Mahmud’s picks for Top 10 albums of 2012:

10. Author and Punisher –Ursus Amercanus

Don’t get me wrong, I love Wolf Eyes, Kevin Drumm and Whitehouse, but I need to be in a particular mood to appreciate it. ‘Pop-noise’ (think Black Dice) fit my temperament better these days. Stand out is the searing opener of “terrorbird’ you get something that is equally accessible and vicious.The video is also pretty hilariously over the top too:

9.  Slow Machete – Evening Dust Choir

Imagine if Son Lux spent a long time listening to down tempo Caribbean music.

8. Cloud Nothings- ‘Attack on Memory’

I hated the self-titled ‘Cloud Nothings’ album; inspid, boring, sappy tripe. Somehow, something changed and they released this nasty little jam- maybe it is the influence of Steve Albini, or the fact that the band plays off each other well but the first 11 minutes of this album are utterly flawless. In particular, “Wasted Days”, sums up a lot of graduate student angst. I gotta say, if this video doesn’t convince you nothing will:

7. Chromatics – ‘Kill for Love’

Strangely endearing. Reminds me of ‘Disintegration’ era-Cure with gloomy female vocals. They manage to pull off the opener- a gloomy cover of Neil Young’s “Hey, Hey, My, My”. The whole thing is impossibly silly but somehow works. While consistently fun, the lyrics are corny as hell.

6. KTL – V

Creepiest album of the year. I can’t say I’d put this on most evenings, but every time I did, I listened to it all the way though- engrossing, terrifying drone. Consistently fascinating, like exploring a totally alien soundscape. I can’t say I’ve had something get under my skin as much since I listened to Eleh’s ‘Location momentum’. I was let down by Horseback’s ‘Half Blood’ and part of the reason was because this album raised the bar for drone.

5. Royal Thunder- CVI

What can I say, I love good female fronted metal. Last year it was Subrosa’s ‘No Help for the Mighty Ones’ but this album is almost as good as that one. ‘Blue’ in particular is fantastic- bluesy guitars, fantastic vocals, heavy, propulsive, epic. Everything you would ever want from metal.

4. Metz- Metz

Man, such a good rock album, stripped down, angry, perfectly produced. I could just listen to the drums alone on repeat. Perfect stuff to scream along to.

3.  Pallbearer – “Sorrow and Extinction”

Metal album of the year, ‘The Legend” alone is track of the year. If you like heavy music, you should check this album out.

2. Andy Stott- “Luxury Problems”

If I had to think of the sound that encapsulated (for me) what was ‘cool’ in 2012, it would be this album.

1. Swans- “The Seer”

Instant Classic; almost perfect from start to finish. The sleazy “The Seer returns” is my favourite track though and proof of why Swans is one of the best bands ever.

Mahmud’s picks for Top 10 albums of 2012:

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