We’re little late with our last additions to our End Of The Year 2018 series, as we’re already halfway through January, but things don’t always get done on schedule, right! Collected below are 19 diverse picks for the best records of 2018, prepared by Mitko from our friend webzine DIY Conspiracy, an incredible independent journal for underground music and culture, and booking. Check it out below and be sure to GO HERE to see their Patreon page, learn more about the project and support this great cause with a donation.
Here’s what Mitko had to say about last year and :
Welcome to 2019! We’ve traversed another year around the sun while our world is still sinking deep into the dystopian nightmare that sci-fi literature and punk-rock lyrics have predicted for a long time now.
It seems like 2018 was a tough year for many people and I also have experienced many ups and downs in my personal journey throughout life. But wrapping it up, it has been a wonderful year for DIY Conspiracy, in which we’ve created some amazing content on our website and booked some great DIY gigs in our town.
I’ve listened to a lot of music and I’m really thankful to all the friends from far and wide who introduced me to some really great records, zines and hardcore punk related projects. I think I reviewed more records than ever before and there are still so many that I couldn’t manage to give a proper appreciation on our pages in 2018!
So here are some 2018 records that I would like to recommend to Idioteq’s readers.
Racetraitor – 2042
Racetraitor stirred a lot of controversy back in the day, and now they are back with some of the most urgent and politically relevant message in today’s hardcore scene. The music is still as crushing and uncompromising as ever, while all bands members are giving their best to be a voice of resistance against the wave of social inequality and rising fascism across the world.
The HIRS Collective – Friends. Lovers. Favorites.
While G.L.O.S.S. took the scene by a storm to become the voice for trans and queer outcasts in the punk scene before disbanding in 2016, The HIRS Collective took the militant queer message and music to an extreme new level. “Friends. Lovers. Favorites.” is going to be an all-time classic not just because of its intense blend of grinding hardcore taking influences from His Hero Is Gone to Iron Lung and Converge, but mainly because of its lyrical content and guest appearances of all modern-day heroes of queer, trans and feminist music scene: Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!), Shirley Manson (Garbage), Alice Bag (The Bags), Erica Freas (RVIVR), Sadie Switchblade (GLOSS), Martin Sorrondeguy (Limp Wrist) and more. It’s fantastic!
RAGANA + THOU – Let Our Names Be Forgotten
I really like Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s THOU and 2018 was a great year for them as a band. I also have been an avid fan of Ragana ever since my friend Angel wrote a review for their debut release a few years ago. So it was a great surprise to see this split coming up in 2018. I still don’t have the physical copy but it’s one of the things I’m listening to on my headphones while going to work in the morning.
Panopticon – The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness (I and II)
Hands down to Austin Lunn for creating the most epic collection of black metal and folk music in 2018! Both parts of this record are so amazing that all flattering words are useless, just listen to this masterpiece if you haven’t heard about it already.
偏執症者 (Paranoid) – Heavy Mental Fuck-Up!
Japanese hardcore is amazing! The sick guitar solos and torrents of powerful riffs and smashing attitude is something that you can barely get from the traditional hardcore punk elsewhere. However, there are a handful of bands outside of Japan who can also make some exciting Japanese influenced hardcore. Sweden’s 偏執症者 (Paranoid) is on top of them all and their new record “Heavy Mental Fuck-up!” is fucking brilliant.
Litovsk – The Dispossessed
There’s hardly a single day that I’m not listening to this record since it came out in October (officially released by Symphony Of Destruction and Et Mon Cul C’est Du Tofu? in November 2018). Litovsk is a post-punk band with anarchist leaning lyrics sung in three languages—French, English and Dutch. Their music is just awesome and I love the Ursula K. LeGuin’s reference in their new record.
Arctic Flowers – Straight To The Hunter
Portland, Oregon’s Arctic Flowers is another post-punk band that I really love for ages. Their new record “Straight To The Hunter” is a lesson on how to do a dark and melodic punk music in 2018, while the lyrics are touching on important themes; from questioning the mental health to addressing immigration policy and environmental issues under Trump’s administration and beyond.
Σκοτοδίνη (Skotodini) – Self-Titled
From the Greek city of Ioannina comes post-punk band called Σκοτοδίνη (Skotodini). These punks are real political activists and live to the DIY ideals every single day! They have a practice space and a recording studio in their squat and were on tour in 2018 with another great band from Greece called Chain Cult. To learn more about the Greek post-punk scene in 2018 read this awesome article written by my friend Dino for DIY Conspiracy.
Cassus – Separation Anxiety
I didn’t pay much attention to Norwich’s screamo band Cassus until 2017’s Fluff Fest where they smashed it with some of the best sets I’ve ever seen. Since then I’m an avid listener to their discography and wouldn’t miss a chance to see them live again. Their best up to date, “Separation Anxiety” is a hell of a good record with tremendous power and some beautiful calm and heartwarming moments scattered between the storms.
Worst Witch – Toil and Trouble
Worst Witch is a four piece from the UK that self-identify themselves as a queer positive, antifascist, feminist, vegan DIY hardcore punk band in the vein of Limp Wrist, Dropdead and GLOSS—lyrically dealing with social anxiety, bullying, self confidence and identity. The band released their LP through Alerta Antifascista and features Alex (Fall of Efrafa, Light Bearer, Morrow, etc.) within their ranks.
Svalbard – It’s Hard To Have Hope
Here’s to another great band from the UK! Their 2015 LP was amazing and their 2018’s “It’s Hard To Have Hope” didn’t disappoint as well. Emotional, relevant, political and really giving you this immense amount of hope while listening to these eight tracks. The references to Fillip Pullman’s epic trilogy “His Dark Materials” are also present in this record.
Feedbacker ▲ Plebah Split
Bulgarian punk musician Ivan Shentov is one of the single most important people in the contemporary local DIY scene. Besides his many musical projects, record label Kontingent Records and countless of DIY lives he organized in 2018, he also destroys with Feedbacker. Ivan’s pounding bass and Desislava’s insane drumming make Feedbacker the most iconic duo in the current Balkan punk scene. They managed to make a lot of shows with Greek bands throughout the year and the split with Plebah was a great document for both bands’ hard work and dedication.
GELD – Perfect Texture
Melbourne’s GELD formed in 2015 out of members of Power, Soma Coma, Krömosom, Nuclear Death Terror, Gentlemen, White Horse etc. From a side project at the start, they quickly realized it was much better and more interesting than all those other bands before. So it was time to quit them all and focus on this one. A relentless hardcore punk attack blending American, Scandinavian and Japanese hardcore punk traditions into a powerful force to be reckoned with.
Hundreds of AU – Communications Link Re-established
All bands of New Jersey’s based Tom Schlatter are so amazing. From You and I, The Assistant, This Ship Will Sink, and In First Person to newer bands like Black Kites, Capacities and What of Us. There’s also Hundreds of AU that released this incredible screamo record in 2018. It reminds me of bands like Battle of Wolf 359 and I’m really looking forward to more great releases in the future.
GO HERE to see IDIOTEQ’s iterview with the band.
Ostraca – Enemy
Virginia has been a fertile ground for some of the most awesome screamo acts for quite a while. Following their amazing “Last” LP, Richmond’s Ostraca are back with their latest “Enemy” LP; an emotional rollercoaster played at breakneck speed to make you reinvent your love life in skramz.
WOES – The Coldest Place Is Within Myself
Copenhagen’s WOES is a band that I’ve never heard before seeing them play with Hexis on a show that we co-organized with DIY Conspiracy. And their take on blackened hardcore and scene presence with smokescreen and flashy red & blue lights was a total blast!
Yotsuya Kaidan – Крошка-комета
Yotsuya Kaidan is a band from Odessa, Ukraine, that makes exciting screamo like no one else around! From the fact that they don’t sing in English to the totally unconventional ideas in their song-writing style, this is a record that will deliver some real joy and excitement if you give it a chance.
GO HERE to see the full track by track commentary for this record.
Sangre De Muerdago – Noite
I don’t listen to a lot of neo-folk and a big part of the genre is full of Nazi crap. On the other hand, Sangre De Muerdago have their roots seated deep within the crust and anarcho-punk scene. With each of their records they deliver some beautiful music to connect our spirit to both the inner, higher state of being and the wilderness outside our concrete homes.
Dödsrit – Spirit Crusher
I used to love Totem Skin and it was sad they called it a day. Now, Christoffer Öster’s on a mission to make some exciting one-man atmospheric black metal project. This record gives me a lot of joy and it seems Christoffer is not gonna stop here.
In 2018, there were also a lot of other great records that I would easily put on my end of year list. Some of them I already reviewed on DIY Conspiracy, like Deviated Instinct, Japanese Crude, US WAR//PLAGUE or the new Tragedy.
Hope you’ll enjoy 2019 and have a good time listening to these records if you haven’t heard some of them before!