Features Music Year End 2012 2012: A Year In Review

Year End 2012

Music: 2012: A Year In Review

Top 5 Bands I Discovered in 2012

Top 5 Bands I Discovered in 2012


I get a lot of music. By which, I mean I usually don’t pay a whole lot of attention when the newswire tells me that a record is streaming. For whatever reason, I checked out Mellow Cruisers on a whim and haven’t looked back. I got the chance to see the band earlier this month, too, and they brought it just as well—even in a rather questionable venue as far as sound quality goes. But, hey, that’s punk rock, ain’t it?


This was a holdover release from 2011 that I’d been curious about, but never got around to until the calendar turned. Maybe it was even on my “too late for 2011 list” a year back. I can’t remember, but the sloppy garage punk mixed with pure melodic bliss is energetic and makes you want to destroy things. The band has a knack for build-up within the songs while still keeping them concise and on track. Now to wait for a follow-up to their self-titled debut.

The Blank Fight

Where have I been on this one? Okay, I guess it had a limited run and disappeared like most Cometbus bands, but it’s fast, punchy, smart, and forceful. It reminds me of Cleveland Bound Death Sentence in many ways, just slightly less gruff (due to different singers), and the sound quality is good enough for the songs to really carry a punch. Some of this bands have recorded so little that, when you get your hands on them, the sound quality wasn’t done in a proper studio and it shows. Good job with this re-issue, Silver Sprocket.

Shell Shag

Okay, so I saw a few minutes of them at a Fest years ago. This year I sat down with a record and, sure, they’re all covers, but Fuck Society brings it. The covers are a wide range of styles, but there’s a really unified and approachable constant to them, largely brought out by the two-piece’s ability to strip out a powerful melody while making the songs their own. It’s low energy and probably gets a lot of shrugged shoulders at the punk shows, but having taken more time with an LP, I now get them.

Royal Headache

It was a lot of hype that led me to this band. People in all facets of the punk scene seemed to be talking up the Australian “soul punk” band and their self-titled record, released in 2011 in Australia and 2012 here in the US. Honestly, it took several listens to fully connect with the blend of energy and soul, but now I find myself thinking I should have hit up their US tour earlier when I had the chance. (Though SPB did send Nathan there.) Hopefully with all the talk the s/t has received, the band will find the resources for a return trip to North America.

- Loren

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Words by the SPB team on Jan. 20, 2013, 7:13 a.m.

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Series: Year End 2012

A collection of coverage rounding up the year 2012, covering our favorite albums, shows, bands, and more, as well as asking record labels and bands about their past twelve months in music

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