Best Of 2018

Monday, December 31st, 2018

As we wrap up what has been a super busy year for the label, it’s time to look back at some of our favourite releases from the rest of the musical world (outside of our own stuff of course)! Looking back through the year, I’ve got a mammoth playlist of all the 2018 releases, and even with this and a good few hours rattling through these, I’m sure I’ve missed a few!

Top 10 Albums Of 2018

A Vulture Wake – The Appropriate Level Of Outrage
When I heard Chad Price had a new punk rock band on the go, I was expecting to hear some great straight up melodic and catchy pop punk like his genius work in ALL. So when I slipped on ‘The Appropriate Level Of Outrage’, I was expecting good things, but not quite the frantic and sometimes technical skatepunk which A Vulture Wake’s debut album delivers. 10 great tracks of punk rock goodness.

Alkaline Trio – Is This Thing Cursed?
Despite not being overly sold on the title track and album opener, the Trio’s latest album ended up being quite a grower and ended up being my favourite from them for a good few years, with the album having a definite Crimson / Good Mourning vibe. Tracks like Throw Me To The Lions and Krystalline are classic Trio.

Direct Hit – Crown Of Nothing
Direct Hit were back in October with ‘Crown Of Nothing’, the follow up to 2016’s excellent ‘Wasted Mind’, which cemented themselves as one of my favourite newer bands (i.e. formed within past 10-15 years)! Whilst I dont yet love this quite as much as Wasted Mind, Crown Of Nothing is still an excellent varied and fun punk rock record which I’ll be playing a lot over the next few years.

Great Collapse – Neither Washington Nor Moscow… Again
Great Collapse returned with their second album earlier in the year, and luckily, a full UK / Euro tour to support it, with their London show at New Cross Inn being a particular highlight for me. ‘Neither Washington Nor Moscow… Again’ is another 11 tracks of hard hitting political punk rock from this super group of sorts, featuring current and ex-members of Strike Anywhere, Rise Against, Set Your Goals, Death By Stereo and Love Equals Death – a pretty impressive lineup!

Hit The Switch – Entropic
Damn, I love Hit The Switch, and needed an album as fast and thrashy as this from these guys. ‘Entropic’ has it all – super fast pace, awesome guitar riffs, catchy melodies and tonnes of power. If you like skatepunk, you’ll love this.

Horror Section – Horror Section
Do you love pop punk and horror movies? If yes, hello to your new favourite band. An album jam packed full of horror themed pop punk tracks, and the coolest backsleeve to a record you’ll see all year!

The Human Project – Clarion Call
The Human Project have been one of, if not, the best skatepunk / melodic hardcore / punk rock bands in the UK over the past 5 years or so, and it’s no surprise that Clarion Call is another excellent album from the boys from Leeds. This album has a bit of everything, metal thrash, atmospheric and epic intros, big riffs, singalong choruses, big harmonies, all smashed together into an epic punk rock record.

The Interrupters – Fight The Good Fight
2018 has really been The Interrupters year, and rightfully so, with an album that’s sure to end up on most ska punk fans end of lists. This, their third album, picks up exactly where 2016’s ‘Say It Out Loud’ left off, with twelve more excellent ska punk tunes that have you singing along straight away and stuck in your head for weeks.

Krang – Singalong
Straight out of the Czech Republic come the retro loving fun time skatepunk rockers Krang. What Singalong may lack in length (with ten tracks clocking in at just over 16 minutes), it more than makes up for in fun punk rock tunes.

Pennywise – Never Gonna Die
What a great return from Pennywise! In a year that’s seen bands like Satanic Surfers and No Fun At All make great and long awaited comebacks, it was Pennywise’s ‘Never Gonna Die’ that I found myself going back to the most for that classic skatepunk sound. After a few years away (and 6 since their last proper full length) the band sound reinvigorated and full of passion, and for me, this is their best record since probably 2001’s ‘Land Of The Free?’

Honorable mentions – Astpai, The Bar Stool Preachers, Eat Defeat, Fair Do’s, Get Married, Hot Mulligan, Kid You Not, No Fun At All, Odd Robot, Satanic Surfers, Saves The Day, Scott Sellers, Senses Fail, Symphony of Distraction, Tiny Moving Parts, We Are The Union

Top 5 EPs of 2018

The Capital – This Place Matters
‘This Place Matters’ is the second EP from Preston based rockers The Capital, and gives us five more melodic rock gems from this great band. I was lucky enough to catch the band twice this year at New Cross Inn (including a stellar set at Might As Well Fest) and this cemented their place as one of my favourite UK bands right now.

Captain Trips – Stand By
Although I enjoyed their first EP, Portsmouth’s Captain Trips definitely upped their game with their second EP ‘Stand By’, with the songwriting, musicianship and whole general package seeming to have jumped up a gear. Fast, melodic and tech, I already cant wait for new tunes from these guys.

The Get Up Kids – Kicker
The Get Up Kids have for a long time been pretty much my favourite band, so I was really looking forward to what they might produce with new EP ‘Kicker’. Having taken a bit of a step away from their emo/pop punk roots in recent years, Kicker sounds like a jump back towards the sound from the Guilt Show era, and tracks like ‘Maybe’ and ‘I’m Sorry’ standing up to some of the bands best. A great return.

Goldfinger – The Christmas EP
Does this count? Well it’s all I’ve been listening to the past few weeks so it’s fair to say I love it! Four great and fun Christmas covers from a reignited Goldfinger – what’s not to love?

Useless ID – 7 Hits From Hell
Useless ID are another long time favourite, and although they are probably best known for their pop punk roots, it’s their super fast more skatepunk influenced tracks which really do it for me. New EP ‘7 Hits From Hell’ is exactly that – 7 fast, short and fun tracks in under 5 minutes (so you may want to loop it a few times)!

Wow, that took a long time putting together! I changed it up at least 5 times, so sorry if I’ve missed something, and I’m sure some of those albums are going to change by tomorrow, but nevermind! Now back to work for a big 2019 for the label, kicking off with the new Radar State (The Get Up Kids / The Anniversary) LP Strays, before the new LP Daily Ritual from Spanish punk rockers / 90’s lovers Blowfuse!