Thomas Nassiff Album Cover

Thomas Nassiff

This is my end of the year list for 2012, so by default, I'm supposed to write something personal here in italics for everyone to read. Thank you if you read something I wrote this year. The Too Long; Do Read articles were a lot of fun and helped me stay interested in writing when writing reviews lost appeal. I hope to write more for the site in 2013. Thanks to Jason and the AP.net staff, along with Zack, James, Jacob and the rest of AbsoluteVoices for being a cool group of people to work with.

This year was decidedly less exciting for me on a new music scale than 2011 was. I still feel a very strong tie to the records at the top of my list, but I only ranked 15 albums this year (turned into 16!) instead of 30 because I felt there wasn't much to distinguish the records that came below this list you're about to read. I did list the other 15 records that I included in my rankings for the staff cumulative top 30 list, though. I hope everyone had a good year and I'm looking forward to an awesome 2013.

My Favorite Records From 2012
Here are two observations, I would write more but too lazy: Only one record in my top five albums came out in the first half of the year. Like 2011, the fall release season proved to supply the bulk of my favorite albums. I am not as easily intrigued by pop-punk music. I still love the genre as much as I did in previous years, I am just more critical of it now. It was a lot easier for pop-punk to bore me in 2012 (Handguns, Major League, With The Punches, I Call Fives, etc.) than it was to impress me (Yellowcard, Forever Came Calling, All Time Low[?]).

1. The Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten
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There is some clutter on my list (Nos. 3-5 were all essentially tied), but the top two albums stood out to me clearly. Handwritten is my favorite album by my favorite band. That's all I can say about it that I didn't say when I reviewed it (I wrote a lot there). This is the one record that I listened to nonstop the whole year, no matter what season it was or what mood I was in, and if I could only recommend someone one album from this year, it'd be this one.

2. The Menzingers - On The Impossible Past
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Like I said, the top two were very easy for to choose. This album was top-ranked on my mid-year list, and I still listen to it extremely regularly even though it's been out since February. It's a great storytelling record, and like I wrote 10 months ago, it breaks through "punk" into a very Americana-style rock-and-roll that sounds timeless.

3. Pentimento - Pentimento
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This band does such a great job of blending the early-2000s emo that you hear in records like Tell All Your Friends with a more gruff approach usually reserved for bands like Hot Water Music. This album is an awesome blend of those things sonically, and the lyrics here have terrific lasting value. I wrote in my list last year that Pentimento was a breakout band to keep an eye on - I'm delighted that they have blossomed and will continue to grow.

4. Yellowcard - Southern Air
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Yellowcard was my favorite band when they were active, with Ocean Avenue, Lights and Sounds, and Paper Walls all being held dear to me. I wrote that Southern Air broke the safety net where this band rested during their comeback, When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes, and I truly believe this album to be their best overall work.

5. Hostage Calm - Please Remain Calm
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Tirelessly engrained in their beliefs, Hostage Calm wrote one of the better sounding records this year. Couple that with charged, impassioned lyricism, and you've got a record that could be remembered as something important in years to come.

6. Daytrader - Twelve Years
7. Make Do and Mend - Everything That You Ever Loved
8. Japandroids - Celebration Rock
9. Misser - Every Day I Tell Myself I'm Going To Be A Better Person
10. Fang Island - Major
11. Forever Came Calling - Contender
12. Title Fight - Floral Green
13. Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball
14. All Time Low - Don't Panic
15. Good Old War - Come Back As Rain
16. P.O.S. - We Don't Even Live Here

Sharks - No Gods
The Tower and The Fool - How Long
You Blew It! - Grow Up, Dude
Titus Andronicus - Local Business
Dikembe - Broad Shoulders
Circa Survive - Violent Waves
The Early November - In Currents
Dads - American Radass
Great Lakes USA - Live Fast, Die Whenever
Mixtapes - Even On The Worst Nights
Now, Now - Threads
The Tallest Man On Earth - There's No Leaving Now
Fun. - Some Nights
Glocca Morra - Just Married

My Favorite EPs of 2012
1. The Swellers - Running Out of Places To Go
2. Bayside - Covers, Vol. I
3. The Wonder Years / Stay Ahead of The Weather - Punk Is Dead. Get A Job.
4. Larry and His Flask - Hobo's Lament

Albums That I Really Need To Listen To Some More
Here are some records that I listened to a little bit and enjoyed but for no particularly good reason, did not listen to more. These are high on my list to check out over the next month.

The Tallest Man On Earth - There's No Leaving Now
Basement - Colourmeinkindness
We Were Skeletons - Blame and Aging
Suis La Lune - Riala
Vacationer - Gone

Albums From 2011 That I Was Wrong About
I started doing this section last year to talk about albums from the year before that I either overrated or underrated. It was easier to do this last year, because my opinions on a lot of albums from 2010 changed with time. But 2011 was so strong, that even the albums I feel like I underrated would be hard-pressed to move up my list from last year. There were just so many records that I loved. But here we go anyway.

Polar Bear Club - Clash Battle Guilt Pride
Underrated. Yeesh. Definitely the most glaring mistake I had on my 2011 list was shunning this record down to No. 26. I listened to it a lot more this year, and it's now among my re-done top 10 (see below).

Blink-182 - Neighborhoods
Overrated. I am the first to admit that I was suckered by high-end excitement about Blink-182 coming back. The album was pretty fairly ranked in my EOTY list (at No. 17), although I'd definitely move it down into the 20s if I re-did my whole list. The 9/10 review I gave it was far too generous.

All Get Out - The Season
Underrated. Oops, I had this at No. 28 on my 2011 list. This is certainly a top 15 record - and if it came out in 2012, it'd probably be No. 6 on my list today. Seeing this band play live turned me around with this album.

This Time Next Year / Man Overboard / New Found Glory
Overrated. It's not really fair to put This Time Next Year's Drop Out Of Life in this group because it has much better lasting power than the others, but the Man Overboard and New Found Glory records were not great to begin with and they didn't hold up in the long run at all. Neither should have really been on my list...but then again, there is never really a reason to rank 30 albums.

Into It. Over It. - Proper
Underrated. Another band that I had to see live to properly appreciate. Seeing Evan play solo songs is cool, but watching him play full-band IIOI and Stay Ahead of the Weather at Fest sent me into a binge of listening to this record.

2011 Top 10, Redone
Here's how my 2011 list would look if I did it today. The parentheses indicate where I had the album ranked last year, and at the bottom are albums that would have dropped slightly out of my top 10.

1. (1) The Horrible Crowes
2. (2) The Wonder Years
3. (4) Red City Radio
4. (3) Frank Turner
5. (8) Balance and Composure
6. (26) Polar Bear Club
7. (5) Transit
8. (6) Fireworks
9. (9) Bayside
10. (11) The Story So Far

Dropped out of my top 10: Charlie Simpson's Young Pilgrim and Junior Battles' Idle Ages. Both realllyyyyyyyy good records, too.

I decided against doing a most anticipated for 2013 list -- but I'll see you guys in the news posts and we can talk about what we're excited for all year long. Thanks for checking out my list.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 20
09:30 AM on 01/01/13
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cubsml34's Avatar
PBC and IIOI's records from last year really became even more of favorites for me this year too. They rank 4 and 5 respectively on my list from last year, although they might even contend with MovMou, B&C and TWY for the top 3 spots.
10:22 AM on 01/01/13
Tell it like a comeback story
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f00te's Avatar
I under rated IIOI's Proper too. I listened to it all time in 2012
12:08 PM on 01/01/13
Kelly Doherty
i'm overcome with emotion
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Kelly Doherty's Avatar
I missed out on Proper when it was released. Got hold of it a couple of months ago and fell in love.
12:26 PM on 01/01/13
Jake Jenkins
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Jake Jenkins's Avatar
what a diverse list
01:17 PM on 01/01/13
Between the lines of age
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ignition's Avatar
I was disappointed by the lack of love for All Get Out's album last year. Glad to see it mentioned here. Such a great album.
01:23 PM on 01/01/13
they all got boyfriends anyway
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trojanick's Avatar
Nice to see Daytrader get some love. Feel that got a little overshadowed in all the Rise releases this year, but it was really solid. Sapone worked his magic for them.

What'd you think of Foxy and River City Extension's releases?
01:53 PM on 01/01/13
Thomas Nassiff
retired staff member
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Thomas Nassiff's Avatar
Nice to see Daytrader get some love. Feel that got a little overshadowed in all the Rise releases this year, but it was really solid. Sapone worked his magic for them.

What'd you think of Foxy and River City Extension's releases?
I really liked the Foxy record when it came out but I really never listen to it anymore. Still a fun listen.
01:55 PM on 01/01/13
Thomas Nassiff
retired staff member
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Thomas Nassiff's Avatar
what a diverse list
I know! At one point there you have pop rock then folky rock then rap!
01:57 PM on 01/01/13
Jake Jenkins
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Jake Jenkins's Avatar
I know! At one point there you have pop rock then folky rock then rap!
hehe oh thom
02:16 PM on 01/01/13
I Don't Make Posts Sober
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Spartan789013's Avatar
I can't turn off IIOI. Favorite artist of 2012. I look forward to hearing his new stuff next year!
02:37 PM on 01/01/13
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BozzBlonde's Avatar
Really enjoyed your re-review of 2011. Wish more people did that.
05:05 PM on 01/01/13
Steeeve Perry
Pushin' th' little daisies
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Steeeve Perry's Avatar
I know! At one point there you have pop rock then folky rock then rap!
I love how people get bummed out when the "pop punk site" doesn't include their favourite release from a completely different genre in its end of year lists. Just like how people here get upset when Pitchfork doesn't give Gaslight a top review. I remember people complaining that The Upsides wasn't on Pitchfork's end of year list a couple years ago!
09:29 PM on 01/01/13
Blake Solomon
every outcome's such a comedown
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Blake Solomon's Avatar
Great idea to redo your 2011 list. I also fell in love with proper and the season this year.
10:42 PM on 01/01/13
Why Didn't You Kill Yourself Today?
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FiendCameron's Avatar
Big thumbs up for including Forever Came Calling, that was tied for my first place on my list. Tied with Neck Deep - Rain in July. Kinda surprised that isn't on here, listened to it?

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