Top 10 Albums/EP’s That DID NOT Suck in 2018

14563720298_b09dbcf0e4_b

Another year has come and gone, oh gawd. The earth thawed, I got engaged, the leaves got green, the air got warm, I drove to California, my car broke down, I drove back, my car broke down again, my province burned down, then it cooled off, the leaves turned brown and died and fell to the ground and, along with my spirit, those leaves turned into a dirty brown pulp, it rained, it rained, a new niece was born and it rained. Now it’s all over, and if you’re wondering what I did in between all that, you’re looking at it. I spent probably 4 hours each day listening to new releases. The ones that don’t get a lot of exposure. The ones that get lost in the shit-storm that is new music in 2018. I’m trying guys, I’m trying to find the good stuff. It’s hard, but it’s worth it. There’s A LOT of music to go digging though, but I hope I’ve brought a tiny bit of a spotlight on to these bands because, in my opinion (and hopefully yours too), they deserve some recognition. I wish all of you music nerds luck in finding something you truly treasure in this list. I hope The Doesn’t Suck is becoming a valued resource for new music for you all. Please come back and find more new bands and weird music and senseless ramblings. Good luck in 2019 everybody. May you find all of the unsuckiest albums in the year ahead.

laverne yarrowLaverne – Yarrow [Buy it on Amazon!]
This is my favourite new band from 2018 and yes, they’re from my city, but I assure you this is not a case of blatant localism. Blatant awesomeism is more like it. I should just end this whole thing right there. I honestly don’t think I can top that line. It’s all going to be downhill from here friends. That was my best material. My sincerest apologies to all the other bands on this list. You’re write-ups are going to be, in a word, dismal compared to this one. I really loaded this thing in heavy from the front end. That’s how we roll in the greatest city on earth, bar none. Go Canucks Go!   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

vacant company decolonize epVacant Company – Decolonize EP [Buy it on Amazon!]
It was way back in January when All This Will Be by Closer came out, and I first predicted it would be a good year for hardcore. Since then I’ve been proven right on multiple occasions by multiple killer releases, but none nearly as killer as this. Truth is, it’s not even fair to just slap the hardcore label on this one. These guys are unearthing all kinds of sonic discoveries. They’re like explorers seeking out new civilizations in the Amazon of punk rock. The irony that this album is called Decolonize is not lost on me here. Look, there’s not a lot of room left to establish new styles in music these days. Vacant Company is doing it though, so please take notice.   Listen on Bandcamp

dim it feels like homeDim – It Feels like Home [Buy it on Amazon!]
This came out in July, the same month as Vacant Company’s Decolonize, which is the only reason it wasn’t the best release that month. July was good for new releases. Even the 3rd best album that month just narrowly missed the top 10 this year. Half of North America was choking on wildfire smoke last summer and Dim was just making matters worse. You know, because this EP was straight fire son! You know what, I thought I had run out of good material but here we are. I’ve done it again. Writing like this doesn’t just happen you know. Seriously though, listen to track one without having your ass blown off. Go ahead, see if you can do it.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

balsamic cigarette put a fork in itBalsamic Cigarette – Put A Fork In It [Buy it on Amazon!]
You can put a fork in this as many times as you want, it’s never going to be done for me. You can put a fucking pitch fork in this thing and it’s still gonna slap your ass off. This is the most punk rock thing I’ve heard all year. It’s a snarky, mouthy little shit of a protest record. No other release this year feels as reactionary and oppositional to American bullshit as this does. Like I said, it was a good year for hardcore. Maybe because it was such a shitty year to be a human.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

bucolic old castleBucolic – Old Castle
I’ve been listening to this a lot lately. When this came out I liked it and then I sort of forgot about it. Thank Jeezis I went back and revisited this because it’s quickly become my chill-out album for 2018. This is what I put on after a stressful day of work to tune out all the noise that is life. Nothing calms the nerves quite like fizzy bedroom lo-fi. These songs are a warm bath for people who don’t take baths. Baths are pretty gross if you think about it. I mean what are you doing? You’re sitting there naked in a tub. Grow up.   Listen on Bandcamp

apsurd derealizacijaApsurd – Derealizacija
Hey! Seriously grow up! Get out of the bath! It’s time for more hardcore! Oh man this pounds. I love this so much. I think this is the third time I’ve mentioned this record in the past 3 months. I keep yelling these lyrics out loud at random times throughout my day. What I assume to be the lyrics anyway. I have no idea how to pronounce these words or what they mean. I don’t even know what language this is. Is it Croatian? Is it Bosnian? Is it Serbian? Are those all the same fucking thing? I don’t know! Who cares!? WOOOOOO!!! Actually, I do care. If anyone knows please get in touch with me.   Listen on Bandcamp

human people butterflies drink turtle tearsHuman People – Butterflies Drink Turtle Tears
[Buy it on Amazon!]
You know what? Butterflies do drink turtle tears. That’s some real life nature shit. I looked it up. Pretty sick right? Human people are sick too but don’t let that tarnish your opinion of this band. Is this getting confusing? Look, human people are gross. Non-human people? Also gross. Human People the band? Fabulous! Are we clear now? This album is a crash at the intersection of snotty indie rock and twitchy garage punk. This is one car fire you don’t want to put out. It’s a car fire guys! Gather ’round, warm your hands. Don’t breath it in though.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

the mustard tigers thanks for the toastThe Mustard Tigers – Thanks For The Toast
When I first heard this I loved it but it definitely didn’t strike me as a top-10-of-the-year type album. The more I listen to it though, the more helpless I am against it. It’s just too green, too much of a perfectly captured example of juvenile vitality to be ignored. This band of Wisconsin kids was only together for 2 years or so, and I have a feeling this is every song they ever wrote. Crudely recorded, and brutally performed in the most perfectly-unrefined way. If you were a teenager going to punk shows in the 90’s, this is going to be a glut of nostalgia for you. I know the band is done but I hope these guys cherish this album forever.   Listen on Bandcamp

see more glass tomorrowSee More Glass – Tomorrow
I swear not every album with ‘Seymour Glass’, or some variation of that name in the title gets to be in the top 10. To be fair last year it was an album called Seymour Glass and this year it’s the name of the band. Two very different sounding albums, for what it’s worth. These guys are leaning a little more to the pulsating postiepunkie side of things. Also they’re from Germany and the other band was from the U.S I think. I’m not too sure, the album has since been removed anyway. Technically this is a re-release of an album that came out in 2016, but whatever, I didn’t hear it till this year and chances are you didn’t either. Moving on!   Listen on Bandcamp

new speedway total babeNew Speedway – Total Babe [Buy it on Amazon!]
I think it’s only fair to mention that it was down to this album, and an awesome math album called Rough Edges by Bad Shapes, for the final spot on this list. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I had to go with New Speedway because it’s just faultless shoegaze. This album is big and has big bleary songs and the vocals are hardly above the surface. Perfect! It sounds like the 90’s or the 80’s maybe. Both I guess, but somehow current through and through. The shoegaze revival has been going on for a while now. A lot of bands are doing this genre, and not a lot of them are getting it right. Take notes rookie shoegazers. This is how it’s done.   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

ENDNOTES:
Hey, so if you found something you like on this list here’s what you should do:
Support these bands in any way you can, even if that means just telling your friends about them; Share this blog-post on your social media so others can discover these bands for themselves; Check out The Best Songs That Didn’t Suck in 2018 for more killer bands; Dig through the SCRAP HEAP for a mesmerizing amount of high quality releases from the past 2 years; Read this whole fucking blog; Write to me! Tell me stories! Share your opinions! Psychoanalyze me! I’ll post it! doesntsuck604@gmail.com ; Follow me on twitter & or Facebook for regular updates and other weird stuff; Keep fighting the good fight; That is all. See you next year.

Best Songs That Didn’t Suck in 2018

4359524129_6cf50b0bfb_b (1)

I realized after typing these up that this years top 5 is pretty punk-centric compared to last years, which was a bit more mellow. I promise you however, that if you’re a fan of the blog, there is something in here for you. I’ve decided to include a whole pile of great tunes in addition to the top 5, so give them all a listen. You probably haven’t heard most of these songs. (I mean I hope you haven’t cuz I look way cooler that way). If you like a song, go check out the band responsible for it and show your support. Also!: Make sure you come back for the Top 10 ALBUMS of 2018 in a few days. Follow me on twitter or facebook or subscribe by email to get notified! Links are all over there, in that direction roughly, maybe up a bit —->

Idles – Danny Nedelko [Buy it on Amazon!]
Everyone decides their own song of the year, but for me it needs to be this. An anthem of unity and sameness in the face of partition. I could have said the same thing last year, or the year before, probably any year ever. The fact is, songs like this are always needed. It’s uplifting, it’s energizing, it’s empowering, it’s made of you, it’s made of me. It’s unity and we can dance to it.

Balsamic Cigarette – Country Song [Buy it on Amazon]
The source of inspiration for this one may align with that of Danny Nedelko, but in the spirit of hardcore punk, there is nothing subtle about this, and it is not meant to be uplifting at all. This is the what-we’re-all-thinking-but-not-necessarily-saying song. This is the musical equivalent of a rotten egg being hurled at the trump tower. This is punk rock satire meets dead-pan hardcore. If you’re wondering how that’s even possible, all you have to do is listen.

The Apartment Club – Bad/New
Settling into something a bit more fleshy and fine-spun, this is the bleeding heart of the year. Smooth and emotional with a righteous build up, this is the song you can really get lost in, and excuse me while I throw up because I’m starting to sound like a music journalist.

Briscoe – House Show
If you remember my top 10 albums from last year, you know I was (and for the record, still am) obsessed with this band. At the time I wasn’t sure if their album was from a currently active band, or if it was a relic from the past someone posted on bandcamp. This November I was delightfully surprised to see that they posted a couple new songs. The band still remains a bit of a mystery to me but at least I know they’re making new music, and this song re-enforces my infatuation with them. I can only hope there’s more to come in 2019.

The Apparents – Nothing Is Set In Stone
Alright back to the uplifting stuff. This is just vintage UK punk rock from Scotland. No bells, no whistles, just that classic sound with classic vocals and that classic working soul that can’t be faked. It is often faked though, and that’s why this particular genre is easy to overlook, but there are still guys like this doing it justice. If you work hard for a living without much to show for it, this is your on-your-way-to-work song. Turn it up in your car or in your headphones and gut it out for another day. Life can suck you guys, but don’t forget how lucky we are that it doesn’t suck a whole lot more.

And here are the runners up:

























Top 5 Albums/EP’s That DONT Suck [FEBRUARY 2018]

bucolic old castle southampton lofi dream pop 2018Bucolic – Old Castle
Enjoy these warm soothing melodies while you can because the rest of this months list is pretty harsh. I’ll try to ease you into it though. Whatever you do, don’t listen to this and then skip to the last album. Whoa! Actually, on second thought, you should do that. It’ll be like the sonic equivalent of jumping out of the hot tub and into the snow. Am I saying this album by Bucolic is a hot tub? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. The jets aren’t on though, ok. It’s not that bubbly in here. It’s kind of a sad hot tub. It’s good though. You like it. Don’t fall asleep or you’ll miss out on all of these beautiful songs, and also you could drown and/or slowly cook yourself.  Listen on Bandcamp

camp cope how to socialize and make friends melbourne indie punk australia 2018Camp Cope – How To Socialize & Make Friends
Not to be confused with the Screeching Weasel album How To Make Enemies And Irritate People. Two very different albums. Don’t get them mixed up or you’ll have a very different outcome. 35 years and I still need spellcheck to tell me how to spell ‘different’ twice in a row (make that 3 times). Moving on.. It’s just one of those words for me you know. Ok seriously, moving on. Camp Cope is a force. Lets just be clear on that. This album isn’t for the mild-mannered. It’s blunt, like an object one could be concussed by. You’re gonna wanna get hit over the head with this one though. I think everyone should get hit over the head with this. If you don’t like getting hit over the head with things, hey, what can I tell ya pal. This has been a music reviewListen on Bandcamp

ventrikills little rock indie rock arkansas 2018Ventrikills – S/T
Someone, at some point along the way, decided that indie as a genre could mean just about anything. To that person, whoever you are, I say, way to go jerk. For those of you who remember what the original indie sounded like, this should go down quite smoothly for you. You know, cuz it’s made with prickly guitars and scratchy stuff, mmm! There are no 808’s or Casiotones in the conversation here. Look, I’m gonna level with you. This write-up isn’t really turning out the way I hoped, and there’s no way I’m starting over. Lets just switch gears. Ventrikills is a cool name for a band huh? Sometimes bands with really cool names put out really crappy albums. That isn’t the case here. These guys can’t even make a crappy song. Before listening, warm you ears up by dropping all of your cutlery into the kitchen sink from a height.  Listen on Bandcamp

turnstile time and space baltimore NYHC maryland 2018Turnstile – Time & Space
These guys have been on my to-see-live list for a while now. Here’s hoping that works out for me someday, but in the meantime, I’ll just do some mental slam-dancing to their new LP. I mean, couldn’t we all use a little more Time & Space? Last month I asked if this was going to be a good year for Hardcore. I think I’ve got my answer now. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to become a Hardcore blog, but when credit is due, credit is due. This thing is due due and it smells delicious. There’s a lot of hype surrounding this album and I think it’s warranted. They continue to break the mold but without losing that core sound, that NYHC sound.. It’s undeniable, just lurking on every track like the ghost of Harley Flanagan. Oh wait, he’s not dead.  Listen on Spotify

balsamic cigarette put a fork in it clemson punk south carolina hardcore 2018Balsamic Cigarette – Put A Fork In It
I have bad news for you all -Just because the world is going extra-hard down the shitter right now, doesn’t mean there’s going to be a punk revival. Sorry, it’s not going to be late 70’s London all over again, or even early 80’s DC. The days of big movements in music are long gone, never to return unless someone shuts off the internet. There is something happening right now though, and it does hark back a little to the glory days. The angry punk coming out now has a heightened sense of aggression and urgency- ei) Balsamic Cigarette. All you have to do is listen to this while you think about the current state of affairs and you’ll see what I mean. Certainly the ballsiest thing I’ve heard this year. It’s like when the Beastie Boys were a hardcore band -equally as goofy but much angrier, and a little bit rappier. Yes, rappier! If you’re not feeling this right away, at least listen to track 4, Country Song. It’s the most ratfuck thing I’ve heard in 2018. Big up to all the punks doin’ their thing in the dirty south.  Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify