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Drew Beringer

Written by: Drew Beringer (12/03/12)
Wow, 2012. You were something else. As most of you know, I moved from Wisconsin to Los Angeles this past summer to take over the role of Senior Editor of this great site. It has (and continues to be) a life-changing event for me, and I'm so grateful and thankful to be your Senior Editor. The music in 2012 wasn't half bad either. Below I've put together my 50 favorite albums of the past year and I look forward to what 2013 has in store for us (having heard some of my most anticipated albums of next year already has me thinking 2013 will follow suit). I was looking through my mid-year top 10 list from the summer and 3 of those 10 albums ended up in my overall top 10 list, which shows that the second half of the year was pretty strong again (just like in 2011). So grab some egg nog, find your favorite seat in the house (the toilet for me personally), and read and comment on my list and let me know what I got right and what I whiffed on.

Drew Beringer's Top 50 Albums of 2012
50. The Early November - In Currents (Rise)
49. Bad Books - II (Triple Crown)
48. Purity Ring - Shrines (4AD)
47. Hot Water Music - Exister (Rise)
46. No Trigger - Tycoon (No Sleep)
45. Forever Came Calling - Contender (Pure Noise)
44. Big Boi - Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors (Def Jam)
43. Death Grips - The Money Store (Epic)
42. Rick Ross - God Forgives, I Don't (Maybach Music Group)
41. Basement - Colourmeinkindness (Run For Cover)
41-50The first portion of my list features two bands releasing new albums for the first time and years and still being able to kill it (The Early November, Hot Water Music, No Trigger), the best young up-and-coming pop-punk band (Forever Came Calling), a super group finally realizing its potential (Bad Books), albums I jammed out to for entirely different reasons (Purity Ring and Death Grips), some of my favorite hip-hop records (Rick Ross and Big Boi), and one band's swan song being the best release of its career (Basement)


40. Cat Power - Sun (Matador)
39. Death Grips - NO LOVE DEEP WEB (Self-Released)
38. The Shins - Port of Morrow (Columbia)
37. Passion Pit - Gossamer (Columbia)
36. Childish Gambino - Royalty (Self-Released)
35. Slingshot Dakota - Dark Hearts (Topshelf)
34. Anberlin - Vital (Universal)
33. Crystal Castles - III (Fiction/Polydor)
32. Baroness - Yellow & Green (Relapse)
31. Departures - Teenage Haze (No Sleep)
31-40This batch of albums includes one of the best "wave" records of 2012 (the UK's Departures) as well as Anberlin's return to glory. "Indie" music's past (The Shins) meets up with its future (Passion Pit), while anyone who knows me understands that I'm a sucker for piano-based, female-fronted indie-pop, and Slingshot Dakota's new album was right up my ally in 2012. But what sticks out the most to me in this grouping is that the majority of these albums took risks in 2012: Cat Power's latest was a reinvention of Chan Marshall, Death Grips gave Epic multiple middle fingers (and one erect penis) with its second offering of the year, Crystal Castles' brand of glitch-goth death-disco is always pushing limits, Donald Glover dropped a lot of the gimmicks from his past mixtapes and tried his hand at producing, and Baroness unleashed an epic 2-disc album that may be the best of its career.


30. Yellowcard - Southern Air (Hopeless)
29. The Chariot - One Wing (Good Fight)
28. The Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten (Mercury)
27. David Byrne and St. Vincent - Love This Giant (4AD)
26. Birds in Row - You, Me, & The Violence (Deathwish)
25. mewithoutYou - Ten Stories (Self-Released)
24. Joey Bada$$ - 1999 (Self-Released)
23. The xx - Coexist (Young Turks)
22. fun. - Some Nights (Fueled By Ramen)
21. Circa Survive - Violent Waves (Self-Released)
21-30Any other year and these 10 albums would have been higher, but it just goes to show how great of year it was for music in 2012. Yellowcard continued its Hopeless resurgence with arguably its best record, while The Gaslight Anthem did not fall victim to the major label curse and instead released my favorite record from them thus far. Joey Bada$$ is a name you need to know in 2013, as his mixtape is the truth and what I've been wanting in hip-hop for a long time. The Chariot and Birds in Row being this low showcases how strong a year it was for metal/hardcore, while mewithoutYou and Circa Survive shunned labels to do things their own way, with fantastic success. While it's not as good as the debut, The xx's second album contains some of the best songs in its entire discography. But the biggest story of 2012 was the break-out of fun. You can't go anywhere these days without hearing a song from that album and the success is well-deserved for Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost, and Jack Antonoff.


20. The Menzingers - On The Impossible Past (Epitaph)
19. Dikembe - Broad Shoulders (Tiny Engines)
18. Grizzly Bear - Shields (Warp)
17. Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do (Epic)
16. Minus The Bear - Infinity Overhead (Dangerbird)
15. Beach House - Bloom (Sub Pop)
14. Tame Impala - Lonerism (Modular)
13. Flying Lotus - Until The Quiet Comes (Warp)
12. You Blew It! - Grow Up, Dude (Topshelf)
11. P.O.S - We Don't Even Live Here (Rhymesayers/Doomtree)
11-20This is the part where it got really tough ranking my favorite albums of the year. Every one of these albums had a legit argument for being in my top 10. Grizzly Bear and Beach House continue to raise the bar amongst all musicians with its stellar releases. Fiona Apple is simply amazing; taking 7 years between records and still being able to release music that's just as incredibly haunting and beautiful as her earlier albums. The Menzingers put out everyone else's favorite punk rock record of the year, and it's only at 20 here. Dikembe and You Blew It! go hand and hand as my favorite "twinklecore" albums of the year. I was lukewarm initially with the new Minus The Bear record, but it's probably the album that grew on me the most over the course of 2012. Tame Impala completely blew my mind with Lonerism and I feel like I'm going to be completely obsessed with them in 2013 and beyond. Flying Lotus continues to evolve as one of the best minds making music today, while P.O.S outdid himself again with his most ambitious album yet. All these albums were incredibly close to making my top 10 in 2012


and now I present to you my top 10 albums of 2012...


Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d city (TDE/Aftermath/Interscope)
10One of the most ambitious albums of 2012, regardless of genre, Kendrick Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d city is something anyone can relate to in some way. Releasing a concept album for your major label debut is always risky, as well as following up a critically acclaimed album from the year before (2011's Section.80, but Lamar doesn't sweat it. Combining the commercial with the conscientious, Kendrick Lamar skillfully weaves through his past, telling tales of his attempts to avoid street violence and the peer pressure that came along with growing up in Compton. Boasting pristine production and addictive hooks, it's no wonder many are already hailing this album an "instant classic."



Code Orange Kids - Love is Love//Return to Dust (Deathwish)
9The most promising young band in the metal/hardcore genre, Code Orange Kids surpassed all expectations with its debut album. Equal parts brutal and somber, the album's destruction is matched by graceful interludes, giving listeners time to tend their bruises. A combination of thrash, doom, and hardcore, Code Orange Kids are certainly on the path to follow in the footsteps of bands like Converge if they keep putting out material like Love is Love//Return to Dust.



Make Do And Mend - Everything You Ever Loved (Rise)
8One of the biggest surprises for me in 2012, Make Do And Mend's Rise debut Everything You Ever Loved. It reminded me of a grittier version of Jimmy Eat World, as the album's softer, more intimate moments really set the album apart from its counterparts Everything You Ever Loved definitely tells a story of heartache, life on the road, and the sliver of optimism that comes along with it throughout.



Japandroids - Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl)
7There couldn't be a more fitting title for this album than Celebration Rock. That's exactly how I feel every time I listen to Japandroids' incredible second album. The album is only 8 songs, but what epic songs they are. You'll be fist-pumping along to "The Nights of Wine And Roses" immediately only to scream your lungs out to "Fire's Highway" and "The House That Heaven Built." There really isn't a bad song on this album. It's a must-have album for any type of celebration. This is what rock and roll should sound like.



Deftones - Koi No Yokan (Reprise/Warner Bros)
6With its second post-Chi album, Deftones continued what they built on 2010's Diamond Eyes by creating an atmospherically brutal album that pleases all the senses. You can hear more of bassist Sergio Vega's influence this time around, as songs like "Swerve City" and "Gauze" groove. Chino Moreno's vocals continue to get better, as he and guitarist Stephen Carpenter continue to create insane melodies out of thin air ("Tempest" and "Rosemary" just to name a few). Koi No Yokan once again has Deftones not traveling down the expected musical path.



Title Fight - Floral Green (Side One Dummy)
5My favorite punk album of the year, Title Fight continues to live up to its billing as one of the most exciting and interesting bands in its genre. The progression from Shed to Floral Green is astonishing. Even if you never came to fully appreciate Shed, you’d be a fool to not give this album a spin (or twenty). At the end of the day, Title Fight isn’t trying to reshape the sound of punk – they just want you to listen to better music. Floral Green accomplishes that and more.



Frank Ocean - channel ORANGE (Def Jam)
4There are instances when Frank Ocean sounds like the second coming of either Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, or Prince, musically and/or lyrically. And then there are tracks were Ocean is a free spirit, showing no concern withcreating melody or structure in a song This is part of the reason fans and critics find Frank Ocean so fascinating – you can't pigeonhole him into one genre, one style, or one personality (or character). The combination of his idiosyncratic creative mind with his highly personal and conflicted lyrics has resulted in something spectacular. With channel ORANGE, Frank Ocean is on the path to becoming one of the most important musicians of the next 10 years.



Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind (Epitaph)
3There are two things that consistently amaze me about Converge: 1. the fact that it's only four guys making that kind of heavy noise and 2. that the quartet has been releasing shredders like All We Love We Leave Behind for 20 plus years. Converge's eighth full-length album is arguably the band's best release since 2001's seminal Jane Doe. Jacob Bannon continues to be a monster with a microphone - going from banshee-like yells to guttural growls throughout the album's 14 tracks. Kurt Ballou unleashes some of his best riffs yet, while Nate Newton and Ben Koller provide the rhythmic spine for the entire thing. All We Love We Leave Behind is Converge at its most primal, hungriest stage yet.



Hostage Calm - Please Remain Calm (Run For Cover)
2What's most impressive about Hostage Calm's Please Remain Calm is that I can't really put it in one specific genre - it has a distinct voice that cannot be replicated. You have the power-pop of "Don't Die On Me Now" and the insanely catchy pop-punk that is "Woke Up Next To A Body," but then the band slows it down, switches it up, and hits you with intricate gems like "The 'M' Word" and the nearly a cappella "Patriot." Please Remain Calm is spectacularly consistent, as all ten tracks will have you humming along and tapping your toes. Heartache, disappointment, and the struggle of growing up and fighting for your rights in today’s America are also captured on Please Remain Calm. Hostage Calm’s mixture of punk with 60’s pop and the new wave movement of the 80’s have crafted a near-masterpiece, making Please Remain Calm one of the absolute essential albums of 2012.



Every Time I Die - Ex Lives (Epitaph)
1One could (and probably did) say that the ending of my review for Every Time I Die's sixth album Ex Lives was a tad hyperbolic. But it's still the best album I've heard in over a year (first hearing this album in early December of last year) and it's the best album in ETID's discography. Ex Lives contains the darkest lyrics yet from Keith Buckley, while the vocalist also gave the best vocal performance of his career. Guitarists Jordan Buckley and Andy Williams laid down their tastiest licks yet ("Typical Miracle," "Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow"), while new drummer Ryan "Legs" Leger took the band's overall sound to another level with his animalistic work behind the kit ("The Low Road Has No Exits," "A Wild, Shameless Plain"). These Buffalo bastards have done it again, they've once again topped my best of list with its most brutal, aggressive, and ambitious record yet.



Favorite EP's1. Eisley - Deep Space (Equal Vision)
2. The Swellers - Running Out Of Places To Go (Snowbird Songs)
3. Balance & Composure - Acoustic EP (No Sleep)
4. Candy Hearts - The Best Ways To Disappear (Bridge Nine)
5. blink-182 - Dogs Eating Dogs (Self-released)


Favorite Movies1. THE MASTER
2. SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED
3. 21 JUMP STREET
4. LOOPER
5. CABIN IN THE WOODS
6. WANDERLUST
7. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
8. MAGIC MIKE
9. MOONRISE KINGDOM
10. THIS IS 40


Favorite TV Shows1. MAD MEN (Season 5)
2. BREAKING BAD (Season 5)
3. LOUIE (Season 3)
4. PARKS AND RECREATION (Season 4)
5. GAME OF THRONES (Season 2)
6. ARCHER (Season 3)
7. COMMUNITY (Season 3)
8. NEW GIRL (Season 1)
9. VEEP (Season 1)
10. GIRLS (Season 1)


Most Anticipated Albums for 2013The National
Paramore
Balance and Composure
Jimmy Eat World
Bring Me The Horizon
The Wonder Years
Arcade Fire
Touché Amoré
Local Natives
Relient K
This Town Needs Guns
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The Joy Formidable
Joey Bada$$
Frank Turner
Phoenix
Earl Sweatshirt
Barely Blind
Eisley
A Wilhelm Scream
Perma
The Appleseed Cast
Chiodos
Into It. Over It.
City and Colour
Transit


2013 Albums I've Heard Already That I Am Still AnticipatingTegan and Sara - Heartthrob
Silverstein - This Is How The Wind Shifts
The Bronx - IV
Broadway Calls - Comfort/Distraction
Half Hearted Hero - Whatever
Bad Religion - True North
A$AP Rocky - Long.Live.A$AP.
Shout Out Louds - Optica


Thanks to everyone for making 2012 such a great year for me. To the staff and the users accepting me as the site's new Senior Editor. I love all you guys and I'm really excited for what 2013 has in store for AbsolutePunk.net!

 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 35
01:59 AM on 12/12/12
#2
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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08:36 AM on 01/01/13
#3
yoursceneisdead
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nice lists! do you mean community season 3 though?
08:38 AM on 01/01/13
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Kowther
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Great list. Although from the ones I have heard, I'd disagree with ranking Some Nights higher than Southern Air, but that's just personally me.
08:39 AM on 01/01/13
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fenderstrat383
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great list but i think the yellowcard CD doesn't get enough credit. might be their best release yet.
09:02 AM on 01/01/13
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EndlessPrisoner
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list is too long, how can you decide between albums 36 and 37?!
09:15 AM on 01/01/13
#7
brent_ster
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How is the new Silverstein record? There so consistent always love there tunes.
09:27 AM on 01/01/13
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cubsml34
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I really am enjoying that Departures record, one of my favorite newer bands for sure.
10:18 AM on 01/01/13
#9
phaynes1
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HERE YOU GO DREW I LIKE YOUR LIST THOUGH DON'T REALLY AGREE WITH THE ORDER WHATEVER WHY THE CAPS FOR YOUR MOVIES/TV SHOWS I H8 IT
10:19 AM on 01/01/13
phaynes1
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list is too long, how can you decide between albums 36 and 37?!
nassiff'd him
10:34 AM on 01/01/13
InaGreendase
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Apart's Gray Light and Xerxes' Our Home Is a Deathbed are considerably better versions of the sound that Teenage Haze is doing, both dynamically and musically. I would try those out if you haven't already.

Still don't get the love for the CoK. Cool tone, but it's just parts strung together with too little regard for cohesion. I'd love to hear what these guys and girl can do when they start writing songs.

list is too long, how can you decide between albums 36 and 37?!

It's usually just an instant of deriving more enjoyment from one thing over another.
10:39 AM on 01/01/13
EndlessPrisoner
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Apart's Gray Light and Xerxes' Our Home Is a Deathbed are considerably better versions of the sound that Teenage Haze is doing, both dynamically and musically. I would try those out if you haven't already.

Still don't get the love for the CoK. Cool tone, but it's just parts strung together with too little regard for cohesion. I'd love to hear what these guys and girl can do when they start writing songs.



It's usually just an instant of deriving more enjoyment from one thing over another.

It's a joke that you didn't get, c'mon bro
11:08 AM on 01/01/13
phaynes1
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Apart's Gray Light and Xerxes' Our Home Is a Deathbed are considerably better versions of the sound that Teenage Haze is doing, both dynamically and musically. I would try those out if you haven't already.

Still don't get the love for the CoK. Cool tone, but it's just parts strung together with too little regard for cohesion. I'd love to hear what these guys and girl can do when they start writing songs.



It's usually just an instant of deriving more enjoyment from one thing over another.

Okay you're wrong you can go to sleep hushhh little babyyyy don't say a worrrdddd
11:15 AM on 01/01/13
Drew Beringer
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Apart's Gray Light and Xerxes' Our Home Is a Deathbed are considerably better versions of the sound that Teenage Haze is doing, both dynamically and musically. I would try those out if you haven't already.

Still don't get the love for the CoK. Cool tone, but it's just parts strung together with too little regard for cohesion. I'd love to hear what these guys and girl can do when they start writing songs.



It's usually just an instant of deriving more enjoyment from one thing over another.

I really enjoyed that Xerxes album when it first released but it never stuck. Haven't checked out the other one yet. I just really liked the lyrical content on Teenage Haze. Thanks for reading!
11:17 AM on 01/01/13
HanLuk
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Great list Drew, glad to see Code Orange Kids so high up.
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