Andy co-runs TNS Records, played in the now defunct (as of this month) Revenge of the Psychotronic Man and is one of the organisers of the Manchester Punk Festival, which has become a highlight of the calendar year for many people around the world, attracting as it does many big names.
Andy had this to say:
“I’m always useless at writing these lists because if I wrote it another day it could be entirely different. I’m not gonna do a rank order either. So these are just ten 2018 releases that got me excited in 2018. I’ve excluded anything I’ve been involved in releasing.
It has been a strong year. It was hard getting this down to just ten so there are some honourable mentions at the end”.
I can certainly agree that this has been a great year for new releases, and I’m currently boiling my own brain over what I want to include in my own lists. There really is too much to choose from! Anyway, in no particular order…
Kaddish – What World Was Still?
I’m totally blown away by this one. It takes me back to the likes of Million Dead. I was lucky enough to get to see the launch gig in Dundee too. Superb.
The Prodigy – No Tourists
There are some bands I listened to as a teenager whose music I continue to buy in a nostalgic way rather than because it still excites me, but I have to say The Prodigy have tended to be the exception to that rule. So after being a little underwhelmed by ‘The Day Is My Enemy’ I was very pleased that this record was a triumphant return to top form. If I was to pick a record of the year I think I’d go with this one.
Youth Avoiders – Relentless
Probably the most apt album title ever. This is hardcore punk at it’s finest. And we’ve got them coming over for Manchester Punk Festival too. They are even better live.
Top quality hardcore punk. I need to see these live ASAP.
Bad Dylan – Masters Of Whoa
This is a load of incredible bands/musicians covering Bob Dylan songs. I was kinda indifferent to Bob Dylan until the Bad Dylan project came about a few years ago, but I can safely say I’ve been converted. This second release is a double CD featuring loads of amazing bands from the DIY scene. I’m particularly liking the versions by Bobby Funk, Tragical History Tour and Pat Butcher, but there are loads of good tunes on here. And it’s for charity too. The money goes to www.skatepal.co.uk who are supporting young people in Palestine through skateboarding.
Natterers – Head In Threatening Attitude
These remind me of a more hardcore version of Dead Kennedys, which is obviously a good thing.
Small Gods – Last Wave
Punk n roll with a surf twist from Basingstoke. I love this four track EP. ‘Marbella Boss’ is one of my most played tracks of the year.
Really impressive and heavy as fuck punk rock. I’m hoping I get to see these live very soon too.
Batwölf – Spare No One
Some fine Zeke worshipping from The Netherlands. Very good.
Follow Your Dreams – EP
I’ll be accused of a touch of bias here as one of my favourite TNS releases was by Rising Strike and I was best man at Kaz’s wedding, but this brand new band featuring members of Rising Strike and fronted by Kaz Hinsley is going to blow people away. Screamed vocals, hardcore punk, a bit of metal and even a bit funky in parts. Original and exciting stuff.
As a final note: I’ve also loved releases by Screech Bats, Haest, Single Mothers, Fucked Up, Daves, Dark Thoughts, Raging Nathans, Culture Abuse and probably loads more, but I’ve already done ten. These lists are too hard!! Thanks to Tony for asking me to write this (no worries, Andy! – Tony).