Another year, another great haul of albums. However, this wasn’t an ordinary year for the underground and alternative scene. Something is afoot. A unified and destructive punk rock and rock n roll is bubbling up. A searing intensity is brooding alongside a mass outpouring of love. They havent quite balanced each other out yet but, the hope that’s amassing on the underground circuit is emerging and will not be contained.
Remember 2018 as the year where the new working class fought back with intelligence and love (AGAIN).
20. Richard Thompson – 13 Rivers
The old folk mongrel cannot stop delivering thought provoking guitar solos. Put your beret on and prepare to be dazzled.
19. Sean McGowan – Son of Smith
McGowan has toured with Billy Bragg, Frank Turner and Get Cape Wear Cape Fly in the past and clearly taken notes. From brass to funk to punk to pop, McGowan has taken a swing at them all. For the most part, made solid connections. Sometimes, bands/artists debut is all they have, a lifetimes dreams desperately oozing from their souls. What’s on display here is, clearly a man with aspirations and dreams way beyond teenage discourse.
18. Boy Azooga – 1, 2, Kung Fu
Welcome to the world of positivity starring Johnny Marr's protege. Cardiff's Davey Newington is a classic single away from national treasure status.
17. The Bonnevilles – Dirty Photographs
Amid all the fuzz and devilment, an old school R'n'B soul permeates The Bonnevilles. No matter how abrasive or decadent, an enriching warmth continually permeates.
16. Bennett Wilson Poole - Bennett Wilson Poole
The sweet sounds of The Byrds and CSNY are given a credible revisit.
15. Alfa 9 - My Sweet Movida
There is an expansive guitar side always threatening to break out on this record. The album isn’t lacking solos but, on 'Rise' and the trippy closer 'Fly', the highlight reel grows significantly. Think Stills at his sprawling best with Manassas.
14. Manic Street Preachers – Resistance is Futile
When will they make a bad album? Lyrically Wire has lit the touch paper and Bradfield's guitar playing strays from Motown to Rush, the drummer is good too.
13. Blossoms – Cool Like You
The stand-out pop music record of the year.
12. 485c – 485c
There is so much to admire about this debut album but mainly, it’s the high level of consistency of it that’s striking. The Charlatans and Maximo Park need to make some space, there is a new member to the forever 8 out of 10 club.
11. The Lovely Eggs – This Is England
Wiggy giggy giggy giggy giggy giggy giggy.
10. Cabbage – Nihilist Glamour Shots
The line has been drawn for battle, if you're not on the Cabbage's side, history will come for you!
9. Asylums – Alien Human Emotions
Pop punk has a new standard bearer. Thoughtful and observant of the times, the Southend outfit have channelled their inner Martin Amis.
8. She Drew The Gun – Revolution of the Mind
Lyrics with the power of Irvine Welsh meet their synths and psyche music head on for their best work yet.
7. Johnny Marr – Call The Comet
Johnny. Johnny. Johnny fucking Marr!
6. DMA's – For Now
The Sydney outfit have honed their La's meets the spirit of The Enemy to pop perfection.
5. Get Cape Wear Cape Fly – Young Adults
Priced out of the city and forced to return home, Duckworth's song writing has hit a career high. Strummer-esque polemic is given a poetical turn to great effect.
4. Shame – Songs of Praise
Such evanescent guitar playing combining with a venomous but heartfelt vocal delivery. They maybe 4th here but, our suspicions are that, Shame will go further than most.
3. Suede – The Blue Hour
It may be their third album post-comeback but, now it feels like they are back in the hearts of the nation once more. Outsiders young and old have a voice once more.
2. IDLES – Joy As An Act of Resistance
Desolation and gut wrenching despair has never been delivered with so much love.
1. The Blinders – Columbia
With the next generation about to be royally fucked, thank god for the punkadelic revolution being led by the Doncaster trio. Dark, warped and scathingly brilliant.