Social media is a wonderful tool. It can connect us with people across the globe; amuse us, inspire us and introduce us to music and films that might have otherwise escaped our notice. There’s a joy in interacting with people we wouldn’t otherwise meet – through being victims of geography, rather than any desire to do so – and discussing cult bands at length. As anyone moving in such circles will attest, conversations about Pink Floyd, Marillion and the Grateful Dead can effectively seem endless.
The negative side of social media is that to find the gold, we have to sift through the mundane, the verbal attacks, the political tensions and the endless moaning. Only last week, an insightful soul on Twitter suggested that if television was once considered “the idiots lantern”, then the internet could well be “the shitbag’s mirror”, effectively reflecting the bad side of all of us. It’s easy to pour scorn and derision on everything from a keyboard when you don’t have to hold your own in a face to face argument.
In 2018, Real Gone celebrated its ninth birthday. It’s been a long and hard road to this point, but we’re pleased to be celebrating our most successful year online to date. Hundreds of new albums have been heard and a record number of gigs have been attended. Not only has this year been our biggest success…it’s also been our favourite.
Nearing the close of 2018, it’s time to look back and celebrate our favourite events – including our top ten album releases…
Normally, each year has an album that’s a clear stand out. Making that distinction this time around has been somewhat trickier, so we’re awarding a joint “album of the year” to two very different albums. If that seems like a cop-out, we don’t care…there really was only a hair’s breadth between them.
As always, it’s been an interesting year for music, but unlike a few previous years, there have been no clear winners or stand-outs. There has been a lot of great music, of course…and this year, we’ve found it very hard to pick favourites.
Our top ten albums, as always, has been restricted to things that actually got reviewed at Real Gone and very much represent our broad musical scope. Hopefully, a couple of our choices will align with yours, but more importantly, we hope our top picks will open your ears to something new.
Hardcore punk has existed in many forms over the years, from the straight edge to the crusty to having deep roots in subgenres like grindcore. Despite variations, it’s often at its best when played absolutely straight. For lovers of traditional hardcore, this debut EP from Natterers immediately sets the band out as one to watch. Although only their first proper release, this EP shows a huge professionalism, not only in the way the songs are crafted, but also the way they’ve recorded. This EP retains a DIY ethic without sounding like it has been recorded in a shed.