Ones to Watch in 2018: Part 2

Ones to Watch in 2018: Part 2

By Aaron Lohan

Jan 10, 2018 10:46

With 2017 now behind us, it's time to look ahead, and the next twelve months looks sure to deliver musical greatness. Releases and tours from established acts are sure to be on the radar for music lovers, yet as with every year, there are a wealth of emerging and exciting underground bands to keep an eye on.

We at Punktastic pride ourselves on exposing obscure, underground and new artists. With that in mind, we have compiled a smorgasbord of bands to watch out for this year. In contrast to previous years, we’ll be recommending 40 acts, spread over a four part series. Following on from part one last week, here’s volume two of our ones to watch list!

Strange Bones

North-West rockers Strange Bones sound like Slaves, Frank Carter and The Prodigy having a big ol’ scrap in a downtown Bangkok nightclub. It’s noisy, it’s relentless and it is unstoppable. The band are on the verge of crashing out of their niche audience and are set to reach new heights and a wider demographic with a full length record later this year. Check out 2017’s ‘We The Rats’ EP and embrace the future of your music listening. They are out on tour in February and are certainly worth checking in with for a wild time. [William Scott]

Listen to more from Strange Bones on Spotify


Sobs are softly but surely making their mark on the world of bedroom-pop. Combining energetic guitar lines with sweet, preppy vocals, the outcome is sun drenched and self-aware music. With dramatic, image driven lyrics such as “holding hands through a cat-flap”, Sobs held nothing back on their debut EP, released in June last year, ensuring there’s plenty on offer to keep people returning to the five tracks.

The band played shows solidly throughout 2017, including a live session for JUICE Singapore, grabbing the attention of the Singaporean DIY scene they inhabit. They have announced they’re working on new material for release this year, so make room for some kitsch indie pop in your life this year. [Eloise Bulmer]

Listen to more from Sobs on Bandcamp

Sophie and the Giants

Featuring indie-pop melodies and thoughtful instrumentation with soulful vocals, Sophie and the Giants have a sound that’s bound to catch a lot of people’s interest in 2018. Based in Sheffield, they’ve been making a name for themselves with their extensive gigging, supporting a myriad of bands on the way up, including Findlay and Yonaka. Although at present they have only released two tracks, both are impressive examples of their output, and with the band teasing studio time, more are sure to follow later this year. [Eloise Bulmer]

Listen to more from Sophie and the Giants on Soundcloud


Say hello to the best dressed garage punks this side of the Pennines. Since 2014, Leeds-based trio Nosebleed have been bringing their own brand of rock and roll chaos to venues up and down the land. A unique blend of smouldering riffs, frantic beats and crooning vocals are all tied up in the finest suits around.

Fresh from a packed touring schedule and knock-out performances at Boomtown Fair and Shambala, 2018 is set to be a big year for the trio. Following the success of EPs ‘It’s Alright’ and ‘Something In My Head’, they will release their debut album ‘Scratching Circles On The Dancefloor’ in March. Another frantic 12 months awaits, just the way they like it. [Tom Walsh]

Listen to more from Nosebleed on Bandcamp


Seattle’s Vespera launched in 2017 with singles ‘Bloom’, ‘Obsidian Dreams’ and ‘Paradise’, three hard-hitting tunes that demonstrated the band’s ability to write djent-style riffs, balanced against uplifting lead lines and the excellent vocals of Jonathan Wolfe.

The band’s debut full-length ‘The Thoughts That Plague Us’, produced by Taylor Larson (Periphery, The Darkest Hour), is due for release this year, which is sure to provide us with more perfect blending of heaviness, groove and melody. [Mark Johnson]

Listen to more from Vespera on Spotify

Pet Library

This youthful Hertfordshire emo duo, who appreciate twinkly riffs and talking openly about mental health problems, are destined for great things this year. Comprised of guitarist Tim Andersson and drummer George Milner, their boisterous on-stage chemistry, and often sardonic viewpoints in their songwriting, make them worthy of keeping alive the spirit of what it is to be emo. They strike a wonderful balance of relatable songs that don’t attempt to romanticise sadness or simply jump on tired tropes. [Ashwin Bhandari]

Listen to more from Pet Library on Bandcamp


Arising from the darkest parts of Cardiff, Artefact are possibly one of the few bands who’ve managed to capture the viscerally raw and psychologically gothic nature originally found in late ’70s/early ’80s post punk. Featuring former members of Plaids, Mars to Stay and Twisted, the band’s debut album, last year’s  ‘Votive Offering’, was a maliciously crafted record, shrouded in a callous and foreboding tone. This year should hopefully see Artefact’s essence continue to grow and expand upon more unsuspecting ears. [Aaron Lohan]

Listen to more from Artefact on Bandcamp

Gouge Away

Since their formation in 2013, Fort Lauderdale’s Gouge Away have been making quite the mark on the hardcore/punk scene. Sharing stages with the likes of Ceremony, Paint It Black and Touche Amore has shown that they are deservedly one of the most exciting bands in the genre right now. Their 2016 debut full length ‘, Dies’ was a blistering and cathartically well executed assault on the senses with its socio-political themes. Yet through all the emotive chaos, there was a well articulated intricacy creeping through the band’s music. Such ambitious musicality would be expanded upon in last year’s ‘Swallow b/w Sweat’ 7″, which was released on Touche Amore vocalist Jeremy Bolm’s label Secret Voice. These tracks veered towards post hardcore and noise rock realms, a la Fugazi and Unwound, thus showing a band who’re hungry for delivering their rage in innovative ways. With a new record on the horizon, it’ll be exciting to see what new heights Gouge Away can crack in the coming year. [Aaron Lohan]

Listen to more from Gouge Away on Bandcamp

Coping Skills

Unless you have been living in a hole for over the last two and a half decades, it is undisputed fact that the US city of Philadelphia is a gold mine for all things punk, indie, hardcore and alternative. A recent recommendation that continues this legacy are the aptly named bummer-pop stylings of Coping Skills. The combined songwriting efforts of Rachel Dispenza and Lauren DeLucca results in music that is charmingly humorous and authentically honest. The band’s follow up to their 2016 debut ‘Relatable Web Content’, due for release this year, is sure to expand upon the potential of this group’s all encompassing sad pop. [Aaron Lohan]

Listen to more from Copng Skills on Bandcamp

Ruined Families

Alongside Gouge Away, Ruined Families are another exciting band within the hardcore scene ready to stamp their imprint upon this year. Hailing from Greece, a country that for the last decade has faced renowned economic and political turmoil, and having been active since the start of the decade, the band are a tumultuously needed jolt to the conscious joints and psyches within the current global climate. The subject matter that concerns them is dissected through a serrated mix of 2000s melodic hardcore and late ’90s screamo, with hints of post punk and post hardcore thrown in for good measure. Their 2016 third album ‘Education’ testifies to this with a seventeen minute rush of thought provoking fury that is sure to latch onto the ears of those who’re restless and downtrodden. [Aaron Lohan]

Listen to more from Ruined Families on Bandcamp

Previous Entries

Ones to Watch in 2018: Part 1