It’s tough to complain about 2012′s quality after going through everything I’ve acquired in the past twelve months to compile this list and finding 28 albums that could have potentially made the final cut. But this isn’t the top 28 of 2012 it’s the top ten. The following albums just sounded a little better and got played a little more than the rest. I’ve also already heard three great albums from last year in the past week, just by checking out others top ten lists. Like I said, tough to complain. Here’s hoping you can find something on this list that can be added to your own personal 2012 collection. Feel free to comment with your own personal best of 2012 or simply just to insult/question my well being. Bison B.C. into Alabama Shakes? Weirdo… Cheers!
5. Heartless Bastards – Arrow
The highest placing of the three Texas bands on this list, Austin’s Heartless Bastards came through big time according to my ears wishes these past twelve months. This has been my go to album for the entire year when I’m not feeling the quite so loud, with Erika Wennerstrom’s hauntingly soothing vocals the perfect soundtrack for slow mornings, lazy afternoons and quiet evenings. An amazing set at the new Union Transfer here in Philly solidified their spot at No.5 on my best of 2012 list.
4. Jack White – Blunderbuss
Crazy what a breakup or divorce can do for an artist. Side one of Blunderbuss is a full on attack on love and relationships, with beautifully written ballads and epically performed instrumentation showing Jack’s true feelings regarding the art of staying in love. Side two, equally well written, comes off a man who finally got something off his chest and has realized not only is time to move on but it’s time to have some fun doing it. As with most of Jack White’s output, a great listen start to finish.
3. The Men – Open Your Heart
Upon first listen, this album grabbed me by the neck, threw me on the ground and completely smothered me its badass-edness. I think I listened back to back to back on my first day. So many comparisons to bands young and old come to mind that they just meld into the one gloriously raw, primal rock and roll band that you’re already listening to. What started out as a dirty post-punk rock band, there is now truly something here for everyone.
2. Graveyard – Lights Out
Graveyard seemingly does no wrong. Each of their three albums has undoubtedly been better than the last and their live shows have been leaving a trail of stunned believers sprawled out across the globe. Lights Out opens with warning sirens that something serious is about to go down, then proceeds to assault the listener with a forceful precision that’s rarely accomplished in hard music these days, Singer Joakim Nilsson howls the evils of the world for us to acknowledge and vainly try to understand, without leaving us hopeful that those warning sirens are reserved for studio trickery only. This is a masterful showing of hard rock, and the future, as bleak as it may sound lyrically on Lights Out, is nothing but the opposite for Sweden’s Graveyard.
1. Natural Child – Hard In Heaven
This is an embodiment of all that is glorious in rock and roll. Sloppy, silly, sex and drugs. No fucking around here, they sing about what they know and play like they know it well. A three piece out of Nashville, which seems to have grown into quite the hotbed of good times as of late, Natural Child do right by rock and roll, keeping it simple, keeping it easy and keeping it fun. This album rules anytime, anywhere and in any situation. That’s why its the best album of 2012.