Jack Appleby Album Cover

Jack Appleby

2012, you were ridiculous; no year threw more personal peaks and valleys at me. Thankfully, the one constant was music. Though I didn't spend nearly as much time with 2012 releases as I would have liked, my first year with AbsolutePunk reaffirmed my love for music - I saw more shows than ever, broadened my taste drastically and made plans to make 2013 a musical endeavor. It was fantastic getting to know the AP.net staff and the AP.net community - as someone who loves to share and discuss music, it was amazing to put faces to user names at shows and make new friends.

If you're so inclined, feel free to add my Facebook and Twitter - it's pretty much music discussion 24/7, save for some gloating about the Clippers' fantastic season. Again, always glad to make new friends, especially when it comes to our scene.

Without further ado, here's all my favorites from the past 365 days.

Best Albums of 2012

1. From Indian Lakes - Able Bodies

It pained me to pick a Top Album, but this deserved it.By every metric I use to measure music, Able Bodies is a perfect record. From Indian Lakes continue to show a deft touch through gorgeous melodies, unique musicianship, and intricate song structures - simply put, no one else is doing this. I can honestly say I've never skipped a song when listening to Able Bodies, which vaulted the album to my top slot. I'm not saying it was easy though...

2. Anberlin - Vital

Can't Vital tie for my #1 spot?...because until the 11th hour, Anberlin owned my Best Album of 2012. Vital is massive and everything I've missed about Anberlin, but with lessons learned and new tricks everywhere. Aaron Sprinkle's production is incredible, perfectly blending heavy electronics into the mix with eye-opening results. No record made my as happy this year, and I've never been more excited about Anberlin.

3. Athletics - Who You Are Is Not Enough
You knew some kind of post-rock would be Top 5Every year, someone hits my "I really miss TREOS" spot - Athletics filled the void this year. Who You Are Is Not Enough is a huge, pretty record that sits comfortably in the background or up in the spotlight. Those tones and delays went unmatched in 2012.

4. Misser - Every Day I Tell Myself I'm Going To Be A Better Person
I don't care if it's pop-punk or notI'm usually one to laugh off angsty records, but this one hit hard with me. Love the vocal balance between Tim Landers and Brad Wiseman, love Lander's guitar parts, and love the pure energy blasting from every song.

5. The Early November - In Currents
It's hard not to praise anything Ace touchesAs someone who had never heard a full TEN record before In Currents, it's fairly surprising that this album meant so much to me. Few records got as consistent play as this one in my car, largely due to Ace Enders' ability to craft fantastic melodies and big guitars. This was the one comeback record I truly loved in 2012 (because I don't care what you say, that Further Seems Forever album is horribly produced).

6. The Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten
7. Fun. - Some Nights
8. The American Scene - Safe For Now
9. mewithoutYou - Ten Stories
10. The Classic Crime - Phoenix

Best EPs of 2012

1. Night Verses - Out Of The Sky

These guys are going to take over everythingWith four songs, Night Verses showed why they're one of the scene's most important up-and-coming bands. There's bands you like, bands you love, and bands that you truly believe in - Night Verses is the latter. Never have I heard so many different dynamics from such a short EP, which gave Out Of The Sky the needed nudge to be my Top EP of 2012. But it could have been very different...

2. I The Mighty - Karma Never Sleeps

Put this band on Warped Tour and watch kids go "Pierce the who?"... because Karma Never Sleeps is a perfect EP too. This race was even tighter than my Top Album of 2012 - with two of my favorite songs of the year ("Dancing On A Tightrope" and "Escalators"), fantastic songwriting, and a sound accessible to all, this EP is just as deserving of the top pick. No scene-friendly band is as ready for stardom as I The Mighty, and I expect 2013 to be a big year for these guys.

3. Hail The Sun - Elephantitus
4. Zelliack - Noir Tone
5. Back Pocket Memory - Back Pocket Memory
6. My Mouth Is The Speaker - A Stunning Example
7. Troubled Coast - I've Been Thinking About Leaving You
8. Cut Teeth - Televandalism
9. Alexisonfire - Death Letter EP
10. Peace'd Out - Peace'd Out

Best Acoustic/B-Side Releases

1. Moving Mountains - New Light

Would have been Top 5 on my EP list tooThe only undisputed #1 of all my end of year lists - I absolutely loved the new interpretations of these songs. For as long as I can remember, I start my work day listening to this EP. Very excited to see where Moving Mountains goes next.

2. Happy Body Slow Brain - Sleepy EP

Get on board with this band. Now.Such a peaceful release. The new songs were great, the acoustic songs were great, and the demos were interesting to hear. I cannot tell you how many nights' rest began with Sleepy EP.

3. Ace Enders - Share With Everyone
4. Kurt Travis - Wha Happen?
5. From Indian Lakes - Able Bodies Acoustic Session

Best Songs of 2012
Listen to my 50 favorite songs of the year here.

1. mewithoutYou - "Fox's Dream Of The Log Flume"

Best Guest Vocals of All-Time?No song hit me as hard from the first listen since letlive.'s "Muther." Seconds after the final notes hit, I had pre-ordered Ten Stories despite no previous knowledge of mewithoutYou. Hayley Williams' guest spot was subtle and brilliant, perfectly accented Aaron Weiss' phenomenal delivery. A true masterpiece of a song.

2. Fun. - "Some Nights"

It's impossible to not like this songIt was overshadowed by "We Are Young" going global, but "Some Nights" is the best song on the new Fun. Nate Ruess' melodies and vocals are imaginative and innovative, whether you cared for the vocal effects or not. This one should stick around for years to come.

3. I The Mighty - "Dancing On A Tightrope"

4. From Indian Lakes - "Stay Outside"

5. Sucre - "When We Were Young"

This review is a user submitted review from Jack Appleby. You can see all of Jack Appleby's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 17
08:35 AM on 01/01/13
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Born_For_This's Avatar
Glad to see From Indian Lakes and I The Mighty on here for sure.
08:58 AM on 01/01/13
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jordalsh's Avatar
Glad to see In Currents in your top 5!!
and you're right about FSF.
09:14 AM on 01/01/13
Vanilla Bear
celebrate the irony
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Vanilla Bear's Avatar
Word on The Early November...very deserving
09:28 AM on 01/01/13
Social Justice&Wayne State Warrior
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brook183's Avatar
I agree with the song of the year.
10:21 AM on 01/01/13
Cozy Body
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mka12992's Avatar
Yeah, don't understand why Penny Black was so well-received yet In Currents seemed to be met with relative indifference. :\
11:38 AM on 01/01/13
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brettswanny's Avatar
So awesome to see The Classic Crime's Phoenix on here! While none of their albums has had the same effect that Albatross had for me, I loved Phoenix!
11:53 AM on 01/01/13
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No Avatar Selected
Finally someone mentions Zelliack in the best EP section. Appleby, kudos to you for having an original list of your own.
02:04 PM on 01/01/13
Blew all your brains out on my lawn
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Penguin's Avatar
Awesome list! I'm glad to see Anberlin so high up.
09:59 PM on 01/01/13
Registered User
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RussVanderhoof's Avatar
from indian lakes is the truth. the absolute truth.~
10:10 PM on 01/01/13
Jack Appleby
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No Avatar Selected
Glad to see In Currents in your top 5!!
and you're right about FSF.
Yeah, don't understand why Penny Black was so well-received yet In Currents seemed to be met with relative indifference. :\

Glad to see I'm not crazy. I just don't get that album.
09:39 AM on 01/02/13
I'm just a fucked up kid
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jakeisthebest's Avatar
I started listening to I the Mighty the other day as I saw them on your list, I love them now, so thank you.

Also, it says 'Best songs of 2013', not 2012 ;)
09:52 AM on 01/02/13
Jack Appleby
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No Avatar Selected
I started listening to I the Mighty the other day as I saw them on your list, I love them now, so thank you.

Also, it says 'Best songs of 2013', not 2012 ;)
That's awesome - glad to hear it!

And nice catch, haha. Fixed.
09:17 PM on 01/02/13
Hey, I miss you
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underdawg1119's Avatar
From Indian Lakes <33
10:37 PM on 01/02/13
butterflies and butcher knives
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Ambelina's Avatar
Athletics, Night Verses, and I The Mighty helped me get through this year as well. Great picks! I hold your taste in high esteem so those I haven't heard yet, I'm checking out!

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