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Jake Denning

Written by: Jake Denning (12/03/12)
2012 was a great year for a music, and there was definitely a lot of albums to sort through and consider when making a list such as the annual "Best of the Year". This year has been my favorite for a lot of different reasons, but I think the most substantial is the fact that every genre of music had something to offer that was worth praising. This is my top 30 albums for 2012 - I appreciate you taking the time in the first place, and allowing me to share my opinion with you; I also hope that you find at least one new album that you might have overlooked throughout the year.

All albums can be listened to in this Spotify playlist.

1. The Ghost Inside - Get What You Give [Epitaph]
2. Lower Than Atlantis - Changing Tune [Island]
3. Stick To Your Guns - Diamond [Sumerian]
4. John Mayer - Born and Raised [Columbia]
5. Enter Shikari - A Flash Flood Of Colour [Hopeless]
6. The Classic Crime - Phoenix [Independent]
7. Pierce The Veil - Collide With The Sky [Fearless]
8. Don Broco - Priorities [Sony]
9. The Amity Affliction - Chasing Ghosts [Roadrunner]
10. Gary Clark Jr. - Blak and Blu [Warner Bros.]
11. P.O.D. - Murdered Love [Razor & Tie]
12. Benjamin Gibbard - Former Lives [Barsuk]
13. Parkway Drive - Atlas [Epitaph]
14. Miss May I - At Heart [Rise]
15. Yellowcard - Southern Air [Hopeless]
16. Mumford & Sons - Babel [Glassnote/Island]
17. Obey The Brave - Young Blood [Epitaph]
18. The Word Alive - Life Cycles [Fearless]
19. Anberlin - Vital [Universal Republic]
20. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - The Heist [Independent]
21. As I Lay Dying - Awakened [Metal Blade]
22. Impending Doom - Baptized In Filth [E1]
23. Your Demise - The Golden Age [Visible Noise]
24. Big Chocolate - Red Headed Locc [Independent]
25. The Acacia Strain - Death Is The Only Mortal [Rise]
26. For Today - Immortal [Razor & Tie]
27. Joshua Michael Robinson - Intentions [Independent]
28. Zac Brown Band - Uncaged [Atlantic]
29. I Call Fives - I Call Fives [Pure Noise]
30. American Me - III [Rise]

Biggest Surprise: Of Mice & Men offered a few new tracks on the re-release of their sophomore effort, The Flood. Normally most re-issues prove to be a complete waste of money, but this one proved to go against the grain and offer four in-your-face tracks that will inevitably leave you longing for the band's upcoming 2013 full-length. Evidence? Check out the band's official music video for their powerful single The Depths here. Regardless who the band picks up for a replacement to Shayley Bourget, expect nothing but the best from lyricist/vocalist Austin Carlile.

Best EP's of the Year: I'll be honest, I really wasn't a huge fan of many EP's this year - 2012 just didn't give many memorable ones to choose from. However, I did thoroughly enjoy Sleeping With Sirens - If You Were A Movie, This Would Be Your Soundtrack, as well as Issues - Black Diamonds. I'm sure there's probably plenty of people that would like to give me grief over these two picks, but you know what? I enjoyed listening to them, and I think a lot of you would enjoy them too if you gave them an unbiased chance. I'll just throw this out there, but if Issues put out an acoustic EP of their own that matched the quality of Princeton Ave., it could open up an entirely new fan base for them.

Album that should’ve been an EP: Odd Future'sVol. II clocked in at just over an hour, but honestly produced just 6 stand out tracks that would've made a stellar EP: "Ned Flanders" (Tyler, Hodgy Beats), "Forest Green" (Mike G), "Analog II" (Tyler, Frank Ocean, Sid The Kid), "Rella" (Hodgy, Domo, Tyler), "White" (Frank Ocean), and "Oldie" (entire Odd Future crew). That being said, Tyler is slated to release his followup to 2011's Goblin real soon, so I'll be really interested to check that out as well.

Biggest Disappointment: This wasn't as bad as say... the Woe, Is Me album, but I was really looking forward to the new For The Fallen Dreams, Wasted Youth, and it let me down. They're still dealing with the absence of drummer (and main songwriter) Andrew Tkaczyk, who left for The Ghost Inside. Despite that this album was extremely underwhelming (hopefully it'll grow on me with time), the band still has a solid discography to draw from in live settings, and you can bet I will be showing them support.

Mixtape of the Year: Blackbear -
Sex. Yes, go ahead and get upset. However, this mixtape added to an already big year for Mat Musto - he had already enjoyed songwriting credits on Justin Bieber's smash single "Boyfriend", among others. The tape includes features from Mike Posner, MOD SUN, Tyler Carter, Matt Thiessen of Relient K, and more. 2013 will be a huge year for not only Musto, but for his friends as well.

Label of the Year:
Rise Records had a solid 2012, with bands such as Of Mice & Men, Thick As Blood, Sleeping With Sirens, and Miss May I leading the charge. One of Portland, OR's finest record labels had arguably one of their finest years to date, and if things go according to plan 2013 will be no different.

Album from 2011 That Continues To Impress:
Deaf Havana - Fools and Worthless Liars was such a pleasant surprise last year, because I get the feeling that very few people (including myself) had faith in this band after Ryan Mellor left the band. However, with an album as solid as this one was, it provided them with lots of favorable positions this year on festival lineups and lines them up for an even brighter 2013 as they prepare to finally come back to America.

Best Live Experience: The 2012 Vans Warped Tour (Seattle & Portland).

I'd like to extend a huge THANK YOU to the following people who have made my first year on staff helpful: Jessica Giordino at Epitaph, Rey Roldan at Reybee, Mike Cubillos at Earshot, Ashley BiDuo at Century Media, Jenna and Kerri at Razor & Tie, Heather and Meredith at Fearless Records, Natalie at Hopeless Records, Natalie at Equal Vision Records, Jeff Breil and Jeff Royer at Black Lodge PR, Amy Willard, MOD SUN, Pat Brown, Joseph Amjad Aldulaimi, Adam Elmakias, “The Merch Dude”, Gunz, Jason Aalon Butler, Matt McDonald, Jake Luhrs, Brook Reeves, Betrayal, I Call Fives, The Ghost Inside.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 19
12:03 AM on 12/29/12
#2
Jake Denning
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08:17 AM on 01/01/13
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CheckeredFloors
nah
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Our lists are pretty much identical great job man : )
08:32 AM on 01/01/13
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phaynes1
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Where's my thank you
10:40 AM on 01/01/13
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johnnyferris
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Nice list but didn't Andrew have no part of Back Burner anyways?
12:59 PM on 01/01/13
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Super'Duper
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Great article! I haven't been following music much, really excited to see P.O.D. and Anberlin have new albums (and that they made your list), gonna go check those out! Thanks!
01:44 PM on 01/01/13
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the seventeenth
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Out of everyone on this website, I honestly think I like you best (in terms of reviewer/contributer). Thanks for having a fairly diverse list and appreciating some of the bands people on here usually dislike. Keep up the good work man.
05:31 PM on 01/01/13
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Jake Denning
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Out of everyone on this website, I honestly think I like you best (in terms of reviewer/contributer). Thanks for having a fairly diverse list and appreciating some of the bands people on here usually dislike. Keep up the good work man.
Thanks!
05:45 PM on 01/01/13
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CastlesXClouds
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sweet list
09:43 PM on 01/01/13
Jake Denning
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Thank you for the time to read it.
09:26 AM on 01/02/13
jakeisthebest
I'm just a fucked up kid
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I like most bands that you included here, but I have to say I'm surprised to see you place the Amity Affliction - Chasing Ghost so high up, that album was a big let down for me.
12:37 PM on 01/02/13
Jake Denning
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probably the only list on the site with Parkway Drive. Atlas was my album of the year, not even close.
Only staff list. Jona Weinhofen (BMTH) has it on his list as well.
12:38 PM on 01/02/13
Jake Denning
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I like most bands that you included here, but I have to say I'm surprised to see you place the Amity Affliction - Chasing Ghost so high up, that album was a big let down for me.
Thanks for taking the time to read it! Amity isn't for everyone, good thing there's plenty of other awesome bands out there to enjoy.
10:00 PM on 01/04/13
Geology Rocks!
Why are you so afraid?
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Originally Posted by Jake Denning
29. I Call Fives - I Call Fives [Pure Noise]
General Inquiry: What set this record apart from the other pop punk releases like With The Punches, Forever Came Calling and Handguns?
08:42 PM on 01/05/13
Jake Denning
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General Inquiry: What set this record apart from the other pop punk releases like With The Punches, Forever Came Calling and Handguns?
I thought the lyrical content on HG/WTP was really bad, and I honestly didn't listen to FCC, despite multiple rec's for me to check it out.
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