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It’s that time of year again. LISTS! There seem to be a lot of opinions floating around about year-end lists. How you should do them… how you should not do them… that you should not do them. But I don’t care about that. I enjoyed making my year-end list and I loved talking about why this music made my year. I’ve chosen 30 albums to share with you over the next five days and if you care to read it I hope you enjoy it! 

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30. Goat // World Music [Rocket Recordings]

For the last couple of years I’ve left off one slot on my year-end list for last minute surprises. It’s a spot for the album that I recently discovered yet is way too good to leave off. This year World Music is that album. If you’re unfamiliar with them, Goat is a Swedish band that defies classification more than almost any other artist I’ve heard this year. They mix tribal psychedelia with with sticky sludge metal riffs, soaring guitar solos, and vocals that shred so hard you can almost hear the veins in the vocalist’s throat pulsing. Don’t sleep on this one like I did.

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29. The Hiya Dunes // High Tide [Seagreen Records]

There are so many things to love about The Hiya Dunes debut album. For starters it is delightfully kitschy in such an honest way. Yeah, this is beach-themed music released at a time when beach-themed music has been absolutely done to death, but these guys found a way to upend the trends. Instead of mining The Beach Boys or the teenage party ditties of the 1960’s for influence they take an almost novelty music route. Think shipwrecks, dirty sea foam, and the ghostly presence of sailors lost at sea. Now you’re getting a bit warmer.

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28. Mac Demarco // 2 [Captured Tracks]

A whole lot of people seemed to latch onto this album this year and for good reason. While I more or less enjoyed Rock and Roll Nightclub, it wasn’t something I found myself revisiting. 2 is a completely different story with ear worm after wriggling ear worm burrowing deep into my brain. Sure Mac is a frumpy, scuzzy, probably smelly dude who should iron his clothes more, but he is also a genius songwriter with a knack for a catchy guitar lick. He sits somewhere between Weezer and Paul McCartney and that suits me just fine.

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27. SoftSpot // Ensō [self-released]

SoftSpot is one band that I’ve been intentionally following very closely for the past year or so. There was something so enigmatic about their early tracks that I figured I would keep an eye on them and see what they produced in the future. Lo and behold they birthed Ensō their proper debut album and what a wonder it is. Expanding on (and re-recording) those early sounds, this Brooklyn band has cemented themselves as a force to be reckoned with. They criminally flew a bit under the radar this year, but if they stay the course I imagine that will change for them in a big way.

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26. Black Breath // Sentenced to Life [Southern Lord]

I didn’t expect to be hit so hard by Black Breath’s latest album as I was, but looking back what was I thinking? Look at that album art. It smacks of classics like Damaged, Kill ‘Em All, and Vulgar Display of Power and listening to the onslaught barely contained within I imagine that that’s exactly what these guys were going for. This is brutal hammer-and-nail hardcore dressed up in classic metal hair and leather. Once you press play there is nothing stopping it, so you best hold onto anything that’s not nailed down. This one’s a punisher.

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25. Death Grips // The Money Store [Epic Records]

With each of the attention-grabbing ploys that Death Grips thrust upon the public this year they began to lose me more and more. I can understand being “punk” and bucking against a crooked system, but after a certain point I just wasn’t buying it anymore. That being said The Money Store is a great album. At the time it was released I was pretty seriously disappointed in it. Last year Exmilitary cracked my top 10 and I was expecting nothing less from The Money Store. At first I felt that it lacked a lot of the noise and edge of their debut, but as 2012 dragged on I found myself revisiting it more and more. And now look where we are.

30-25 // 24-19 // 18-13 // 12-7 // 6-1

 


12/10/12 at 02:49pm

 

 

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