50 Best Albums of 2012

Frank Ocean reimagined R&B; Dylan drenched us in blood; pop-punk vets, disco orchestras and Scottish oddballs made an election year bearable.

38

Titus Andronicus, 'Local Business'

These Jersey boys might be America's most desperately ambitious, righteously exciting punk-rock flamethrowers. On "My Eating Disorder," Patrick Stickles sings, "Screaming and convulsing, now I'm gonna spit it out"; the "it" in question (other than his lunch) is an album of brawling street-rock songs with titles like "Titus Andronicus vs. the Absurd Universe (3rd Round KO)." With as much love for Thin Lizzy as Black Flag, and wielding a tireless underdog howl, Stickles proves just how much mileage you can still get out of suburban self-disgust.

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