With 2018 done and dusted and with everyone’s AOTY lists polished, the time has come to look forward to the new year that we have just entered.
With this year poised to rival 2018 in terms of emerging talent, fantastic releases and unforgettable shows, it looks like we’re set to enjoy another incredible year of music. With that in mind, we’ve complied our list of 30 bands who we believe are set to breakout this year. With the list including everything from industrial pop to crust lined powerviolence, there’s bound to be an act featured here that’s set to become your band of the year.
Hailing from South Wales, Scavengers have swiftly implemented a dent on the local alternative scene and have been poised to be potentially one of the region’s biggest successes of this year; not a bad accolade considering they only officially formed in the tail end of last year.
Confident and cocksure, Scavengers present swaggering alt-rock without any of the pompous connotations. The group have also showcased their more emotional and withdrawn side with the mature and sombre ‘Merope’. Whilst it’s still early days for Scavengers, 2019 is set to be a massive year for them.
For Fans Of – Don Broco, Holding Absence, Reuben
Previously known under the moniker of Seafoal, the artist known as Zander Sweeney underwent a metamorphosis at the beginning of 2018 and was rebirthed as Zand. Ditching the acoustic folk aesthetic of their adolescence, Zand emerged from their transmogrification with the fierce single ‘Boys Like U’.
The single saw the transformation of Zander complete, with the dark and pulsating synth pop being a far cry from their tender and unsure youth. Directly confronting toxic masculinity with fantastically ugly industrial pop, what Zand offers is a distant call from the superficial sugary sweetness stereotypically associated with the world of pop music.
For Fans Of – The Black Queen, Cold Cave, Lady Gaga
Hailing from the cold and grey northern sea’s, Mastiff paint music at it’s most predatory and vicious. The Hull powerviolence yob emerged in 2016 with their debut Wrank. Cold and callous, it stood as a levelling introduction to the savage world of Mastiff.
The group only increased the intensity with the 2017 EP Bork, a record that radiated pure undated cruelty. With it’s blackened hardcore submerged beneath viscous crust lined sludge, Bork struck a chord with those seeking something authentically hostile and miserable. With Mastiff now set to release their sophomore record Plague on February 1st, the act are set to sound the horns of the coming collapse.
For Fans Of: Nails, Crowbar, Whitechapel
Fronted by YouTube sensation Christina Rotodana, Day was formed after Rotodana paired up producer and occasional contributor Ali Marshall. Whilst the duo collaborated together previously on Rotodana’s YouTube channel, Day stands as a far more permanent, long term project.
After being snagged up by the global promotional organisation Dreambound, DAY released their debut single ‘Reverie’. With it’s electronic melodic leads and Rotodana’s signature soaring vocals, the single received quick attention from followers of Rotodana’s previous projects and new fans alike. Whilst the group are yet to release new material or make their live debut, these are goals that will be surely met in the coming months.
For Fans Of: Greywind, Dream State, Hands Like Houses
We’ve been banging on about these Scottish sad lads for a while now, but 2019 is set to be their year. With 2 EP’s now under their belt, 2017’s Sad Lads and 2018’s Keepsake respectively, the Aberdeen based Dude Trips have been slowly widening their berth for quite some time now, and it’s easy to see why.
Defying the stereotypical conventions of pop punk with experienced maturity and composure, Dude Trips narrate the pains of coming of age with seldom seen wisdom. Choosing to pursue a sound that’s more raw and authentic in contrast to a polished yet hollow aesthetic, Dude Trips will be continuing their journey by releasing their full length debut later this year. The future of Scottish emo is safe with these lads.
For Fans Of: Citizen, Elder Brother, Man Overboard
Hailing from the midlands, contemporary math rockers A-Tota-So emerged two years ago following the dismantlement of the respective groups Alright The Captain and Cheap Jazz. With a solid foundation composed of a love for all things experimental and mentally stimulating, the band endured the harsh slog of forging a reputation over the past couple of years and released their self titled debut in September 2018.
A product of the trials they navigated, the record contains both spasmodic unpredictability and sombre fragility. When listening to the instrumental stories A-Tota-So sew, the praise surrounding the act becomes transparently understandable. With the album under their belts, the band are set to continue trailblazing across the continent this year, spreading nothing but amazement in their wake.
For Fans Of: Alpha Male Tea Party, Chon, Poly-Math
Holy Roar Records enjoyed their most successful year to date last year, and it’s clear that the label have no plans on slowing down now. Spearheading the label’s charge into 2019 are the London metallic hardcore band Ithaca, a band that embody the progression, fury and integrity the label has become renowned for.
Forming in 2012, their upcoming full length The Language Of Injury will be their first release in three years However, the recent string of released singles have hinted at the colossal potential of The Language Of Injury, with it’s pummeling slams and whirling guitars being marred with subtle moments of withheld melody. With the record scheduled to land on February 1st, Ithaca are set to become one of 2019’s biggest success stories.
For Fans Of: Employed To Serve, The Chariot, Svalbard
When The Blackout called it a day back in 2015 there was more than a few tears shed. Whilst many prayed that this wouldn’t mean the end of the musical endeavours of the members of the band, many lost hope of any future music as the years passed by. However, vocalist Sean Smith and guitarist James Davis are back with a new project; Raiders.
It’s still early days for the band and the group are remaining tight lipped about their plans for the year. However, with the confirmation of intimate shows beginning to trickle in and with the promise of new music on the horizon, it looks like Raiders are planning on something big. Whilst only time will tell of what becomes of the band, it looks like something huge is approaching.
For Fans Of: The Blackout maybe? Who knows!
Let’s be honest, it’s taken a fair few decades for artists to perfect the formula of rap infused hardcore. Thankfully, the rise of grime has been the catalyst for some tremendous acts who have claimed the genre and have given it new life. One such act is PENGSHUi.
Belonging to the labyrinthine urban sprawl of London, PENGSHUi present just how visceral a remix of grime, bass, punk and thrash can be when perfectly balanced. Unapologetic and delightfully raw, the trio are fused together with a solid love for all things aggressive and energetic. With the disbandment of Astroid Boys looming, PENGSHUi possess the prowess, venom and drive to take the genre to new heights.
For Fans Of: Astroid Boys, Hacktivist, Grove Street Families
Whist some recently formed acts take the time to consider their first steps, Cutting Teeth crashed through the gates into 2018 champing at the bit. Following on from sharing stages with the likes of Bleed From Within, Create To Inspire and Loathe, the group released their first offering with the First Cut EP.
Overflowing with galloping riffs, tearing screams and jovial swagger, the group revived the style of metalcore that was prominent at the turn of the decade and breathed new life into it. With a penchant for raising hell and enjoying every second of it, Cutting Teeth show no signs of slowing down at all this year. Expect Cutting Teeth to be everywhere in the coming months.
For Fans Of: Beartooth, Every Time I Die, While She Sleeps
Whilst the majority of extreme metal acts attempt to conjure an overwhelming sense of nihilism and despair with their work, it’s often fruitless. With that in mind, when an act emerges who conveys such anguish and misery naturally, it’s a staggering feat. The Canadian outfit Minors don’t just present authentic pain, they’re fuelled by it.
Presenting a possessing blend of hardcore, sludge and noise, Minors took the underground extreme metal scene by storm in 2016 with their debut, a record suitably titled Atrophy. Disgustingly pessimistic and nightmarishly dismal, the band are set to bring their sonic agony into the spotlight once more with their upcoming record Abject Bodies. With the record set to drop the 22nd of February, it’s prepped to be another deep dive into a caustic ocean of pure torment. If you want genuine anguish, get on this band.
For Fans Of: Converge, Will Haven, Trap Them