Since it's that time of year, here's the top five albums of 2012. It should come as no surprise that many have a link to the always awesome A389 label. Without further ado, the list:
5. ILSA "Intoxicantations" (A389 Recordings)
4. OM - "Advaitic Songs" (Drag City)
OM weaves together a five track, forty-plus minute epic in the form of "Advaitic Songs." There are moments of drone, chants, and full on arrangements that create a very heavily layered piece that is both like and unlike their previous material. Because of how diverse this record is, I'm really quite curious to see what else the band has up their sleeve.
3. PICK YOUR SIDE "Let Me Show You How Democracy Works" (A389 Recordings)
When it comes to in-your-face, pissed off fast hardcore Jeff Beckman is king. Continuing lyrically where Haymaker left off, PYS released this gem at the beginning of 2012, but "LMSYHDW" has been in constant rotation ever since. I love how they added in melodic moments in the midst of thrashy punk without it sounding strange or out of place. PYS recently released a 7" on RSR as well as a now long sold out tape of their performance at CIUT; I would track them down if you dig this record or just good music in general.
2. BURNING LOVE "Rotten Thing To Say" (Southern Lord)
Perfect rock n' roll punk with Chris Colohan on vocals? What more could one ask for? Without losing any intensity, Burning Love's latest record added in more attitude and swagger for some seriously well done jams. The thing I most enjoy about this release was while yes it's dirty punk n' roll, there are a lot of interesting themes explored such as infamous serial killers, corrupt governments, and religion to just name a few. Very highly recommended.
I've been eagerly awaiting TLVBL's debut full-length since hearing the "Reproductive Rights" EP back in 2010. "Every Tongue Shall Caress" shows the band showcasing an unholy blend of hardcore and sludge. Whether it's Jerry's tortured vocals or the hypnotic groove in tracks like "Pedophile's Basement" there is nothing normal about this record. It's punishingly beautiful. For me, The Love Below is a fresh sound in a world of 4th rate Discharge and Hatebreed bands.