Best of 2012 (So Far): In Brief

Spiritualized's 'Sweet Heart, Sweet Light'

Celebration Rock

Saving rock `n’ roll might be a bit of a stretch, but Canadian duo at least keeps its pulse up. – JT

Stream: The House That Heaven Built
Full Review

Killer Mike
R.A.P. Music
(Williams Street)

Solid (anti-)backpack rap that hopscotches back and forth between third-eye politicking (“Reagan”) and smart street boasts (“Big Beast”). – AB

Video: “Big Beast (NSFW)
Full Review

King Tuff
King Tuff
(Sub Pop)

If Marc Bolan and Alex Chilton were still alive, they’d probably get together and try to figure out how Kyle Thomas took custody of their songwriting abilities. – JS

Stream: “Bad Thing
Full Review

Mr. M

Gentle chamber-folk country ballads, empty cans of beer, abstract artistry and just a little bit of profanity. – JT

Video: “Gone Tomorrow
Full Review


Continuing in their longstanding tradition of confounding expectations, the band purchases synths and makes some of the most inviting music of their career. – CK

Video: “No. 1 Against the Rush
Full Review

Lotus Plaza
Spooky Action at a Distance

Deerhunter’s Pundt steps out of the psych shadow of his other band, steps into some shoegazing sunlight. – JT

Stream: “Strangers
Full Review

Lower Dens
(Ribbon Music)

Brain-tweaking transmissions from a chemical planet, set to a groovy krautrock beat. – JT

Video: “Brains
Full Review

The Men
Open Your Heart
(Sacred Bones)

When drunken, aggressive chaos finds its match in old-fashioned heart-on-sleeve tear-in-beer songwriting. – JT

Stream: “Open Your Heart
Full Review

Foreign Body

Achieving trranscendence thrrough heavy doses of atmospherre and melodic serrenity. – JT

Stream: “Fell Sound
Full Review

Sorrow & Extinction
(Profound Lore)

The tipping point at which doom metal’s electric funeral can seemingly raise the dead. – JT

Stream: “An Offering Of Grief
Full Review

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