As the final hours of 2018 tick away it’s time for some of the MNN team to let you know what they loved most about this year.
Paris Fawcett – Features Editor
Albums of the year:
- Spanish Love Songs – Schmaltz
- Joyce Manor – Million Dollars to Kill Me
- Nervus – Everything Dies
- Camp Cope – How To Socialise and How To Make Friends
- Itoldyouiwouldeatyou – Oh Dearism
- Rolo Tomassi – Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It
- Antarctigo Vespucci – Love In The Time of E-Mail
- Idles – Joy As an Act of Resistance
- The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
- Boss Keloid – Melted On the Inch
- Svalbard – It’s Hard To Have Hope
Band of the Year: Milk Teeth – Despite only releasing one song in 2018, the resilience of Milk Teeth warrants them as my band of the year. They’ve battled multiple lineup changes and some awful mental health problems this year but each time they bounce back and are ending the year with complete strength as a three-piece. Furthermore, there inclusion of ‘self-help’ sessions before gigs is the coolest thing any band has done in a long time.
Single of the Year: The Opener – Camp Cope. The most punk rock song of the year. It rips the music industry apart to expose all of the bullshit that female musicians have to experience. It’s an absolutely essential listen.
Sam Stephenson – Writer
Album Of The Year: Conjurer – Mire
The rise of Conjurer in 2018 has been something to behold. Ascending from underground obscurities to one of the most talked about young bands in heavy music, the Midlands-based quartet have gone from strength to strength since the release of their astounding debut Mire back in March. Equal parts punishing as it is surprisingly emotive and cathartic, the crunch of ‘Retch’ and ‘Of Flesh Weaker Than Ash’ have won over seemingly everyone, including some of the biggest names in the game. With riffs for days and a live show that defies all expectations (seriously, go and see these guys), Conjurer have the potential to carve out a pedestal of their own amongst the greats. Don’t sleep on these guys, they won’t be playing bars for much longer.
- Conjurer – Mire
- Mol – Jord
- Spanish Love Songs – Schmaltz
- Anaal Nathrakh – A New Kind Of Horror
- Joyce Manor – Million Dollars To Kill Me
- Vein – Errorzone
- Turnstile – Time + Space
- The Xcerts – Hold On To Your Heart
- Candy – Good To Feel
- Cancer Bats – The Spark That Moves
Band Of The Year: Code Orange
For a second year running the Pittsburgh hardcore game-changers have…well, changed the game again. Fresh off the back of their recent Grammy nod, Code Orange dropped a three-song EP from absolutely nowhere, proving themselves once again to be the most forward-thinking band in alternative music. Featuring a guest spot from none other than Slipknot’s Corey Taylor, the band have simultaneously upped the heaviness and crafted genuine anthems, slathering them with insane electronic pit-traps and crushing beatdowns. As the entire subculture waits with bated breath for the follow up to Forever, the best band on planet earth have given us a tantalising glimpse of what’s to come.
Track Of The Year: Anaal Nathrakh – ‘Forward!’
With the release of A New Kind Of Horror, the world’s most extreme band somehow managed to get even heavier. Amongst jaw-dropping cuts like ‘The Reek Of Fear’ and ‘The Apocalypse Is About You!’, ‘Forward!’ blasts itself into your cranium like nothing else this year, showcasing a perfect balance between catchiness and uncompromising brutality. Machine gun sounds rattle in time to the riff, Dave Hunt belches up his insides and everything coalesces into a cacophony of just glorious METAL. Much like Bloodbath’s ‘Eaten’, Anaal Nathrakh have created an extreme metal anthem for the ages with the potential to drag a heap of new fans into their unbelievable back catalogue, nice job boys.
Dave Barlow – Writer
Albums of the year
1. For The Love Of Metal- Dee Snider
A genuine surprise for me. Having never been a massive fan of Twisted Sister, I didn’t expect much from Snider’s album but I was hooked from the first note. It kicks off with ‘Lies are a business’, one of the heavier songs Snider has even made and goes from strength to strength. Snider takes his old school tones and contemporarises them into a brilliant and relevant album for 2018.
2. The Silver Scream- Ice Nine Kills
3. The Age Of Absurdity- Phill Campbell and the Bastard Sons
4. Year Of The Tiger- Myles Kennedy
5. Living The Dream- Slash
6. A Deeper Cut- Temperance movement
7. Blackout – Audrey Horne
8. Sign Of the Dragonhead- leaves eyes
9. Victim Of A New Disease- All That Remains
10. Vicious – Halestorm
Single of the year: The American Nightmare- Ice Nine Kills
Ice Nine Kills first single from ‘The Silver Scream’ did exactly what it should; hook the listener in so they can’t wait for the album.
It starts with an advert about getting a good night’s sleep before the drums and guitars kick in with Charnas’ vocals. DiBlieck brings an epic, guitar solo half a minute in which also acts as a segue into a much heavier sound. The chorus is incredibly catchy with Charnas’ melodic clean vocals creating a hook which will be in your head for days.
Band of the year: All That Remains
All That Remains’ new record ‘Victim of a new disease’ received much acclaim, particularly for returning to their heavier metalcore sound. In addition to producing A high-quality album, they went through tragedy with founding guitarist Oli Herbert passing away in October, less than 2 months before they were due to go away on tour. They took the brave decision to carry on in respect to Oli and have already completed their English leg and will be continuing their tour throughout Europe in December.
Jess Piochan – Photographer
Delaire, the Liar – London based two piece
Formed in 2017, Delaire, the Liar released their debut EP “Not Punk Enough” in June this year and started getting a lot of attention since. Only a few months after the release, they achieved some impressive things: they got played on Radio 1, got featured in Kerrang! and Rock Sound and recently opened for Creeper at their sold-out show at KOKO.
Delaire, the Liar is the kind of bands you can’t stop listening to once you started. I became familiar with them early last year and I had their songs on repeat since. I immediately knew they were something special and I had a few people telling me that maybe I loved them too much. And I guess it’s true. But when I look at how far they’ve come in such a short time, I’m thinking that I probably picked the right band to believe in. Their first ever show was at the end of October 2017, in a very tiny venue in Camden. A year and an EP later, they played at a sold out KOKO. I was at both shows (and nearly all of the other ones in between) and trust me, you’re gonna hear a lot from them in 2019. Don’t sleep on them.
Check out their EP “Not Punk Enough” here:
Also, their acoustic session:
And catch them on tour with The Young Hearts in January :
24.01 / Swansea – The Bunkhouse
25.01 / Leicester – The Criterion Pub
26.01 / Ashford – The Windmill
27.01 / Sheffield – The Mulberry bar & venue
28.01 / London – 229 Venue
Liam McDonald – Writer
1. Hold On To Your Heart – The Xcerts
I honestly could have picked any of my top 3 in this spot, but the fourth album from Aberdeen’s finest is just so damn joyous that I decided I couldn’t put it anywhere other than the top of my list. It is one of those records that somehow manages to fit every mood. I am in awe of how this band have developed on their last two records and have managed to tap into that classic pop-rock sound of Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen whilst making it completely their own, adding a modern sheen and retaining all of the heart. The intro to ‘Drive Me Wild’ with that sax solo is one of my favourite moments of the year. This band deserves your love and attention.
2. Joy As An Act of Resistance – Idles
3. Schmaltz – Spanish Love Songs
4. Master Volume – The Dirty Nil
5. Holy Ghost – Architects
6. Jord – Mol
7. Prequelle – Ghost
8. Time and Space – Turnstile
9. Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It – Rolo Tomassi
10. All That Divides – Black Peaks
Band of the Year: Architects
There’s nothing I can say about Architects and what they have been through that hasn’t already been covered. What I can say though is that show at Ally Pally in February was quite possibly the best gig I have ever seen for so many different reasons. It was a day that I will always remember and was just so life-affirming and encompassed everything I love about music. When you add in the release of a record that no one expected to be hearing this year in ‘Holy Hell’, marking a new era for the band, there is no other choice about who has had the biggest impact for me this year.
Single of the Year – Dance Macabre – Ghost
Ghost are the great white hope for rock and metal in the mainstream. Dance Macabre features everything which makes them that hope. That undeniable chorus, the classic metal riffing and the inexplicable sex appeal of Papa. This should be one of those tracks that comes on at a 2018 themed disco in 30 years time and everyone goes insane for. In an ideal world at least.
Sam Robinson – Photographer / Writer
Top 10 albums list
- Of Mice & Men – Defy
Picking my album of the year this year has been tough, for me there’s usually a clear winner, but I really had debate quite a lot this time around with who gets the top spot. I’ve gone with Of Mice & Mens ‘Defy’, a massive release and very different album to what we’ve had before from the now four-piece, Aaron Pauley has truly nailed it in stepping up and taking on the lead vocals and proves it on banger after banger from this record.
2. SHVPES – Greater Than
3. The Word Alive – Violent Noise
4. DON BROCO – Technology
5. Twenty-One Pilots – Trench
6. Beartooth – Disease
7. Cane Hill – Too Far Gone
8. The Amity Affliction – Misery
9. Architects – Holy Hell
10. Panic! At The Disco – Pray For The Wicked
Band of the year – Don Broco
What a year it has been for the boys from Bedford. A huge new album, and a fantastic run of shows in the UK that has seen them be rewarded with a massive UK arena tour in 2019. They’ve truly cemented themselves as one of the biggest rock bands from Britain this year and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for them.
Single of the year
Bring Me The Horizon – MANTRA.
Sticking with UK powerhouses, Bring Me The Horizon marked their return to action with ‘MANTRA’, the lead single off of their upcoming new album ‘Amo’, I’ve had this in heavy rotation on all of my playlists since it’s release and will continue to do so until the new album is here!
James Keal – Writer
Album of the year – Turnstile – Time & Space
Turnstile love to flirt dangerously with what it means to be a contemporary hardcore punk band in 2018. Time & Space packs itself full of flawless experimentation but knows not to stray too far from the origins of what made this band so remarkable in the first place. The fluidity of Time & Space makes me want to dance just as much as it makes me want to mosh, and for that reason, I’ve not stopped listening since the second this was released.
- Turnstile – Time & Space
- Marmozets – Knowing What You Know Now
- Rolo Tomassi – Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It
- The Armed – Only Love
- Nervus – Everything Dies
- Camp Cope – How To Socialise & Make Friends
- Turbonegro – RockNRoll Machine
- Leeched – You Took The Sun When You Left
- Boston Manor – Welcome To The Neighbourhood
- Drug Church – Cheer
Billy Padmore – Writer
Album of the Year: Vein – Errorzone
Jarring, glitchy and downright weird, Vein have drawn influence from the nu-metal stylings of early Slipknot and the chaotic hardcore racket of Converge, constructing their own Frankenstein’s monster with sparking circuitry exposed. Clocking in at just under half an hour,Errorzone is one of the most cohesive hardcore albums to date. Including drum ‘n’ bass breakbeats and air raid siren samples, the industrial influence adds new dimensions to a genre that can often rely too heavily on breakdowns. As well as being the best album of 2018, but Vein’s Errorzone is one of the strongest hardcore debuts in a long time.
2. JMSN – Velvet
3. Turnstile – Time & Space
4. Conjurer – Mire
5. Foxing – Nearer My God
6. Confidence Man – Confident Music For Confident People
7. Cardi B – Invasion Of Privacy
8. Rolo Tomassi – Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It
9. Zeal & Ardor – Stranger Fruit
10. Kids See Ghosts – Kids See Ghosts
Band of the Year: Palm Reader
Not only did they release their most accomplished album to date with Braille, Palm Reader toured constantly throughout the year with bands such as Will Haven, Rolo Tomassi and The Contortionist, as well as appearing as Glassjaw’s sole support at London’s Brixton o2 Academy.
Single of the Year: Architects – ‘Hereafter’
Seeing as the band have had a knack for producing massive singles in the past few years (‘Naysayer’, ‘Gone With The Wind’), one couldn’t help but wonder if Architects would strike gold again without chief songwriter Tom Searle. ‘Hereafter’ puts all doubt to rest, proving that not only can Architects write a singalong anthem while still retaining their signature metalcore sound, but are also one of the best working metal bands around.
Milo White – Writer
Album of the Year:
1. Joy As An Act Of Resistance – IDLES
From very own Brizzle bois IDLES, comes, quite simply, one of the most important records this year; an album that tackles politics, self-esteem and tragedy with the most unrelenting grin. Packed full of tattooable lyrics, all barked from Joe Talbot’s gritted teeth, songs like Samaritans and Television should be heard by anyone who’s ever felt unsure of themselves, as it’s sure to inject heaps of confidence upon them. It’s heavy alright, soaked in distortion and feedback, sure to sate the appetites of hardcore kids and old-school punks alike. Don’t just recommend it to anyone, recommend it to everyone.
2. Starcrawler – Starcrawler
3. Bad Witch – Nine Inch Nails
4. You Won’t Get What You Want – Daughters
5. Automata II – Between The Buried And Me
6. Book of Bad Decisions
7. Stranger Fruit – Zeal & Ardor
8. Gateways – The Vintage Caravan
9. I Loved You At Your Darkest – Behemoth
10. Pinkus Abortion Technician – Melvins
Best Artist: IDLES
Fiercely crucial, instantly iconic, aggressively happy, very West Country — all statements true of IDLES, the biggest and best band in punk rock at the moment. With Joy As An Act of Resistance, the group has produced, not only a stellar breakthrough but one of the most important albums of the decade. I could (and will often) listen to this group on repeat for weeks on end without tire — they’re G-R-E-A-T, simply put.
Best Single: Science (Gone Wrong) – <tracknotfound>
A track I found through MNN’s own “Battle of the Bands” feature before I was a writer here, Science, courtesy of Guernsey’s leading alt-rock noisemakers, brings together youthful energy and a hook so infectious I need to be quarantined when I sing along. Thicc bass, pounding drums and madhouse-captivating vocals can be found in spades here, all from a band who haven’t even released their debut yet.