Spinnin’ in the Grave–Some Los Grillos Favorites from 2012

Though 2012 marks the year that los grillos called it quits (but for the odd few words about music here and there), it’s also a year of some damned fine music, so we thought we’d throw our couple of pennies in on the year-end list tradition.

2012 was a year of stellar albums from some los grillos all-time favorites like Leonard Cohen and, of course, the great Neil Young and Crazy Horse as well as some los grillos turntable standards like Dinosaur Jr., Soul Asylum, and Will Johnson. It also brought some unexpected but very welcome albums from all-too-unheralded artists such as Tim Foljahn, Simon Joyner, and–and big congrats and thanks to Dead Oceans for getting this one out there–Bill Fay. And there’s been no shortage of debut or sophomore efforts from new favorites like Vincas, The White Wires, The Men, Pop. 1280, The Janitors, and The Human Fly. Not to mention this year’s entry for best damned electric folk record in good long while from Red River Dialect.

By the middle of 2012, los grillos had already amassed a sizable number of favorites for the year, so we went ahead a listed ’em in early July here. Turns out that the second half of the year is no slouch either, music-wise, and there’s been a good amount of tunes we’ve been enjoyin’, but the most common thread running through things, and the style we most return to, is horns-up heavy, with a bit of garage and psych sprinkled in. So, the following is a list that lays out, in no particular order, some of our favorites, and it’s a list that leans towards heavy metal. Certainly, there’s a bit of doom and sludge mixed in, but a good bit of it, for some reason, hearkens back to classic metal sounds of the NWOBHM variety. Maybe it’s because we just hit the 40-year mile marker and are in the midst of a sort of midlife crisis that has us reaching back to our teens. Maybe it’s just been a damned fine year for bands influenced by classic metal. Who knows. Whatever the reason, this is one list that Rawks!


Torche – “Kicking” (Stereogum Premiere) from stereogum on Vimeo.

Favorite metal album of the year goes to Dawnbringer’s galloping, melodic, classic metal masterpiece Into the Lair of the Sun God.

All-time favorite, absolutely most listened to album of the year goes to Dirty Fingernails from Austin’s own raucous and rockin’ The Golden Boys (the adopted house band for los grillos’ favorite Austin spot for drinkin’ beer and talkin’ shit, Trailer Space. And, by extention, los grillos’ favorite compilation of the year is the Bring Beer compilation, released by 12xu as a benefit for Trailer Space and featuring a track from The Golden Boys, among others).

Finally, here’s a few we really dug but didn’t get the chance to mention on the site until now…

Ash Borer Cold of Ages

Black Breath Sentenced to Life

Pallbearer Sorrow and Extinction

Bell Witch Longing 

All in all, it’s been a good year for music. That said, 2012 leaned more toward tragedy and sorrow than los grillos would prefer, and, though it also had its good moments, we can’t say we’re sad to see it go. So, you know, good riddance 2012–don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

Alright then–see y’all next year some time.