L.’s Top five 7”s of 2012
With December upon us it is that time of year again...the time where we all look back on the past year and remind ourselves that while we were writing blogs other people were out there writing music. Good music! Good music that should be put into a list!
Now, the Lost Tribe family (and its subsidiaries) make no claim that any of our year-end lists are by any means definitive, authoritative, or anything more than that we specifically enjoyed over the last 12 months. As there are multiple Lost Tribe writers, there may be similar categories with different choices, or different categories with similar choices.
Either way, we thought it was worth listing a few great things from this year, so here we go.
L.’s Top five 7”s of 2012
5. Wrong Answer – Cross a Black Cat’s Path
I first started listening to this band as part of the lead up to This Is Hardcore, and was completely blown away by their performance. They had that immediacy and hunger that resides almost exclusively with young, furious hardcore bands. After watching their live show, I quickly scrambled outside and picked up their Cross a Black Cat’s Path 7”. Initially annoyed that I had to wait to get back to my record player in Canada to listen to it, I was pleasantly surprised when I got home I realized it was worth the wait. Straight up hardcore done right. It’s angry, the riffs are great, and “No End in Sight” is by-far my favourite hardcore song of the year.
4. Pig Destroyer – Blind, Deaf, and Bleeding
Ok, is this technically a one-sided 12”? And was it an accompaniment to their new full length, Book Burner, rather than a standalone release? Well yes....and yes....BUT it’s Pig Destroyer covering 1980s hardcore songs!!! Whether it is Black Flag’s “Depression”, Minor Threat’s “Betray”, or Void’s “Who Are You?”, this is Pig Destroyer paying homage to their roots by combining the raw intensity of these classics with Scot Hull & Co.’s unparalleled sonic fury. So sure, I had to shoehorn this release into this category (which is also the reason it isn’t in the top 2), but there aren’t enough similar releases for me to make a “One-sided etched 12” EP that accompanies the Deluxe release of a new full length” category. Also, if you tell me that you aren’t excited by the drummer of Misery Index playing Misfits and Negative Approach songs, then I assume you are an empty shell of a person.
3. Single Mothers – Single Mothers
I will admit some bias in regards to this band as they hail from my hometown and I’ve played in bands with the drummer, but regardless of my hometown pride, this is one of the most impressive debuts I’ve heard in ages. I mean, technically Single Mothers has an EP before this release, but on the self-titled 7-inch is where you see the band come into their own. This release is filled with monstrous rock/punk/hardcore riffs, witty and insightful (without being smug or douchy) lyrics, and plenty of insanely-accurate references about London, Ontario. All 4 tracks are flawless in my opinion, but “Hell is my Backup Plan” is the best indicator of what these grimy Canucks are capable of.
2. Purity Control – Coping
For anyone not familiar with these Toronto, ON purveyors of powerviolence really need to smarten up and check them out. The songs are short, the lyrics are bleak, and this 7” is proof positive that all of the anticipation for this release was not without merit. Mixing blisteringly fast riffs with a hardcore sensibility really is a recipe for success for a listener like me, and Purity Control really is among the cream of crop with it comes to this unholy fusion. Once again, if you aren’t into Purity Control you are fucking up.
1. Graf Orlock – Los Angeles
I know that we were all sitting around, bitching about how there weren’t enough Heat-themed grindcore 7”s, but now that Graf Orlock have provided us with one, we really have nothing left to complain about. Some people feel like cinema-grind legends may have lost a step on their Doombox 10”, but Los Angeles is a return to form, and further proof that there is no use counting this band out. Graf Orlock has the unique ability of making grindcore songs that appeal far beyond the minute sub-set of music listeners that are grindcore fans. They recognize that just because you write breakneck riffs doesn’t mean you have to forget about breakdowns, song-writing, or thematic continuity. Oh ya, and the mix of a massive breakdown with the iconic/realistic gun sounds of the shoot-outs in Heat in “Quick on the Trigger” is a perfect example of you samples in grindcore can move beyond gimmick-status if done correctly.
So that's it for this first list of things we liked in 2012....be prepared for many more to follow!