Best Of 2012: Musicians Best Of Lists Part 4

2012yearWe here at American Aftermath are readying our very own year end lists, to be unleashed this Friday. We have asked some friends and musicians to submit their very own Best of 2012 List, which we will be posting throughout the week and here we go. Read on to find out what members of So Is The Tongue, El Drugstore, Full Of Hell and Like Rats were jamming to this year.    

Ron Varod – So is the Tongue/Kayo Dot
1. Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel – This is by far Fiona’s most exciting and progressive record to date. Instead of trying to recreate the genius that was Jon Brion’s production on ‘When the Pawn’ there’s lots of minimalism in these arrangements that serve the songs extremely well. Also she sounds so genuinely sad in her lyrics and the way she sings them, it really makes me want to curl in a ball.

2. Dysrhythmia – Test of Submission – This Album is as dark and suffocating as their last album ‘Psychic Maps’ but with extremely prominent melodies that harken back to their earlier albums. The intro of “Running Towards the End” gives me goose pimples every time I listen to it.

3. Scott Walker – Bish Bosch – This is my latest addition to the list but on only my 4th listen but I’ve already decided this is the most bleak shit since the final Khanate album. That’s a good thing by the way…

4. Converge – All We Love We Leave Behind – Converge never try to alienate their audience and make any sharp turns, they just take it from a slightly different angle each time without losing sight of their main focus: Brutal Riffing.

5. Swans – The Seer – I’ll admit I never checked out Swans until after I saw them open for Portishead 2 years ago, but their live performance really resonated with me enough to make me want to check out their whole catalog. This album has a broad scope of everything Gira’s done in his career and I’d recommend it to any other n00bz like my former self.

6. Emily Peel – Fine Fur Coat – So is the Tongue played with these guys back in September. Hands down the tightest band we’ve ever played with, I didn’t stop listening to this EP for 2 weeks straight!

7. Hazel Rah – African Tape EP – The music of Tim Byrnes is extremely uncomfortable, jarring, and at the same time really really catchy. I don’t understand why, but I love it.

8. Gaza – No Absolutes In Human Suffering – I always wanted to know what Botch would sound like if they stuck around for the blast-beat era of heavy music (now). Also one of my favorite live acts of 2012.

9. Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man – Since I discovered the last album “Two Suns” Bat for Lashes has been part of my somewhat shortlist of “go-tos” when I want to cleanse my palette from all the extreme and dense music I listen to and play. Prog rock can be exhausting kids.

10. Extra Life – Dream Seeds – This album is probably the perfect swan song for one of my favorite bands to come out of the NYC prog scene (they’re playing their last show in January). Super emotional without losing that progressive edge (the last two songs are 12 and 14 min long!)

Kevin Conway – El Drugstore, Ex-East of the Wall

1- Dysrhythmia- Test of Submission
2- Converge- All We Love We Leave Behind
3- Royal Thunder- CVI
4- Stinking Lizaveta- 7th Direction
5- Deathspell Omega- Drought
6- Extra Life- Dream Seeds
7- Loincloth- Iron Balls of Steel
8- Hivesmasher- Gutter Choir
9- Carson McWhirter- SNDLPVN
10- Vaura- Selenelion
11- Marriages- Kitsune
12- Revocation- Teratogenesis
13- SchnAAk- Cool Drink Town
14- Meek Is Murder- Into The Sun Where It Falls Off The Sky
15- Enslaved- RIITIIR
16- Murder Construct- Results
17- Dog Shredder- Brass Tactics
18- Municipal Waste- The Fatal Feast
19- Krallice- Years Past Matter
20- Samothrace- Reverence To Stone

I did not include any of the releases my label, Nefarious Industries, put out, but needless to say I think those are all great too. So please check out the records we put out this year from So Is The Tongue, Mount Gomery, Tovarish and Arbogast at Cheers.

Full Of Hell‘s Favorite Albums of 2012
Pig Destroyer – Bookburner
Neurosis – Honor Found In Decay
Death Grips – No Love Deep Web
Grimes – Visions
Like Rats – Like Rats
Homewrecker – Worms and Dirt
Old Accusers – All Is Shrouded But There Is A Voice Still Howling
Swans – The Seer
Evoken – Atra Mora
OM – Advaitic Songs

Todd Nief – Like Rats
Dead Can Dance – Anastasis
Dead Can Dance is one of my favorite bands, so I was thrilled when I saw that they were playing in Millenium Park in Chicago at the end of the summer. Even though they played mostly songs off of their new LP, which I wasn’t familiar with at the time, I was still completely blown away. I never thought I would see them play live, and, even as a guy who is kind of jaded on concerts, I think a tear came to my eye when Lisa Gerrard first started singing. It makes me jealous that I will never do anything ever in my life that even approaches that level of beauty.

Anyway, this record follows in the more Eastern sounding tradition of their last few LPs in the 90s. The second song is the first piece of new music that I’ve heard in awhile that has covered my whole body with goose bumps. Here’s a live version that destroys all:

Down – Down IV
Down is pretty much just an extension of “Supernaut,” which is one of my favorite Black Sabbath songs. This EP is quite a bit darker than previous recordings, and trades some of the more “stonery” riffs for some more elaborate melodies that are reminiscent of “South of Heaven.” I interviewed Phil Anselmo when this came out, and he dropped Trouble as a major influence, so that really rubbed me the right way.Hoax – 3rd EP
If you like mid-paced, frowning riffs, this is an appropriate band to be into. While Hoax is ostensibly a hardcore band, thess riffs sound like the heavy parts off of Bathory’s “The Return,” only with better drumming. If you are not a philistine, you know that “The Return” is untouchable, so anything that captures that same sliding, hateful feeling with a mid-paced riff is excellent.

Merlin Wall Party at the Docks
There are a whole bunch of power pop freaks out there who all need to get really into this band. This sounds a lot like Shoes, and I think Erik is probably stealing a lot of ideas from Marshall Crenshaw. If these guys actually tried, I bet they could accumulate an army of indie rock fans, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re writing washed out, primitive pop music that hangs with the best shit from the early 70s.

Honorable Mentions:
Violent End – Demo (Pretty much what you would expect from members of Raw Nerve, Vile Gash & Hostage Situation)
Weekend Nachos/Lack of Interest Split (Pretty much what you would expect from members of Encyclopedia Brown and Hats for the Cats)
Asphyx – Deathhammer (Martin Van Drunen is the greatest death metal vocalist of all time)
With Knives – Schadenfreude (Queens of the Stone Age worship),
Eyehategod – New Orleans is the New Vietnam (I can unfortunately actually understand some of these lyrics, so this only gets an honorable mention)

I’m also listening to a stream of the new Incantation album right now as I write this, and it starts with the same riff as Onward to Golgotha, so this will likely be my actual favorite album of 2012.

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