The Ten Best L.A. Albums of 2012
Revelry & Resilience
Pasadena's Gypsyhawk takes the rock guitar riffage of '70s greats like Thin Lizzy and injects it with a little bit of speed, making it a powerful beast. The guitar harmonies of Andrew Packer and Erik Kluiber may make asses shake, but don't mistake this for dumbass butt rock. The whisky-soaked rasps of bassist-vocalist Eric Harris provide an edge to lyrics inspired by science and fantasy novels, taking the listener on what can only be described as a fantastic rock and roll voyage. -Jason Roche
6. Nick Waterhouse
Time's All Gone
Time's All Gone is all about the way the groove hits you: The slink in your hips when you walk through the door at the bar and they're playing your song, and your eyebrow arch when the bass wriggles up your spine. The lyrics, meanwhile, have just enough sass to slap you around a little -- but you'll enjoy the sting. Nick Waterhouse has built a vintage sound that might have scared parents had it seen release in the early 1960s. Songs like "Is That Clear" and "Some Place" might qualify as old fashioned rock n' roll, but what ain't broke ain't worth fixing. -Molly Bergen
If you squeezed Fidlar's self-titled, full-length debut hard enough it would dispense a bounty of six-packs, cigarettes, small bags of blow, and some tacos. The work is full of snarky punk anthems that ring particularly true in these weak economic times. Standout tracks like "Wake Bake Skate," "Cocaine" and "Cheap Beer" tell tales of folks without jobs, phones, or, really, lives. Among the apathy and debauchery is a fairly simple message: there's no work, so let's get fucked up.
*Yes, officially this album doesn't come out until January, but the band were selling copies at their record release party in October, so we're counting it. -Molly Bergen