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Tyler Welsh (Driver Friendly)

Written by: Drew Beringer (12/30/12)
6. Kanye West presents G.O.O.D. Music Ė Cruel Summer
Collaboration albums are very tricky. Often a hip-hop label doesnít really have enough ďgoodĒ artists to justify putting something like this out, much less put out something that is cohesive and/or works. But this album DOES work. Of course, itís Kanye Westís genius that organizes the whole party, but itís really the outstanding verses by Pusha T, Big Sean, and 2 Chainz that keep bringing me back to this album. There are some missteps throughout, but itís awesome getting to watch these incredibly different artists fit seamlessly onto flawlessly laid down beats. Oh, and Kid Cudi delivers perhaps the best line on any hip-hop album all year: ďIf I had one wish, it would be to have more wishes, duh.Ē

5. Frank Ocean Ė channelOrange
When I first started getting into Odd Future I began to notice a distinct a difference on certain songs. Something that really set the group apart from being mere ďhorror-core.Ē It turns out, that difference has been and is Frank Ocean. I canít wait to see what Ocean has in store for the future, because if itís anything like what happened on Channel Orange we should consider ourselves very, very lucky. Oceanís interpretation of melody, production, and lyrics is something categorically unique in a genre that often pushes for nothing more than repetition and homogenization. I like albums that are difficult to digest, that donít quite make since on the first listen. And I would argue that Channel Orange isnít even a great album on the whole. But itís the inconsistencies, those weird moments he creates throughout the album that challenge the listener to dig deeper, to question what exactly is going on. Channel Orange pushes hip-hop in a vastly different direction. A direction I canít wait to see more of.

4. By Surprise Ė Mountain Smashers
I know this album came out in 2011, but I donít care. I didnít find it till 2012 and it fucking rules. Sometimes an opening track of an album can just lay out the entire theme and mood of an album so perfectly you almost donít need the rest of the songs. The track becomes so amazing, you find yourself going back to it again and again, but then you realize you have a whole album left. That happens on Mountain Smashers for me, and I love it. But donít mistake what Iím saying, the entire album is amazing and should be listened to as a whole. The songs are fragile and thin, and yet they resonate as bold anthems that will get stuck in your head for days. I donít know what I was doing in 2011, but I was an idiot for not finding this album sooner.


3. Everyone Everywhere Ė Everyone Everywhere
Let me begin by saying this album gets me really excited for a couple reasons. With this album, By Surpriseís album, and along with several others this year, I think we are starting to see an ďemoĒ revival. Now, take that term carefully, because it is a greatly abused concept that people often use incorrectly. But Iím talking about the emo that I grew up in the late 90ís bands like Braid, Hey Mercedes, The Weakerthans, American Football, Capín Jazz, early Saves the Day and Jimmy Eat World. And whatís badass is I hear all those bands in this album, but at the same time Everyone Everywhere present an entirely original sound that hooked me moment it hit my hears. The drumming, guitar work, vocals, are perfect. And perhaps my favorite part is the lyrics. Theyíre odd, fragmented, and sometimes, just donít make any sense. But at the same time they are beautiful, intense, and incredibly emotional. In other words, they are excellent. Honestly, there isnít a bad song on this album and it flows in and out effortlessly. And if you like quirky guitar hooks, well this is the album for you.
Best lyric: ďLive in daydreams, I choose fiction.Ē


2. All Get Out Ė The Season
Ok, yeah another album from 2011, but you know what, itís my list. NO RULES! Anyways, this is the rock album that I have been missing in my life for many years. It is reminiscent of Manchester Orchestraís first album, but this album does not dare ever stop the rock. Itís aggressive, abrasive, and LOUD and I love it. But all the rocking just leaves room for the amazing melody this band creates. Whether it is in the guitars, the flawless production by Matt Malpass, or the pitch perfect vocals there are so many melodic hooks. I am constantly finding something new with each listen. I canít believe this band isnít bigger, because this album dominated my iPod all year long, and Iím just as in love with it now as when I first got it.
Best lyric: ďIf I wanted to come home, then what did I learn here?Ē


1. Title Fight Ė Floral Green
While all the rest of the albums on the list could have moved up or down a few spots, this album was my number one by a HUGE margin. I loved Title Fightís previous album Shed, and really this album caught me by surprise. I hadnít heard of them recording a follow up or anything and then BAM, Floral Green was released and I havenít stopped listening. I was talking to a friend about this album, and he asked my favorite song on it, and I had to pause. I couldnít name a single song, not because there arenít any great ones, but because they are ALL great. In fact, they almost all sound like the same song, and thatís a good thing. This album can be experienced as just one long song that rises and falls at the most opportune times. And when you dig even deeper, you realize that each song is flawless. This is hardcore, yet not even close. Once again, I love music that pushes itself into places that question the given expectations of the genre. Thatís exactly what Floral Green does. Just when you think a typical breakdown is coming, or a punk beat is about to explode, it does the opposite. But at the same time, this album rocks and it rocks hard. Itís heavy, loud and dirty in the best ways. Melodically there is no other hardcore band that I know of that takes as many risks as these guys do. The hooks stay stuck in your head for days, but they are odd, angular, and seemingly dissonant. Yes, they are screaming at you, but in a musical way that most acts in the hardcore genre would be too timid to even attempt. Oh and the lyrics, the lyrics! The lyrics are what make this album so special to me. Thematically the album is about honesty, loneliness, separation, loss, friends, family, death, miscommunication, fear, and depression. Itís about growing up. Itís about life. And thatís what (in my opinion) the best albums are about. We are blessed to hear music presented in the hauntingly beautiful creation that is Floral Green. I could go on and on about this album, but all I will say is that, as you get older, fewer and fewer albums change your life. But, I can safely say this one did, and Iím so grateful. Thanks Title Fight.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 5 of 5
12:19 PM on 01/01/13
#2
semisonic30
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For me the album of the year was easily : Driver F - Bury a Dream. I was totally surprised that none of the staff on Absolute Punk had it on their end of the year lists. I played the hell out of it this year and I canīt get tired of it.
02:06 PM on 01/01/13
#3
KenneyBN
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Yeah for real, Bury A Dream killed it! I had it in my top 5. I hope you guys make it to Canada someday soon!!

Also the way you feel about Floral Green is awesome because thats exactly how Balance And Composure's Separation hit me in 2011. It's such a sweet thing when you find a record like that that just clicks. It just makes sense, yet you can barely explain what it is about it that is so perfect.
10:35 AM on 01/03/13
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wkebrder35
Driver F / Tyler
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Thanks for the Bury a Dream love guys, we appreciate it.

Yeah for real, Bury A Dream killed it! I had it in my top 5. I hope you guys make it to Canada someday soon!!

Also the way you feel about Floral Green is awesome because thats exactly how Balance And Composure's Separation hit me in 2011. It's such a sweet thing when you find a record like that that just clicks. It just makes sense, yet you can barely explain what it is about it that is so perfect.

Yeah it just clicked for me and it is absolutely perfect. And I can guarantee you we will be in Canada in 2013, be on the lookout for us!
01:38 PM on 01/03/13
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KenneyBN
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Thanks for the Bury a Dream love guys, we appreciate it.



Yeah it just clicked for me and it is absolutely perfect. And I can guarantee you we will be in Canada in 2013, be on the lookout for us!

Right on man that's awesome! Hopefully I don't miss you guys though, I may be leaving the country around June. Either way though, I'll make sure I catch you guys eventually! Hope you had a great Christmas, and a happy new year! I tell all my friends about Driver Friendly pretty much weekly.
Ps- I don't know how much control the band has over this, if any, but Bury A Dream should get the vinyl treatment;)
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