Its the end of the year and we all love lists right?

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Top 10 Records 2012

The Smith Street Band - Sunshine & Technology.

Their debut album “No One Gets Lost Anymore” was my album of the year last so it’s no surprise that they’ve made it back to the top stop. Sunshine & Technology show’s progress from the previous record whilst still feeling fresh and new. Songs like “What’s Changed” and “I Want Friends” really make this record a mainstay for me.

The Menzingers - On The Impossible Past

This record blew my mind on the first listen. The bridge in Good Things, the chorus in Casey and everything inbetween. I didn’t think they could beat Chamberlain Waits, but they have. Anyway, you all know this already.

Apologies, I Have None - London

I don’t need to justify this. Apologies I Have None are the best band in the UK at the moment, their debut album is insanely good. The 26 and Sat In Vicky Park are standout tracks for me.

Cheap Girls - Giant Orange

I’ve never disliked anything Cheap Girls have done, and this is no exception. Catchy and uplifting in a lazy laid back kinda way. Cored To Empty and Mercy-Go-‘Round are my favourite tracks.

Our Time Down Here - Midnight Mass

The boys in OTDH have come a long way since their last LP, this record shows a hybrid of old AFI, Alkaline Trio & Brand New whilst still feeling fresh and fun. What more can I say.

Arliss Nancy - Strange Machines

Imagine if Gaslight we’re less predictable and didn’t milk every bridge of every song and bore the shit out of you live and actually instilled some excitement in you? Well that’s pretty much Arliss Nancy. Simple Machines is the perfect Alt/Punk/Country record. Check out The Crease and The Front Seat.

Mountain Goats - Transcendental Youth

This may be my favourite Mountain Goats record. I’m not sure why, but something clicked when I first listened to it. John Darnielle’s may be the best song writer of our generation. He can do no wrong and this album is a perfect example of that.

Above Them - Are We A Danger To Ourselves?

Above Them are a band who just seem to get better and better. I love this album.

Brendan Kelly & The Wandering Birds - I’d Rather Die Than Live Forever

It’s been said that Brendan Kelly could take a shit on a record, release it and I’d lap it up. Well whatever, this record is damn good. Ramblin’ Revisited and Your Mother stand out as unpredictable and fresh. These songs don’t sound like Lawrence Arms b-sides, so fuck you.

Pacer - Making Plans

I love this record. Every track is a perfect pop punk song. Be A Man and Little Avalons are my standout tracks. It’s the perfect debut from an awesome band.


in no particular order

Hop Along – Get Disowned

She’s got one of those voices that just grabs at your breath and doesn’t let go until she finishes singing. The songs are reminiscent of Laura Stevenson or what Paul Baribeau would sound like if his genitals were all different, mostly slow and incredibly melodic. I haven’t spent as much time listening to this album as many others on the list but that’s mainly because I only got into it a couple of months ago and haven’t had the time to devote to it. Perfect for soothing hangovers on a Sunday afternoon.

Modern Baseball – Sports

I only listened to this for the first time about a week ago but I couldn’t leave it off the list. It sounds like all of the pop-punk/emo bands I listened to when I was 15 and the sense of nostalgia it brings up is incredible. At times the band can pump through parts that sound like Brand New, Taking Back Sunday and Motion City Soundtrack in the space of about a minute, all the while sounding completely unique. I think this is going to be big for me well into 2013.

Cheap Girls – Giant Orange

I don’t like this album as much as their previous two, it sounds a bit too polished and I’m used to struggling to make out the mumble-sung lyrics. Despite that it’s still a fantastic record and has grown on me immensely since its release. The lo-fi indie-punk sort of thing they’ve got going on refuses to get old for me and I could probably accurately describe Cheap Girls as the soundtrack of my year, albeit with less focus on this album than the others.

The Menzingers – On The Impossible Past

At first I wasn’t too impressed how they’d gone mid-pace throughout the whole album as I’d always preferred their faster songs in the past. After giving it some serious listening though I realised that this is a much better piece of work than they’ve accomplished before, lyrically and musically the album is incredibly deep and leaves the listener with residuals of Americana – urges to stay up late with waitresses and tour their country in muscle cars. Whilst reading Lolita this summer I noticed the title was a quote from the book, I like it when bands get literary.

Mixtapes – Even on the Worst Nights

I didn’t care for this when I first heard it. I’d been blasting their previous releases (all of them) for a few months before this came out and after the first listen it didn’t stand out to me. I got over that and now I love it. Their brand of simple, innocent pop-punk is so against all of this ‘true pop-punk’ thing with idiots in flatcaps and vests running around fighting each other in lieu of dancing and telling everyone how great Title Fight are. They can fuck off, I like my pop-punk to be nice and Mixtapes are exactly that, focusing on friends, relationships and not being part of the scene. I hope they come back to the UK soon as Maura’s attempts at playing solo left me unfulfilled and wanting more.

Heathers – Kingdom

These Irish twins started as a two piece pop-folk group with punk leanings but with this album have progressed to a bulkier pop-sound. It works, being sisters their harmonising is spot on and the sparse inclusion of the acoustic guitars gives it a distinctly Irish sound. The record isn’t going to smash any box office records or gain them worldwide notoriety but it’s very easy listening and makes a nice change from all the punk on this list.

The Smith Street Band – Sunshine & Technology

This didn’t grip me as much as 2011’s No-one Gets Lost Anymore, despite probably being a better album overall. Upon discovery of the band last year I pretty much listened to them every day for four months and I think that through that I’ve probably tired myself out. Although the record is fantastic and I would recommend it to pretty much everyone in the world I just don’t find myself in the mood to listen to it all that often and this upsets me a bit since it has some quality songs on it, notably I Want Friends and the title track.

Sundials – When I Couldn’t Breathe

More of that indie-punk style, lo-fi and raw. I tried very hard to get into their previous releases and although I like them they never really stood out, after hearing this year’s offering they finally clicked and I realised how much I love this band. I think possibly the problem was that before they were too lo-fi and too raw, but with the slightly polished but still lazily sung When I Couldn’t Breathe they’ve proved themselves as a stand out act.

Joyce Manor – Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired

Short, snappy and to the point. It’s difficult to say much about an album that clocks in around the twenty minute mark, but it’s good and it stands out. I didn’t really get Joyce Manor at first, it didn’t seem like there was enough substance to the songs to grab hold of, but after listening and learning the lyrics you realise that they’re usually incredibly poignant. I like to listen to this and their previous self-titled record back to back and pretend it’s a sensible length album.

The Front Bottoms - The Front Bottoms

I’m cheating with this one, I actually first started listening to this summer 2011 but since the UK release was in 2012 I’m going to go ahead and say that it counts. Never have I got into a band as much as these guys, I listened to the album pretty much non-stop for about six months and pretty much wet myself with excitement seeing them live. Their brand of what I will call indie-punk but doesn’t quite fit is so original and so honest that I struggle to deal with it sometimes. I go around recommending them to everyone I meet and still listen to the album on the reg. I will name this my number one album of both 2011 and 2012, because I can.