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

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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
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
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
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
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
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
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.

Top 5 Albums/EP’s That DON’T Suck [OCTOBER 2018]

apsurd DerealizacijaApsurd – Derealizacija
I’m so stoked on this band, this is the second time in a month they’ve been featured on The Doesn’t Suck. Chances are you’ve been sleepin’ pretty heavily on Serbia. I’ll admit, I have been too, so let this be an alarm clock to us all. Serbia has more than just vampires and paprika goddammit. Serbia has vampires? I thought that was Romania.. No! It’s Serbia too ok. Educate yourself for Jesus Christs sake. This is possibly my favourite hardcore album of 2018, so far, and there is some stiff competition out there. I read on their bandcamp page that this is influenced by the former Yugoslavia hardcore scene.. Cool! No wonder it sounds so vital. To me it seems stripped right down. Just straight up hardcore. No bells and/or whistles, maybe a couple interesting guitar solos. Nice and fast and relentless. If you’re a hardcore purist, maybe this is exactly what you’re craving. Maybe you’re also craving tacos. I know I am.   Listen on Bandcamp

strange ranger how it all went byStrange Ranger – How It All Went By
Well it’s no secret, I’m basically perma-boned on Strange Ranger and have been since they had a cooler name and made better music. It’s ok though, because even the watered down version of Sioux Falls is better than almost any current band out there. And let’s be clear, when I say “current” I’m not including those on-again off-again bands that are still touring 25 years after they peaked. Wow! Why am I being so mean? I’m sorry. I just got myself into a bad mood somehow. Look, I like this EP a lot. It’s a little more Rot Forever and a little less Daymoon. Loved Daymoon, but I hope they stay on this trajectory cuz let’s face it, Rot Forever was one of the best albums of the decade. And if you don’t agree with that then you need to brush up your music listening skills pal! Wow! This rage inside of me.. Where is this coming from? Get off my back! Get me a Pepsi! YOU’RE THE ONE THAT’S CRAZY! *runs into the streets and starts howling at the moon* Oh wait that’s a street light. *goes back inside and continues watching Jeopardy*   Listen on Bandcamp or Spotify

the mustard tigers thanks for the toastThe Mustard Tigers – Thanks For The Toast
Erf! It’s so promising to hear young bands out now doing punk that captures the spirit so perfectly of the stuff I grew up listening to in the 90’s. I guess these Mustard Tigers guys actually broke up last year, so not as promising as I thought maybe, but comforting nonetheless. What’s equally awesome is the way they recorded this album; Live in the studio in 4 hours, just like every great punk album should be. Snotty as hell too. The whole album reeks of an unkept teenage bedroom. You know that Febreeze commercial (shout out to Febreeze), where the mom is like “You need to clean this room” and the kid’s like “CLEAN IT?” … (uh yeah,fuckin’ clean it kid. What don’t you understand?) Then at the end some girls come over and they’re all “Damn boi! This room smells clean as hell! Time for you to lose your virginity!” It’s a pretty scientific commercial. What were we talking about?   Listen on Bandcamp

neds total disasterNeds – Total Disaster
Neds is the name of the band, which means (as any logical person would assume) that all the members of this band are named Ned, which (as any educated person knows) is short for Alfned. Wow, hey, what are you doing? You don’t need to google this. I already did the research pal. Moving on.. These Alfneds, are really dishing out some solid sing-along-able indie punk; Right off the medieval streets of Rennes France. All the songs are in English but with noticeable accents that make it sound twice as rad. Look, for all I know, ‘Neds’ means something totally different in France. Maybe it’s not even a name. Is that really any of my business though? Maybe it is. I don’t know. What’s with all the questions?   Listen on Bandcamp

Basement benders schrapnel songsBasement Benders – Shrapnel Songs
Straight outta Chattanooga Tennessee (Home of.. umm.. choo choo trains?) The Basement Benders are back, so get ready to rock! Seriously, if you’re not ready to rock, this album is going to be a very strenuous experience for you. How does one prepare oneself for a’rockin’ though? Good question friend. It’s a three step process: Step 1. Stretch your back and groin. Step 2. Apply deodorant liberally. Step 3. Do a little practice rocking before the real thing. Now you’re ready to flat-out rock. Proceed with complete abandon. Supposedly this band has members of This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb, which explains the awesomeness. Also I’m hoping if they’re reading this, maybe they can offer some insight into a post I did a while ago (see previous link) about a Pipe Bomb show in Asheville NC. That would be great. Or not, that’s cool too. Whatever. I don’t even care. Fine then! YOU’RE THE ONE THAT’S CRAZY!   Listen on Bandcamp

ENDNOTES: Welp, October is over which means I’m another year older and still living under the same ethos as always: Don’t resist change, don’t lose touch, don’t get left behind. That goes for the music I listen to, and also everything else in life. I was reading The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells last night and in one passage he used the N-word, just totally nonchalantly like it was the most normal thing ever. It got me thinking: Thank god the world has changed since 1897, and people don’t just openly talk like that anymore (well at least most of us know that it’s wrong now). What I’m trying to get at is, things have to change. Words and schools of thought are going to be taken away from us, and we can’t be defensive about it. We can’t be protective of it. We have to let it go. Someday, in the not too distant future, we’re going to look back at a lot of the things we said and did in the 90’s and 2000’s and we’re going to see it the same way I saw the N-word in The Invisible Man: We didn’t realize how ignorant we were at the time, but it’s a good thing we changed our ways.

As always, I hope you enjoy the albums I’m finding. I hope this is the new music resource of your dreams, and I hope you continue to seek out weird music and find new bands. Do not forget to check the Scrap Heap for all the other killer releases I found along the way. This month I’m leaving you with a music video for one of my favourite songs of 2018, including lyrics. Amazing lyrics! And the IDLES Joy As An Act Of Resistance LP has one of my all-time favourite album covers. Hope you enjoy!

My blood brother is an immigrant – A beautiful immigrant
My blood brother’s Freddie Mercury – A Nigerian mother of three
He’s made of bones, he’s made of blood He’s made of flesh,
he’s made of love, He’s made of you, he’s made of me, Unity
Fear leads to panic, panic leads to pain – Pain leads to anger, anger leads to hate
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, ah, ah, ah, ah, Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, ah, ah, ah, ah, Danny Nedelko!
My best friend is an alien (I know him, and he is) – My best friend is a citizen
He’s strong, he’s earnest, he’s innocent
My blood brother is Malala – A Polish butcher, he’s Mo Farah
He’s made of bones, he’s made of blood, He’s made of flesh,
he’s made of love, he’s made of you, he’s made of me, Unity
Fear leads to panic, panic leads to pain – Pain leads to anger, anger leads to hate
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, ah, ah, ah, ah, Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, ah, ah, ah, ah, Danny Nedelko!