by Tyler Hayes

So, it’s May 2012 and you’re finally writing the correct date. Next thing to reevaluate before the year passes you by is that you’ve at least listened to a few noteworthy albums. This isn’t a list of the best album of the year so far, these 5 albums might not even make your top ten at the end of the year, but you at least need to give them a listen. We’ve all been there when we discover an album a year or more after it came out, and the shame is hard to bare. Don’t let that be you.


Driver Friendly – ‘Bury A Dream’

Driver Friendly, formally Drive F, put out a new album called ‘Bury A Dream’ that’s full of angst, perfect for those that need a soundtrack for trying to outrun their own skin. We don’t know each other, but you’re just going to have to trust me when I say their blend of punk and ska is exactly what you’ve been looking for. If any band could bring back horns to a burnt one-too-many-times punk scene, Driver Friendly is the band to do it. And actually if I hadn’t said anything about the horns you might not have even noticed because they blend and fit so well. Start with “Ghosts”, the album’s short and simple anthem. It’s only in the fact that you pick up the words as quick as you do that you realize the song has no verses only a fist pumping (does anyone really do that?) chorus.


Green River Ordinance – ‘Under Fire’

The Fray already put out a new, lackluster, album this year. If you cared at one point, but feel little connection to the band anymore I don’t blame you. I only bring it up because Green River Ordinance also put out a new album, but they did so independently and they actually included a ton of great songs. The two bands are in a similar genre, also cousins of Needtobreathe and Augustana. “Heart of Me” begins with one of the best guitar riffs I’ve heard in a long time. Instantly catchy setting the stage for the rest of the song to coast on. GRO is one of those bands that, no doubt, does the mainstream radio rock sound justice, but the redeeming factor for those too cool for that sort of thing is they put a unique spin on most of their songs. “San Antone” is one of those that sticks out like crazy on the album, but succeeds beautifully with an additive chorus that could drive you crazy when it, undoubtedly, gets stuck in your head.


The Jealous Sound – ‘A Gentle Reminder’

The Jealous Sound are back. There’s also not a lot to say about this late ’90’s/early ’00’s styled rock band because not a lot is actually different about the new album compared to past ones. ‘A Gentle Reminder’ sticks to what the band does best and then drives it home. Maybe it’s the familiarness or maybe the new songs are just that good, but anyone remotely in the mood for monotone, driving lyrical anthems should definitely be sampling the new album. “Change You” might be the best track to start with, though it’s only the start.


Crosses – ‘Crosses EP’

Crosses, the band that spells their name with actual crosses (†††) is destined for the big time, though I haven’t heard much chatter about them recently. Their new EP is electronic laced pop/rock that immediately grabs your attention. It’s hard to ignore “Prurien†”, which is, in my opinion, the best song on the 5 track EP. Interestingly, and slightly annoyingly, the band replaces every “t” with a cross making it a bit difficult to quickly and correctly read the song names. Despite that small quark, fans of the darker tone and bands like Deftones and Team Sleep should feel right at home.


Vacationer – ‘Gone’

Vacationer was a new name to me. The music is constantly bouncy and consistently electronically rigid yet so fun. Despite the band’s name being new to me, the vocals were not. There was something irritatingly familiar until I looked up that Vacationer is Kenny Vasoli, who you might remember from The Starting Line or Person L. Though he’s not listed on the band’s Facebook or website. The music is different that anything he’s done before, which might have been why it was hard to place him. Rhythm drips from the debut album ‘Gone’ and also shimmers with plinks and tinks placed like tiny stars in the songs skyline. With summer just around the corner, this is an album that could easily provide the background to the hottest months of the year.


This is, of course, just a few of the many albums already released this year, but who needs to be told that fun. released a new album? I mean, you can’t even pump gas without being told that “we are young tonight”. Who needs to be reminded that Good Old War has somehow convinced people acoustic rock is the new cool thing with ‘Come Back As Rain’? These few album suggestions are for the people just now getting a little sick of spinning the new Lana Del Rey album. You know, you can only listen to “Video Games” so many times before enough is enough.

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