I am famously awful at keeping up with new releases. I know, for someone who claims music to be one of the biggest parts of her life I’m a bit useless. I just listen to way too much stuff now; gone are the days of being 14 and refusing to listen to anything without guitars in. I float aimlessly between rock and pop, grunge and grime, metal and indie, aiming to find the best bits of each.
2018 has been an absolute belter of a year for new releases so far. Gigs have taken a backseat, paving the way for some truly striking new albums. Let’s take a look.
Pray for the Wicked – Panic! At The Disco
Allow me to be a bit of a dick for a minute – it’s no I Write Sins… is it? I don’t even always long for the emo days; Death of a Bachelor was and still is a huge hit for me. I’m just not seeing the same strong voice and emotion in this album. I can still see the lyrical creativity we know and love in songs like Roaring 20s, and (Fuck a) Silver Lining will always be a bop, but in reality it’s an album made for the mainstream. Maybe I’m just being nostalgic and a little pompous, but god I miss the old days. Perhaps it’ll grow on me, perhaps it won’t, but for now at least Pray for the Wicked isn’t the album for me.
If you listen to anything, listen to Hey Look Ma, I Made It and Roaring 20s
Staying at Tamara’s – George Ezra
This has to be up there in the best pop albums of the last ten years. It’s fresh, summery and feel-good, supported by a continually unique vocal. However much I hear these songs on the radio, they’re not getting old, something which pop is often tainted by. They’re the kind of songs that make you want to dance, fall in love, have adventures with your friends and party. I cannot wait to see some of these hits live at Truck Festival next weekend.
If you listen to anything, listen to Hold My Girl, Pretty Shining People and Shotgun
Knowing What You Know Now – Marmozets
Marmozets are quite possibly my favourite modern metal band, and this album proves that. I’d argue it’s less heavy than the last, but considering it’s only their second album this kind of musical diversity is still to be expected, and definitely suits them. The album is the perfect balance of fast-paced energy in songs like Major System Error and quieter appraisals of the band’s ability to take it slow in songs like Me & You. I also really appreciate a move into the political with a dip into working-class culture in Like A Battery, something which I hope to see more of from Marmozets.
If you listen to anything, listen to Like A Battery, Lost in Translation and Run With The Rhythm
A Dying Machine – Tremonti
I’m still gutted I had to work for Tremonti’s most recent Glasgow date, because I’m beginning to think this album is my favourite to date. It’s a concept album following a story, which gives the album a cohesiveness I’ve never seen before from the band. The breakdowns are tight, guitars big as always, and Mark Tremonti’s vocal development appears to have reached a new level. Along with their support spot for Iron Maiden, 2018 is looking like Tremonti’s year.
If you listen to anything, listen to Throw Them To The Lions and Trust
Kindness is the New Rock and Roll – Peace
Here lies the reason why I bought a Thursday entry ticket for Truck Festival. This album confirms Peace’s place at the forefront of indie rock, taking a more guitar-filled approach to their music than ever before. Everything from the huge vocal of Power to the intricate intro of Angel confirms this as a huge album for this sphere of music. Peace’s development is fantastic to see, and I’m excited to see where they go next.
If you listen to anything, listen to You Don’t Walk Away From Love, Kindness is the New Rock and Roll and From Under Liquid Glass
Combat Sports – The Vaccines
The Vaccines have been a background band for so many years for me, never really appearing at the forefront of my listening habits but never fully leaving them. Combat Sports has changed that. It builds upon their former releases, meaning it satisfies my need for a perfect balance between progression and keeping a similar sound. Filled with big festival-style songs like Nightclub and slower, sexier songs like Young American (which I think may be one of my favourite songs of all time), this album does not disappoint.
If you listen to anything, listen to Young American, I Can’t Quit and Rolling Stones
Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life – The Wombats
The Wombats have to win the award for most relatable title right? The band have come a long way since the very teenage approach to life featured in Proudly Present…, meaning for me this album represents a real maturity we didn’t see much of from the band until now. That said, we still get our fix of party lifestyle lyrics in Lethal Combination, along with their classic relatableness in I Don’t Know Why I Like You But I Do. It’s perhaps not as much of a festival album as their past music, but this is a welcome change for me.
If you listen to anything, listen to Lethal Combination, Turn and I Only Wear Black
Megaplex – We Are Scientists
What better way to end than with my most anticipated album of the year, Megaplex. We Are Scientists have a special place in my heart and my past, meaning I couldn’t help but be a little bit disappointed with this album. My main issue is with the overuse of synths. I don’t think they particularly add anything to the band’s sound, and take away from some of the authenticity we know and love. But, if I’m honest, I’m being overly picky here, and lusting for the days of With Love and Squalor. I still think they’re one of the most underrated bands in rock, and wouldn’t hesitate to see them live again.
If you listen to anything, listen to Your Light Has Changed, KIT and Now or Never
How are we only 6.5 months in? I’m now patiently awaiting tours following these albums, as well as the other new releases coming up from As It Is, Emma Blackery and Twenty One Pilots to name but a few. Or, maybe I’ll go full time metalhead and ignore them all. Only time will tell…
-Megan, listening to inventively titled playlist “Pissed in a Field” (it’s my Truck Fest favourites; I’m way too excited)