Top 25 Albums of 2012 (5-1)
5.) Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind
What can I say about this album that hasn’t been said before? Everyone knows Converge. Every year since Jane Doe has been released, they have appeared on hundreds if not thousands of best of lists. And why should they break the streak? I will say that All We Love We Leave Behind is leagues above Axe to Fall. With the exception of No Heroes, this might be my favorite Converge album. I don’t have to describe what it sounds like, because you already know.
4.) forgetters - S/t
Well this was a surprise. Most everyone I know had written this band off. A curious project that Blake Schwarzenbach started and only released one EP before calling it quits. There was no news of a new forgetters album being recorded. In fact, no one knew it existed until it was put up for sale towards the end of the year. forgetters is a very different band from Jawbreaker and Jets to Brazil, but in a way is almost a combination of the two. Nearly every track is mid-paced to slow, like Perfecting Loneliness, but has a very raw tone much like Unfun. I had the privilege to see forgetters two fridays in a row and both times felt like I was seeing something important. Some people will enjoy this project simply because of Blake, but even if you know very little about Jawbreaker, this album is pretty incredible.
3.) Jimmy Cliff - Rebirth
Holy shit is this album amazing. I almost missed this one. Earlier this year, this album popped up on a blog that I frequent and I added to my Spotify playlist for 2012 music. Months went by and I never actually listened to the album, until a few weeks ago when I saw it on an end of the year list. I remembered I had that on a playlist and listened to it. I am ashamed that I waited so long to listen to this album because it’s is absolutely amazing. Rebirth is a return to form by one of the most important ska/reggae musicians ever, and nearly every single song on this album is downright fantastic. In fact, the weakest songs on the album were the ones not written by Cliff. This includes the Clash’s “Guns of Brixton” and Rancid’s “Ruby Soho”. Speaking of Rancid, this album was produced by Tim Armstrong, and if I had known that beforehand I might have skipped this album. This is seriously an amazing album that I strongly recommend to anyone who enjoys reggae or ska.
2.) The Fake Boys - Pig Factory
I’ve gone hoarse from trying to say how amazing this album is. If you haven’t heard it yet, click that link and go listen to it. Let it blow your mind.
1.) Old Flings - Spite
In the middle of summer, I had already decided that this was going to be album of the year. I was at the first Old Flings show and really enjoyed them but they kind of faded out of my thought. Then a few months later I saw them a few months later and realized that these guys were pretty special. The demo went online and I made it my number one demo for 2011. I then saw Old Flings play no less than five times in 2012. One night I was given a copy of the album and it took only one listen to declare this album of the year. In fact, the only album that came remotely close to knocking Old Flings out of this position was the Fake Boys album. Originally started as a Samiam worship band, Old Flings evolved into the personification of some of the best 90’s groups ever. Knapsack, Seaweed, Gameface, Sense Field, Hum, Gin Blossoms, and yes Samiam, all collide together into a collection of songs about heartbreak, loneliness, and some more heartbreak. If I had to pick out my favorite song, I wouldn’t be able to choose. Though “TBC”, “Spite”, “Studded Jackets”, and “Grip” are some of the top tracks. Of course, there isn’t a bad track on this album. Long live the broken heart.