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Eric Wiersema writesCHIRP Radio Best of 2018: Eric Wiersema

CHIRP Radio Best of 2018

Throughout December, CHIRP Radio presents its volunteers’ top albums of 2018. Our next list is from volunteer Eric Wiersema.

2018 has had its ups and downs but one thing we can all agree on is that it was a great year for music! This year I had the pleasure of reviewing over 85 albums for CHIRP's music department and listened to over 120 new albums this year in total. There was so much great new music this year and it has been very difficult to narrow it down to just 10 albums so here goes nothing...


#1   Vitriola by Cursive (15 Passenger)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Cursive VitriolaOmaha post-hardcore veterans return with their 8th album and first since 2012's I Am Gemini. Tim Kasher and co. have returned with a vengeance with a scathing critique of the Trump administration, the 1%, and capitalism in general. This album also features a cellist for the first time since 2003's The Ugly Organ. Easily the best Cursive album in a decade!



#2   You Won't Get What You Want by Daughters (Ipecac)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Daughters You Won't Get What You WantProvidence Rhode Island noise-rock outfit return with their first album since 2010's self-titled. This is a potent blend of punk, metal, noise rock, and industrial music that is guaranteed to get your blood pumping! Easily one of the most aggressive records that I listened to this year!



#3   Twin Fantasy by Car Seat Headrest (Matador)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Car Seat Headrest Twin FantasyI was debating whether this album qualifies as a 2018 release since it was originally released in 2011 and rerecorded in 2018. I decided this album qualifies since it was most people's first exposure to this music. Will Toledo and co have once again proven that they are the definitive indie rock band of the '10s. I will happily rock out to this stuff in the back of the venue with your middle-aged dad!



#4   Last Building Burning by Cloud Nothings (Carpark)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Cloud Nothings Last Building BurningCloud Nothings proves Ian Hunter and Drew Carey right- Cleveland does indeed rock! The band returns with their most aggressive punk-based album yet. I have been able to wean myself off of coffee just by listening to this album and it is far more satisfying!



#5   Tell Me How You Really Feel by Courtney Barnett (Milk!)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Courtney Barnett Tell Me How You Really FeelThe first time I saw Courtney Barnett was in 2014 when she played at the Empty Bottle in support of The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas. Emusic had just recommended the album to me a week prior and it blew me away. When she played to that crowd of around 30 people at the 'Bottle, I knew that she was going to blow up and considered myself lucky to have discovered her early. On this album she continues to do what she does best- perfecting her brand of deadpan folk rock with light grunge and classic rock touches.



#6   Love in the Time of Email by Antarctigo Vespucci (Polyvinyl)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Antarctigo Vespucci Love in the Time of EmailAntarctigo Vespucci is a pop-punk duo consisting of Jeff Rosenstock and ex-Fake Problems frontman Chris Farren. Love in the Time of Email is a loose concept album about navigating the complexities of modern romance and consists of 13 well-crafted pop-punk and power pop tunes. "So Vivid!", "Freaking You Out", and "Kimmy" are must-listens!



#7   Quit The Curse by Anna Burch (Polyvinyl)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Anna Burch Quit The CurseAnna Burch is a Detriot-based singer songwriter who formerly fronted the folk-rock band Frontier Ruckus. Quit The Curse is a beautiful indie pop album that harkens back to the '90s sounds of Liz Phair and Julianna Hatfield. Give "2 Cool to Care" and "Tea Soaked Letter" a spin!



#8   Nearer My God by Foxing (Triple Crown)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

Foxing Nearer My GodThe St. Louis emo band gets ambitious on their 3rd album drawing influence from synth pop, progressive rock, and even orchestral arrangements! Give, "Lich Prince", "Game Shark", and their magnum opus, "Five Cups" some love!



#9   Capture The Flag by War on Women (Bridge Nine)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

War on Women Capture The FlagThis co-ed feminist hardcore band from Baltimore self describes their sound as "Bikini Kill meets early Metallica" so you know going on that they are going to rock your face off! We may be living in dark times these days but at least we have a kickass soundtrack. Give "YDTMHTL" a spin- it features guest vocals from Kathleen Hanna!



#10   untitled by mewithoutYou (Big Scary Monsters)
BUY: Reckless / Amazon

mewithoutYou untitledWe're going to cap things off with some more post-hardcore. mewithoutYou return with their strongest album to date that balances out the fury of post-hardcore with acoustic and spoken word passages. "Julia", "Another Head for Hydra", "Winter Solstice", and "2,459 Miles" should give you the lay of the land.


Honorable Mentions

In no particular order:

  1. Bleach Party- NOLA (self-released)*
  2. Soccer Mommy- Clean (Fat Possum)
  3. Ty Segall- Freedom's Goblin (Drag City)
  4. Superchunk- What a Time to be Alive (Merge)
  5. Between the Buried and Me- Automata I (Sumerian)
  6. Black Belt Eagle Scout- Mother of My Children (Saddle Creek)
  7. A Place to Bury Strangers- Pinned (Dead Oceans)
  8. Jeff Rosenstock- POST (Polyvinyl)\
  9. Campdogzz- In Rounds (15 Passenger)*
  10. Julia Holter- Aviary (Domino)
  11. Diagonal- You Are Free EP (Midwest Action)*
  12. Pinegrove- Skylight (self-released)
  13. Let's Eat Grandma- I'm All Ears (Transgressive)
  14. Metric- Art of Doubt (SLP/MMI)
  15. Nothing- Dance on the Blacktop (Relapse)
  16. Kurt Vile- Bottle It In (Matador)
  17. Deafheaven- Ordinary Corrupt Human Love (Anti-)
  18. White Mystery- Hellion Blender (self-released)*
  19. Suede- The Blue Hour (Warner UK)
  20. Single Mothers- Through A Wall (Big Scary Monsters)

*Indicates band is from Chicago




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Categorized: Best Albums of the Year

Topics: best of 2018

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