Another year in the books! It’s more of an uphill battle than ever to actually press up a record and/or get your music out into the world and noticed by people who might enjoy it, but that just means I have a stronger appreciation for those who do. Incredibly close competition this year; while these are definitely ranked in order, both lists could easily change from day to day. Thankfully, I am free to enjoy all of these fine releases, as are you.

In addition to my top picks listed below, here are some other 2022 favorites:

– The best live set I saw goes to Kite, who flew in from Sweden to play with a handful of forgettable mall-goth bands and blew them straight out of the water. It blows my mind that this isn’t the biggest synth-pop band in the universe: from the stage show to the songs, they’re absolutely untouchable. Second best performance I saw goes to Sweeping Promises (on the same stage as Kite no less, the pleasantly-dingy Underground Arts venue in Philadelphia). It’s tricky to turn a home-recording project into a band on stage, but they were phenomenal; the songs sounded different but equally as enthralling as their modern-classic debut LP.

– Read more books than ever this year – I kept track, twenty-eight! – but as for 2022 editions, the Corporate Rock Sucks history of SST by Jim Ruland is wild fun. Sure I love Black Flag, but my biggest takeaways were the dazzling array of Zoogz Rift releases (ten albums alone between 1985 and 1988!) and the hilariously bitter feud between Greg Ginn and Negativland. On the fiction tip, Little Rabbit by Alyssa Songsiridej is my top pick, a kind of dark and unexpectedly seductive modern love story if you want to call it that (I’m not sure I want to call it that).

– I do not possess the critical acumen to discuss movies with a depth beyond surface level, so I’ll just say that I loved Tár, Triangle Of Sadness and Emily The Criminal. Plus, there’s really no way to go wrong with that Dio documentary.

– Lastly, my absolute favorite musical social media presence goes to Perverts Again / Cruelster. Are you following them on Instagram? Their feed, besides an ongoing Kevin Smith bit, is full of clips of them hanging out being absolute goofballs with each other. They’re constantly making fun of each other in the sweet way that only life-long friends can, and they make me laugh all the time, from the clip of the one guy explaining Marvel movies to his dead-eyed friends to a riotous practice-space butchering of “Victim In Pain”. Plus, Sam McPheeters seems to like all their posts, and I can’t think of a better stamp of approval for awkwardly hilarious punk behavior than his. Solo projects are cool and all, but the camaraderie on display by this crew brings a tear to my eye. I wish they were my friends, even though they’d probably just make fun of me (in surely hilarious ways).

As always, communication is encouraged – until I get the Yellow Green Red Bulletin Board System up and running (just kidding… maybe?), feel free to shoot me an email ( or Instagram DM (@mattkorvette) if you feel compelled to share your thoughts, questions or concerns. Thanks for reading… see you bright and early on New Year’s Day!

Top Singles of 2022
1. Daughn Gibson Kriminelle Energie MP3s
2. Objekt #5 12″
3. Gaia Tones Dream 12″
4. Persher Man With The Magic Soap CD
5. Front De Cadeaux Sad Is Fashion 12″
6. Map.ache So Oder So 12″
7. Horrendous 3D Horrendous 3D 7″
8. Extortion Seething 7″
9. Amphibian Man II Amphibian Man II 12″
10. Deep Heavy Fear Dark Days 12″
11. R.M.F.C Access 7″
12. Act Now Louis Adonis / Wow Factor 7″
13. Two Shell Icons 12″
14. Delco MF’s EP 7″
15. Shanti Celeste Cutie / Shimmer 12″
16. Rhyw Honey Badger 12″
17. Tapes Meets Nikolaienko Sunda School II 7″
18. Otto Karawane Deep Cover #6 12″
19. Beau Wanzer / Hieroglyphic Being 4 Dysfunctional Psychotic Release & Sonic Reprogramming Purposes Only 12″
20. Picture Metric EP 12″

Honorable Mention:
TSVI & Loraine James 053 12″
Joy Orbison Pinky Ring 10″
A+A 060 12″
Montel Palmer Wayback 7″ flexi
Flex TMG Whisper Swish 12″

Top Albums of 2022
1. Straw Man Army SOS
2. Katie Alice Greer Barbarism
3. Lolina Fast Fashion
4. Sumerlands Dreamkiller
5. Ssabæ Azurescens
6. Sick Thoughts Heaven Is No Fun
7. Gauze 言いたかねえけど目糞鼻糞
8. Anadol Felicita
9. Kilynn Lunsford Custodians Of Human Succession
10. Treasury Of Puppies Mitt Stora Nu
11. Earthensea Ghost Poems
12. GFOTY Femmedorm
13. Ulla Foam
14. Front De Cadeaux We Slowly Riot
15. Carla dal Forno Come Around
16. Tony Molina In The Fade
17. Feeble Little Horse Hayday
18. Torn Hawk Toxic Sincerity
19. Jjulius Vol II
20. Chronophage Chronophage

Honorable Mention:
Rigorous Institution Cainsmarsh
Gerry Franke Found Myself Or Just I’m Dead
Horse Lords Comradely Objects
Ellen Arkbro & Johan Graden I Get Along Without You Very Well
Dale Cornish Traditional Music of South London

Daughn Gibson Kriminelle Energie (no label)
It’s rare that a Daughn Gibson release avoids my year-end top ranking. Since All Hell in 2012, no one has done it as strangely and memorably as he, and while I’m happy to count him as a personal friend, you’re not reading this blog because you want a middle-of-the-road year-end recap of the same crap everyone else “coincidentally” noticed, you want this one specific guy’s opinion! But even if I never met Dee Gibs, his music, more bizarre and singular than ever, would strike a chord deep within me. Like prior releases, Kriminelle Energie is meticulously assembled, this time from a bevy of life-like MIDI controls as opposed to samples. It sounds like the first AI rock group to receive a human heart transplant, uneasily seductive and unnervingly real. These songs are catchy at first but continue to grow on you, full of precise detail and references both arcane and hyper-modern. Music for the dark web, no doubt; these are songs that should’ve only been discovered via links in comments on Pornhub videos and bitcoin URLs. It’s certainly Gibson’s most political work yet, though political in the way that Denis Johnson is political: he lays out compelling characters caught in fantastic situations and lets the audience figure out what it all means. And in the most striking/confounding fashion, Gibson put Kriminelle Energie up on Spotify and Bandcamp in June, only to pull it from streaming a couple months later. Is he the first artist to do an actually-limited digital release, as opposed to leaving everything available for free in perpetuity? Why aren’t the youth doing this? You’ll absolutely want to hear “Fuckin American”, but if you haven’t already, you’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way: digging around on Limewire, trading MP3s with other faceless strangers across the digital expanse.

Straw Man Army SOS (D4MT Labs Inc Neurosonic Research / La Vida Es Un Mus)
It’s never been easier than now to make great punk music. Everyone has whittled down what works best, concentrating the finest aspects of the classics alongside a handful of acclaimed flexis and demos into punk music that would score straight As were punk a test based on technical merit. The real challenge is to make exciting punk music, songs that haven’t already been written a hundred times over but instead feel vibrant and newly alive (while still firmly being actual punk music and not something else entirely). Few can do it, especially in 2022, but Straw Man Army are one of the finest to do it today. I loved their debut album, and SOS is even sharper, a righteous stab of tender fury. In the way that SOS exists in the proud lineage of killer punk, I hear a mix of Crass Records-style anthemic rancor alongside Hüsker Dü’s melodic prowess, early Bad Religion and the speedy art-punk of Uranium Club, though Straw Man Army have such a singularly definable style that their music is immediately recognizable as their own, from the weird synth/nature interludes to the dazzling drumming and rapid-fire vocal/guitar attack. The tunes are incredible, and they’re driven home by Straw Man Army’s staunchly DIY (or at least “Do It With Your Community”) approach, far removed from pro-tude band photos, an attention-seeking social media presence or slimy corporate collaborations. Straw Man Army’s form of punk isn’t delicately-assembled window dressing, it’s a thrilling and inspiring force of will.