Here is my list of the top 10 albums of 2012. Not based on sales or air play or anything else like that, it’s purely on what my brain tells me I like when I hear something good. The chances are a lot of you will disagree with the choices I make and to be honest I don’t give a monkey’s, this is my list, so have a look and maybe a listen too.
Stone Sour – House of Gold and Bones part 1
Generally speaking a pretty awesome album. It doesn’t have the raw edge that their first album had but it shows a growth in Corey Taylor that is seldom seen in angsty rock upstarts because they usually die before they get the chance to show it. To me it’s a great album as apposed to an album with 3 great tracks and that is the difference between this and previous Stone Sour outings.
All That Remains – A War You Cannot Win
All That Remains are an awesome and massively underrated band. They have produced an outstanding body of work which for the most part will go unnoticed by the general population, but the latest album show a different side of the band. A style of writing that is more open and lyrically cleverer than any of the previous work. Popular rock radio song Stand Up is an album stand out but for me the winning track is What if I was Nothing.
Skunk Anansie – Black Traffic
This album is, for me, the first definitive Skunk Anansie album that even has the right to be on the same shelf as classic tracks like Charlie Big Potato and Weak. A blinding listen the whole way through, there isn’t a single track out of place with the absolute stand out track being I Believed In You.
In This Moment – Blood
This is the album that stopped me thinking of the band as a pretty good group with a mega hottie blowing down the mic and started seeing an awesome band with a great talent and a singer with a surprising vocal range. Maria Brink brings to the table more than just a great smile and a great body, she brings a rage in her voice which is both believable and appropriate. Listen to Blood, Whore and a brilliant cover of Nine Inch Nails’ Closer
Aranda – Stop the World
I discovered this album by accident, a simple misspelling on YouTube looking for another band brought me to this gem of an album. The whole album is great, not a single bad song and chugs away nicely for the whole time pleasantly. Gifted playing coupled with good lyrics makes a winning album and with so many good songs picking a winner would be a hard task but Satisfied would just tip the scales for me.
The Offspring – Days go By
Being a lifelong Offspring fan I was duty bound to buy the album without really even listening to it, I had heard the hardcore slating it by calling it a weak performance but I was a believer. I wasn’t disappointed, the album was far from weak but was definitely different, more grown up and thoughtful, a clear sign of a band who has been rocking for decades and in that time has grown musically.
Papa Roach – The Connection
Papa Roach get some bad press, and to be fair to the rest of the band Jacoby Shaddix doesn’t help the situation with his irritating nature, but here is an album that far surpasses all expectation. A fusion of musical styles with references to a wide range of genres and sub-cultures, the writing is articulate and the overall presentation of the album is a pleasure to listen to.
Halestorm – The Strange Case Of
For me Halestorm tick all the right boxes, like many I was drawn to them when a drunken night surfing YouTube brought me to a wonderful cover of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. The first album was great, such amazing lyrics and to be honest I thought they would fall foul of the 2nd album jinx but happily I was wrong. Solid playing and some truly engaging, entertaining and thought provoking lyrics are a combination that makes this album a brilliant listen from start to finish. Every track is a masterpiece but my favourite would have to be Here’s To Us for all the all round fuck-offness of it.
Enter Shikari – A Flash Flood of Colour
Enter Shikari pose a dilema for me, as for years I refused to like them, I stood firm in my belief that they were a cast off of British Post-Hardcore that would become a footnote in the pages of music history. That all ended the day I was in my local HMV and I grabbed the assistant and asked what the song was playing over the stereo, the song was Pack of Thieves by Enter Shikari, I bought the album and listened to it in it’s entirety twice. I was hooked on this album, I’m not even sure what it was about this particular recording that made me suddenly love Enter Shikari but from then on I was hooked and this album has become a regular visitor to the Machine Steve household stereo.
Killing Joke – MMXII
It’s no secret that I’m a Killing Joke fan, I have been ever since I first heard them back in my early teens. When I heard this new album I was instantly in love, I couldn’t get enough of the crunching guitars, marching drums and Jaz Coleman’s hypnotising vocals, every song a political statement housed in a soft shell of anti-establishment. The genius that is Coleman’s writing is matched only by the solid, seamless and pounding backing music. MMXII represents, for me, the soundtrack to the year and encapsulates everything we have felt in 2012 while sticking two boney fingers up to the Mayans. This is my number 1 album because this British band from Notting Hill have ripped open the world and reached out to all the people lost in the collapse of society. Stand out track is Rapture!
Here are the videos for my top three. Have a listen and then go and buy them.
Halestorm – “Here’s To Us” captured in The Live Room
Enter Shikari – Pack Of Thieves
Killing Joke – ‘Rapture’
Don’t agree with my top ten?? let me know by commenting here, on Facebook or on Twitter and if you really wanna step up then send us an email here at The Black Flag to find out how you can publish your top 10 and maybe even more!!