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The Best Punk Rock Albums of 2018

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Since no one releases albums this late into the year (and anyone that does is dumb), I felt it was time to look back on some of my favourite punk rock releases of the year. With 2018 continuing to diversify and expand the limits of punk rock and its ongoing influence on music throughout the world, the style and scene continues to put out some absolutely stellar releases. From garage, hardcore, skater thrash and just good old punk rock, here’s just some of the excellent releases under the punk umbrella this year. And yes, as always, there’s going to be a million excellent albums that I will have overlooked, so please let me know what I have missed.

Screaming Females – All At Once

Their first record since 2015’s Rose Mountain takes form as the band’s second double album, repeating the genre exploration and long-winded musical journey of their 2012 record Ugly. A massive step-up from the stripped back and mostly unmemorable previous effort (apart from their best song ‘Criminal Image’) All At Once brings the band back to the peak of their powers. One of the tightest and hardest touring bands in current punk rock, Screaming Females continue to be at the top of their game, with their signature over-the-top guitar riffs and driving rhythm section.

C.H.E.W – Feeding Frenzy

The debut full-length from this Chicago fastcore unit is absolutely ripping, with enough blast beats and d-beat thrashings to please any power-violence nerd. While rooted in West Coast influenced PV and thrashcore, the record slides into Albini-style noise rock in parts, doing just enough to break up the chaos (admittedly with a different kind of chaos). Recommended for all.

Civic – New Vietnam

One of the best garage punk bands to come out of the exceptionally fertile Melbourne scene in recent times, Civic’s debut LP New Vietnam is an outstanding release of trashy yet musically solid punk rock. Taking cues from garage standards like Eddy Current Suppression Ring, the band twists it with a strong proto-punk rock influence, with many tracks not sounding out of place in early 1970s Detroit. Despite the noisy garage outer layer, strong melody runs through the whole record, solidifying the sound that Melbourne does best.

War On Women – Capture the Flag

Fusing the fast thrash metal influenced tech-punk of bands like Propagandhi with the outspoken feminist politics of Bikini Kill, Baltimore’s War On Women returned stronger than ever on their second full-length. The improvements over their 2015 debut are clear, no doubt a combination of the band’s relentless touring, but also the tumultuous political and social climate of the last three years informing the band’s lyrics and energy. This is one record that absolutely shreds. Catch them in early 2019 on their debut Australian tour with Download Festival.