Well….damn. It’s already time for another year end list?!? That was pretty quick. I’m gonna keep it short this year because I’m a busy man, comrades. I’m sure you’ll all let me know if you don’t agree. So get to readin’ and then take to social media to tell me how lame I am using as many obscenities as possible. 2018’s Top Ten Albums of the Year list is below!
*If you want to stream all of the albums in their entirety, head over to Spotify and take a more comprehensive listen to my AoTY Playlist
10. Swingin’ Utters – Peace and Love
The venerable SoCal vets finally returned with some kick ass new music this year! See? 2018 wasn’t all bad! With Peace and Love, Mr. Peebucks and the gang proved without a doubt that they haven’t lost a step in their old age. And although their sound has slightly less edge than previous albums, it’s still everything you’ve come to expect from an Utters offering. Top 10 album. No question.
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9. Direct Hit! – Crown of Nothing
There wasn’t much of a gap between Crown of Nothing and their last album. But, man it seemed like FOREVER! The most anticipated album of the year for me did not disappoint! These Wisconsin natives always bring energy and their newest album is no different. Jam packed with aggressive, hallucinogenically charged vocals and catchy, pop punk riffs, if this one didn’t make your list, FUCK YOU! GET PUMPED!
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8. Nerdlinger – Happy Place
Wow! This album came outta nowhere and knocked my socks off! This skate punk act, hailing from Sydney, Australia has been around for about five years now and has definitively hit their stride with their third studio album Happy Place. This genre seems to have found a strong foothold Down Under and this quartet is one of the bands that ensures the scene keeps thriving down there. They have studied the roots of skate punk and execute it flawlessly!
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7. Bundles – Deaf Dogs
I cover a bunch of new/emerging punk bands but there’s no way I can find all of ’em on my own! Such is the case with this Boston based band (extra points for alliteration) and their debut LP Deaf Dogs. Fellow staffer, Mr. Jay Stone mentioned them in passing and being as curious as I am an asshole, I looked them up and I sure am glad I did! With unique, frantic vocals laced with abrasive, rough edged melodic punk riffs, this one lived in my eight track player for months!
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6. The Hempsteadys – Seance! Seance!
The Hempsteadys have been straddling the lines of reggae, punk and ska for years now and the release of their newest full length didn’t do anything to unblur those lines any, not that it really matters (’cause, fuck labels). From the opening solo drum beat, I was hooked and throughout the eleven tracks, my attention was captured. And that wasn’t just the first time I listened. EVERY time I put the album on, I got sucked in! Each track, a slightly different flavor than the last and each a perfect gem! So who cares what you call it. when an album is this solid, it transcends genre!
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5. Spanish Love Songs – Schmaltz
Fuck man…these cats are incredible! The LA grouch punks are not only rad individuals, they’re also one helluva band! Impeccable writing is the headline but the music side of the house added some depth this year with the addition of Meredith VanWoert on keyboard. Even though they’re only a few years old (as a band, not in age. Although that would make this LP even more noteworthy…), the troupe has already become known for their yeoman like work ethic and high quality production. Look no further than Scmaltz for a fine example of why.
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4. Eat Defeat – I Think We’ll Be OK
These lads from Leeds have been in the game for eight years and have put out quite a few albums, but very few full lengths. This year however, they released their second LP and it was well worth the wait! If you’re into pop punk (and I know you are, stop trying to be all hard) and you haven’t given this album a listen, you need to get on it. Stat! For my money, these guys are at the top of the totem pole right now in their category, regardless of country of origin.
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3. The Shell Corporation – Fucked.
Angry, intelligent, informative. Those are the ingredients for any great political punk outfit/album. The aptly titled, Fucked. by the uber-talented Shell Corporation checks all of those boxes and them some. In this day and age you want The Shell Corporation on this wall. You need them on this wall. From the album art to the layout of the twelve terrific tracks, there is nothing I don’t love about this album. I’m not saying these guys are going to replace Bad Religion when the legends finally decide to retire but they could…easily.
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2. Rent Strike – IX
I can hear the folk punk haters now. Just know that your hate only makes me stronger! But for real, put your unjustified bias aside for a minute and listen to the fuckin’ album. I promise I’ll keep your punk point safe and return them when you’re done. The LP is extremely simple in it’s overall nature but on a more granular level, there’s a great deal of intricacy and attention to detail that is lacking in the genre. Even though it was released in January, I still listen to at least one song from this album during my commute to and from work every day.
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1. Former Member – Old Youth
Anything by Jason Shevchuk automatically qualifies for my Top 10 Albums of the Year list. But, when the fantastic front man (formally of Kid Dynamite and None More Black) just casually dropped an album this past summer, totally unannounced, the added excitement propelled it to the very top of my list the day it was released and it has lived there ever since. I defy anyone to find something bad about this LP. Do it. I’m waiting…
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