Following on from the first half of our list, (You can read part one here!) we continue to look at the bands who have made the biggest impact this year and have well and truly conquered our national scene.
Imagine making a list of all the bands that have dominated the scene this year and not including Conjurer. Whilst rumblings of their impending breakthrough where felt not long after the release of their debut EP in 2016, the group broke the Richter scale in March with the release of their debut full length Mire. Monstrously bastard heavy, the record is a solid slab of earth shattering riffs and grooves, with it’s tight control of melodics only intensifying the apocalyptic density found within.
Mire saw Conjurer go from underground potentials to global trendsetters in just a number of months. With a notoriously tight live show, the group soon appeared on every touring and festival bill under the sun, with the group annihilating the likes of 2000 Trees, ArcTanGent, Bloodstock, Tech-Fest, Euroblast as well as cutting about the continent with Will Haven, Conan, Palm Reader, Svalbard and countless others. With desolated stages behind them, Conjurer left nothing but shock, terror and beaming grins in their wake.
Now as December comes to a close, the group are being pilled under awards, AOTY nominations and touring opportunities. Next year will see the group head over to the states with the likes of Rivers Of Nihil and Entheos for their American debut and it’s highly likely the rest of the world will see the arrival of Conjurer before we enter 2020. Never the less, it’s difficult to compare the breakthrough of Conjurer to any other act this year.
Press To MECO
Despite cutting about the scene since 2010, it’s felt like Press To MECO have been one of the greatest hidden secrets for many years. Whilst their initial full length, 2015’s Good Intent made a dent on the scene, many felt that the group possessed the capabilities to reach greater heights. Thankfully, it only took approximately three years for the band to reach such success, with their sophomore record Here’s To The Fatigue shooting the group into the limelight.
With it’s devilish riffs, angelic three part harmonies, glorious melodics and homegrown progressive sensibilities, Here’s To The Fatigue is a record that possessed incredible crossover appeal. With a swelling fanbase that contained listeners belonging to an extensively broad range of demographics, such universal appeal allowed the band to share stages with the likes of Black Peaks, Arcane Roots, Palm Reader and many others this year. However, it wasn’t until the end of this year that we saw a glimpse of what the future holds for Press To MECO, with the group playing to sold out academies all across the continent in support of Shinedown and Starset.
With Press To MECO’s calendar for 2019 already looking jam packed, it certainly appears that the group are destined for even more esteemed achievements in the months to come. The group will release an acoustic EP in the following months that features reimagined content from Here’s To The Fatigue as well as touring the release with an acoustic tour in February and March. On top of this, the group have already started looking towards the festival season, with the group confirming appearances at Camden Rocks and Teddy Rocks 2019. If you’re yet to be introduced to Press To MECO, your soon going to be; they’re going to impossible to miss next year.
Whilst Nervus had already established themselves within the underground DIY scene, it inevitability wasn’t long before the Watford punks crashed through the veil. Following on from supporting Creeper last year, the group began to see more and more exposure on the run up to the release of their incredible sophomore record, Everything Dies.
Radiating pure human emotion whilst providing kicking riffs and delightful melodies, the record served as a piece of art that documented the tribulations that the LGBTQ+ community faces on a daily basis. However, despite being fuelled by the issues that front-woman Em Foster faces, the sheer scale of humanity found within meant that the record served as a source of solace of those harbouring questions within themselves.
With Everything Dies under their collective belts, Nervus blasted into the wider scene this summer with festival slots at Teddy Rocks, 2000 Trees and Truck Festival. On top of this, the group celebrated Everything Dies with a sold out headline show at the Lexington in London, with fellow indie-punks Fresh, Itoldyouiwouldeatyou and riff lords Conjurer. This autumn also saw Nervus endeavour on their on their most ambitious headline tour yet with Worriers and Great Wight. With this year being their most successful year to date, there’s nothing to stop Nervus climbing up the rungs of the ladder in the year to come.
Whilst the Bristolian scene may have been waiting on the eventual explosion of Idles, no one could have predicated the towering heights they would swell to this year. Riding off the back of their debut Brutalism, Idles slammed out another slab of volatile and educated punk this September with Joy As An Act Of Resistance. A record that served not only served a poignant purpose, but it was one radiated importance and one that spurred the public to shout the name Idles from the rooftops.
Informed, educated yet feverish and violently passionate, Joy resonated the hedonistic joys of punk whilst also radiating maturity, a contemplated message and self-awareness. Whilst Idles can be labelled as a punk band sonically, with the trademark motrorik energy and drive running through their veins, Joy served as something greater than a simple punk record; it stood as the voice of a movement.
With it’s sardonic narrative, contemporary poetry and possessive drive; Joy became the point of celebration not only within the global alternative scene, but the more mainstream scene too. Prior to it’s release, Idles hosted an art exposition in London, displaying and selling art inspired by the record in support of Samaritans. Upon it’s release, the record was the subject of a multitude of accolades and immediately became a global sensation, with the group even being invited to perform on Later With Jools Holland, airing left field ideology to the nation. With the importance and purpose of Idles firmly established, it's going to be a joy to watch Idles continue to fight the sociopolitical issues that the next year will bring.
Whilst the demise of Letlive was the cause and catalyst of many tears, you would have been a fool to believe such a dismantlement would see the retirement of Jason Butler. Soon after the death of Letlive, rumours and speculation of another act fronted by Butler began to spiral on the Twitter sphere, with ambiguous hints being revealed in a methodical manner. Such events accumulated last year in a Californian parking lot, where Fever 333 performed their first show to those who followed the signs.
Much akin to their origins, the group dropped their debut EP in March of this year without any prior warning through Roadrunner Records. Whilst Letlive was a project that was fuelled by political mistrust and frustration, the level of passion pales in comparison to the fervent energy of Fever 333. A direct confrontation towards far right politics, hollow patriotism and rampant gun violence, Made An America wasn’t just a documentation of such issues, but a direct and aggressive statement of intent and a rallying cry for those sick of social injustices.
In true vein of the acts’s sporadic and unpredictable nature, Fever 333 first arrived on our shores unannounced this summer by performing a chaotic and anarchic secret at Download 2018. Whilst many predicated that it wouldn’t be long before the group returned, it would be accurate to say that no one could have guessed the manner they would arrive next. After their Download apperance, the group demolished the Koko and Islington Academy prior to serving as direct support to Bring Me The Horizon on their most recent arena tour. Given that the band only had a handful of tracks to their name and two UK shows prior to the run, it was clear that a fearsome reputation was the main element that allowed them such an honour. With the group’s debut full length to launch next month, we are all waiting to see how Fever 333 will surprise us next year.