The Official Central Track Staff List.

Last week, we here at Central Track finally got around to compiling our master list of
the best albums of 2012. Just as we promised in that post, we've also been hard at work compiling a weighted list of our favorite local efforts as well.

What we've realized in the process is that, in the same way our national list served as a good reminder of all the great releases sprinkled throughout the course of the year, our local counterpart serves as rather solid testimony that 2012 was quite a strong one for DFW bands.

The fact that our top three selections all received a hefty amount of national attention is just more empirical evidence of that fact.

Elsewhere, the list contains bands who this year received Daytrotter love (Somebody's Darling), debuted extremely promising sounds (Skeleton Coast, The Colurs, Team Tomb) or found themselves at the top of their game (RTB2, Analog Rebellion).

See our full list below, along with selected quotes from our coverage throughout the year where applicable.

20. Leon the Professional
B(east)

“Throughout (B)EAST, Leon's lyrical delivery flashes more confidence than any newcomer to the game has much right to put on display.” (2/23/12)

19. Ynfynyt Scroll
Let Me See It EP

“Make no mistake, Diaz is not your typical electronic music producer. Ask him and he'll admit that he prefers the perspective gained from being a little bit on the outside and looking in. But, for all his troubles and seapunk obsessions, his music remains fairly accessible, in large part due to its inherent groove. And, yes, that's a good thing.” (2/21/12)

18. Vanessa Peters
The Burn the Truth the Lies

17. Oil Boom
Gold Yeller

“The self-depreciating lyrical components that helped even the most derivative moments of Black Waxy seem charming remain fully intact this time around. For example, on 'One Time Used-To-Be,' Taylor playfully bemoans: 'Anywhere I go all the tongue-tied girls make fun of me / Anywhere I go I'm better known as a one-time used-to-be.'” (7/6/12)

16. John Singer Sergeant
John Singer Sergeant

“John Dufilho's an accomplished man, having risen to prominence in his own Deathray Davies and I Love Math outfits before joining the Apples in Stereo. His wide-ranging chops are on full display here, too. But you won't hear him singing. Instead, you'll hear folks Rhett Miller, Ben Kweller, Sarah Jaffe and others elevating this album to another level.” (6/14/12)

15. Sore Losers
We Are Sore Losers

14. Spookeasy
Faux Show

When Spookeasy realized that their songs sounded like Spoon's, they hardly ran from that fact. Instead, they did the opposite, enlisting Spoon multi-instrumentalist Eric Harvey to produce their tracks. Even though Harvey had never produced another band prior, the results worked wonders, showing off Spookeasy as a Spoon-influenced outfit, sure, but one that can stand capably on they own, as well.” (6/14/12)

13. Cozy Hawks
No Blues

“Cozy Hawk's power-pop debut is insanely melodic and catchy — and gritty in all of the right places to boot. Consider it proof that frontman Adam Bertholdi's earlier project, Gazelles, was less the sum of its parts and more the product of his impressive songwriting chops.” (6/14/12)

12. Team Tomb
Team Tomb

“As hinted by the handful of tracks that had been floating around online, the stamp of Caleb Ian Campbell (formerly of the Polycorns) remains heavily imprinted on the self-titled full-length. Elegant guitar licks carry the tracks, which ride the delicate wave of being poppy-yet-subdued.” (8/7/12)

11. Somebody's Darling
Jank City Shakedown

“'Put your cold hands in my warm jacket, leave everything else up to me,' Amber Farris instructs in the opening refrains of “Cold Hands.” It's a fitting sentiment to kick off the Dallas band's latest release. And, to be sure, the long-time-coming Jank City Shakedown finds her alt-country outfit Somebody's Darling in the driver's seat, fully in control, with Farris' wonderfully raw vocals firmly gripping the steering wheel.” (10/3/12)

10. Will Johnson
Scorpion

“Without the benefit of hindsight, it is sometimes hard to appreciate just how great some artists are. Denton's Will Johnson might not be as flashy a name as, say, Usher, but time will reveal how his work in Funland, Centromatic, South San Gabriel, Monsters of Folk, New Multitudes, Overseas and separately as a solo artist make him one of the most respected artists of his generation.” (3/19/12)

9. Skeleton Coast
Skeleton Coast

“Standout track 'Young' finds a middle ground between the trippy prog-rock found on The Dark Side of the Moon and the neo-psychedlia of contemporary Pink Floyd devotees The Flaming Lips, while broaching an optimistic, cocksure territory rarely approached by either of those touchstones. Simultaneously experimental, engaging and approachable, Skeleton Coast have hit upon a sound that's fit for both dancing and mellowing out — depending on one's mood.” (11/7/12)

8. Warren Jackson Hearne and Le Leek Electrique
Eleutheros!

“Doubters in Hearne's massive leap forward need look no further than Musa Dagh tracks 'Death You're So Cold' and 'God Will Strike Me Down,' which are transformed from semi-standard folk tracks into fully-realized southern jazz scorchers. When Hearne sings about death this time around, it doesn't just cause the listener to contemplate his cold demeanor; it sends a bitter chill down their very spines.” (5/4/12)

7. The Colurs
The Colurs EP

“Back in early July, we introduced you to Denton's The Colurs, an outfit we became so immediately enamored with, we thought they just might be the best new band in town. Now, with yesterday's online release of their debut, self-titled EP, we're even more certain of it. Yes, the indie and orchestral pop brainchild of former Roy G. and The Biv collaborators Max Townsley and Drew Erickson is just that good.” (9/5/12)

6. RTB2
2

“Becker's guitar tone is charmingly confounding, sounding at once a brittle crunch on the verge of crumbling in on itself and a ballsy crackling beast. And, though toned down, overdubs aren't scraped completely. Instead, they now allow Becker to tear through a few ripping solos without the riffs dropping out from underneath like they have on previous efforts.” (9/26/12)

5. Analog Rebellion
Full Frontal

“This is a guy whose [Reddit] rant described his own music as 'shitty' when, clearly, that's not at all the case. So allow us to gloat for him: This attention's deserved.” (11/2/12)

4. Blackstone Rangers
Into The Sea

“Blending sweet cooing, electronic embellishments and a whole lot of distortion, the Blackstone Rangers' debut release is a short one, clocking in at just around 20 minutes. But the band makes the most of its time on the release, taking listeners on an undulating journey and setting themselves up nicely as one of the region's bright spots to watch as the rest of the year plays out.” (6/14/12)

3. Pinkish Black
Pinkish Black

“Pinkish Black's debut, self-titled full-length is heavy, dark, foreboding and unapologetic. Released through local curio R. Loren's Handmade Birds label, the disc was earning critical acclaim even before its release. Rightfully so: It broods impressively — and even more remarkably once you realize that, only two years earlier, Pinkish Black's Daron Beck and Jon Teague were fully ingrained in their Great Tyrant project, only to be derailed by bassist Tommy Atkins' sudden death.” (6/14/12)

2. Mind Spiders
Meltdown

“Upon initial spins, the disc comes across as a much more deliberate effort than last year's record, pulling off the rare trick of sounding both bigger and coming across more lo-fi at the same time. This can be attributed in part to the decision to use the dual drumming from their live setup in the studio this go-'round. Also like last time, there are several references to spiders in the album's lyrics, although the chorused group vocals now give the overt references to science fiction a more intentional feel.” (2/21/12)

1. Sarah Jaffe
The Body Wins

“Immediately upon the release of her second proper full-length for local label Kirtland Records, the local folk darling was showered with acclaim for finding a new sound. But, for all the added electronic flourishes on this new record, Jaffe's still at her best when stripped down. Thankfully, this disc also boasts plenty of that.” (6/14/12)

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