With no introduction needed, here are our picks for the best 10 releases of 2012.
10. The Chariot
The Chariot is just one of those bands that continually up the game. And with their album One Wing, you’ll be speaking in tongues in no time. Fiery in its approach and deep in its craft, The Chariot always manages to stay innovative and refreshing. If energy drinks haven’t been doing the trick for ya lately, you can count on this release to give you wings.
The fifth album by the almighty Gojira, L'Enfant Sauvage lives up to its French name, "The Wild Child." Savage and barbaric, fierce and ferocious, this 11-track effort is a stormy journey through rugged terrain, filled with devilish riffs and unpredictable movements. Tracks like "Liquid Fire" and "The Axe" are proof that Gojira are the masters of metal.
Somehow Between the Buried and Me bassist Dan Briggs always manages to end up on our best of the year lists – this time for his experimental/jazz fusion band Trioscapes. Bold in its delivery and pleasantly schizophrenic, Separate Realities is a toe-tapping psychedelic laced with enough woodwinds to make the Sexy Sax Man jealous. One hit of this 6-song album and you’ll be saying "Wazzlejazzlebof" for days.
07. The Mars Volta
We know Omar Rodriguez-Lopez puts out like 10 albums a year, but The Mars Volta’s latest record Noctourniquet is our favorite in 2012. The perfect follow-up to 2009's Octahedron, this intoxicating opus will pierce your perception and haunt your unconscious with its hallucinatory properties. Songs we recommend: "Zed and Two Naughts" and "Dyslexicon."
06. The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza
Danza IIII: The Alpha - The Omega
(Black Market Activities)
Who’s the boss? Well it's Tony Fucking Danza. The final release from this Mufreesboro powerhouse, Danza IIII: The Alpha - The Omega takes extreme to…well, a new extreme. Showing no mercy in their bid farewell, Tony Danza has produced a grindy masterpiece, raising the bar of heavy music to a new plateau. And in the words of Danza themselves, "Don't Try This At Home."
05. ††† (Crosses)
It's no surprise that Chino Moreno and Shaun Lopez are the ultimate seducers. The second EP from ††† (Crosses) is filled with mystery and suspense, and has just the right amount of poison to satisfy its victims. Vivid, imaginative, and lustfully delicious, ††† (Crosses) have managed to lure us into their trap once again with the five forbidden fruits that comprise this EP.
04. Indian Handcrafts
Civil Disobedience for Losers
What made the red man red? Why a pipe of Blue Dream and some Indian Handcrafts. Sludgy and rousing, this Canadian duo has cleverly constructed one of the best gems of 2012 -- and we can't help but ask "How?". Civil Disobedience for Losers has all the right ingredients, and we recommend the songs “Bruce Lee” and “Zombies” to rosie your cheeks.
03. All Human
Catholic Guilt or the Queerest of Thoughts
Need to cleanse yourself of your sins? Make sure you experience All Human’s debut album before heading to your next confession. Masterminded by former Fear Before guitarist Adam Rupert Fisher, Catholic Guilt or the Queerest of Thoughts is immoral and intoxicating -- the perfect vice to offend monsignor during your reconciliation. Tracks we like: "We're Alive and Well" and "Jack Off Capital of the World."
02. Johnny Booth
If you haven’t heard of Johnny Booth yet, you’ve done yourself a disservice. Sharp in its attack, ruthless in its assassination, Connections reaches a level of intensity powerful enough to make Daniel Day-Lewis shit his pants. And if you don’t believe us, check out “Ink and Sky,” featuring Tommy Rogers of Between the Buried and Me. You’ll get what we mean.
01. Exotic Animal Petting Zoo
Tree of Tongues
Llamas and sheep may make for a good time, but if you’re looking for something a bit more eccentric, take a field trip to the Exotic Animal Petting Zoo. The best record released in 2012, Tree of Tongues is home to 12 rabid beasts ready to attack your central nervous system. Somehow this Midwestern quartet has managed to craft a timeless album, surely to infect you for years to come. Key tracks: "Thorough.Modern" and "Apis Bull."