My 10 records to listen to in 2018 (so far) in absolutely no order because…
Elder Brother- “Stay Inside”
First up on the list of 2018 records that caught my attention is from California natives Elder Brother (Members of The Story so Far and Daybreaker). The band’s second full length is a breath of fresh air for the scene. The record features tracks like “Weak Days” which are both hauntingly beautiful and relatable while keeping things interesting with creative guitarwork in the track “I Don’t Miss You”. Needless to say, this duo has hit the ground running with a magnetic ad intelligent sophomore record.
Recommended Track: Sway
The Dangerous Summer- “The Dangerous Summer”
Hot damn this was an incredible comeback record. The Dangerous Summer has been my favorite band since I was in middle school, so this is clearly a biased choice. However, this really was arguably one of the greatest releases of the year and incredible follow up to their previous album “Golden Record.” After taking a 4-year break, my anticipation for this record and what it meant for the future of the band was immense. They did not let me down. The album is honest, relatable and complete. Each song flows well into the next and you feel the care and integrity the band put into it. With the release of this record, The Dangerous Summer has solidified their place in the scene once again as one of the most talented bands today.
Recommended track: This is Life
Senses Fail- “If There is Light, it Will Find You”
I honestly haven’t liked a Senses Fail record since Still Searching came out in 2006 but this record blew me away. As I was staying at my friend’s house in North Salt Lake, we began spinning records and, without my knowledge, he put on a record which I immediately fell in love with. I asked who it was and as he said that it was Senses Fail new release. I was speechless and (no exaggeration) the first thing the next morning my wife and I drove to Graywhale in Ogden and bought it. It’s catchy, fun and a new direction for Senses Fail. If you are into older Senses Fail stuff, you’ll love this record.
Recommended Track: First Breath Last Breath
This is the first full-length record from the Boston natives and it is a must-listen for anyone into heavy music. I first heard of Vein while watching videos from 2017 This is Hardcore. During their set, the energy that filled the stage and crowd was captivating and exhilarating. I needed to hear more and the release of this record did not disappoint. If you like aggressive and creative music, this record is perfect for you. (Also not to mention that the drumming on this record is ridiculous)
Recommended Track: Old Data in a New Machine
Turnstile- “Time and Space”
One of my favorite hardcore bands and arguably the most energetic and fun live show you will see today. Time and Space is a fun, creative and passionate release from the Baltimore hardcore outfit. Turnstile’s unique fusion of old-school hardcore dynamics and mindset with hip-hop influences and catchy guitar licks are the perfect segway for anyone looking to get you or your friends into hardcore.
Recommended Track: Real Thing
Listener- “Being empty Being Filled”
Arguably one of the most unique records this year and unique bands out there. You may recognize this front man’s voice from the Chariot’s Long live record. Dan Smith is not only my favorite poet, but his transition from “talk music” to an eloquent mix of singing and poetry has made him one of my favorite singers this year as well. Listener’s album “Wooden Heart” is still one of the most influential albums to me today and this record isn’t far behind. With inspirational and honest lyrics backed by well thought out and beautiful instrumentals, this record stood out this year as unique, interesting and memorable.
Recommended Track: There’s Money in the Walls
Fiddlehead- “Springtime and Blind”
Massachusetts band Fiddlehead (Ex- Have Heart) released their first full length in April and I immediately fell in love (not just because Have Heart is one of my favorite hardcore bands). This record is incredibly catchy and accessible. It draws clear influence from hardcore and pop-punk, sharing a similar sound with bands like Title Fight and Balance and Composure. Regardless of influence, this record is invaluably unique and will get stuck in your head upon first listen.
Recommended Track: Lay Low
Counterparts- “Private Room”
Yes, this is just a three-song EP. Yes, these are all B-sides. Yes, this is my favorite heavy band but regardless… Any band that can put out a three-song EP of all B-sides and still makes noise on the charts is up there in my book. Counterparts’ aggression in their music is only matched by the complexity and depth of their lyrics. From heavy breakdowns to beautiful melodic guitars and lyrics, this release proved for the second time in under a year that Counterparts are on the top in heavy music.
Recommended Track: Monument
Breakfast in Silence- “It’s Hard to Be Open-minded When You Wanna Die”
Whether it’s through lyrics, catchy guitars and melodies or the energy they bring, Breakfast in Silence will hook you immediately. Their debut release feels honest, vulnerable and relatable. Lyrically and musically, this three-piece is clearly talented and has a voice and messages that need to be heard. As the smallest band on this list, I wasn’t sure if I should put them on, but upon listening to the record again, it is good. Really good. The music is simple and that’s what makes it great. The DIY feel of the album creates an intoxicating environment for the lyrics to really hit home. This record is only months old and I already want more.
Recommended Track: Losing My Shit
Warm Thoughts- “I Went Swimming Alone”
Energetic, catchy and fun. Warm Thoughts (formerly Dad Punchers) has set the bar for the DIY scene with their latest release. Every song feeds into the next with incredibly simple and relatable lyrics. Elliott’s voice and melodies are such that they will get stuck in your head and you won’t care, because they are that damn good. If you’re sick of the generic poppy-pop pop-punk that has been spewing out of the scene as of lately, then you’ll feel at home and relieved that simple, honest music still exists, like in “I Went Swimming Alone.”
Recommended Track: Romance Novelist