Every year, big-name Utah bands steal the local limelight with their album releases. This year, it was GAZA, Dusk Raps, The Suicycles, Thunderfist, The Pleasure Thieves and Joshua James. However, there’s a surplus of music that deserves its due. To wrap up 2012, here are 10 local releases deserving attention—and a second listen.
Andrew Goldring’s hell of a year included a solo project, another band—Your Meteor—and this four-piece with Jantzen, Chase and Weston Meier. This early-2012 EP offers great guitar hooks amid an alt-rock vibe, with the occasional funk influence. GoldenSun.bandcamp.com
Nothing beats a solid rock duo live—drums, guitar and loud vocals. Jawwzz took that formula, pounding out tunes around the underground venue circuit, and then dropped this impressive debut. Fewer members might have translated to Chummzz’s bargain price of $5.
This Provo-based five-piece turned heads with their flashy matching outfits onstage at Velour, but cemented their place amid Utah County’s finest when this surf-rock band dropped their debut in June. TheNewElectricSound.com
The former leader of Band Of Annuals, Jay William Henderson, recorded and produced The Sun ... at his home studio; it’s his first album since the band broke up in 2010. The album features more than a dozen local heavy-hitters backing Henderson; it’s a mournful folk extravaganza. JayWilliamHenderson.com
Capturing a mixture of pop, blues and a hint of radio rock, Lady Murasaki have turned heads at their abundance of gigs—and not just because of the tall, brunette singer/guitarist Amber Taniuchi. This four-track debut EP captures Taniuchi’s voice—the band’s most vital asset—like nothing else in the scene. LadyMurasaki.bandcamp.com
In the wake of The Suicycles’ breakup, Camden Chamberlain culled bandmates from previous projects for this new electro-rock outfit. Their debut, The Instruments We Used, has a haunting tone thanks to Vanessa Angulo’s vocals and Brian Kubarycz’s unique guitar- playing style. TotemAndTaboo.bandcamp.com
The North Valley has married old-school Southern rock with modern Americana in this great debut EP. But for the true The North Valley treatment, see this band live. TheNorthValley.bandcamp.com
If you’ve listened to a local hip-hop album this year, chances are you’ve heard a few tracks crafted by Ogden producer extraordinaire Linus Stubbs. He proved once again that his studio work and turntable skills are the cream of Utah’s crop with Incandescent—which he gave to hip-hop heads for free after it was released in September. LinusStubbs.bandcamp.com
Andy Patterson gets around. One of his many projects, DÃ˜NE, a two-piece fronted by bassist Cache Tolman, shows the magic that can happen when two experienced musicians jam. This debut has two-minute tracks chock-full of sounds you’d be surprised to know come from a bass. DoneBandMusic.bandcamp.com
Dubstep is overplayed, and the warbling bass can sound redundant. This makes DJ RoboRob, with his fresh tracks, a treat to hear. Reverbnation.com/DRoboRob