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ATP! 2012: Albums Of The Year

10. Dead Sara - S/T
Pocket Kid Records

Dead Sara’s debut album kicked the asses of many an experienced artist this year. Female-fronted, powerful and catchy as all hell, the band have gone from relative obscurity to an upcoming tour with British rock giants Muse in less than a year, and it’s easy to see why. This album is not only explosive as a debut effort, but it’s impact has been enough to blow much of its competition out of the water. Their music is both ruthless and beautiful, and for that, it deserves commending.

9. Joyce Manor - Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired
Asian Man Records

Clocking in under twenty minutes, Joyce Manor have kept things short and solid once again. Only this time around, there is a stronger definition to the tracks, with each standing out more boldly in their own right yet still carrying that distinctive 'Joyce Manor' stamp that ties them all together. "Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired" is a punchy and self-assured sophomore release from a band who continue to do everything right by doing what they love, making no compromises along the way.

8. Circa Survive - Violent Waves

It's apparent from this moment right through to the final fade-out of "Violent Waves" that Circa Survive have held on to their ability to surf constantly at the breaking point of anticipation. If anything, their grip has tightened. "Violent Waves" is a brooding masterpiece that comes to a poignant head during closing track 'I'll Find A Way' as Green sings "Nothing feels as good when you're alone". Nothing, that is, except listening to Circa Survive.

7. Ceremony - Zoo
Matador Records

In many ways picking up where "Rohnert Park" left off, "Zoo" is a logical step forward for Ceremony. Rife with clattering reverb-heavy drums, muscular bass lines, and the odd surf-rock guitar riff evoking a strictly 60's Bay Area aesthetic, "Zoo" is a veritable melting pot of styles and genres that make it such an engaging record. Ceremony are a band capable of harnessing natural aggression in short bursts or strung-out verse, dragging an essentially traditional hardcore sound into experimental territory.

6. mewithoutYou - Ten Stories
Pine Street Records

Swinging between dark and light, often beginning with quiet dolefulness and escalating into anguish or launching straight into the latter, "Ten Stories" is wrapped up in a state of constant turbulence that whirls to a dizzying climax with closer 'All Circles'. And sure, why not have an appearance from Hayley Williams of Paramore on the replies? The two actually compliment each other better than you would think, and in a clamor of overlapping vocals they turn the final page of "Ten Stories" and close the cover on another remarkable addition to mewithoutYou's catalog.

5. Pierce The Veil - Collide With The Sky
Fearless Records

Pierce the Veil wowed fans earlier this year with the release of their third studio album, "Collide With The Sky". Hitting the gas hard, PTV doesn’t let up throughout the effort, serving up one of the this year’s best albums to rock out to whilst also showing an impressive level of growth. Having played the main stage of Warped Tour all summer long, participating in their first European headlining tour and being named one of MTV Buzzworthy’s Breakthrough Artists of 2012, it’s pretty obvious that PTV and their fans have a lot to look forward too. So let’s hope the world doesn’t really end this year so they can keep the music coming.

4. Code Orange Kids - Love Is Love // Return To Dust
Deathwish Inc.

Code Orange Kids' debut LP has reached defiantly beyond any level of expectation, impressively moulding the band's intense dirge and malefic beats into a musical tempest that constantly re-invents itself without losing coherence. "Love Is Love // Return To Dust" is a beautiful mix of aggressive punk, dirty art-rock and doom, forming a boundary-blurred blend of hardcore that is completely uncompromising and entirely their own. Pretty goddamn impressive for a band with an average age of 18.

3. All Time Low - Don't Panic
Hopeless Records 

When All Time Low returned this year with their fifth studio album, “Don’t Panic”, everyone knew it was bound to make waves. When it dropped, the reaction level was unprecedented, and deservedly so. With almost every track catchy and clever or melodic and moving, this is undoubtably the definitive release of their career to date. Culminating all their previous efforts into something unique and brilliant, this 12 track epic silenced all but a few harsh critics.

Some might say this was the record that raised the stakes for pop-punk, cementing the genre as truly alive once again. The world is watching this Baltimore four-piece closer than ever, and it will be interesting to see if (and how) they can top this.

2. Title Fight - Floral Green
SideOneDummy Records

On the outside, "Floral Green" is anything but delicate. Built on foundations of course, melodic punk, it weaves between the realms of post-hardcore and post-rock underneath fracturing layers of frustration and feedback-coated jams. The album is Title Fight's most complete body of work to date. Each aspect has been carefully considered, picked apart and tweaked to perfection, but still comes out feeling completely organic. It has been fine-tuned, but not forced, and their play on intensity blossoms as much as it burns with absolutely nothing left lacking.

1. Yellowcard - Southern Air
Hopeless Records

Last year, Yellowcard set the bar incredibly high with "When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes" but what they have conjured up this year is a release which is set to rival their entire back catalog. The band have poured their hearts into "Southern Air" and there is a tangible sense of passion behind each track. Featuring guest vocals from Cassadee Pope, Tay Jardine (We Are The In Crowd) and Alex Gaskarth (All Time Low), "Southern Air" has everything that makes a Yellowcard album: catchy melodies, incredible harmonies and, of course, a violin solo or two, raising the bar even higher for themselves and their fans.

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