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Best Of: Songs That ROCKED My 2012

posted December 19, 2012, 12:34 pm by ROCKthusiast | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Music News, Releases, Top Albums | comment 2 Comments


Whenever I reflect  up on the year’s best in music, my criteria inevitably boils down to the songs I consistently cranked up, regardless of the environment where I heard them. Not to sound all OMG and LOL (or even WTF), but these really are the songs that rocked my world…this year, at least.

Yeah, pop was pretty persuasive, not in the ubiquitous “Call Me Maybe” sense, but how acts like Mumford & Sons, fun., and others are considered part of the rock/alternative sphere in this watered-down world of ours. Despite this disturbing trend, there was an awful lot of great stuff produced in 2012 with grab you by the throat guitars and pounding drums at the forefront, a good chunk of it originating out of Canada!

What follows are tweet-length summaries of 24 tunes I kept coming back to this year, compiled in an 80-minute reassurance that there’s more to music than what the Internet has deemed as cool. Rock is far from being dead folks, and hopefully this list will go a long way towards proving this. Feel free to compliment or ridicule me on my choices at rockthusiast@gmail.com, or if you’re brave enough, I’d love to know what’s own your personal 2012 mixtape.

Onward. ROCK!
Gilles

Garbage – Automatic Systematic Habit
Nobody has ever melded electronic music with alternative rock as sexily as Garbage, either in the 90s or on 2012’s Not Your Kind of People.

 

Japandroids – The House That Heaven Built
In a world becoming wussier by the second, Celebration Rock is the most anthemic and explosively heartfelt release I’ve heard in years.

King Tuff – Bad Thing
If listening to King Tuff play good ol’ fashioned rock & roll on a Stratocaster is a “baaaaad thiiiiing,” then consider me forever damned!

Tame Impala – Led Zeppelin
I felt awkward including something from Celebration Day here, but I’ll make room for “Led Zeppelin” by Tame Impala – Dig that awesome riff!

Band of Skulls – The Devil Takes Care of His Own
Slamming, new school take on heavy, 1960s power trio blues rock that makes palling around with Beelzebub not seem like such a bad idea.

The Smashing Pumpkins – Speed
I wasn’t going to include any songs from reissues or box sets, but then Billy Corgan unearthed this gem from his mid-90s MCIS masterpiece.

Bloc Party – Octopus
Bloc Party’s comeback statement is a rapid-fire barrage of post-punk revivalist guitar that pierces singer Kele Okereke’s smooth delivery.

Gary Clark Jr. – Bright Lights
I don’t care how many times Gary Clark Jr. re-records “Bright Lights”, when that down-and-dirty Texas blues guitar comes in, I’m all ears!

Zeus – Are You Gonna Waste My Time?
How these moustachio’d friends of the extended Broken Social Scene family weren’t nominated for the 2012 Polaris Music Prize is beyond me.

Parlovr – Amaze-Me-Jane
Montreal baroque pop in the Arcade Fire vein meets dance-inducing doo-wop, with contagious results. Now all I need is a sock hop to go to…

Ty Segall – You’re the Doctor
San Fran’s Ty Segall is my new guitar hero, releasing THREE full-length albums in just over 5 months, each one more rocking than the last.

The Black Keys – Lonely Boy
No matter how many shows The Black Keys headlined in 2012, there was always a supercharged energy whenever this crowd favourite was played.

Arctic Monkeys – R U Mine?
The much loved UK simians sprung this winter blah-beater on their fans back in February, and it quickly became a show closing staple.

Alabama Shakes – Heavy Chevy
If I’m ever in a situation where I’m being chased in the Southern US by guys in a pickup truck, I so want this as my getaway soundtrack.

JEFF the Brotherhood – Sixpack
The brothers Orrall take the notion of a breezy summer pop hit, keep the fun, add a whack of 2-piece garage fuzz, and crank it up to 11.

The Hives – Patrolling Days
The sharp-dressed Swedish punkers went indie for their first record in five years, and as it turns out, they still pack a mighty wallop.

Jack White – Sixteen Saltines
The former White Stripe conquered the music world while keeping everyone guessing as to which of his bands would play on any given night.

METZ – Headache
Sub Pop brought grunge to the masses, and 20+ years later, the legendary label thinks they’ve found some new torchbearers…from TORONTO!

A Place to Bury Strangers – You’re the One
Mysterious, eerie, and very reminiscent of the Jesus and Mary Chain at their noisiest. My ears may hurt, but the shoegazer in me approves!

The Rolling Stones – Doom and Gloom
I have to tip my hat to the ageless Stones, as this new song is worthy of being amongst their greatest rock and roll recordings, i.e. GRRR!

Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Walk Like a Giant (Radio Edit)
I think it’s safe to say that the world is a much better place when Uncle Neil is galloping wildly with his Crazy Horse collaborators.

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Black Mold
If I were giving out a comeback of the year award, it would have to go to this hard-charging, kung fu-inspired barnburner from the JSBX.

PS I Love You – Sentimental Dishes
Here’s a P.S.: My ears haven’t stopped ringing from the last time I saw this Kingston, Ont. two-piece in concert. Not that I’m complaining!

The Sheepdogs – Feeling Good
Saskatchewan’s biggest export since wheat did not disappoint on their big-league follow-up, assisted by Patrick Carney of The Black Keys.

Comments

2 Responses to “Best Of: Songs That ROCKED My 2012”

  1. Dennis Scanland dscanland on December 20th, 2012 9:36 am

    Beautiful playlist. I’m going to have to check out King Tuff. Seeing them popping up everywhere. I probably should have put Band of Skulls on my list too. I did listen to that album a lot.

  2. Ben Oliver Ben Oliver on December 21st, 2012 5:43 am

    Do it Dennis, King Tuff is great!!

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