Ones to Watch in 2018: Part 3

Ones to Watch in 2018: Part 3

By Aaron Lohan

Jan 19, 2018 18:11

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. After two fantastic volumes, below is the third part to our epic musical series!


After the sleeper success of their debut EP ‘Demonstrations’ in 2016 brought comparisons to Reuben and Jawbreaker, Grieving are set to make emo mouths water this year with the promise of their debut album. Having already released two tracks last year, ‘Brian Emo’ and ‘Start Young’, that raise the bar even higher, now is the perfect time to listen to Grieving so you can tell everyone you heard them first. [Jamie Holker]

Listen to more from Grieving on Bandcamp


Whitney are a country/folk influenced indie group who make you feel nostalgic for memories that haven’t even happened yet. With drummer and lead vocalist Julien Ehrlich’s almost exclusively falsetto range, blended with tipsy guitars and twee keyboards, their 2016 LP ‘Light Upon the Lake’ is a comforting treat for your ears, perfect for long train rides and rainy days. Whilst most of their songs touch upon friendships and past partners, there’s a real sense of wholesomeness and honesty in their songwriting. Although their rise to fame over the past three years has been helped by Ehrlich and guitarist Max Kakacek being ex-members of Smith Westerns, Whitney feel like a far greater entity with boundless potential for melancholic storytelling. [Ashwin Bhandari]

Listen to more from Whitney on Bandcamp

Parting Gift

This young post-hardcore act surfaced in 2017 with singles ‘Be Still’ and ‘Asleep’; tracks brimming with the kind of explosive emotion that Crooks, Casey and Holding Absence would be proud of. Across only two tracks the band have shown a vast amount of potential, managing to demonstrate refined, sophisticated song-writing that belies their relative lack of experience. After successfully launching the band in 2017, we’re hoping there’s much more to come this year. [Mark Johnson]

Listen to more from Parting Gift on Spotify

Time, the Valuator

When we interviewed this German quintet last year, they listed their collective influences as anything from Peter Gabriel, to Thrice to Periphery, and this broad spectrum of ideas certainly comes through in their music. Time, the Valuator released three singles last year, each with their own different, unique flavour, making their sound difficult to pin down, but also hugely exciting as you don’t know what you’re going to get next.

One thing that is startling consistent though is quality, and with big things planned for 2018 – namely a debut album and a UK/European tour – now is the time to get excited about Time, the Valuator. [Mark Johnson]

Listen to more from Time, the Valuator on Spotify


After a year touring with the likes of Ratboys and football, etc., Italian trio Dags! are an emotively alluring group to watch out for this year. Channeling a mixture of math, ambiance and emo, the result is a sound that is contemplatively encompassing to behold. This year will see them release the follow-up to their 2016 debut album ‘Snowed In / Stormed Out’, so be sure to pin your ears to the board for futureĀ  listening! [Aaron Lohan]

Listen to more from Dags! on Bandcamp


With former members of Goodtime Boys in their ranks, one would expect Rope to have a similar cathartic delivery. However, instead of a sheer rush, the Bridgend collective wrought their thoughts through hypnotic, repetitive post hardcore. Hints of Slint and Lungfish are embedded with an impactful guttural grit. The band are sure to expand on this to further mesmerising frequencies on their forthcoming second LP. Produced by Lewis Johns (Svalbard, Muncie Girls, Gnarwolves), it is a record we’re eagerly waiting for. [Aaron Lohan]

Listen to more from Rope on Bandcamp

Great Grandpa

These Seattle, WA indie rockers were quite the brilliant find for some last year. Great Grandpa’s debut album ‘Plastic Cough’ was a weird, wonderful and wildly stirring mix beholden to ‘Wowee Zowee’ era Pavement and early Weezer. The electrifying moments were sensational, whilst the quieter moments were tenderly profound. With the likes of Sorority Noise and Citizen in the band’s corner, Great Grandpa will hopefully knock more music fans sideways in 2018 with their fresh take on the slacker rock brand. [Aaron Lohan]

Listen to more from Great Grandpa on Bandcamp


The city of Leeds for over the last decade has been a healthy breeding ground for the UK’s finest hardcore bands. Hex are the latest group to burst forth from the crop, with their irreverent take on the genre. It’s cliched to say, but these hardcore punks don’t hold back on their viscerally venomous rage. Their 2016 demo and last year’s debut EP ‘La Voisin’ attest to their vitriolic splendour, while carrying an underlying humour on the subjects they dissect in their songs. If you’re looking for a band to tear your head off this year, then Hex will certainly do the job! [Aaron Lohan]

Listen to more from Hex on Bandcamp


Based in Leeds and Sheffield, Ganglions are a band whose styles combine two of the most fun genres to blend together as a whole. Gleefully grafted math rock and emotively empowered pop punk unfurl from the very fingertips they wield. Such a delightful sound collides seamlessly with their socio-political themes, making the education of these topics palatable and thought provoking in the best way possible. After the release of two EPs, including 2016 debut ‘Fetch!’ and last year’s ‘Thirst’ EP, 2018 is theirs for the taking! [Aaron Lohan]

Listen to more from Ganglions on Bandcamp


Now, to many an individual, the genre tag known as “synth punk” might sound like a gimmicky label for a band to describe themselves, let alone play as. However, Sheffield’s Nachthexen are the real fucking deal here. Tumultuous ear piecing synth driven notes, with a pulsating bass and clap trapping percussion, equates to a raw, instinctual pop sound. The nail of this craft is hammered into one’s skull with pissed off punk vocals that deconstructs the psyche in the best way possible. After a consistent run of three EPs, surely Nachthexen are more than ready to unfurl their anger onto 12″ wax? We hope so, and so should you! [Aaron Lohan]

Listen to more from Nachthexen on Bandcamp

Previous Entries

Ones to Watch in 2018: Part 1

Ones to Watch in 2018: Part 2