FROZEN TEENS – LPThere are a lot of records on this list and I like them all pretty equally… except for this one. I listened to this LP more than anything else this year. Everything about it is perfect, from the opening bravado of “Been A While” to the staggering, lilting closing of “Bury Me Alive.” It’s excellent melodic punk at its absolute finest. I’ve been waiting years for this record and I was not let down in the slightest. Perfect. (Do Ya Hear We / Mauled By Tigers)
MIND SPIDERS – “Meltdown” LPI knew this would be good since the band includes half of the MARKED MEN, but I didn’t know it would be this good. Completely flawless synth-pop with melodies that won’t leave your head for days or weeks on end. It should come with a warning label stating that. It takes a special kind of band to make music that seems so simple still sound so fresh, addictive and vital. (Dirtnap)
NO STATIK – “Everywhere You Aren’t Looking” LPThis Bay Area band’s first 12” last year was pretty unstoppable, but they somehow put this thing out and managed to hone their sound into something meaner, more destructive and completely unfuckwithable. When I first got this home, I cleaned my room to Side A, which is a side-long ambient soundscape thing (which, for the record, I’m completely into). When I dropped the needle on Side B, I just sat and stared at the record spinning around, mouth agape. This destroys. (Prank)
SICKOIDS – LPSick band. Sick record. Sick live show in Oakland. Sickoids. Everything about this record is sick. (Residue)
DOGJAW “Slow To Build” LPDOGJAW’s slow, brooding, howling record sounds like a rainy Pacific Northwest afternoon. They’re the kind of band that is sure to have a stocked tincture shelf and a hot mug of tea at the end of the night. These are my people. (Rumbletowne)
BAADER BRAINS – “New Era Hope Colony” LPA triumphant, exuberant, beautiful work of art that leaves me speechless. (Ebullition / Clean Plate / Empyre)
ALABASTER CHOAD – “Crash Of The Limburger on Bebusland” LPFirst off, my pal E.R. Conner bought this LP off of their stand-up bass player, Orson when he was randomly selling it on the street downtown in order to buy cat food. Secondly, this band is completely indescribable, but I think they are amazing. True freak music for fucked up queers and weirdos. (Self-released)
EXCUSAMWA – “Excusez-Moi” LPThere is absolutely no other band like FAT DAY and I have been mourning their loss for a long time now. This band is not FAT DAY, but one of the members is in this band and there are screeches, skronks, tempos and bonkers-style songwriting that makes me feel the same as the aforementioned band. This music is uncomfortable and strange. I love it. It also includes a board game, which is insane. (100% Breakfast)
LEATHERFACE – “Mush” LPAn important band. An important record. I’m glad someone finally released it on vinyl, even if it is a “bootleg”. (Bootleg)
HICKEY – “Various States Of Disrepair” 2xLPYes, this is a reissue, but this band helped to shape my views on DIY punk in ways that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Every song on here is a classic. If you don’t like HICKEY, I probably don’t like you. (1-2-3-4-Go!)
REPLICA – FlexiPerfect Bay Area hardcore that is fierce as fuck. Seriously, every time I see REPLICA, I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to live in a town with a band that is this great. I get the same feeling when I listen to this flexi version of their demo. (Radical Punks Never Die)
CLEANSING WAVE – “Tread On” EPThis noisy crust band from Massachusetts isn’t afraid of melody and gets better every time I see or hear them. This record rules. (PRGNT)
FUTURO – Sair De Mim EPMy friend Juliana saw me at a record swap and pointed out this record in her distro . She said “I bet you’ll like this.” I bought it without knowing anything about it and I love it. Raging, ragged melodic punk that is fierce. (Spicoli / Nada Nada / Bandcamp)
NO STATIK – No Hospice – EP“No Hospice” is my favorite hardcore song of 2012. It’s dark, brooding, confrontational and venomous. It sounds like the earth being annihilated. The flip side, “Clean Swift Sunshine” is not a snoozer either. (Prank)
NO STATIK – Never Be A Martyr – EPDid I mention yet that I like NO STATIK a lot? Did I also mention that they played the single best live set of any band that I saw this year? Well, they did. Prank Fest 2012. This EP rips. (Prank)
THE WAR GOES ON – “This Shitty Life” EPTough, snarling street punk from members of NO HOPE FOR THE KIDS. It doesn’t quite pick up where NOFTK left off, but I don’t need that in my life, you know what I mean? New anthems for the new times. I want more of this….way more. (New Dark Age)
PERMACULTURE – “Swallow What You’re Given” EPPerfect sounding, precise peace punk that stayed with me since the day I first heard it. (Inflammable Material)
DEAD MOON – “Too Many People” EPDEAD MOON is my favorite band of all time. I don’t trust people who dislike them. They could trot out practice tapes pressed onto vinyl from now until the end of time and I swear they’ll be on every top ten list I ever write because they live, breathe and play rock and roll better than you or any of your friends will ever make in any of our lifetimes. Period. End of story. (Mississippi Records does not need a fucking website)
MÜLLTÜTE – “Zweite” EPHighly destructive two person punk from Germany that is rough around the edges, but so great! No songs over 2 minutes! Plus, they named their band so that Americans would sound stupid saying it. (HeartFirst)
FOREIGN OBJECTS – “Mammonism / Fable” 45FOREIGN OBJECTS were consistent and fierce in their short time as a band. They did not release one bad song. As usual, everything is over too quickly, but it’s so good that I don’t even care. (Cut The Cord That…)
Arty, angular, precise-yet-loose punk that sends shivers up my spine.
Four songs. No bullshit. One of the best new bands in the Bay Area.
You can get pissed off about this if you want, but 2012 pogo-punk just sounds like mid-90’s pop-punk and I am totally okay with that. Total headache music! Shit your parents will hate.