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October 2020

The Best of 2018: 20-11

Check out part four of our albums of the year rundown, featuring Waterparks, Of Mice & Men, mewithoutYou and more.
Published: 5:00 pm, December 31, 2018
The Best of 2018: 20-11

It's December, which means it's that time of year where everyone you know thrusts a list of their albums of the year at you and demands instant approval. Your mates at Upset are no different. We've raided the archives, checked out score sheets, and picked out fifty of our favourite records from the past twelve months. 

You can find the full run down in our new issue, out now, or check them off right here on Today, it's numbers 20 to 11. If you missed the first instalment, you can find it herethe second here, and the third here.

The Best of 2018: 20-11
20. Gouge Away
Burnt Sugar

Gouge Away’s ‘Burnt Sugar’ is a brutally heavy affair. Unforgiving, relentless and energetic, it vents and bears its anxiety-riddled self with a reckless abandon. Despite the weight, the record skips with a hard-fought freedom. Moments of glitter and grit stand side by side as the band scream into the void and smile at the fact they’re still standing. Ali Shutler

The Best of 2018: 20-11
19. Nervus
Everything Dies

Nervus’ debut, ‘Permanent Rainbow’ shone; written by Em Foster when she was at her lowest it offered the release she needed and the four-piece a shimmering glow of promise. Nearly two years on, and the Watford upstarts take on a far more optimistic tone. The best thing about ‘Everything Dies’ is that it’s just the start of something brilliant. Danny Randon

The Best of 2018: 20-11
18. Camp Cope
How To Socialise And Make Friends

Camp Cope are a rare and beautiful gift. As one of the best bands to have risen up from down under in years, the Melbourne trio find poetic brilliance in straight-up refusing to hide behind metaphors. 'How To Socialise...' is an album which will grow on you to the point of obsession. Danny Randon

The Best of 2018: 20-11
17. Waterparks

It’s not just Awsten Knight’s ability to connect on the widest possible scale that fuels Waterparks' rocket ship, but it sure has hell helps. It’s a presence that runs throughout second album ‘Entertainment’ - a record that sparkles with star dust at every turn. Take the Patrick Stump-esque opening blast of ‘Blonde’, the carefree whistles of ‘Peach (Lobotomy)’ and the carefully pulled heartstrings of ‘Lucky People’ - each lifted magpie-like, but blended into a cohesive whole. The parts used are only half the craft - it’s the way they put them together that supercharges their ascent. Every sideswipe or piece of wordplay lands, every hook sticking like glue. True originality is great, but it’s far from everything. Waterparks understand their world well enough to build within it far more effectively than they ever could by leaving it behind. Stephen Ackroyd

The Best of 2018: 20-11
16. Culture Abuse
Bay Dream

”Be kind to yourself,” beg Culture Abuse on ‘Bee Kind To The Bugs’, as the track shimmies and sways. The band have followed up a debut record that found itself surrounded by broken glass, scorched earth and not a whole lot of light with a wild haze that oozes summer nights. As their dreams come true, the band throw themselves into every opportunity. Bold is an understatement. Ali Shutler

The Best of 2018: 20-11
15. Of Mice & Men

“I defy this hopelessness,” reverberates around your eardrums on the titular opener of Of Mice & Men’s fifth album, their first without Austin Carlile. Bringing back the blend of brisk brutality, raucous riffs, and arena-ready choruses, ‘Defy’ showcases a band who’ve been to the brink and fought every inch of the way back, bigger and better than ever. Jack Press

The Best of 2018: 20-11
14. Conjurer

Initial promise following the band’s second EP back in 2016 has turned into a tsunami of attention - every bit of it deserved. Metal that paints itself in varied hues, the sheer creativity shown on 'Mire', for a band on their first album, is astounding. That it still feels like there’s further potential to be realised is nothing short of stunning. Dan Harrison

The Best of 2018: 20-11
13. mewithoutYou

As weird as ever, Aaron Weiss’ instantly recognisable vocal is the glue that holds ‘[Untitled]’ together. Drawing from all corners of their sonic universe, opener ‘9:27 a.m., 7/29’ opens at pace, while lead track ‘Julia (or ‘Holy to the LORD’ on the Bells of Horses)’ finds a hugely satisfying groove. This is mwY at the peak of their powers. Dan Harrison

The Best of 2018: 20-11
12. Rolo Tomassi
Time Will Die And Love Will Bury It

In what could prove to be their most pivotal release since 2010’s Diplo-produced ‘Cosmology’, Rolo Tomassi’s fifth album teeters ever so masterfully on that line between beautiful and blisteringly heavy. They continue to be one of the UK’s most unpredictable bands; it’s about time for them to have their moment of greatness. Danny Randon

The Best of 2018: 20-11
11. Bury Tomorrow
Black Flame

On ‘Black Flame', Bury Tomorrow make the leap from wallpaper veterans to institutional superstars. From the arena-ready hook of the title track to the two-minute knockout of ‘Knife Of Gold' which threatens to drift off into melodic death metal territory, its ten tracks are of the finest vintage, sounding evermore important after each and every listen. Jack Press

Taken from the December 2018 / January 2019 edition of Upset. Order a copy below.

December 2018 / January 2019
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