Another year has passed and thankfully it’s been an exciting one for those interested in straight edge hardcore punk. Last year was really tough to shortlist only seven records of all that we’ve been listening to and 2018 was no exception.
Once again, in this list you’ll find not only LPs but 7″ and maybe even demos as well. We try not to focus on the format but on the music itself. Let’s see what straight edge hardcore had to offer in 2018 and if we are allowed to have a wish, let that be more European straight edge hardcore in our charts next year!
7 xBystanderx – Bystander EP
(Safe Inside Records, Goodwill, Spreading The Hardcore Reality, Ugly and Proud, World’s Appreaciated Kitsch, Set The Fire, Reason Records)
A new band featuring Greg Bennick on vocals and Charles Chaussinand (ex-Spirits) on guitar released their self-titled EP on both vinyl and tape through a huge international alliance of labels? Say no more. We’ve already talked about Bystander and how much we loved their debut release. It’s the best way to start this top 2018 straight edge roundup.
6 No Right – Unjustified
(Bitter Melody Records)
Unjustified by No Right appeared in January 2018 shortly after we published our last year’s straight edge roundup. However, we kept playing this record throughout the year and being almost an year old now it’s still dear to our hearts. Raw sound, metallic take on hardcore, super groovy and punchy tracks with some of our favorite vocals and lyrics we’ve heard and read this year. Not sure what the band is up to now but a new record from them is highly welcome!
5 Berthold City – Moment of Truth EP
Moment of Truth is another record we’ve already praised here. Mitko pointed it to me and it didn’t take much time for me to be instantly hooked by this new project featuring Final Fight, Allegiance, Internal Affairs and Strife members. It’s a 7″ record full of energy, passion and intensity. Music-wise its been well-fed by the great sound of all US straight edge classics you can name. It’s music made for stomping the stage, piling up and singing along with your trusted SXE homies. If you have missed this record, now it’s your time to catch up—LA straight edge at its finest!
4 MAGNITUDE – Era of Attrition EP
(Triple B Records)
After an year of epic releases, Triple B didn’t disappoint in 2018. One of their top releases is this Magnitude 7″. Featuring a breed of straight edge hardcore that we’ve been really attached to forever and driven by the mind behind one of our last year’s favorites Search For Purpose, it’s a release that not only screams good old straight edge times but also manages to successfully convey these vibes in present day. A recommended banger!
3 xDevourx / xreignx – Split 7″
(Ugly and Proud Records)
The split of splits this year! While the US scene generally remains not really interested in what lurks in Europe, it’s great to see bands and labels working hard to change this. Belgium’s finest xDevourx unite forces with xreignx on this epic seven inch. Uncompromising music, inspiring message and the hope to see this collaboration brought to another level in the future, be that tours or more music as inspiring as the one found on this split 7″ delivered by U&P.
2 Wake of Humanity – FIGHT/RESIST
(Bitter Melody Records, Ugly and Proud Records)
This year we’ve done our share of praising Seattle straight edge’s finest Wake of Humanty, so no surprises here. Honestly, with FIGHT/RESIST they took a risk, approaching their music and sound from a completely new perspective and they didn’t disappoint us. FIGHT/RESIST is a powerful, we’d say even experimental record, that still manages to remain aggressive, emotionally charged and has allowed Wake of Humanity to reinvent their own music. Read our full review here.
1 Trail of Lies – W.A.R.
(Edgewood Records, Farewell Records, Life.Lair. Regret)
The hype is real for this one. Trail of Lies is one of the hottest straight edge bands right now and that’s for a reason. After two promising low-key releases, Syracuse’s hardest hitting straight edge band dropped W.A.R. and the LP secured them shows on top hardcore punk gatherings all over the world. Honestly, it’s a bit of a shame we’re covering them just now but hey, better do that late than never. Put on W.A.R. on your stereo and keep living your life sober, determined and focused on the important things.
xDestroy Babylonx – By The Knife LP
(Bound By Modern Age, Animals Kingdom)
By The Knife is by no means a new release. It’s actually a 10-year anniversary reissue of Destroy Babylon’s legendary CD that Animals Kingdom and Bound By Modern age united efforts to present on vinyl for the first time ever. This mean and militant vegan straight edge album brings so much memories that we couldn’t miss the chance to give it a special mention in our list as we’re sure a new generation of XVX kids will find a lot to love about it, especially now that they can have it on wax.