It's not auto-ass-kissery to call the last year of local music an embarrassment of riches. A glance at the release calendar shows not just a clutch of stellar albums but significant successes by bands of all makes and models. A dazzling prog-rock vinyl release with an accompanying Holy Book? Thanks, Moonstone. Adroit neo-folk, tender enough to cut with a butter knife? Merci, the Pines. But A Badly Broken Code, the 2010 release by Doomtree's visionary Joan d'Arc, has netted Dessa her highest marks, her greatest national returns, and her boldest headlines yet. A beguiling mix of songcraft and psycho-spiritual viscera make Broken Code a landmark victory not just for the MC and poet but for the crew, the scene, and the cities that fostered her. Dig all you want into this staggeringly dense release—the gold veins in this bottomless mine stretch to the roots and beyond.