With 2012 now firmly behind us, it's time to take a look at the year ahead. In this feature, SPB staff compile lists of the records we're excited to hear this year, including Iron Chic, Black Sabbath, Broadway Calls, Black Face, The Tim Version, and, um, Justin Timberlake.
We've also got an interview with Portland label Dirtnap Records, speaking to owner Ken Cheppaikode about the label, now celebrating 14 years as a business, and its plans for 2013 onwards.
Aaron's picks for 2013
1. Iron Chic
There’s only one album I could possibly want more than a new RVIVR album, and that’s Iron Chic’s new record. I can only hope their new record brings about a full US tour so I can finally see this band. I can’t wait for more catchy pop-punk melodies tacked on to movie-reference titles with vocals I can sing along to for a month straight (again). I don’t even know if this is planned for 2013, but I sure hope so.
It’s RVIVR, and everything I’ve heard from the new album so far has been great and either on par or better than their 2010 Self-Titled record. That record blew me away and still does to this day. They’re one of my current favorite punk bands going right now and always have me begging for new music.
3. A Wilhelm Scream
It has been way too many years since the last full length from A Wilhelm Scream. Career Suicide was, in a way, more straightforward for Wilhelm. While still technical, melodic, and great, there was something missing from it that had the same appeal to me as Mute Print and Ruiner. If their recent new song they released was any indication, this new record could be a decent mix of all the previous albums. Only time will tell.
4. Boy Sets Fire
Damn straight I’m excited for a new Boy Sets Fire record. I don’t really know what to expect. It’s been over 6 years since their last album. I would love to see them explore more territory like with “Deja Coup” from The Misery index. It’s completely out of usual BSF fashion, but it was actually my favorite song on the album.
5. Pure Love
This one is out of curiosity more than anything. I was never a big fan of Gallows while Frank was in the band and even less so now. Pure Love is pretty much the complete opposite. I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve heard from the band so far, and it won’t be much longer before I hear the rest. Sounds like perfect driving music. It’s easier to sing along to too, haha.
Steven's picks for 2013
1. Black Sabbath - 13
Black fucking Sabbath! Produced by Rick fucking Rubin!
2. Alice In Chains - The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
All of my doubts about an Alice in Chains without Layne Staley were completely annihilated by Black Gives Way to Blue. With the release of the first single, “Hollow,” its clear that the follow-up to my favorite album of 2009 is going to be equally amazing.
3. Kylesa - Ultraviolet
With each album, Kylesa kick down another wall and expand their sound even further. Wherever they decide to take us this time around, I am delighted just to be along for the ride.
4. Ghost - Infestissumam
Opus Eponymous was one of the biggest surprises of the last few years. Out of all the throwback metal bands popping up these days, Ghost stand out as the more forward thinking of the bunch.
5. Carcass - (not yet titled)
It has been 17 years since Swansong and I am anxious to hear what these grindcore pioneers have in store for us.
Loren's picks for 2013
Our Pass the Mic feature is a monster of a read, but it’s worth it to learn about upcoming releases (and all kinds of other stuff too). Anyway, I had a handful of ideas for this list already, but thanks to our 74 participants, by list quickly expanded. Some of the highlights are below, and others like The Hussy, Bangers, Shell Shag, Plow United, and Captain, We’re Sinking all made a run for it before I settled on these entries:
1. The Tim Version
What do you know, it’s the same thing that topped my list last year. But this time it seems a bit more real, what with the facebook updates confirming a recording session has taken place. I guess it’s wait and see for their follow-up to Decline of the Southern Gentleman.
2. Future Virgins
Western Problems was a late, late 2011 discovery for me, but it would have been top 5, for sure. The garage-punk thing has been appealing to me more and more of late, and Future Virgins have a really distinct and powerful sense of melody that’s enhanced by the DIY flavor.
3. The Lawrence Arms
Allegedly this one is in the works. It’s not that the members aren’t active (see Sundower, Smoking Popes, Brendan Kelly & the Wandering Birds, Treasure Fleet, more), but the Lawrence Arms’ output this past half-decade has trickled in. The last full-length, Oh, Calcutta!, was back in 2006. Call it life. Anyway, as blogger Brendan has made a name talking parenting, I can’t help but curious to see if those tones crossover into the Lawrence Arms’ drunken, melancholic anthems. Plus, Buttsweat and Tears had some of their best songs yet—even if it’s already pushing four years old.
4. Big Eyes
Hard Life is a creeper of an album, with subtleties that play well with more spins. The band is also killer live, which is my main experience in checking them out. I’m curious to see how they’ve developed since 2011 and a lot of time on the road.
5. Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart
Frank Turner is an intriguing artist. While none of his releases have been list-toppers for me, there are always a handful of tracks that I absolutely adore. Add the personal tone and relate-ability of his songs, and it’s definitely a release I’ll be checking out.
Nathan's picks for 2013
1. Black Face – Where Will We Run / Leave Me Out to Rot
In 2011 former SST Records co-owner and original Black Flag bassist, Chuck Dukowski formed a new band with Oxbow vocalist, author and ass-kicking enthusiast, Eugene S. Robinson. Black Face recorded four songs there were written during Black Flag’s My War era. Hydra Head released a 7” featuring two of them—Monster b/w I Want to Kill You—but the other two—“Where Will We Run” and “Leave Me Out to Rot”—have yet to see the light of day. This is purely hypothetical, considering the band called it quits in February of last year, but I remain hopeful these songs will be eponymously released in one fashion or another.
2. The Cave Singers – Naomi
Seattle’s moody indie folk/roots revivalist unit The Cave Singers are all set to release their fourth album, Naomi. Expanding to a quartet, singer Pete Quirk, guitarist Derek Fudesco and drummer Marty Lund brought in Morgan Henderson (Blood Brothers, Fleet Foxes) to play bass and some other instruments for this record. I’m anxious to see how expansive their dark, gritty, folk-blues compositions will get with additional musical arrangement.
3. Iceage – You’re Nothing
Despite a variety media-drummed hoopla surrounding its release, Iceage’s debut album, New Brigade still took me completely by surprise; and subsequently ruled my stereo for the better part of 2011. I’m not expecting to be blown away by You’re Nothing, but I am eagerly anticipating more of their brooding hardcore and goth-tinged post-punk.
4. Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience
I am disappointed by “Suit & Tie,” the underwhelming debut single from Justin Timberlake’s upcoming album and the first new music we’ve heard from the man in roughly seven years. That being said, I remain wholeheartedly optimistic that The 20/20 Experience will at least equal, if not surpass, the splendor of FutureSex/LoveSounds. I need…check that, want…no, wait, I actually need this…I need this album to be tremendous, thus reconfirming that my biggest man-crush since Davey Havok hasn't happened without warrant.
5. The Replacements – ?!?!
Late last year it was announced that Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson were joined in-studio by Westerberg’s touring guitarist and solo artist, Kevin Bowe and drummer Peter Anderson, where they recorded an EP’s worth of cover songs as (gasp) The Replacements. (The Replacements!) In mid-January, the limited-edition 10" vinyl, Songs For Slim went up for auction online to benefit former Replacements' guitarist Slim Dunlap, who had suffered a stroke in February of ‘12. Covers are cool, and charity is beyond great, but here’s the real kicker: Westerberg has gone on record saying the band does not rule out touring or recording a new album. (Does not rule it out!)
Runner-Up: Murder City Devils. Another year of reunion shows passes; a couple new songs surface. Hey, this could still happen right? RIGHT?
Sarah's picks for 2013
5. Devin Townsend and Ché Aimee Dorval - Casualties of Cool
Though this was supposed to be out in 2012 alongside Epicloud, Devin Townsend's new project with vocalist Ché Dorval is shaping up to be a pretty awesome project. At least it can't be any worse than Townsend's other two recent albums.
4. Ayreon - untitled eighth studio album
After setting his main project on hiatus to release some pretty okay solo material, Dutch metalman Arjen Lucassen has announced that his old collaborative project, Ayreon, will be resurrected. A new album (and an entirely new storyline) are supposed to follow later this year--I can't wait to see who he's working with this time.
3. Wintersun - Time II
The epic saga of Wintersun's Time should finally be over this year! The second half of their incredibly-long-awaited album Time is supposed to be released this year, and if the first half is any indication, it's gonna be worth the wait.
2. Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused to Sing (and other stories)
Porcupine Tree might be on hiatus, but frontman Steven Wilson is as busy as ever. His last couple of albums haven't been spectacular, but still quite strong, indicating that he's not out of steam yet. Hopefully his new solo release will prove that he's still got it in him.#
1. Karnivool - untitled third studio album
This band is so good that sliced bread is all "Whaaaaaat?"
Stephanie's picks for 2013
5. Paramore - Self Titled
Personally, I predicted a Paramore break-up for 2012. I guess I was wrong, because they're releasing their self titled and fourth studio album in April. Their first single is "Now" and has already surfaced radio. It was produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen, who has also produced albums for Tegan and Sara, M83 and Neon Trees. This will be an interesting album to listen to since it will be the first without the influence of the Farro brothers. Zac (former drummer,) and Josh (former guitarist and vocalist,) left the band in 2010.
4. Tegan and Sara - Heartthrob
We don't have to wait too long for this record, since Tegan and Sara's follow-up to the very much beloved Sainthood comes out in January. Their first single off the record is "Closer" and so far, has been a hit on rock radio. This will be the sisters' seventh studio album.
3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito
The trio's fourth studio album releases this April. It's going to be tough to top 2009's It's Blitz! but it still will be interesting to see what direction the band will be going in after that.
2. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires Of The City
Not a lot of information has been released about this album yet, except for it's scheduled release: May 7, 2013. Lead singer and guitarist Ezra Koenig collaborated with Das Racist and Major Lazer in 2012, so perhaps they could be involved. It's definitely good to hear we'll be getting some new material, though. Since 2010's Contra, many fans have been wanting more, including me.
1. The Black Keys - TBA
Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney aren't slowing down a bit. The duo are hoping to have this album finished by March, before touring with The Flaming Lips in April and May. It hasn't been confirmed, since the band is still in the process of recording their eighth studio album, but it is anticipated to be released by the end of this year.
Cheryl's picks for 2013
Altar of Plagues - Teethed Glory and Injury
The wait is sickening.
Darkthrone - The Underground Resistance
This is kinda cheating because I'm lucky enough to have heard it....but I'm really excited for it nonetheless, you guys aren't prepared!
Deafheaven - Sunbather
Seeing this band grow and develop has been incredibly exciting and this is sure to push their sound and scope into ever more interesting territory.
Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience
"Suit & Tie" is magical, and if this first single is anything to go by, then The 20/20 Experience is going to be fantastic.
Woe - Withdrawal
This drops in April and I've been given a little (ok, a full) preview. It's incredible.
In summation: shut up and take my money.
Nick's picks for 2013
1. Broadway Calls – Comfort/Distraction
Broadway Calls’ last full length was released 3 years ago, followed by extensive touring, the dismissal of former bass player Matt Koenig, signing to No Sleep Records, and a handful of smaller releases. Fast forward to now and the Oregon trio’s latest LP is so close you can almost touch it. If their recent splits and Toxic Kids EP are any indication, Comfort/Distraction is slated to be one of the year’s most exciting pop-punk records.
2. Off With Their Heads – Home
Something about Ryan Young’s Off With Their Heads has always rung a little close to the chest for me. Whether it’s the endless lines tabled around addiction, depression, and hopelessness or their flawless ability to translate it into upbeat, rambunctious tunes, I’ve never disliked a song and I can’t say I begin to start anytime soon.
3. Protest the Hero – Untitled
Protest the Hero will always hold a special in my heart. They were my first show at age 14 and their Calculated Use of Sound EP still sees fairly regular rotation. While my attention wavered in recent years, I’m constantly finding myself liking their newer albums more and more. Their new, yet to be titled, self-released album may not make it on my best-of in 11 months, but it won’t be from lack of trying.
4. The Men – New Moon
I can still remember as 2012’s Open Your Heart finished up and I sat at my desk with one thought in my head: what the fuck was that? It certainly wasn’t what I was expecting from the Brooklyn based noise rock band, but it grew on me quickly and became one of the most dynamic albums of last year. I refuse to listen to anything from this new album prior to its release because of the band’s drive to switch things up and leave you flabbergasted. And damnit, I will be flabbergasted.
5. Restorations – LP2
I’m not afraid to admit I had a really hard time getting into Restorations until last year’s A/B 7”. Maybe they weren’t in your face enough for me or I had to gleam myself over in the stage of maturity where I had given up enough hope to get it, but it took me longer than it should. That being said, in the past few months Restorations have dug their own hole in my musical landscape and I’m counting down the days until April for their Side One Dummy debut.