2012 was an interesting year for me personally. The blog took a backseat as real life became busier. I quit a part-time that I really held for too long to return to Asia and take a job that I first had eleven years ago. My stone deaf and Alzheimer riddled grandmother was moved into a home and her house sold.
I really didn't get to many shows at all during the year. I made it to a New Year's Eve gig in Taipei featuring a number of bands but back in New Zealand, I only really remember making it to Razorywyre, Beastwars and Methdrinker, The Subhumans(UK), Boris and Dead Meadow. Highlights were Beastwars, Methdrinker, Boris and The Subhumans.
Here's my top 10 album list for 2012 after the year has ended and not in October or as early as this guy posted his list.
10) Testament - "Dark Roots of The Earth"
Chuck Billy and company are back and sounding exactly how they sounded over twenty years ago with a vengeance and have a heartwarming melodic thrash metal sound that provides refuge from bumble bee metal guitars, frog belching and cookie monster vocals. The cover songs might suck but we're not counting them as part of the album.
9)Buzzmutt - "Static in The Mind's Eye chapter 1"
Jangly psychedelic pop from San Francisco with more than a touch of the Velvet Underground.
8) Brokaw "Interiors"
This is one of those albums that almost didn't get a look in, which isn't quality related but due to the fact that it's January release meant it was likely to get lost due to the sheer amount of albums that came out in 2012 . This a retro album from a Seattle band that has a 90's sound without grunge. There are elements of Am rep bands and funk metal plus the odd industrial twist.
7)The Living Deadbeats - "The Living Deadbeats"
I'm a sucker for female vocals in 70's style punk and this debut album from a Canadian punk band has that in spades and boy, is it catchy.
6th equal) The Memorials "Delirium" -
I never really paid much attention to The Mars Volta although I heard a tune or two here and there but they never grabbed me. However this album featuring ex-Mars Volta drummer does grab me largely due to the talented vocals of Vivecia Hawkins which carry this album as she and the band move seemingly effortlessly from soul, jazz to hard rock often within a single song.
6th) Kowloon Walled City "Container Ships"
5) Arc of Ascent - " The Higher Key"
Psychedelic doom metal that actually gets the doom part correct as Candlemass is clearly as much of influence as Black Sabbath and Kyuss.
4) Beastwars - "Beastwars"
- It may be cheating including this as it came out in my homeland of New Zealand before this year but it was released internationally this year and if that Soundgarden reunion album bummed you out then you should look into this as its early Soundgarden worship with Mastodon and High on Fire influences and the Nick Keller artwork kills.
3) The Hip Priests "Full Tilt Bullshit"
- Sleazy garage punk 'n' roll from the UK. An album that begs you to have another drink and then another and then......
2). Dot Dash "Winter Garden Light"
English sounding post-punk or should that just be 80's alternative pop? What ever it should be this album made by veteran DC musicians is highly addictive listening material.
There's a lot that I didn't get around to listening to but intend to such as the Turbonegro and Killing Joke albums. Honorable mentions go to Danko Jones, Absolute Monarchs, Hosoi Bros, Rabbits, Off!, Deadkill and Dog Shredder. Favorite new record label has to be Good to Die as Nik has great taste in the bands he's chosen and released a lot of killer tunage in a short time.
This year there have also been a number of albums I found disappointing such as the offerings from High on Fire, Sigh, Enslaved and the electronic portion of Mark Lanegan's "Blues Funeral" sounds like it was ripped off U2's "Pop" album.
Well, that's my list out of the way. A couple of reviews are in the works and should be up later in the month.