Grant’s Top 10 of 2012
December 21, 2012 § 1 Comment
Presenting Grant’s Top 10:
10. Billy the Kid – Stars, Exploding: This had me pretty excited ever since Billy announced she was recording this, and I reviewed it for MPN in November. I donated to her Kickstarter-like page and it was definitely worth it. This album is pop/alt-country at its best and a great listen, too. I’m excited to see what the next move is for this Canadian songwriter.
9. The Menzingers – On the Impossible Past: I really didn’t listen to the Menzingers much before this album. I had heard a few songs from time to time but never really listened to a full album until this one. This is the band’s Epitaph Records debut and if this is the beginning, wow. Songs like “Good Things” and “Casey” are catchy as hell and definitely two of my favorite songs of this year. Side note: their set at Fest was fan-fucking-tastic.
8. Forgetters – Forgetters: I’m a huge fan of Blake Schwarzenbach and the Forgetter’s 7-inch was a real treat. I almost forgot about this record coming out this year until about a month before it did. My favorite thing about it is that in a day where everything is done digitally (unless you have the scratch to do it on analog tape) is that this record sounds dirty. All the polish and cleanliness from Schwarzenbach’s last band, Jets to Brazil, is all gone and this record is an aural adventure. This record may not be for every Jawbreaker fan but it’s a fun and has a little bit of everything in it, from Against Me! Style drumming to Jawbreaker’s poeticism.
7. The Whoopass Girls – Headacher: These fellers are my favorite Missoula band hands down and this record just further proves that this band isn’t done growing. Every release the musicianship gets tighter, the lyrics get a little darker and the guitar tapping gets whackier. It’s really amazing to see a band play their first show about a year and a half ago and now to now have this record. These dudes are way rad (well, sometimes Forrest can be a little punk but that’s neither here nor there) and are definitely worth seeing live. Song highlights “Troy and Nathan (2g4 Nicely)” and “Let’s Get Insecure.” These guys are definitely not “Failures.” Listen to Headacher on Bandcamp.
6. The Sidekicks – Awkward Breeds: I always wonder when the next surge of pop-punk into the mainstream will happen. It’s been thirteen years since Blink-182 hit it big, and seven (?) since Green Day caught their second break bringing snotty lyrics and a slick gloss over distorted guitars into the general public’s ear balls. But I have a feeling that the new wave is gonna happen again very soon with the Sidekicks leading that charge. Super catchy lyrics, super catchy music, these guys have it all. This album is leaps and bounds above their previous release, Weight of Air, and where they go next is an exciting thing.
5. Cheap Girls – Giant Orange: Right along the Sidekicks, I believe this is the other band that will be hand in hand. Cheap Girls have been busting their balls with one solid release after another and this one is definitely their best so far. Produced by Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace (formerly known as Tom Gable) the band has a big sound for just a three piece. Unlike previous records, this one amps up the juice and you can hear every part the way it was intended to. The song “Ruby” is a heart melter. Goddamn.
4. The Jealous Sound – A Gentle Reminder: I saw the Jealous Sound open up for Sunny Day Real Estate a couple years ago and my only experience with them before that was a couple times my buddy, Chris, would play them on drives to the bar. Talk about a life changing moment because ever since then I have been a huge fan (and I feel they upstaged Sunny Day at both of the shows I attended). This record comes out ten years since their last release and it sounds like they haven’t even missed a beat. This record is darker and less sing alongy than Kill Them With Kindness but holy hell does it work on some many levels. Clocking in 44.5 minutes this record is void of any filler and songs like “Beautiful Morning” and “Your Eyes Were Shining” tug at your heart strings. This is the perfect record to listen to while sipping a glass of scotch while idly starting out of a snowy window pane.
3. Blink-182 – Dogs Eating Dogs: I’m actually pretty damn surprised that this is up as far as it is based on the fact the song “Boxing Day” is so cheesy that you might want to wash it down with some deep fried cheese curds to erase the ridiculous taste of “I’m empty like the day after Christmas/Swept beneath the wave of your goodbye.” And yet, I can’t stop listening to it. Other than the “Boxing Day” misstep this is exactly what their 2011 release, Neighborhoods, should have been. It’s serious and it doesn’t sound like Tom DeLonge’s Angels and Airwaves. Sure people complain and bitch that the humor that got this band into the mainstream is gone but I’m fine with it. I think their writing is becoming tighter, solid with each release. This little EP puts the egos aside and showcases a band becoming more comfortable with what they’re doing and with each other. I’m always gonna have a soft spot for this band and I really don’t care; give me more songs like “Pretty Little Girl” and “Dogs Eating Dogs” and I will buy every album you make from now on.
2. Brendan Kelly and the Wandering Birds – I’d Rather Die Than Live Forever: I really don’t have too much more to add to this since I wrote a nice little review about it for Missoula Punk News. I will say that every time I go back and listen, I pick up something I missed before. Goddammit, Brendan! Hurry up and get that Lawrence Arms record done so I can nerd out hardcore about another record in 2013 like I have with this one.
1. The Fake Boys – Pig Factory: This was a tough call between BK and TWB but this is my favorite record of 2012. This record is almost pure perfection and if you haven’t heard it you need to. It’s catchy all the way through with it’s snotty attitude and Pinker-ton era Weezer like influence, it doesn’t disappoint. Sarcastic songs about heart break and poking fun at the punk scene make this band stand out in a sea of great releases this year. I really regret not keeping better track of time and actually missing these guys at Fest. I’m really pissed and I hope they can make a trip back up to Missoula in the future. I can’t single out any of the tracks on the record because they all flow together so nicely but they do have a video for “Realest World” so check it out, go get the record and then follow these guy on Facebook to see who they’ll talk shit on next!