Keep It Fast’s Top 10 albums of 2012

Ah, yet another end of year list, don’t you just love them? It’s been another fantastic year (I always say this) with BATS scooping album of the year, with ‘The Sleep Of Reason’ – the final release from the sorely missed Richter Collective; but a truly fantastic album to go out on.

10. Pig Destroyer – Book Burner

“MY SISTER’S DANGEROUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS” roars unhinged vocalist JR Hayes on ‘Sis’ the opening track to Pig Destroyer’s 5th album. With no reason to let up, ‘Book Burner’ thunders through 19 tracks of malevolent grindcore that tears and shreds with a frustrated, schizophrenic quality. An essential, chaotic listening experience.  (Also the drumming – HOLY SHIT.) (LISTEN)

9. Blowgoat – Blowgoat

Mini-albums are allowed, right? Welsh hardcore punkers Blowgoat deserve a mention and recognition, especially considering I’ve listened to their debut 6-tracker quite a lot. Yeah they sound a bit like a rawer version of The Bronx, but there’s enough identity and depth in this ‘drunk ‘n roll’ for them to stand out as a shining beacon of fury in the UK punk rock scene – bunch of animals, but that’s what you want really. (LISTEN)

8. Hawk Eyes – Ideas

‘Ideas’ is a weird and twisted album. Not much sounds like Hawk Eyes, who seem to shoehorn stoner-punk, metal, hardcore and Patton-style ramblings into their quite dense and caustic blasts of noise. From the bonkers ‘Hollywood Sweatshop’ to the foot-on-monitors, big rock smackdown of ‘Bears by the Head’ to the QOTSA-esque ‘Witch Hunt’ they bury the listener in riff after tasty riff. (LISTEN)

7. The Menzingers – On The Impossible Past

So why does the third album from The Menzingers stand out as a highlight of 2012? I’ll tell you why – their fragile and splintering punk rock is done with grit and gutsy determination, packed with real heart and tremendous writing. Even if all the songs are just about travelling, drinking and loss, they’re done better than all their contemporaries this year and I salute them for that. (LISTEN)

6. METZ – METZ

Looking for something that falls between Drive Like Jehu, Jesus Lizard and Husker Du when they battered their songs to pieces, ala ‘Land Speed Record‘? The self-titled debut by METZ should be right up your street. Distorted, scrappy punk rock, played at one volume LOUD and sounds as if it’s held together with a lot of hope and gritted teeth. (LISTEN)

5. Future of the Left – The Plot Against Common Sense

There’s a strange ‘end of the world’ vibe about Future of the Left’s 3rd album. The ball of fire that’s about to consume the silhouette of a man and a penguin for one thing. The last days of Rome vibe of album closer ‘Notes on Achieving Orbit’ is another. Littered with acidic wit, crunching, agitated punk rock and cutting spite, ‘Plot…’ is a bunch of guys who are certainly angry about something. (LISTEN)

4. Japandroids – Celebration Rock

‘Celebration Rock’ gives pretty much exactly what I want from a rock band. The choruses are skyscrapers, the hooks are infectious, the drums are a huge rattling, unhinged barrage and the riffs are a fuzzed-out firestorm of jangling guitars. One dimensional? Well yeah, but it will rock your face off. (LISTEN)

3. The Chariot – One Wing

A staggering and mesmerising blast of erratic aural chaos that feels like it’s trying to rip itself apart. ‘One Wing’ is my first experience of The Chariot, and certainly won’t be my last. A jagged, dark twist into a demonic portal of mangled guitars, distortion, weirdness and sickening grooves. Vocalist and brainchild Josh Scogin is either a genius or a complete maniac – the best ‘metal’ (if you can call it that!) I’ve heard this year. (LISTEN)

2. Torche – Harmonicraft

Should rightly be number 1, but we live in a cruel world. ‘Harmonicraft’ is Torche delving into the cookie jar and coming out with sludge-pop, stoner-punk and bubblegum-metal. Sounds weird? It really isn’t – some might see this as a step backward from their debut and ‘Meanderthal’; whereas I honestly think this is their best work to date. There’s no filler here, it’s just banger after banger of brutally fast, fist-pumping anthems roaring with buoyant and radiant energy. Shit, I’m going to listen to it now and so should you, go on! GO FUCKING ON.

1. BATS – The Sleep Of Reason

I stand by my statement that ‘The Sleep Of Reason’ is a vital, beautiful, terrifying and fanatical album. Deservedly should be marked as a classic and strips apart the dance-punk sound that made up their debut, reforming it into a shape-shifting caterwaul of evolutionary sound. Where else are you going to hear a band singing about dinosaurs, science, stem cells, Thomas Midgley Jr, bees, evolution and astrology? (LISTEN)

OTHER GREAT STUFF THIS YEAR THAT YOU NEED TO PURCHASE WITH YOUR MONEY:

Hot Water Music – ‘Exister
Turbonegro – ‘Sexual Harassment
Baby Godzilla – ‘Oche
Hold Your Horse Is – ‘Frimley
Fighting With Wire – ‘Colonel Blood
Title Fight – ‘Floral Green
Death Grips – ‘The Money Store
Killer Mike – ‘R.A.P. Music
Baroness – ‘Yellow and Green
Her Parents – ‘Physical Release
DZ Deathrays – ‘Bloodstreams
River City Ransom – ‘River City Ransom
Pulled Apart By Horses – ‘Tough Love
Death Letters – ‘Post Historic
Therapy? – ‘A Brief Crack of Light
You Slut! – ‘Medium Bastard
Sleigh Bells – ‘Reign of Terror

End note: A big happy New Year to all our readers, bring on 2013!

Ross and Jason, Keep It Fast team

Lizard Hips

Lizard Hips

Junior Vice President of Keep It Fast. In other news: I work in social media, talk about dinosaurs, run a book club and have amazing facial hair. I am also a male man who is still not dead.

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