P. NICK CURRAN, music writer, The Phoenix

1. METZ "Sad Pricks" (from METZ)

2. King Tuff "Screaming Skull" (from Screaming Skull 7")

3. Parlovr "General Hell (True Love Fades)" (from Kook Soul)

4. Speedy Ortiz "Indoor Soccer" (from Sports EP)

5. Odd Future "Oldie" (from The OF Tape Vol. 2)

6. Cloud Nothings "No Future, No Past" (from Attack on Memory)

7. Michachu and the Shapes "Slick" (from Never)

8. Le1f "Wut (5kinAndBone5)" (from Dark York)

9. Menomena "Baton" (from Moms)

10. Mac DeMarco "Baby's Wearing Blue Jeans" (from Rock and Roll Night Club)

2012 was the year of the guitar, and to a lesser degree Sub Pop, which scored huge in unleashing METZ on the world. METZ's self-titled debut is unbridled grunge aggression in the vein of the label's late 80s, Bleach-era. The Fuck Me, I'm Rich-era. From start to finish, the record hits hard with end-of-the-world melodies snarled over a mashing of jet-hangar guitars. And with the live-performance comes a sense of immediacy, as if it is the last show that they'll ever play and that we'll ever see. METZ are the harbingers of a decade's new grunge, pay attention. King Tuff's big-riff-laden self-titled was as catchy (and sloppy) as pop-records come, a style echoed in Montreal's Parlovr, who released a largely unnoticed gem of an album with Kook Soul. Micachu and the Shapes offered yet another jaggedly brilliant example of its detuned art-pop while bands like Menomena and Cloud Nothings offered darker twists on what had previously been bright(ish) songwriting. But at the end of the year preceding the end of the world, it's nice to be presented with such sincere notes of finality. As if we're all going down together, in a giant ball of fire, trying to scream along to METZ at the top of our lungs.

122812_spotify-logo GET THE SPOTIFY PLAYLIST: Phoenix/WFNX.com's Top Tracks of 2012

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