2018: TEN PUNK RECORDS THAT FUELED THE REVOLUTION
By Nathan Leigh
December 24, 2018
2018 has been a fuck of a year. And let’s be frank, we’d rather it be a garbage year for music and see the disillusion of white supremacist Christian hegemonic capitalist cis-hetero patriarchy than get a year of dope tracks, but here we are. But every revolution needs a contemporary soundtrack. This one is ours:
1. The Fever 333, “Made An America”
This may be the only time we’ll ever agree with The Grammys without reservation, because The Fever 333’s “Made An America” is, straight-up, the best song 2018 produced. It’s a fierce shot of truth straight to the cerebellum. The fact that it’s got hooks for days doesn’t hurt, but it still has the ear-splitting post-hardcore intensity with hip-hop nods that earns one of AFROPUNK’s favorite bands a place at the top of the list.
2. Black Pantera, “Punk Rock N*gga Roll”
The Brazillian hardcore band never pulls any punches. Pretty much any track from their 2018 release Agressão deserves a spot on this list, but it’s the non-album single “Punk Rock N*gga Roll” that takes it. It’s a true AFROPUNK anthem, celebrating a history of rebellion and revolution.
3. Danny Denial, “Crises”
Picking one song off Danny Denial’s ambitious punk opera Dead Like Me is a fool’s errand. The whole record slaps, accompanied by a haunting visual that transforms the alienation of being black and queer in the terrifyingly straight-white-male spaces that make up much of the DIY scene into riveting horror.
4. H09909, “Punk Police”
On Cyber Cop [Unauthorized MP3.] the genre-busting Ho99o9 finally translate the magic that’s made them the best live act out there onto a recording. “Punk Police” takes aim at the punker-than-thous who care more about gate-keeping than revolution. So what if you don’t know what the first Subhumans record was? Don’t let anyone tell you how to rage.
5. Pleasure Venom, “Seize”
The back-to-basics, stripped-down rock and roll from Austin act Pleasure Venom has been one of the best things to come out of 2018. The title track to their Seize EP is a pure distillation of what makes them great. Lead singer Audrey Campbell tears it up on the track and leaves no survivors.
6. Radkey, “Rock & Roll Homeschool”
We’ve always got room on our playlist for the Radke brothers. The trio had a hell of a year, dropping a series of singles that blend their knack for indelible pop-punk hooks with driving intensity. The best of the bunch has to be “Rock & Roll Homeschool,” a track that follows in the grand tradition of Atom & His Package “Punk Rock Academy” and The Ramones’ “Rock and Roll High School,” and reinvents it for the homeschool set.
7. Nova Twins, “Hit Girl”
Fuck yes, Nova Twins! Always and forever. The grime-meets-punk duo never ceases to raise the bar. Play this one loud.
8. BLXPLTN, “No English”
The industrial punk band BLXPLTN has been a favorite around these parts since day one, and their latest single is a killer. A jam that portrays Amerikka as a colonialist project, “No English” shuts down the argument about “why don’t they just learn English?” with a list of the crimes against humanity committed in the language. The track leans harder on the punk side of the equation, saving the industrial touches for a breakdown for the ages.
9. Samurai Shotgun, “The Blast”
From that opening noise riff to that epic breakdown, this one of those instant-classics. Frontman Mateo delivers some of his best lines, while Queys single-handedly redeems the roll of DJ in a rock band from its late 90’s drudgery. These guys can’t drop a new full length soon enough.
10. Unlikely Heroes, “Tazzy”
The debut EP by these newcomers was one of the best surprises of 2018. With songs that flip between spaced-out jams, hip-hop, and raw punk rock. “Set the city ablaze and watch the ashes fall down right now” is for sure the mantra of the year.