Amongst the plaintive singer-songwriters and, let's just say, gentler indie artists of the year, something a little more exhilarating was bubbling up through the alternative landscape in 2012: People got excited about punk music again. And it wasn't just Pussy Riot's highly publicized battle in Russia, or Refused's Coachella reunion and subsequent sold-out tour, or even Green Day's ambitiously Dookie-reeking trilogy. A new wave of punk has taken over, and its definition is as loose as any of its respective artists' morals.
From Canada (METZ, F*cked Up, Japandroids) to Sweden (Holograms) to London (Savages) to Brooklyn (The Men) to Cleveland (Cloud Nothings) to NorCal (Ceremony, Trash Talk) to caps-lock-crazed SoCal (FIDLAR, OFF!), those who prefer their sonics shrill and their lyrics snarled were gifted a wealth of new noise to split ears (and probably some brain cells) to. And the best part is: None of these artists sound alike. To prove it, our playlist features Steve Albini-approved attacks, arty brain-bashers, brainy brain-bashers, cerebral hardcore, prog hardcore, anarchic hardcore, post-hardcore, post-punk, sludgy grunge, a beer anthem, a Gun Club cover, a departed Ramone, an ex-Circle Jerk, and even Ian MacKaye. Now, pop open some cheap beer and go give yourself a headache.