Best Singles/EPs of 2012


AnomalysRetox 7″ (Slovenly)
You might be accurate calling this Dutch treat a psychobilly band, but to me that speaks more to style and doesn’t really emphasize the ‘psycho’ factor this trio delivers. Their melding of rockabilly tools and Motorhead ferocity is as revved up and essential as you’ll ever need. A classic in the making.


Cindy SistersShe’s Burning Inside 7″ (Hozac)
A blissful fuzz trance that starts in a realm  founded by Spacemen 3 or Loop and pushes into the gnarled swagger of contemporary geniuses Sex Church, the droning pair of tracks on this debut release fully satisfy the urge to detach and drop out.


Coffin PricksGroup Home Haircut 7″ (Stationary Heart)
It’s amazing how Chris Thomson pops up every few years in a new band with a loosely similar sound built around his distinctive, snotty snarl. Fans of Circus Lupus, Monorchid, Skull Kontrol, and Red Eyed Legends take note.


Crimson Scarlet
Sanctuary 7″ (Cool Summer Records)
You may not think of Santa Barbara as a death rock mecca, but here’s a proof of a killer group based there that’s in league with some of the best goth-tinged punk ever committed to vinyl. Read more here and snatch up this gem on deep maroon wax if your record collection includes Siouxsie & The Banshees, 45 Grave, The Phantom Limbs or The Vanishing.


Double Negative
Hits 7″ (Sorry State)
This North Carolina HC machine has a great track record of slashing hardcore records in sharp packaging. This 3-punch 7″ positively continues this trend.


GG KingJoyless Masturbation 7″ (Total Punk)
One of the catchiest tunes of 2012, guaranteed to rattle around in your head seconds after dropping the needle on the record, is the stomper “Joyless Masturbation” by ex-Carbonas’ GG King. A speedy B-side rounds out the best punk 45 of 2012. Cheap, nasty, and totally essential.


Sex ChurchSonambulist 12″ EP (Instant Pleasure/Psychic Handshake)
Last year’s debut LP from this Vancouver riff-churn team, Growing Over, was barely nudged out of NFZ’s top 10 LPs list in 2011, but this release firmly plants them at the top of the pile along side their epic Dead End 7″ from 2009. Dense, warped and weirdly narcotic, this 3-song 12″ reestablishes Sex Church as one of the best bands going.


Spray PaintSpray Paint 7″ – (S.S. Records)
The first of a pair of 7-inches released in 2012, Spray Paint’s vinyl debut is a jagged 3-song stab of postpunk that takes the best elements of A Frames severity and focus, and pumps a sick dose of noisy ruckus ala no-wave greats Lake of Dracula. “Psychic Doug” is my jam.


TV Ghost
Phantasm 7″ (Sweet Rot)
Further demonstrating the superior taste of the Vancouver Sweet Rot label, the latest 7″ from Indiana’s TV Ghost ranks right up there along side the band’s best material from their In The Red LPs. Two tracks of on-edge, sinister echo-laden darkwave punk with enough texture and mystery to warrant many spins on the turntable.


Up the Academy
Gimme Gimme 7″ (Replay Records)
Their track on the Cheap Beer compilation from 2011 set the high expectations that their debut  7″ delivers with a 2-song punch of earnest punk and righteously thick riffs. Check out the hilarious “Gimme Gimme” video for proof.

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