Best of 2018 - Dan Donald's Picks (Cover Artwork)

Best of 2018

Dan Donald's Picks (2018)

Staff Picks

My name is Dan and welcome to my 2018 year end list! 2018 has been another great year for music, and I am looking forward to sharing my favorite releases with the ever loyal Punk News constant reader. So, without more blather – here it is! As always, enjoy.

20. High on Fire: Electric Messiah

entertainment one music

It is always tough for me to narrow down this list, but someone had to take spot #20. Electric Messiah is another addition to the already impressive High On Fire catalogue. You like drone, dbeats, and THC-bred story telling? Look no further.

19. MxPx: MxPx

Global Enterprises

Cheesy? Most definitely. Nostalgic? Yup. If you ever enjoyed MxPx you won't be disappointed.

18. Jon Creeden and The Flying Hellish: Stall

Dead broke rekerds/my fingers!

Jon Creeden was great on his own acoustically, so I had high hopes for his debut LP with a full band. It does not disappoint. Gruff punk rock from Canada, don't sleep on it.

17. Vein: Errorzone

closed casket activities

Nu-metal is back. You can dress it up however you want, but nu-metal is nu-metal - and It was not bad. ooooooooh ah ah aah aaaah.

16. Lost Avenue: Fears

Little Rocket Records

New music is always a good thing, especially when it comes from 3 english lads that love what they are doing. Gruff old school Green Day feels all over this one.

15. Cancer Bats: The Spark That Moves

Bat Skull/new damage

Another hardworking and long standing Canadian band makes the list. The Spark That Moves came out unannounced, no singles, no hype, no press. I respect that. Oh, and the album is solid as well.

14. Foxing: Nearer My God

Triple Crown Records

2018 was the first year I had heard Foxing and I was impressed. The band pumps out indie rock hooks in a post-hardcore package, and Nearer My God remained steady in my rotation since its release.

13. Cloud Nothings: Last Building Burning

carpark records

Cloud Nothings backtrack with a more pronounced punk-rock influence with Last Building Burning. The indie rock hooks remain, but the over all product comes in a pretty raw and distorted package.

12. Soccer Mommy: Clean

Fat Possum Records

Another great acoustic/singer-songwriter album. This record was a pleasant surprise for me this year. FFO: Well written and sad acoustic music.

11. Face to Face: Hold Fast (Acoustic Sessions)


See in above blurb - I have a serious soft spot for acoustic stuff, so it was a no-brainer for me when Face To Face reimagined some of my favorite songs acoustically. Check it out.

10. The Story So Far: Proper Dose

Pure Noise Records

There are a lot of opinions floating around about TSSF's most recent LP. I can understand the criticism, but for me, the progression outweighs the style change. The songs are memorable and catchy and definitely worth a listen.

9. Boston Manor: Welcome To The Neighbourhood

Pure Noise Records

Another example of a band that pushed themselves out of the typical mainstream pop-punk umbrella. The added elements of post-hardcore and droning distortion pushed this one into my top 10.

8. Glassjaw: Material Control

Century Media

Following a significantly long break, Long Island's Glassjaw effortlessly produce a great follow up to 2002's Worship And Tribute. Easily one of the best releases of the year.

7. Drug Church: Cheer

Pure Noise Records

2018 has been a big year for Pure Noise Records. This band just keeps getting better. I probably would have argued that I preferred End of a Year before this - now I'm not so sure.

6. Nothing: Dance On The Blacktop

Relapse Records

Nothing has been consistently releasing quality alternative/shoe gaze style rock for the last several years. Dance On The Blacktop is a solid record front to back, and could easily be enjoyed by both metal, punk rock and alternative music fans alike. Another great release for a band that continues to hit their stride.

5. The Wonder Years: Sister Cities

Hopeless Records

The Wonder Years push themselves to grow and adapt with each record. Sister Cities is the bands most matured and organic record to date. The songs are meaningful and memorable, and have the band officially breaking out of their previous pop-punk mold.

4. Alkaline Trio: Is This Thing Cursed?

Epitaph Records

A3 can do no wrong, and Is This Thing Cursed? is very far from wrong. One of my most anticipated albums of 2018, and it definitely did not disappoint.

3. Basement: Beside Myself

Fueled By Ramen Records

One of the most thoughtful records of the year. Easily one of the best of 2018.

2. A Vulture Wake: The Appropriate Level of Outrage

bird attack

Sean Sellers, Chad Price, Joe Raposo - seems like a no brainer. A Vulture Wake is my 2018 super-band. Fast and technical skate punk with one of my favorite All vocalists. Doesn't get much better.

1. Shook Ones: Body Feel

Revelation Records

Here is my album of the year. A fantastic punk rock record with all the right parts aggression and emotion. If you haven't given Shook Ones a shot, you definitely should.