Let's kick off proceedings.
In the Rock Sound Awards issue (available now from AWARDS.ROCKSOUND.TV) we counted down the Top 50 albums of the year.
As another incredible year for music draws to a close, here are the most groundbreaking, unforgettable and flat-out brilliant albums of 2018. We're kicking off proceedings by counting down numbers 50-41 below.
50. STORY UNTOLD - 'WAVES'
Debut albums are a difficult art, but Story Untold really hit the nail on the head with theirs. Bringing a level of control and maturity to their instantly recognisable classic pop-punk sound, the Montreal lads delivered some memorable moments and hinted that ‘Waves’ was only the start of their story.
49. BLESSTHEFALL - 'HARD FEELINGS'
Another year, another display of rock solid post-hardcore majesty from the Blessthefall lads. From Beau Bokan’s pitch-perfect vocal delivery to the all-out assault on the senses from the five-piece’s trademark combination of electronics and brutality, they sounded every inch leaders of their own pack on ‘Hard Feelings’.
48. THE DANGEROUS SUMMER - 'THE DANGEROUS SUMMER'
When The Dangerous Summer revealed they were reforming, and this comeback album more than lived up to the excitement. Gripping, tender and as lovely as ever, ‘The Dangerous Summer’ featured 10 tracks of beautifully constructed pop-punk for the emotional wreck in all of us.
47. SCARLXRD - 'DXXM'
In a year where genre felt more irrelevant than ever, Scarlxrd’s caustic, polarising fusion of metal and trap finally had its moment. Unrelentingly aggressive and nihilistic, yet with hooks for days, ‘DXXM’ was a soundtrack to being young, fucked off and with nothing to lose - marking him out as one of heavy music’s new trailblazers.
46. THIS WILD LIFE - 'PETALUMA'
The acoustic pop-rock duo who bring all the feels served up another beautifully poignant record in ‘Petaluma’. But while it was emotionally raw, goosebump-inducing stuff, the Californians’ third album also sparkled with a summery vibrancy in its bright hooks and the gentle folk tinge of songs like ‘Headfirst’ and ‘Positively Negative’.
45. THE WONDER YEARS - 'SISTER CITIES'
After many years on the road and some tough personal journeys for The Wonder Years chaps, they’ve grown into a more fluid, slow-burning sound. Echoes of grief rang throughout ‘Sister Cities’ but the pulse of love and resilience lent it a firm balance - making this a moving, but also cathartic listen.
44. WITH CONFIDENCE - 'LOVE AND LOATHING'
Following up the wonderful ‘Better Weather’ was never going to be easy, but With Con smashed it out of the park with this bittersweet follow-up. Cutesy and cathartic, ‘Love And Loathing’ had a bit of something for everyone, no matter how loved (or loathed) up you were. Have you heard that pink is in?
43. YUNGBLUD - '21ST CENTURY LIABILITY'
Combining elements of punk, rock ‘n’ roll, hip-hop and more in a completely unique manner, Yungblud’s debut album felt like the sound of tomorrow, today. Tackling real life issues while also managing to be undeniably infectious, ‘21st Century Liability’ demonstrated that the musical revolution is really hitting its stride.
42. HELLIONS - 'RUE'
The world needs more (good) conceptual albums, and once again, Hellions obliged. Based around a story of Jekyll and . Hyde-esque duality, ‘Rue’ was a euphoric . cacophony of choruses, melody and punk attitude that twisted and turned into your heart - the band leaving no stone unturned on their boundary-defying mission.
41. BEARINGS - 'BLUE IN THE DARK'
In the wake of a debut album as strong as this, you’ll be hearing a lot more from Ottawa’s Bearings in 2019. With snarling guitars, sweet melodies and frontman Doug Cousins’ silky-smooth vocals, it proved to be an enchantingly gritty slice of pop-punk, full of emotion and the potential for growth.