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CHIRP Radio Best of 2012

Throughout December, CHIRP Radio presents its members’ top albums of 2012. Our next list is from DJ and Associate Music Director John Lombardo.

 

 

 

 

  1. Angel Olsen – Half Way Home (Bathetic)Angel Olsen – Half Way Home (Bathetic)
    BUY: Reckless / Permanent / Insound / iTunes / eMusic
    Enchanting and hypnotic vocals twisted around soothing guitar hum and heartache. From start to finish, this album is all pay-off.
  2. Apache Dropout – Bubblegum Graveyard (Trouble In Mind)Apache Dropout – Bubblegum Graveyard (Trouble In Mind)
    BUY: Reckless / Permanent / Insound / iTunes / eMusic
    Battling and playing off the album’s cartoony monster cover art, while combining almost comical twists and turns of sound, Apache Dropout revive a sound/style that has been lost and clumsily re-purposed by their rock-revivalist brethren.
  3. Trin Tran - Dark Radar (God?)Trin Tran - Dark Radar (God?)
    BUY: Reckless / Permanent / Insound / iTunes / eMusic
    This one didn’t originally come out in 2012 but the folks over at Drag City’s new imprint have taken the enigma known as Trin Tran under their wings and shared this for 2012. From one of the last surviving one-man bands in rock today, this album sounds like a bomb went off in Bob Moog’s basement. Paranoia-inducing and breathtaking.
  4. Limiñanas – Crystal Anis (HoZac)Limiñanas – Crystal Anis (HoZac)
    BUY: Reckless / Permanent / Insound / iTunes / eMusic
    Upping the ante on the sophomore album, this expanded duo combine electro-mechanical organs, shimmery guitars, banjo, along with whispered French lyrics. The closest approximation of their intoxicating live show yet!
  5. Running – Asshole Savant (Captcha)Running – Asshole Savant (Captcha)
    BUY: Reckless / Permanent / Insound / iTunes / eMusic
    Acerbic & jarring, this speedy slice of wax starts with a 20-second song and leaves you panting by the album’s midpoint. The beautiful packaging is augmented with an orange bonus flexi. Heavy, brooding, and blistering…head is still spinning.
  6. Talk Normal  – Sunshine (Joyful Noise)Talk Normal – Sunshine (Joyful Noise)
    BUY: Reckless / Permanent / Insound / iTunes / eMusic
    Exhuming the bodies of no-wave legends like Mars and DNA only to inter them deeper with their innovative spin on cacophony, this brooklyn duo have produced an unclassifiable, hard-hitting opus for all seasons.
  7. Ty Segall & White Fence – Hair (Drag City)Ty Segall & White Fence – Hair (Drag City)
    BUY: Reckless / Permanent / Insound / iTunes / eMusic
    Even though it’s hard to pick out the brightest spot of Ty’s massive release schedule of 2012, this collaboration with Tim Presley reintroduces a groove-heavy focus to the neo-garage godfather. A combination so sweet, it’s hard to believe this could be a one-off collaboration.
  8. Typical Cats - 3 (Galapagos 4)Typical Cats - 3 (Galapagos 4)
    BUY: Reckless / Permanent / Insound / iTunes / eMusic
    Underground hip-hop is alive and well, especially in Chicago. This trio of MCs blend the classic sound of Leaders of the New School with the call and response crew dynamics of Jurassic 5 and often more abstract lyrics of the Def Jux stable. Groove-heavy and uplifting.
  9. Woods + Amps For Christ [Split Record] (Shrimper)Woods + Amps For Christ [Split Record] (Shrimper)
    BUY: Reckless / Permanent / Insound / iTunes / eMusic
    A remarkably clever combination of bands/sounds. Home-brewed noise pioneer Henry Barnes paves the way with his handmade instruments and joins forces on a collaborative track with both bands before handing the reigns over to Woods for their hippie-punk soothing lullabyes.
  10. Cave – untitled / Flexi Series (Rotted Tooth)Cave – untitled / Flexi Series (Rotted Tooth)
    BUY: Reckless / Permanent / Insound / iTunes / eMusic
    This Cave track, exclusive to this limited flexi, picks right up where 2011’s Neverendless left off. This instrumental jam is anchored by pinpoint-precise drums and smooth runs up and down a warbling bass fret board. Prog enveloping krautrock, all tucked inside a tidy post-punk package. A veritable turducken of Chicago psychedelia.

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Categorized: Best Albums of the Year

Topics: best of 2012, review

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