2018 was a year filled with new music; from new bands breaking into the scene with killer first albums to some of our favorites scratching our itch for their new music. With the excitement of the new year just around the corner, the contributors here at All Punked Up got together to reminisce on some of our favorite albums that have been released over the past year. Here are our top albums of 2018, with a few honorable mentions thrown in!

Beautiful Death by Slaves

Although this has been quite the year for music, Slaves’ album Beautiful Death reigns triumphant as this year’s top album. With relatable lyrics, Jonny Craig’s unmatchable vocals and metal ass guitar riffs, the energy of this album remains untouchable. – Livy
Honorable Mentions: The American Dream by Trophy Eyes, Love Is Dead by CHVRCHES

Sunnyland by Mayday Parade

Mayday Parade’s album Sunnyland was by far my favorite album of 2018. I have been a fan of Mayday Parade for as long as I can remember, and these guys have never under delivered. This album by far is a testament of how well they can adapt and take criticism, which they heavily received after the release of their previous record, Black Lines. Mayday Parade goes back to their roots with songs like “It’s Hard to be Religious When Certain People Are Never Incinerated By Bolts of Lightning”, and sing a great love song with “A Piece of Your Heart” This album was on repeat for most of my 2018, because I could never get enough of it. These guys have blown me away once again, and redeemed themselves to the people who doubted them after Black Lines– Mackenzie
Honorable Mentions: Beautiful Death by Slaves, Pilot by Hot Mulligan

Living Proof by State Champs

I’ve often said that State Champs may never top their debut album, The Finer Things – the epitome of modern pop punk, however with the release of Living Proof, they did just that and more. Living Proof is well deserving of the 2018 album of the year; proven by the absolute killer drum tracks by Evan Ambrosio on each song to the genuine fun energy the band was able to pull off for this album. The record topped off the Billboard Charts at #2 on the Alternative charts and #3 on the Rock charts. – Brett
Honorable Mentions: Welcome to the Neighborhood by Boston Manor, Lost Touch by We Were Sharks

Proper Dose by The Story So Far

Proper Dose is my pick for album of the year because I think it showcases a more introspective, mature and lyrically dense version of The Story So Far. The Story So Far is known for writing finger-pointing songs about exes from years ago and it was nice to see Parker writing about something new, brutally honest and more in the mellow side. This album is a product of Parker’s opiate dependency and his process of getting clean and starting over. “Keep This Up”, “Upside Down”, and “Out Of It” are some of their best songs they’ve written. Sonically, it took me a while to get used to the ambient noise and heavy reverb on the album, I feel like it shadowed Parker’s gritty, raw vocals too much, but the honesty in the lyricism was enough to put this on my album to the year list. – Lexus
Honorable Mentions: Run Home by The Happy Alright

I Don’t Think I Can Do This Anymore by Moose Blood

Moose Blood’s I Don’t Think I Can Do This Anymore is my album of the year for many reasons. The main reason being the emotion behind every single track. There is a good mix between sad break up songs and sappy love songs for any mood you are in. Since it came out in March every time I listen through it I can’t get to the end without shedding a tear especially at the last track “It’s Too Much”. If you haven’t given this album a listen, I highly recommend it. – Noah
Honorable Mentions: Lips Like Oxygen by Oh, Weatherly, This Too Won’t Pass by Can’t Swim

Trench by Twenty One Pilots

Trench is much different then previous albums Josh and Tyler have put out, but it was well worth the two year wait! You can tell throughout the album there was a lot of time and thought put into the building of a storyline, writing of songs, and the production. The storyline takes you on a journey of trying to escape a post apocalyptic time and pulls you in to the very last song, and like the ending of a good book, you won’t want  it to end. Along with an amazing storyline, Tyler has such a talent in writing about his own personal pains and experiences; then being able to turn it into shared experiences that uniquely hits everyone in different ways, regardless of what is going on in their life. It’s refreshing to know that regardless of your battle in life, you are never alone because “when everyone you thought you knew deserts your fight, I’ll go with you.” (My Blood) – Bree
Honorable Mentions: Songs That Saved My Life by Hopeless Records

Time & Space by Turnstile

Turnstile’s, Time & Space is that punk album you know is going to be on repeat the second you start listening.  Every song slides into the next – with gentle elevator jazz to bop to or with hard punches for the funnest pit you’ve ever been in and you find yourself screaming along through a smile before you even know the lyrics.  For as hardcore the shout alongs are, the resonance and energy of the album bring a prismatic fun with so much heart that it can’t be duplicated by anyone else. For me, I fell in love with this album on the first listen.  Each song is a masterpiece of music laced with vocals to match. I couldn’t escape dancing along in my car by either pumping myself up for the work day or head banging the stress away on the drive home. You’re going to ruin your speakers blasting this album, but trust me, it’s worth it. – Francesca
Honorable Mentions: Bay Dream by Culture Abuse, Stay Inside by Elder Brother

21st Century Liability by Yungblud

Yungblud’s 21st Century Liability was an amazing debut. It talks candidly about many difficult issues such as mental health, gun violence, and sexual assault. Listeners are left wanting to change the world for the better after hearing songs like “Polygraph Eyes” and “Machine Gun (F**k the NRA)”.  The music videos that accompany the album serve as an even more in depth look into his chaotic mind. Harrison packed his eccentric and honest personality into every song on the album. – Meghan
Honorable Mentions: Nearsighted by Speak Low If You Speak Love, Love and Loathing by With Confidence

The Silver Scream by Ice Nine Kills

My favorite album of 2018 has to be The Silver Scream by Ice Nine Kills. I loved their 2015 concept album, Every Trick in the Book, because of its unique literary inspiration and so when this album was announced earlier this year I was excited to see how Ice Nine Kills tackled iconic horror films. Considering the films used as inspiration, the task of representing them in song is more challenging due to the fact that they are more widely understood by people. However, the tone of each song is easily identifiable based on its source inspiration. Overall I think each of the songs represent their film well and create an ephemeral sense of ominousness similar to watching the films themselves. – Tatiana
Honorable Mentions: Mania by Fall Out Boy, Underworld by Tonight Alive, Love and Loathing by With Confidence

Ember by Breaking Benjamin

The sixth studio album, Ember by the American rock band Breaking Benjamin, is a twelve track LP. A heavy record, full of dramatic and dark sounds along with three videos. Starting with “Lyra”, first track of this album – the intro – it’s a 34 seconds based piano and guitars that guide us right to the next track, “Feed the Wolf”, song that gives the listeners a nasty sound, soaring vocals and the perfect blend of rough and clean to connect to “Tourniquet”: The dramatic part of this album are not only the amount of meaning and intense sounds and lyrics that this album possess, also, this album has two sections and this second section are divided in a 3 parts history. Starting with the track “Red Cold River”, followed by “Torn in Two” and giving a “happy ending”, “Tourniquet”. These stories, if you are one of the oldest fans of Breaking Benjamin, you will be able to connect all the dots and follow this trilogy. Outside the trilogy, tracks such as “Down” and “Save Yourself”, offers to the listeners and fans an introspection about becoming the “worst of you” and trying to live with it or fighting against it as we can listen on “Close Your Eyes,” track that relates about hope and breaking through the darkness as well as “Blood” that is, in my personal opinion, the between of the dark and the light of this “Fight” between “Down” and  “The Dark of You” a song about acceptance that has the perfect peace through the heavier sounds in between. Finally, we have “Vega”, the last track – the outro – a prominent drumming that give the gold end to this album, that personally, I love to rate it as my Album of the Year. – Camilla
Honorable Mentions: Black Labyrinth by Jonathan Davis, Diary of a Creep by New Years Day

Welcome to the Neighborhood by Boston Manor

I’ve spent almost all of 2018 listening to pretty much the same stuff as 2017. So, Boston Manor’s Welcome to the Neighborhood was the only new album that could keep up with my favorites. I heard the songs live first and ended up with the album on repeat for a month. You know an album is good when you get hooked hearing it for the first time off of a live performance. – Brittany

Composure by Real Friends

One of my favorite albums of 2018 was Composure by Real Friends! I had never really listened to more than two songs by Real Friends before, but as soon as I heard their first single “From The Outside” I knew I had to give their new record a full listen. The album is full of upbeat songs about relationships, mental health, and growth. Composure opens strong with my personal favorite, “Me First.” The song is about feeling second best and is the perfect anthem to get your frustrations out. “From The Outside” may be the most relatable song you’ve heard all year. Lead singer, Dan Lambton, energetically sings about how everyone looks like they’re doing great on the outside, but you never truly know what someone is going through inside their head. The last song on the album “Take A Hint” is the perfect closer. Lambton sings about personal growth and not apologizing for who you are over a perfect nostalgic sounding pop punk track. Overall, Composure was one of the best albums to come out of 2018 and I highly recommend giving it a listen if you haven’t yet! – Tori
Honorable Mentions: The Great Depression by As It Is, Waves by Story Untold, 206: Act II by Bohnes

[Untitled] by mewithoutYou

Although I’ve never been a huge mewithoutYou fan, this year I decided to give them a bigger shot when their latest album [Untitled] dropped. This album carries on sounds that are pretty distinctive to mewithoutYou’s sound, but also manages to create a totally different album that delivers strong and dynamic sounds with the always amazing, powerful and touching voice of Aaron Weiss. If you’re up for a good trip full of high emotions, this is the one. – Chevy
Honorable Mentions: Trench by Twenty One Pilots, Living Proof by State Champs

Love Is For Losers by The Longshot

Love is For Losers is the debut album from Billie Joe Armstrong’s side project, The Longshot. This is a fun punk album that makes you want to sing at the top of your lungs, which is a bit different from the political overtones that Armstrong emphasizes in Green Day. When you appreciate this album for what it is, you’ll find a great collection of songs from a band who’s experiencing the thrill that comes from unleashing a new project. – Izzy
Honorable Mentions: Fight the Good Fight by The Interrupters, 1981 Extended Play by I DON’T KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME

Evolution by Disturbed

My favorite album this year was Evolution by Disturbed. I really loved how more of the songs showed the softer side of the band, while still having their classic Disturbed sound. For me, there isn’t one song on this album that I skip. My favorite song off the album is “Watch You Burn”. I love the sound of the acoustic guitar that is heard throughout the song. Overall, Evolution was an amazing album, in my opinion, and that’s why it is my favorite this year. – Nicole
Honorable Mentions: Sunnyland by Mayday Parade, Be More Kind by Frank Turner

Everything a River Should Be by Household

2018 was the first year where I truly stepped outside of my typical pop punk/post hardcore listening routine and took advantage of Spotify’s personalized playlist, Discover Weekly.  A band that stuck with me from the start was Household, with their latest release, Everything A River Should Be. Each track is a perfect blend of rock and emo, and while the album was never constantly on repeat, it is still one I go back to from time to time. – Jina
Honorable Mentions: This Too Won’t Pass by Can’t Swim, The Yunahon Mixtape by Oso Oso

Skinny Dipping by Stand Atlantic

Female-fronted three-piece band Stand Atlantic released one of the better pop punk EP’s I’ve heard in a long time in 2017 with Sidewinder. They followed that 5-song record with their debut full length album Skinny Dipping in 2018. From the music, lyrics, vocals, harmonies and production, I feel this album is going to be the most underrated album of 2018. If you consider yourself a pop punk fan and haven’t had the chance to check this album out, you really must. – Tyler

Vale by Black Veil Brides

Black Veil Brides released their newest album Vale this past January. Throughout the course of the album, Black Veil Brides resurface the characters of ‘The Wild Ones’. As told through the lyrics, they face the challenge of moving on from the pain of the events of Wretched and Divine and starting this new chapter of their lives. Black Veil Brides have always been representative of the outcasts and they definitely kept that message throughout this album which is why it is by far my favorite album of 2018. – Natalie
Honorable Mentions: Past Lives by Against the Current, Boom Boom Room (Side B) by Palaye Royale

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