The first half of 2012 has been pretty fucking awesome and the last 1/2 is shaping up to match (if not best) it’s opening mate. Real talk: If American Aquarium’s new album were available the whole list would have changed. That should get all y’all hot and bothered for what’s coming on the ass end of y2k v.12. I know I am. All of that said, the front end of the year had a few albums that were just, to put it plain and simple, better than the rest. In my opinion, these are those albums:
The title is longer than the album but what it (the album) lacks in quantity it more than makes up for in quality. Perfect for long drives alone, this album really shows Justin coming into his own post rehab.
Justin Townes Earle – Am I That Lonely Tonight?
Becky Warren and Co. emerge from the ether some 8 years after their debut album with one of the most honest and painful albums of the year. Oh yeah, the songs are fucking awesome too. Homefront isn’t a breakup album, it’s a reflection album. It’s an album that anyone who’s lost something dear to them can find common ground with.
The Great Unknowns – Homefront
If you like that punky, rocky, Southerny rock and roll thing, then meet Arliss Nancy, they’re one of your new favorite bands. Simple Machines is an album I’ll talk about again come year end lists. Simple Machines is an album I’ll still be listening to years from now.
Arliss Nancy – Failure
If we were giving out awards for “best album to make woopie with your woman to in the first half of 2012” Lee Bains and Co. would have walked away with the award before anyone else even showed up for the ceremony. There Is A Bomb In Gilead is everything The Drive-By Truckers have been trying to become since Jason left/was kicked out of the band.
Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – Righteous, Ragged Songs
Scott McDougall has won the inside track to the best album of the year with “words to hold on to.” A Few More Towns greets you with banjo, growls, footstomps and declarations and leaves you thinking Scott McDougall might be the perfect mixture of Possessed By Paul James and Tim Barry.
McDougall – Ready, Begin