2012 Album Capsules (with Twitter Restricted Length)

Allah-Las - S/T (2012): 81.
You hear the influences (60s garage, psych & surf) but this is about capturing a vibe more than paying homage.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Mature Themes (2012): 70.
Mostly very good with only a few of those annoying, jokey filler songs.

Big Boi - Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors (2012): 64.
Not in the same league as his terrific solo debut but still has some great moments.

Bitch Prefect - Big Time (2012): 73.
Lo-fi twee / jangle pop with wonderfully whiny vocals that aims for the heart of Flying Nun fetishists.

Cat Power - Sun (2012): 71.
Front-loaded but very exciting stylistic departure from Marshall, her best album since YOU ARE FREE.

Cloud Nothings: Attack on Memory (2012): 76.
Great choice having Albini record this; it really jumps out at you and sounds great played loud

Constant Mongrel - Everything Goes Wrong (2012): 69.
Total Control-lite. Too much running in place but both sides end with killer tracks.

FIDLAR - No Waves / No Ass (2012): 72.
A-Side is a scorching love song to aimlessness, B-Side is their first song that feels like a B-Side.

Gentleman Jesse - Leaving Atlanta (2012): 82.
Is this too poppy? 200 plays later I can confirm it is not. B-side flags a bit, but whatever.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! (2012): 68.
Needs more haunting beauty mixed in with the unsettling builds.

Japandroids - Celebrations Rock (2012): 67.
"Oh Oh Oh Oh" "Ohhhh Ohhh Ohhh Ohhh" "Oh Yeah" "Oh Oh. Yeah Yeah"

Jeff the Brotherhood - Upstairs at United (2012): 77.
A detour from Weezer worship into spaced out heavy psych (including a Hawkwind cover!)

King Tuff - S/T (2012): 75.
The A-Side has most of the power pop highlights but the B-side isn't exactly going to kill a party.

La Sera - Sees the Light (2012): 74.
A big improvement from the debut with Goodman sharpening songwriting & adding a strong supporting band.

Jens Lekman - I Know What Love Isn't (2012): 54.
Not fun or funny and Lekman sounds like he's aged some 50 years since his last album.

Lotus Plaza - Spooky Action at a Distance (2012): 77.
I've been underrating Pundt. Simple jangle guitar patterns with beautiful melodies.

Lower Dens - Nootropics (2012): 82.
"Brains" into "Stems" is sure to be one of the highlights of 2012. "Nova Anthem" is similarly dazzling.

Lower Plenty - Hard Rubbish (2012): 80.
Terrific sad country/bedroom folk from Australia, I just wish it was longer than 23 minutes.

The Men - Open Your Heart (2012): 79.
Spot the influences..Sonic Youth. The Replacements. Sonic..no, Pavement. Big Star. I like these bands.

Mount Eerie - Distorted Cymbals / Anglepoise Cymbals (2012): 67.
A-Side is like deconstructed Eno, I'm curious to hear more. B is lame dub.

Frank Ocean - Channel Orange (2012): 53.
So bloated & overlong, it took me several listens to even get to the (strong) highlight "Pyramids."

Thee Oh Sees - Putrifiers II (2012): 87.
Dwyer's clearly hitting his stride. Evokes Eno, Velvets & krautrock and never takes a mis-step.

Pangea - Killer Dreams EP (2012): 80.
Builds from previous LP with each of the songs showing a different dimension of their sound.

Ty Segall & White Fence - Hair (2012): 68.
This seemed like an ideal collaboration but instead it's a war of two incompatible sensibilities.

Ty Segall Band - Slaughterhouse (2012): 78.
Segall's touring band recorded live in studio by Chris Woodhouse. Loud, abrasive and excellent.

Ty Segall - Twins (2012): 83.
The last of a trilogy of 2012 albums from Ty and this is pretty clearly the best of the lot.

Spacin' - Deep Thuds (2012): 74.
Garage Psych with heavy krautrock influences. Scuzzy but full of boogie and groove. Weird and essential.

Terry Malts - Killing Time (2012): 75.
Very polite punk that really just wants you to have fun. Even the anti-god song is mostly charming.

The Walkmen - Heaven (2012): 67.
Content and positive music from people who seem happy and angst free. Not particularly memorable or bad.

Nick Waterhouse - Time's All Gone (2012): 76.
Deeply indebted (almost academically) to early R&B but has quirky swagger of its own.