Action Recon Presents : The Top 10 Punk/Hardcore Albums Of 2012
December 12, 2012
We are into the second week of our 2012 Top 10 lists and this week we are dropping our picks for The Top 10 Punk/Hardcore Albums Of 2012. It was a good year for this genera and what we really noticed was some incredible releases from long running bands that destroyed everything the new bands were doing. Another big trend was the amount of lesser known bands that dropped albums that were true masterpieces and we want to make sure they don’t go unnoticed.
We also want to mention that tomorrow, December 13, 2012 we will be dropping the picks for Top 10 Punk/Hardcore Albums Of 2012 as selected by Andrew Kline from Strife. He was king enough to select what he was most excited about in 2012 and for that we thank Andrew.
Now with out further a due Action Recon Presents : The Top 10 Punk/Hardcore Albums Of 2012.
THIS LIST IS IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER
1) Strife : Witness A Rebirth
Having Strife back in the mix is a great thing and to see them return with a total juggernaut of an album was even better. This record re-ignited what the spirit of hardcore is all about, the energy, the aggression and passion came through on this release like a freight train. Tracks like “Torn Apart” and “Carry The Torch” were some of the best songs the band has ever written and they have truly proven that bands can regroup, refocus and unite with just as much if not more vigour than they had in the old days.
2) The Corps : Know The Code
The Corps are a street rock/oi band from Australia and their album “Know The Code” is one of the best albums we heard all year. These guys take the sound of Motorhead, old Dropkick Murphys and a bit of Blood For Blood and kick out the jams like a mother fu**er. This album is hard driving punk n roll, bar brawling, whiskey drinking, trouble making music. When you hear tracks like “Talk Is Over”, “Fortune” and “Wolf Man” you will know what we are talking about. The Corps are ample proof that the best music is not always found in what is getting the most play. They are truly a hidden gem and we can not stress enough how good “Know The Code” really is.
3) Pennywise : All Or Nothing
When Pennywise parted ways with original frontman Jim Lindberg many people thought that should have been the end of the road for Pennywise. That assumption could not have been more wrong. “All Or Nothing” is the best album of the bands career. There we said it and that’s that. The energy, vigour and drive that Pennywise showed on “All Or Nothing” was astounding and every track on the album was strong. The vocal delivery from Zoli was 100% on point and Fletcher and crew ripped through some of the most aggressive tracks the band has ever written. The album was incredible.
4) Wisdom In Chains : The Missing Links
When it comes to hardcore Wisdom In Chains are a band that can do no wrong. Each album they release is a progression from the last and “The Missing Links” proved to be a well rounded, socially and politically inspired middle finger to the world. The emotion that songs like “Defend Protect” and “My Friend” evoke are moving and the overall feel of community that comes along with this band is hard to beat. These guys have been on the right track since day one and continue to make a mark every time they release an album.
5) Yellow Stitches : Good Times, Violent Crimes
Yellow Stitches are rowdy group of lads from Manchester who bust out some serious street punk/oi and there will never be a full beer in the house when you are rocking to “Good Times, Violent Crimes”. Just listen to tracks like “Our City”, “Queen City Eve” or “Wrong Place, Wrong Time” and you will see that the spirit of Oi is alive and well in Manchester. Fans of The Old Firm Casuals, Blood For Blood and old Rancid need to check out the Yellow Stitches and “Good Times, Violent Crimes” is the place to start.
6)Knuckledust : Bluffs, Lies & Alibis
Knuckledust really upped their game with the release of “Bluffs, Lies & Alibis”, they harnessed their energy, talent, experience and dropped a total banger of a record. The title track is one of the best songs they have ever written and the sheer brutality of the rest of this album is second to none. A straight up band dropping straight up hardcore is not easy to find these days, but Knuckledust continue to get even better with age and do London, England proud.
7) The Gaslight Anthem : Handwritten
By far the tamest band on this list, but none the less a group of guys that write some amazing songs and have really evolved their sound and general theme over the course of their career. On “Handwritten” we saw Gaslight Anthem make the move to a major label and with that they took advantage of all the good things that a bigger label offers, without losing sight of that signature sound that made them who they are. So many tracks on “Handwritten” were such a jump in song writing capability from past efforts and a real testament of a bands hard work. If you feel like chilling out for a minute The Gaslight Anthem is the place to do it.
8) Human Animal : Dark Days
This release was actually a 5 song EP, but it jammed so hard we could not pass up putting it on our list. We can only hope to see more music from these guys in the future. Human Animal seem to blend In My Eyes, Terror, Palehorse together and then throw in some rock n roll elements and it all flows together perfectly. The opening riff in “Faded Pictures” was one of the strongest riffs we heard all year and these cats bring the energy 110%. Absoultely amazing offering from this band and not to be missed by anyone.
9) Vale Tudo : Hardcore Heavyweights
Vale Tudo are from Zürich, Switzerland and these guys are setting it off with “Hardcore Heavyweights”. Think Madball, Cheech, Terror and a little bit of S.O.D. and you have Vale Tudo. This is pretty straight forward dance floor hardcore, you know spin kicks, floor punching and windmills. They have crushing breakdowns, gang vocals, razor riffing fast parts and honestly don’t seem to take themselves too seriously. If your looking for something to up that bench press at the gym, Vale Tudo has your back.
10) Discharger : Desecrated Ground
We are long time fans of Discharger and “Desecrated Ground” is their best work to date. Fans of Discipline, Dropkick Murphys and Motorhead need to get on this album asap. The track “My Rifle” is one of the hardest driving songs from any band on this list and the rest of the album is easily on par with any band out there today. Discharger seem to remain hidden in their little corner of the world, but we feel it’s high time they step into the light. This is a highly recommended album that just keeps getting better and better with each listen.
Honorable Mention : Madball : Rebellion EP
Madball released the “Rebellion EP” this year that included 4 new tracks and 2 re-recorded tracks from back in the day. As a whole the album is tight, aggressive and filled with that Madball groove we have all come to know and love. It made for a great taste of what’s to come from the band as they enter the studio to record a new full length in 2013. The opening track “You Reap What You Sow” is classic Madball and will set any floor off at any given time. Madball prove they are still a huge force to be reckoned with, we look forward to 2013.