The best and worst albums of early 2013

Here's a quick look at what to check out, what to skip and what to avoid so far this year.

The Good:

Wolf’s Law by The Joy Formidable

Genre: Alternative rock

Released: Jan. 18

Label: Atlantic Records

Ritzy Bryan can really play the guitar, you guys. When listening to “Cholla," head-banging is honestly the only sensible option. Not to mention the band members are Welsh, which means that your playlist will appear eclectically superior to your friends'.

Hummingbird by Local Natives

Genre: Indie/pop

Released: Jan. 29

Label: Frenchkiss Records

This quirky foursome deserves more credit than they get. Tracks like “Ceilings” and “Heavy Feet” pick up right where Gorilla Manor left off. Also, their grooves are comparable to Vampire Weekend. Do you really need any more information?

The Bad:

Reborn by Trapt

Genre: Hard rock

Released: Jan. 18

Label: EMI Music

Remember the good old days when you would rock out to “Headstrong” to get super jazzed before recreational sporting events? Shamefully, so do I. Can you name any other song by this unfortunate spelling mistake of a band? I really doubt it. You’re irrelevant, Trapt. Sorry.

Two Lanes of Freedom by Tim McGraw

Genre: Country

Released: Feb. 5

Label: McGraw Music

I wanted to appreciate this, Tim, because you’ve had some quality jams before, but I couldn’t do it. While your lyrics have never exactly channeled Shakespeare, the hooks are usually catchy. Not this time! I can only hope that the “Two Lanes of Freedom” you speak of lead to never having to hear this album again.

The Ugly:

Notes from the Underground by Hollywood Undead

Genre: Rap rock

Released: Jan. 8

Label: A&M/Octone Records

Now listen, I understand that they’re 'undead,' but “Kill Everyone”? That’s just bad taste. If zombies playing instruments is becoming a thing, I’m going to need "The Walking Dead" cast to step it up a notch, because even they would most likely sound better than this cacophony.

Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones by Black Veil Brides

Genre: Metal

Released: Jan. 8

Label: Universal Republic Records

Unless you’re still in your atrocious middle school scene phase, I would recommend ignoring the fact that Black Veil Brides still exist. With album artwork that evokes visions of a bad "Donnie Darko" apocalypse and brilliantly titled songs like “Shadows Die," this album is not only u-g-l-y, but it probably doesn’t have an alibi, either.

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