The original Twin Fantasy is to bedroom made bandcamp albums what OK Computer is to 90's rock albums. I'd been hoping that it might be one day re-recorded since the day I first heard it. When it was actually announced that this would happen there hadn't (or probably won't be) an album I'd looked forward to hearing more this year. The original Twin Fantasy is a short sharp blast of scuzzy indie rock songs, unfortunately ruined by horribly cheap production, which still couldn't quite hide how great some of those songs were. Since then Will Toledo has recorded many more albums, of better quality, yet the original twin fantasy still retains it's cult status. Rather than simply recording the songs in a professional studio Will has expanded the songs to epic proportions. The song's have been stretched out with more spoken word pieces and experimentation yet the lo-fi feel still remains. this new Twin Fantasy may be the best album I'll hear all year. As far as indie rock goes in 2018, this is as life affirming, odd, and downright brilliant as it gets.
Giver - Where the Cycle Breaks
Giver are a German heavy metal band who take cues from 80's thrash metal legends but they've updated and tweaked the sound to make it heavier and darker. Giver embody the look and feel of 80's trash and crossover, and their crushingly heavy sound on this album gives my ears a battering. This is likely to be as heavy, fresh and inventive metal album as I'm likely to hear this year.
Everything is Recorded - Everything Is recorded by Richard Russell
Richard Russel is one one of the unsung heroes of British music, being a key part of XL records and the producer for the late Bobby Womack, Gill Scott Heron and more recently Damon Albarn. With Everything is recorded Richard is masterminding a series of mostly improvised re-imaginings of other songs, best of which is Grace Jones' 'nightclubbing' which is reworked into 'Mountains of Gold'. on EiR collaborates with a hugely diverse spectrum of artists, including Giggs, Sampha, Ibeyi and Peter Gabriel. The vibe is bruit and colourful and the music styles are frequently diverse, mixing grime, hip-hop, electronica, and world. The only reoccurring theme is the opening skit about loneliness and depression, which gives the LP a sombre poignancy.
Wild Beasts - Last night all my dreams came true.
The announcement of Wild Beats split last year was upsetting to me as after having been aware of them for many years I had only just started to like them thanks to their fantastic fourth album 'Boy King'. That album found Wild Beasts reinvented from artsy and sensual to aggressive and sexual. Boy King took cues from Nine Inch Nails, ditching guitars for heavy synth stabs. It's sad to see a band call it a day after reaching such a tantalising climax. This live-in-studio album makes up for the disappointment slightly, taking the best of 'Boy king' and mixing it with the rest of their discography.
Don Broco - Technology
For a long time Don Broco seemed a band out of place, too laddish for the emo crowd, yet too heavy and polished for the indie crowd. On their third album Don Broco not only sound sure of themselves but ready to take on the world. The corniness of the first two albums is completely gone and in it's place is a darker edge and a more concious feel to the lyrics. 'Technology' might not be quite as deep as it makes itself out to be or as artistic as some of my honourable mentions but for no-nonsense riff heavy rock music this is one of the best albums of it's kind I'll hear in 2018.
US Girls - In a Poem Unlimited.
Black Panther: The Album
Rich Brian - Amen
Ezra Furman - Transangelic Exodus.