I don’t really have the effort or interest, frankly, in trying to create an empirical “THESE ARE THE BEST ALBUMS OF THE YEAR IN ORDER OF BESTNESS”. However, 2012, while a shitty year to be a human being with feelings and stuff, was a good year for punk music. So here’s a list of a few of the albums that came out that I liked, in no particular order. (NOTE: I didn’t listen to everything, so this list is definitely incomplete).
MITCH CLEM’S LIST OF GOOD THINGS, 2012 EDISH:
BIG EYES – “Back From the Moon”
This is just a 7” and thus doesn’t count or something. I don’t make the rules. STILL, as much as I said I wasn’t ranking anything as better or worse than anything else, “Back From the Moon” is HANDS DOWN THE #1 BEST SONG OF 2012 BY MILES AND MILES. As many miles as it takes to go to the moon and back at least. This is probably my favorite currently-touring band. If they play in your town, I am not kidding, go go go see them. You’ll thank me. And tell them I sent you, if only to annoy them.
FUTURE OF THE LEFT – “The Plot Against Common Sense”
Yeah, not as good as their first album for sure, but still better than whatever crappy band you play in. Frenetic, weird, catchy, and great. Like if Apocalypse Hoboken were a Sub Pop band or something. Plus charming Welsch accents. Wonderful stuff.
TOYS THAT KILL – “Fambly 42”
Maybe TTK’s best album, which is saying quite a lot. More garage influence than previous records without sounding like a different band. This shit is genius.
TRAGEDY – “Darker Days Ahead”
Slower and broodier than previous records, but still brutal and powerful. One of the best hardcore bands around. I love these guys.
MASKED INTRUDER – s/t
Flawless, uber-slick pop punk concept band who write songs more or less about stalking girls, thus subverting the entire oft-misogynistic pop punk subgenre and creating possibly the sneakiest feminist punk record ever. Bikini Kill never had hooks like this.
WORLD’S SCARIEST POLICE CHASES – “Unfuckwithable”
What the hell is even happening here? These guys are a riot. Kinda sloppy party-punk about being cops and stealing drugs from kids or something. If I did an album cover for them it would be a skeleton police officer doing some tweaked-out grabs on a skateboard. I’ll bet they’re awesome live.
SICKOIDS – s/t
Pretty cool hardcore punk from Philly. The couple times they flirt with more melodic stuff, they become absolutely unstoppable. Good debut album showing lots of promise.
BRAT FARRAR – s/t
One-man-band that sounds like if Jay Reatard and the Spits had a baby. Some really great songs here, this guy knows what he’s doing. Plus he recorded it by himself, playing every instrument, in his bedroom, and released it himself. DIY OR DIE, BABY!
WHITE LUNG – “Sorry”
Even Spin likes this album. Awesome female-fronted punk punk punk punk rock. Overall a solid record, but a couple of the tracks on here in particular are absolutely astounding.
LOMA PRIETA – “I.V.”
Cool-ass hardcore band that sound like they probably wear pretty tight pants but, whatever man, good songs are good songs.
PROPAGANDHI – “Failed States”
These guys haven’t made a bad album yet. To hell with the nonbelievers. Political speed metal from a band that used to sound like NOFX. Or that NOFX used to sound like, I kinda forget how it works again. This record sounds exactly like you’d expect it to. And it’s great.
MIND SPIDERS – “Meltdown”
Some kinda crazy psychadellic weirdness from ex-Marked Men. Sounds like Marked Men on acid. I guess? It’s awesome, whatever it is.
DINOSAUR JR. – “I Bet on Sky”
How the fuck does a band break up for ten years and then get back together and still be just as good? This album is flawless. Just astounding.
…plus several others I know I forgot or just haven’t heard yet. Happy New Years!