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Top Rock Releases Of 2012 & Bands To Watch In 2013 (Rock Editors Choice)

So our rock editor Steph Knight stuck her head down and chose her top rock albums of 2012! Not only that inside expect EP Of The Year, Bands To Watch in 2013 & more!

Albums Of The YearIt is that time of year again that we put our heads down and decide what bands albums did it for us in 2012. Originally I had a list as long as my arm, then I got down to 24 and the list just refused to budge for weeks; pressing the delete button on someone’s hard work just felt too evil. After much deliberation I managed to windle it down to 15, then the hard work came – putting them in order!

Firstly I must give a massive well done to so many amazing British releases, this was a year that we can be proud of! If you are not the proud owner of the releases in this list then sort your life out! They are in the list for a reason, because they kick arse! Over and out! Steph Knight (Rock Editor)

Number 15: We Are The Ocean – Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow

This was the album that avid We Are The Ocean fans were nervous to receive. Could they still kick as much arse as they did before vocalist Dan Brown left the band? Thankfully they proved in this release that they still very much know how too and hopefully will do so for many years to come.

The last twelve months have been a massive test for the now four piece, but in all honesty the last few months have been great; supporting Youmeatsix in Wembley and having countless amounts of play on different shows on BBC Radio 1 to name a few highs. Pardon the pun but the only way is up for these guys and ‘Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow’ is just another clear example of their greatness.

Number 14: Straight Lines – Freaks Like Us

I love those Welsh beauties, so naturally they had to go in my top albums of the year! Check out what I thought of ‘Freaks Like Us’ when I reviewed it earlier in 2012 here –

Go and grab their album and support a band who really do deserve it! They are a clear example of the real life rockstar, they got off stage at a festival and then return to their jobs the next day and have no shame in admitting it. We respect and love them for that; ‘Freaks Like Us’ houses so many cracking tunes that you all need to love immediately!

Number 13: The Darkness – Hot Cakes

Naturally one of my all time favourite bands had to go in this years top line up! The Darkness are up there with the great rock n roll acts of the past few decades and 2012 saw the rebirth of some cracking new material from the band. ‘Hot Cakes’ was released mid August and naturally reached number 1 in the UK rock charts!

If an album has the ability to get you on your feet jumping on your bed with your air guitar surely it’s great, right? This album is simply full from beginning to end of absolute track belters. For example, the first four make it purely impossible to actually sit down and just listen. ‘Every Inch Of You’, ‘Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us’‘With A Woman’ and ‘Keep Me Hangin’ On’ all own that classic The Darkness nostalgia that in my eyes will never die.

Dear Justin Hawkins, I love you, your band and your cracking catsuits. Please live forever; that is all.

Number 12: Gallows – Gallows

2012 saw the unveiling of a brand new Gallows and holy crap were they about to blow minds. After their first performance with Wade McNeil, word got round that they were literally next level incredible. Then at Download 2012 I finally witnessed it for myself for the first time, and unsurprisingly the rumours were true and a new age of Gallows had been born.

Their new self titled album was released in September and boasts a countless amount of absolute tunes! ‘Last June’, ‘Outsider Art’ and next single release ‘Cross Of Lorraine’ are all singles for a reason, because they are face melters! It might have taken them three years but my goodness was it worth the wait! Get this album and love it as much as I do right now, it really is a must!

Number 11: While She Sleeps – This Is The Six

Personally I have known these five lads for a while now and seeing as their first EP back in 2010 was a complete corker it became no surprise that their debut album was a complete smash! Not only did they enter the UK rock charts at number 2 within their release week, they reached number 26 in the official album charts this August! You can comfortably say they have exploded and most definitely changed the British outlook of rock music from an outsiders point of view. Receiving regular daytime Radio 1 play on Fearne Cotton‘s morning show for example is insane! Stuff like this would not have happened a few years ago!

I very much look forward to what the future brings for these Sheffield nutters and you can easily predict ultimate greatness in whatever they do. This is what you should love about this five piece, they have worked their arses off to get where they are today and we hold our hands up and applaude them for it. Nobody can argue that they cleverly deserve their success.

Number 10: Architects – Daybreaker

So now we reach the top ten! Those Brighton jokers are at the top with late May release ‘Daybreaker’. Naturally I reviewed this a few weeks before it’s release. Check out what I thought here –

It’s going to be interesting to see what the next few years will bring this band, with the departure of guitarist Tim HB earlier this year and now them advertising for a new guitarist on their Facebook for example is just insane. This is stuff dreams are made of for some of their fans and we very much look forward to the outcome!

Number 9: Young Guns – Bones

This album was without doubt the best album that was released in early 2012 and naturally it came with an album release tour. Seeing Young Guns perform at one of my favourite local venues Exeter Cavern was just awesome! The first time I actually saw this band was when they supported Fightstar a few years prior. It is so great to see how much the band’s success has changed but beyond humbling how, as people, they are exactly the same. So many bands are guilty of changing with success but not Young Guns, they are true gents and this album is just another clear example of how great they are as musicians and young men.

A mention must got to the single release from this album. It is arguably the single of the year for many. Title track ‘Bones’ has so much awesomeness to it, naturally it’s received best on repeat!

Number 8: Pierce The Veil – Collide With The Sky

As soon as you put this album on you are hooked. Vic Fuentes has simply a voice to just die for; I mean every single track can be mentioned because they are all just THAT great! Then the fact the band have guest appearances from Sleeping With Sirens vocalist Kellin Quinn on a track for example just bloody adds to the eargasms. Then you get half way down and letlive’s Jason Butler shows up and you know that is just it for you! This release is simply incredible and it’s impossible not to love this album, I have had to come to terms with the fact I know it off by heart.

Therefore, if you do not own this album what on earth is wrong with you? Come on guys don’t embarrass yourself in front of your friends and get in the know.

Number 7: HildaMay – Miles Away

At the top of the pile from A Wolf At Your Door Records releases this year came from Kent five piece HildaMay. These guys do not just know how to party they know how to write bloody good music. Their new album is a credit to them and I happily reviewed it for HTF not long ago. You can check it out here –

This is an album that you can just listen to over and over and not get bored, like not even slightly. Bands like this perhaps sometimes struggle to live up to their amazing live shows on record. Not HildaMay it would seem, this debut is a complete beaut that earns pride of place within my top 10.

Number 6: Feed The Rhino – The Burning Sons

Put these guys on a stage and Feed The Rhino never fail to impress. The test for me came with their album; personally sometimes I struggle to listen to music as hectic as this on record but for Feed The Rhino thankfully this was not the case. ‘The Burning Sons’ is an incredible album and here goes my plee to the band for their upcoming 2013 headline UK tour. Play ‘Death Of The Swine’ live; that track is the track of the whole album for me and many others! That is all.

If you want to see what else of I thought of this cracking album check out my full review here –

Number 5: Cancer Bats – Dead Set On Living

If you know me at all you should know how much I adore these Canadian rockers. Their new album is just another clear example of how much they kick arse and will do so forever, no arguments. April 2012 saw the birth of ‘Dead Set On Living’ and every month since then it has held pride of place in my playlist for the whole of 2012.

With so many amazing tracks on one album it must have been a struggle to pick the singles but yet again they picked the ultimates. ‘Bricks And Mortar’ is by far my personal favourite and the music video to go with it is just another example of how awesome these guys are. They destroyed every venue on their recent UK run with Enter Shikari and March 2013 sees their return to the UK once more on a headline run. When they play Plymouth’s White Rabbit it is surely to send me over the edge, and I cannot wait.

Number 4: Yashin – We Created A Monster

If Limp Bizkit‘s Fred Durst says your album is awesome then that should just be holy. After supporting the nu-metallers on a couple of their UK shows this year, Yashin then released their incredible album ‘We Created A Monster’. I can happily admit to giving it 10/10 because, in all honesty, it is pretty flawless. Every track is easily loved and not one do you press skip on when listening through!

Have a full read of my review of the album here –

Number 3: Enter Shikari – A Flash Flood Of Colour

Yet again these guys release an album that blows minds. Nothing this band do can be wrong, they have such a massive following and will continue to as well if they release albums this great. Their live onslaught is in a league of its own; at no other show will an entire audience lose their minds! Every time I have had the pleasure of seeing these guys they have achieved this, a floor full of mental avid fans who love them and the incredible music they produce. Hats off to them.

Yabba dabba do one son!

Number 2: Canterbury – Heavy In The Day

Now we get down to the final two. These were the easiest ones to chose, just look at your most played tracks on iTunes and BOOM. When this album was released I can remember jumping up and down during an interview with the band at this years Slam Dunk festival. The album is simply that great it makes you go a little bit insane. I can honestly say I love it and urge you all to love it just as much.

Read my full review of the album here –

Number 1: Don Broco – Priorities

Personally I have loved Don Broco for years and watching their career flourish over the year has been incredible. They have always been bloody great and now the world knows just how much so! Their debut album ‘Priorities’ is every version of awesome there is; yes it is that easy! I’ve never gave an album an 11/10 until this year and I mean how the hell do you top that?

With dates on their headline run next year nearly completely sold out and an album like this reaching number 25 in the official charts within it’s release week it would seem these boys are unstoppable. #teambroco

Massive love for these guys from Bedford and I can say with pride – they are my album of 2012, obviously! Well done on a massive year lads and roll on the next!

You can read my full review of the album here –

EP Of The Year: Issues – Black Diamonds

As Tyler Carter left Woe, Is Me in 2011 everyone pretty much put their sad faces on for what seemed like a lifetime. Then late 2012 saw the birth of something untouchable; Issues have so much edge and appeal to them it is literally insane. Their material is unique and overwhelming to listen to and we can only imagine that live it is mind blowing. This is why I can happily say that they were without doubt the EP of the year for me! When you cannot turn an EP off then surely that solves pretty much everything!

The EP is available everywhere so what are you waiting for? While we are at it, come to the UK guys. Ok thanks. 😉

Fondest Farewell in 2012: Fei Comodo

Fei Comodo

2012 saw the end of many amazing UK rock bands and for us the biggest sad face came from the end of the incredible Fei Comodo. They released their amazing ‘Behind The Bright Lights’ this year which was easily one of the best albums of the year so seeing they ended on such a massive high we can only applaude them for going out with a bang.

We will miss their amazing live shows and wish them all the best with their future endeavours.


Attention Thieves –

They played this years Reading and Leeds BBC Introducing stages and it is obvious why, because they are awesome! Check these guys out! We predict big things in the coming year!

Scholars –

These guys have been around for ages and should be – in my opinion – bloody massive! Their music is so addictive and catchy and their live performances never fail to impress! Check them out here below, they will be massive in 2013 because we say so ok? 🙂

Violet –

With a new album from this seven piece band in the midst (yes you read that right there are 7 members!!) it would seem 2013 will bring these lads many good things. After catching some of their new material at a few recent live shows we can only hope 2013 brings the band the success they clearly deserve. The talent they have amongst them all is clearly ridiculous! Check them out below!

That is it guys! Thank you for having a good read of what I think has been great for rock music in 2012 and as you can clearly see it has been one hell of a year! We look forward to what all the bands mentioned above have in store for us in 2013 and wish all of them and our readers a Happy New Year! Thanks for reading HTF! Steph Knight (Rock Editor)

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