Saturday, December 29, 2012

All the Small Things: Best Singles + E.P.'s of 2012

As I said in the Albums of the Year post (see HERE), this list cannot claim much omniscience but rather it just offers my perspective on the kind of undervalued but ferociously alive releases that the big name lists tend to ignore.

Our second BotY list covers all those EP's and singles not applicable for that "Best Underappreciated Albums That Rocked 2012" (see HERE). As usual, this list is heavy on the punk and pop-punk heavy 'cuz punk bands have always had a thing for short, explosive releases.

(All artist name links go directly to a homepage - or some such place - for your further listening pleasure.)

1.     Channel 3 - Land of the Free EP
A viscous comeback by Cerritos, California's CH3 (more HERE), who have kept at it for thirty years just for the love of loud n' fast rock and anthemic song-wring!

2.     Max Levine Ensemble - Elephant in the Room EP
Washington D.C.'S Max Levine Ensemble (more HERE), a quirky loud-guitar band beloved in the pop-punk community, put out what might be their best single this year.

3.     Japandroids - House that Heaven Built 7"
Celebration Rock by Vancouver's Japandroids was huge on indie-rock-based lists, which is fitting because with songs like 'The House that Heaven Built', a loud, fuzzy anthem, they deserved some damn accolades.

4.     Kurt Baker - Want You Around EP
Portland power-pop-punk Kurt Baker (more HERE) keeps racking up the hits (his album Brand New Beat would've been on my Albums of the Year list if I'd had more room).

5.     Will Hoge - Modern American Protest Songs EP
A rough country-rock attack on American indifference by Nashville misfit, Will Hoge (more HERE).

6.     The Street Dogs - G.O.P. 7"
A sing-along street-punk attack on the Grand Old Party (courtesy of British Oi! band, Menace) by The Street Dogs (more HERE), a Boston-based off-shoot of the Dropkick Murphys.

7.     Dead Ending - Self-Titled EP
Some might call Dead Ending (more HERE), featuring Rise Against bassist Joe Principe, Alkaline Trio drummer Derek Grant, The Bomb and  Noise By Numbers guitarist Jeff Dean and Articles of Faith singer Vic Bondi, a Chicago punk super group but judging from this furious E.P, they're really more of a celebration of the  joy of rage.

8.     Capitalist Kids - Sarah/Ayn 7"
T'was a big year for political singles and Austin, Texas's Capitalist Kids (more HERE)  knew they had to  go big and consequently went after two movement conservative babes, Sarah Palin and Ayn Rand who's influence in right wing circles subsequently declined - COINCIDENCE?

9.     Big Eyes - Back From the Moon 7"
On this single, Seattle punk/pop band Big Eyes (more HERE) puts the hooks and the crunch together just so, in a decidedly Fastbacks-ian manner


10.   Teenage Bottlerocket - Joy Division 7"
Wyoming pop-punkers Teenage Bottlerocket (more HERE) branch out by effectively covering two less-known tracks by Manchester's favourite doom merchants, Joy Division.

11.    The Dahlmanns - Dumb Me Down 7"
Norway's Lords of Punk-Powereed-Pop, The Dahlmanns (more HERE) just go from strength to strength!

12.    House Boat - 21st Century Breakroom 10"
This concept 10" jumps from brilliant idea to brilliant idea to dizzying effect - far and away their best release (more HERE)  

13.    The Swingin' Utters - The Librarians are Hiding Something
Punk rock + librarians = Utter perfection (more on San Francisco's Swingin' Utters HERE)

14.    TV Smith - Dangerous Playground EP
Just when this four-song'er, recorded to accompany a German play, threatens to be a minor entry in Englishman TV Smith's (more HERE)  catalog along comes the anthemic "The Rock n' Roll" to blow you away.


15.  The Mockers: Man of la Mancha EP
Long-running Virginia band The Mockers (more HERE) are a straight-up power-pop with a weakness for show tunes and political satire.

While I'm sure I missed some great little releases, that covers almost everything  - EXCEPT YOUR VOICE!

Did you hear anything you liked on this list?
What wold make your list of best singles/E.P's of 2012?


  1. J. D. McPherson "North Side Gal", King Tuff "Bad Thing"

  2. Of your picks I'd have to say the Dahlmann's and Teenage Bottlerockets are my favorites.

    I like the lyrics and humor of that Max Levine video but for some reason it felt more like really good sketch comedy than a rock n' roll classic.


  3. Absolutely love that Teenage Bottlerockets version of They Walked In Line. TV Smith is of course a great shout too. That man never disappoints.

    1. I'm a huge TB fan and that single came out of left field for me - great idea, well-executed.

  4. ..yer too kind-- Happy New Year!

    1. I hope you appreciate the company yer keepin'.


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