD.
And next year? Well next year I’m looking forward to new releases from Mallory Knox, Heart in Hand, Max Raptor, Vanna and The Valiant, among others.