Our End-Of-The-Year 2018 series is complete, yet we still have a couple of great reecaps to share with you. In conjunction with its 10th anniversary, Sofia, Bulgaria’s DIY hardcore punk label Ugly & Proud Records has joined us with its great recommendations adding to a fine selection of albums that range from the socially conscious to the political, as well as pure slices of powerful hardcore in many of its varieties that roars underneath its foundation. Here’s what Nikolay shared with us about 2018 and his most notable records of the year.
I’m not really good at top 10 lists or writing reviews but I’ll do my best to describe what 2018 looked like to me. It was definitely a very busy year for Ugly and Proud Records. In November the label turned 10 years old and I celebrated this by printing some limited merch. The records I released in chronological order are:
Wake of Humanity – At Capacity 7″ (Euro press; 1st and 2nd press)
An amazing band that I was happy to see live twice in 2017 (Pre-Fluff show in Prague and Fluff Fest). They made a lasting impression on me and eventually we became good friends. At the beginning of the year we decided their debut 7″ needed a Euro press as a build up to their full-length which was to come later in 2018. If vegan straight edge metallic hardcore with thoughtful lyrics is your thing definitely check WoH out!
GO HERE to check out WAKE OF HUMANITY’s recap of the year!
Struggle – S/T tape
Cool band from Sweden that plays a twist of modern hardcore. They struggled (you see what I did here?) with their line up but they are finally back on track now stronger than ever and writing new songs.
Racetraitor – Burn The Idol Of The White Messiah LP (2nd Euro press)
The first press on Carry The Weight Records sold out quickly and the band wanted to do a 2nd press. So they asked me if I wanted to be a part of it and I accepted without thinking twice. Classic 90s hardcore/grindcore that is still (or even more) politically relevant today.
GO HERE to check out the full track by track commentary for this record.
GO HERE to see another 2018 wrap-up by RACETRAITOR!
Old friends teamed up with new friends. The straight edge split of the year. It was a pleasure to work on this with all the people involved and it was out just on time for xDevourx’s first appearances at Fluff and Ieper. Four tracks of uncompromising metal hardcore.
GO HERE to see xDEVOURx’s picks.
Envision – A World Unseen 7″
I was in touch with Lennon (Blistered, Ecostrike) for a while and he sent me an email out of the blue asking me if I was into releasing his new band. Fast forward a few weeks later and they had recorded this EP. Florida has a strong scene at the moment and vegan straight edge is back on top of the food chain.
Bystander – S/T tape
As soon as I saw Greg Bennick was in a new band I messaged him asking jokingly if they had a label. They already had a few but he still offered me to co-release this on tape for the Balkans. Well, this is exactly what I did. It was a pleasure to work with Charles and Greg and the end result is awesome. They are also part of the Youth Crew 2018 comp so that kinda helps you know what to expect music-wise.
GO HERE to see Greg bennick’s picks!
V/A Youth Crew 2018 7″
This is my third time co-releasing this comp and it’s still fun to do it! We had some troubles choosing only 8 bands but we had a limit. I’m happy to see a few friends’ bands being in (big shout out to Protein!).
Wake of Humanity – FIGHT/RESIST LP
What an album! Karol has already covered it on Idioteq so I won’t waste your time. Just check it out!
Great Reversals – Stalactite LP
This was released in the US in November but I won’t start shipping my copies before early January. Another great album that has already been featured on the website.
2019 is already shaping to be badass year as well! Stay tuned for more U&P madness! Besides what I put out through the label I enjoyed a ton of pretty cool releases in 2018. Here are some of them:
This album is so good I can’t stop listening to it. It’s not oi nor strictly punk. It has nice melodies and sad/melancholic lyrics. Exactly what I need on my way to work.
Zone Infinie – Rester et Fuir LP
What a record! Zone Infinie is still the best current French punk band for me and they proved it with their 2nd album. The lyrics are still not positive but it always brings a smile on my face.
Ultra Razzia – S/T LP
The first Euro press on Primator Crew sold out in a month. And for a reason! Fresh and clean Canadian oi that is sure to please a lot of hidden skinhead souls. Oi!
Year Of The Knife – First State Aggression EP
And here I start with the straight edge records that I loved in 2018. YOTK made a name for themselves this year by including Europe in their touring schedule. Can’t wait to catch them live and experience their aggression first hand. It looks like metal hardcore is back on track.
Trail Of Lies – WAR LP
Master of your destiny. One of the hottest bands this year. Heavy lifting and metallic hardcore go hand in hand. Would’ve been the perfect soundtrack for my gym routine if I only had one…
Clear X Cut – The Vegan Straight Edge EP
Well, I guess the title of their EP speaks for itself. One of the best surprises at Fluff Fest 2018. Baggy jeans – check. Two singers – check. Heavy riffs – check. Political lyrics – check. Check it out!
Ecostrike – Voice of Strength LP
I don’t think I can say or write anything that hasn’t already been said before about Ecostrike. The album is good and they should release a new one in 2019. Oh yeah!