The Top 40 Albums of 2012



Hello! It’s the end of the year (not really, but it was not so long ago), so it’s time for the cliched, but infinitely popular end of year list. This list was painstakingly compiled, yet with surprisingly little disagreement. We hope you like it, and hope you find something you may have missed. Here goes, in reverse order…

40. Barrow – Being Without

39. Perfume Genius – Put Your Back N 2 It

38. Pariso – Nothing Beyond Everything After

37. Baroness – Yellow/Green

36. We Were Skeletons – Blame and Aging

35. J/Q – J/Q

34. Keaton Henson – Dear

33. Crocus – Our Memories Dress Me In A Dead Lust

32. Metz – Metz

31. Suis La Lune – Riala

30. Mount Eerie – Clear Moon/Ocean Roar

29. Title Fight – Floral Green

28. Sirs – Sirs

27. You Slut! – Medium Bastard

26. Future of the Left – The Plot Against Common Sense

25. You’ll Live – Above The Weather

24. Invalids – Eunoia

23. Birds in Row – You, Me And The Violence

22. Liars – WIXIW

21. Capacities – The Unexamined Life

20. The Men – Open Your Heart

19. Carrion Spring – A Short History Of Decay

18. Fang Island – Major

17. The Saddest Landscape – After the Lights

16. Deer Leap – Here. Home.

15. Basement – Colourmeinkindness

14. The Twilight Sad – No One Can Ever Know

13. Beach House – Bloom

12. Run, Walk – ☤

11. Errors – Have Some Faith In Magic

And now, can you hold in the excitement? IT’S TOP TEN TIME!

everyone everywhere

10. Everyone, Everywhere – Everyone, Everywhere

JB: Emo revivalists are rather common right now, but Everyone Everywhere manage to make it sound so very modern. At times epic and intense, and with some huge hooks, EE are more than just American Football sound-a-likes. Whilst Title Fight swan around gaining all the acclaim and accolades, albums like this tend to be ignored. Don’t ignore it.

We Came Out Like Tigers agelessness

9. We Came Out Like Tigers – Agelessness and Lack

PN: If this list was solely mine, this would be top 3 easily. Liverpool Screamo with passion (and a violin) as a main stay. Political, ethical and downright amazing. This their first full length surpasses anything they released previously, by miles, get into it.

joie de vivre

8. Joie De Vivre – We’re All Better Than This

PN: If you like American Football and crying, this is for you. A fantastic “emo” album, it noodles along at a lovely pace and has everything you could possibly want for an album of this ilk, they have lots of plans for 2013 as well so keep your eyes peeled.

JB: Apparently I was really into my emo this year! Though with albums of this quality, how could I not be? Joie de Vivre are slightly edgier and a lot more sentimental than Everyone Everywhere, but I hold both albums in a very similar regard. It must be said though, Joie de Vivre does have a little extra indescribable something which keeps drawing me back, maybe it’s the rather literal lyrical content? Probably.


7. Loma Prieta – I.V.

PN: Hardcore/Screamo from San Francisco. Loma Prieta really push the boundaries on I.V. it’s a hardcore screamo amalgamation that works superbly, a massive high point of 2012 for me. This really is angry, but yet still manages to throw a few curve balls your way, really memorable riffs and fantastic song writing, very good.


6. Death Grips – The Money Store

PN: Absolute bat shit crazy Hip Hop. Zach Hill on drums going completely insane, Stefan Burnett (MC Ride going even more mental on vocals, then throw in a equally bonkers Andy Morin on Keyboard, what’s not to like?

JB: Without a doubt the most intense record of the year, this took a while to truly sink in, but once it did I was hooked (though, I must admit, I still don’t entirely understand what’s going on). This is, quite simply, insane. Rhythmic and forceful, built on a backdrop of punk and noise, Death Grips are true trail-blazers, gaining the respect of almost everyone in music. Did I mention they were insane?


5. Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind

PN: Genre pioneers Converge hit hard again with the stunning “All we love….”.  Constantly mixing things up yet somehow always finding a fantastic end result . Tracks like Aimless Arrow hark back to the “You Fail me” era, yet it still sounds fresh, long live Converge.

JB: This is Converge. Many others have tried to be Converge, but why bother? Nobody can do Converge better than, well Converge. Despite their 22 year history, Converge make no genuine sign of letting up and toning down their sound. This is unrelenting, brutal, and truly wonderful.


4. Godspeed You Black Emperor! – ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

PN: Don’t really need to explain this. Godspeed return with their first recorded material in 10 years, it doesn’t disappoint.

JB: Intense, evocative, epic, simultaneously uplifting and depressing. To say this album has been a long time coming is probably an understatement. The internet almost went and broke when ‘Allelujah’ was announced. Not many other artists could manage that, but not many other artists can do what GYBE! do.

tall ships

3. Tall Ships – Everything Touching

PN: Wow, Tall Ships hit this for 6. Some of the songs on this album had appeared on previous releases, this didn’t detract from the album however as they had been re-worked to almost sound like new songs. Part mathy, part loopy, part amazing. If these guys play near your City, go and see them!

JB:  Tall Ships are going to be huge, it’s blatantly obvious. Massive hooks, jerky to the point of seizures, wonderfully excessive and strangely familiar. Familiar in the sense that Tall Ships are, at heart, a rock ‘n’ roll band, yet with the intelligence and creativity to hide that amongst the layers of math-rock and infinite loops. Tall Ships are on the verge of exploding.


2. Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory

PN: This album and band is in a very similar vein to our number one, a sort of scuzzy lo-fi punk, but this album came out of nowhere for me this year having not heard the band before. On first listen I knew this was for me, an absolutely wonderful and listenable fumble around the edges of punk and indie, highly rated here.

JB: I echo the above sentiments, Pete recommended me this album and I wasn’t sure what to expect. You cannot listen to a track out of context because Cloud Nothings are constantly changing. Punk, indie, slightly post-rock, every so slightly post-hardcore, massively scuzzy, hugely brilliant.


1. Japandroids – Celebration Rock

PN: Following up Post Nothing was always going to be hard, Japandroids managed it faultlessly. Celebration Rock is a fantastic, triumphant record, living up to the title, it’s a celebration, a celebration of this Canadian duo’s ability to create catchy, grungey and dirty songs, deservedly this gets our number one spot.

JB: Bit of a confession here, I didn’t get Japandroids for a long time. Actually, I didn’t get a band who I thought were Japandroids. They weren’t, I’m an idiot. Celebration Rock is brilliant, honestly brilliant, I can’t find a bad minute, nay second, of this album.

PN: He really didn’t, I pretty much told him to listen to them every day for two years, eventually he does and loves them, is my thankyou in the post?

JB: No.

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8 responses to “The Top 40 Albums of 2012

  1. Really liking ‘Everyone, Everywhere’ right now. Got GYBE and Cloud Nothings stacked up on me ipod and ready to go, then I will slowly but surely pick my way through the rest. Great article..

  2. Also, you should check out Vessels – Helioscope. Based on this list, I reckon you’d really like it.

    (Note – if you’re on Spotify, don’t listen to Black Teeth, that’s from a different ‘Vessels’)

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