Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Best of 2012 in a Refreshingly, Despondent Nutshell

Years that end in a 2 or a 7 tend to be pretty good music wise and although 2012 will probably not go down as being of the calibre of say, 1997 (or 1962, 1967, 1977, 1982, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007- not sure about 1972 & 1987?!) I feel that on reflection it has produced some interesting stuff. This is the year they played FUCK BUTTONS at the Olympics for Christ sake! However, having read umpteen end of year ‘best of lists’ over the past few days I’m sick of it (minus the VO’s of course). One look back at your own 'best of list' from as recently as 2009, you realise our memories are short, our standards were low and there aren’t many of those coveted 'great albums' that you’re still spinning. So lets get some perspective and celebrate the true 2012. Here is my list of why the past year in music has properly sucked.

Where to begin? I guess the fact that 2012 introduced me to the worst single I’ve EVER heard is as good a place as any. No joke, either. Step forward GREEN DAY. I wasn’t into Green Day when they were supposedly ‘good’ twenty years ago, but could tolerate a few minutes of it. But this new ’un was something special. Christ knows what their TRIP(L)E  album sounds like, but if its like that single I heard (don’t know the name, can’t be bothered to find out. Would rather type ‘Free Animal Porn’ into my browser search engine) then the fans are in for a treat. JUST GROW UP!  
All hail the THE VACCINES who snuck in at number two to claim second worst tune of 2012/my life/human existence.  Remember this is my ALL-TIME list of HATE (previously including the Foo Fighters, B*witched, the Kooks and every post 1998 Oasis song). Quite a feat Mr twenty twelve.

2011 had THE HORRORS. 2012 Had TOY. In the words of Richard IV in Blackadder; ‘as excrement compared to cream’.

Contrary to the VO list (and nearly every other one) I’m not really understanding how TAME IMPALA are getting so much qudos for doing a bit of Lennon karaoke. To be fair I haven’t heard that much of it but whilst my copy of ‘Twist and Shout’ still works I’m not arsed about finding out. And whoever it was who excitedly told me JAKE BUGG sounds like Cast, yes! you were right. Speaking of CAST Wikipedia tells me that they released a chuffing album in 2012, ironically titled ‘Troubled Times’. That HAS to be great, right? (Although my worst album purchase of 2012* goes to MAN FOREVER and ‘Pansophical Cataract’. Thirty five minutes of miserable, rhythmic pain.)

*I realise the above wording makes it sound like I BOUGHT the new Cast album. I didn’t. Nobody did.

I feel a bit mean slagging off ALT-J as I think they are alright and they do have a few decent tunes. I also sort of enjoyed seeing them support Wild Beasts earlier in the year, but I’m getting into this now and, well, it’s just a bit shit isn’t it? For me Wild Beasts pull it off and weather the storm through my Antony and the Johnson-esque this-is-creepy-uh-oh-what-the-fuck-am-I-listening-to doubts and find a beautiful, melodic place of oh-hang-on-this-is-really-great. Alt-J don’t. It’s just so OK its sickening. And ‘An Awesome Wave’ is an album name even David Gray wouldn’t touch.  My predicition for Alt-J is they will either follow the path of other Mercury champs (Speech Debelle, Gomez, Badly Drawn Boy) and quickly disappear OR go the other way and become massive, multi-million selling headlining superstars which will unfortunately mean in order to reach a larger audience they will get wetter and subsequently more irritating (Coldplay, Keane. etc). So I can’t see myself picking up their follow up LP which will no doubt be called ‘A Crescendo of Calm’ or something equally vile. Is that fair enough?

More lies about the twenty year wait for MY BLOODY VALENTINE’s follow up to ‘Loveless’ pissed me right off and also 2012 had the nerve to be a year with no new FALL album. Unacceptable. At least DODGY released some new material…
As for having no desire to “desecrate the grave of seminal Manchester pop group The Stone Roses" the less said on that the better. By my reckoning, in 2014 we will be able to celebrate the reformation of EVERY band from the nineties. Next year we have Rialto, 18 Wheeler and Hurricane#1 to look forward to. And Oasis no doubt. (Where is the Heathen Chemistry ten year re-issue anyway?)
And what in the name of Roll With It were BLUR doing soiling so heavily on their worth at the Brits. Quite embarrassing.  On the subject of confusing comebacks, go and listen to a bit of THE D.O.T, (new project from Mike Skinner from The Streets and Rob Harvey of the Music) I DARE YOU! Sensationally bad…

But enough cynicism and miserablism from me. Let us enjoy this brief period of back-patting and mix tape swapping before the slate is wiped clean for another year.  Twenty twelve, like every year briefly is when we do the annual December look-back, was the best year EVER. Thankfully my desire for finding new exciting music is as alive as it was 15 years ago. Just don’t make me listen to that XX album again. Or ANIMAL COLLECTIVE... 
'2012 is dead! Long live 2013!'

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