We're continuing the biggest countdown of 2018!
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. Check out 50-41 here, 40-31 here and 30-21 here and 20-11 here as we round out our countdown with 10-01 below.
10. STAND ATLANTIC - 'SKINNY DIPPING'
After stealing hearts last year with their ‘Sidewinder’ debut EP, Stand Atlantic totally nailed the next stage of their plan for world domination. Brimming with poppunk perfection and driven by a vulnerable and accomplished vocal turn from Bonnie Fraser, ‘Skinny Dipping’ proved that Stand have the heart, soul and talent to push them all the way to the top. From here, they can go just about anywhere they want to.
09. PALAYE ROYALE - 'BOOM BOOM ROOM (SIDE B)'
Though ‘Boom Boom Room (Side B)’ was here for a good time rather than a long time, it was Palaye Royale’s crowning moment in a year of big moves. Battling through a litany of production issues, they put together a short, sweet closing chapter to the ‘Boom Boom Room’ era that encapsulated everything they’re good at - hooks, danger and bringing good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
08. PANIC! AT THE DISCO - 'PRAY FOR THE WICKED
Already a legend of the alternative scene, Brendon Urie cemented his place in the hearts of everyone on a global scale with this absolute doozy. With more pomp, more theatre and more, “How did he do that?” vocal takes than anything that had come before, ‘Pray For The Wicked’ definitely overtook lying as the most fun you can have without taking your clothes off. Now stop praying and start dancing.
07. AS IT IS - 'THE GREAT DEPRESSION'
In a year that was seemingly full of reinventions, As It Is perhaps pulled off perhaps the most drastic of the lot in ‘The Great Depression’. Equal parts a throwback and boundary-pushing, and replete with an intense new image, it was a dark, at times spellbinding concept album - as gritty, raw and hard-hitting as they came in 2018. Songs like ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ breathed new life into Patty, Ben, Ali and Foley. And how.
06. TROPHY EYES - 'THE AMERICAN DREAM'
Who saw this coming? After the harrowing and heavy contents of 2016’s ‘Chemical Miracle’, Trophy Eyes proved that there is always light at the end of the tunnel with this near-perfect follow-up. From the spiritrousing gang vocals and lyrical themes to the brilliantly optimistic atmosphere that shone throughout, ‘The American Dream’ was an album brimming with heart and an outlook on life that we can all learn something from.
05. WATERPARKS - 'ENTERTAINMENT'
Already one of the most interesting, intelligent and irresistible bands that the scene had at its disposal, Waterparks surprised us once again with ‘Entertainment’. If it wasn’t the pure singalong fodder of ‘Blonde’ and Sleep Alone’, it was the rambunctious ‘TANTRUM’ or the dancefloor-bothering patter of ‘Not Warriors’ fighting it out for the title of best track here. There was never a dull moment - and who would want it any other way?
04. NOTHING,NOWHERE. - 'RUINER.'
Understated, deeply affecting and totally unique, nothing,nowhere’s second album in less than a year built on the grassroots, slow-burn success of 2017’s ‘Reaper’ and saw him drawing his musical horizons wider than ever. From the heavy-hearted nostalgia of ‘reminiscer’ right through to the sheer emotional release of ‘waster’ - and brilliantly cathartic outsider anthem ‘hammer’ - this was a triumph on every level. Here’s proof that talent, humility and dedication can result in great things.
03. BOSTON MANOR - 'WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
No band levelled up to the extent that Boston Manor did this year. In not so much building on their debut ‘Be Nothing’ as burning half of it down and moulding it into something entirely new, their follow-up was heavy, murky, filled with genuinely innovative songwriting and marked them out as one of the best young rock bands in Britain. Who knows where they go from here.
02. DON BROCO - 'TECHNOLOGY'
Bolder, braver and more original than anyone dared hope, this was the sound of Don Broco throwing down a gauntlet. With fuck-off massive riffs all over the place and loads of inspired moments - shout out to that bit about chilli - ‘Technology’ flew the flag for rock music at its most adventurous and, above all, fun. Given its vast scope and ambition, it’s only fitting that it’s lifted them into headlining arenas.
01. TWENTY ONE PILOTS - 'TRENCH'
It's the Album Of The Year! Pick up a copy of the Rock Sound Awards issue for a brand new interview and photoshoot with Josh and Tyler. It's available right now from AWARDS.ROCKSOUND.TV