A tough choice it is, but after much thought here are my Top 10 new albums of 2012, presented in alphabetical order. A click on the title takes you to the complete review …
JIM BASNIGHT – INTRODUCING JIM BASNIGHT: A stimulating blast of rural rock sounds mixed with a power pop philosophy begging for repeat spins.
BONNEY AND BUZZ – PLAY ROUGH: Super cool guitar instrumentals that move the body, feet and mind. Bill Bonney and Pete “Buzz” Miller are indeed gods of the six-string!
THE DOUGHBOYS – SHAKIN’ OUR SOULS: Boasting more energy than a pack of puppies, this could easily pass as the lost long album by the Animals, the Shadows of Knight or even the Rolling Stones or Aersomith. Garage rock played the way the good Lord intended it to be played.
JEREMY – LOVE EXPLOSION: Combining psychedelic creativity with hard rocking thrust, “Love Explosion” explodes with one great tune after another. The guitar work is absolutely stunning and the melodies are thick and catchy.
JIGSAW SEEN – GIFTED: Progressive rock meets power pop, and the results are thoroughly spellbinding. Impressive vocal exercises, paired with intelligent songwriting add depth to the already spectacular sonics emanating from the grooves.
THE LEMON CLOCKS – NOW IS THE TIME: What happens when the Beatles embark on a Magical Mystery and they cross paths with Syd Barrett, then wind up having tea and crumpets with the Byrds? The Lemon Clocks, that’s what happens!
MICHAEL LYNCH – FIVE ASSORTED FLAVORS: Bubblegum music is alive and well in the world of Michael Lynch, who channels the sugar-coated charms of the Ohio Express, the 1910 Fruitgum Company and the Archies with remarkable perfection. Very tasty indeed!
RANDY MASSEY – HIGHWAY TO MY SOUL: Burly vocals, killer licks and slick hooks charge “Highway To My Soul,” which fuses blue collar rock with pop metal finesse. Here’s a guy who should be a stadium star!
SQUIRES OF THE SUBTERRAIN – SANDBOX: The influence of the Beach Boys looms large and loud on “Sandbox,” but Squires of the Subterrain (aka Christopher Earl) possesses his own identity, allowing the material to transcend such noble aspirations. Fun, colorful and beaming with beauty and brightness, “Sandbox” is first rate pop music!
THE STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK – WAKE UP WHERE YOU ARE: Not only would have “Wake Up Where You Are” blown a billion minds had it been produced in the late sixties, but even today it sounds so far out, freaky and fantastic that it causes jaws to drop, knees to go weak and toes to curl. Ablaze with psychedelic kicks and tricks, managed by layers of blissful harmonies, florescence designs and intoxicating tempos, “Wake Up Where You Are” proposes piles of excitement and imagination.