Albums of 2012: Jake

1. The Chariot - One Wing
As soon as I saw the teaser video for this, which included the track Speak, I knew this would be my album of the year. It takes the chaotic noise that The Chariot do so well and pushes the boat out further. Their most experimental to date, it features a track of Angela Plake singing lyrics from The Fiancee's They Faced Each Other, a track of just piano and screams and an abrupt change from hardcore to western. Throw in The Chariot's brilliant use of samples (Charlie Chapin in Cheek, for example) and all this might sound absolutely mental, but they really make it work.

2. Enter Shikari - A Flash Flood Of Colour

The St. Albans crew's third studio album takes what was great about its predecessors and rams a massive sub bass down your throat to top it off. Huge beatdowns and fantastic riffs straight out of Take To The Skies and previous EPs are much more prominent than in Common Dreads, but they still took a leaf out of the album book, producing this so that the electronics and real instruments blend wonderfully. This is an album for people who like their rock music loud, bass heavy, and don't care about their ear drums.

3. We Came Out Like Tigers - Agelessness and Lack

I was introduced to this Liverpudlian screamo outfit by their tour with Aberdeen band Cavalcades. I immediately bought this on vinyl. With brutal moments on either side of pieces of music that are simply beautiful, We Came Out Like Tigers take screamo to the next level. This isn't for the faint of heart: with heartbreaking lyrics about depression, cancer and a plethora of topics that hit home hard, Agelessness and Lack takes you to a dark place and leaves you there. But you'll be glad you went on this journey with them. 

4. Dead Swans - Anxiety and Everything Else

The latest, and sadly last, release by Brighton's Dead Swans. Anxiety and Everything Else is everything Dead Swans are good at. Clean guitars followed by fast punk drums and palm muted guitar work. Topped off with one of the best vocals in modern hardcore, this album definitely let Dead Swans go out on a high. 

5. Rolo Tomassi - Astraea

With the departure of multiple members, their sound slightly changed. It's still crazy 'electro-math-hardcore', but I found this album a lot easier to listen to than their debut. Don't get me wrong, you wouldn't sit with this on during dinner or light some candles and bathe to it, but it's so much easier to digest, which in my eyes make it better. I loved Cosmology, but I could see myself listening to this a lot more often.

6. Carson Wells - Wonderkid

One of the best releases to come out of Aberdeen, not only this year, but in quite some time. I've only really recently gotten in to this new wave of 'emo', but Carson Wells do it brilliantly well. 

7. Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind

A good friend of mine looked at me with pure disgust when I said I had never heard of this band. Luckily, they released an album just in time for me to save face, and what an album it is.

8. Calvin Harris - 18 Months

The newest album from Calvin Harris sees him move much more towards the producer's chair. And it pays off with some of the best dance songs of 2012 and some of the best collaborations to boot.

9. Unsane - Wreck

2012 was the year in which I was introduced to all my new favourite bands. Unsane are just one of many, who's newest release of noise rock soon became unplayable on Spotify.

10. Citizens - CTZNS

Another band that I got in to just as they broke up. (I think I may be a bad omen.) But this debut album from the Scottish progressive-hardcore trio deserves nothing less than a place in my top ten of 2012.

Honourable Mentions
Departures - Teenage Haze
Cavalcades - Coping
Pigdog - Chelios

JL