5. The Mars Volta - Noctourniquet
The Mars Volta is now dead and buried (until their reunion), but left in their wake my favorite album since Deloused in the Comatorium and Frances the Mute. Gotta love fucking Prog rock. It's a weird and swirling mass of instruments, and Noctourniquet is no exception. It's a strange, proggy trip, man. Also, instead of a straight up album track rip, I went with a live version of "The Malkin Jewel" because it's pretty fucking glorious. RIP Mars Volta
4. The Men - Open Your Heart
Another band that decided it was going to do back to back releases in 2011 and 2012, The Men are an Indie/noise rock group that hits in all the right places. I ended up picking up this cd by accident, but it was so good that I didn't care. Just rocked the crap out of it.
3. The Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten
I was initially worried when my favorite New Jersey export since Bruce Springsteen were signed to a major label, fearing Against Me! syndrome. However, they pulled it out. A lot less punk than in past releases, which is why I didn't include it with the punk releases. I really like it (though less than previous releases American Slang or The '59 Sound). A solid, rocking album which proves that while a band becomes more accessible on a major label, it doesn't necessarily have to be a death sentence.
2. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
1. Swans - The Seer
Holy fucking shit. A titanic album by a titanic band. Words don't adequately describe