Ones to Watch in 2018: Part 4

Ones to Watch in 2018: Part 4

By Aaron Lohan

Jan 28, 2018 12:45

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, for the last four weeks we have been recommending many acts over a four part series. Today is the fourth and final part; enjoy!

Hundred Year Old Man

The UK has always had a relatively healthy post-metal scene, with bands like Bossk and Telepathy serving up their own distinct flavours of crushing heaviness in the vein of their transatlantic cousins in Isis and Pelican. Hundred Year Old Man, a Leeds-based sextet, have spent the last couple of years treading a darker and more atmospheric path that’s more akin to Amenra or Cult Of Luna at their bleakest, and that brooding and menacing ferocity is about to spread even further across the musical map, with the release of the band’s new 3-track EP, ‘Rei’, released this month through Gizeh Records. A claustrophobic slab of hypnotic riffs and lung-shredding bellows, ‘Rei’ is the next step in HYOM’s bid for world domination, and deserves to be the launch pad that sends the band into the upper echelons of the heavy music community. [James Lee]

Listen to more from Hundred Year Old Man on Bandcamp

Funeral Shakes

Made up of members of The Smoking Hearts, Gallows and Nervus – Funeral Shakes’ debut album promises “songs for the jilted, heartbroken and beaten, sugar-coated in the best possible way”. A crazy mix of Weezer, Against Me! Rocket From The Crypt, The Bronx and Dick Dale and His Del-tones gives us a completely new sound from this supergroup. With the album due for release on February 16 and a hand full of head line and support slots, including the Cancer Bats shows at the Underworld, now is the time to check them out! [Penny Bennett]

Listen to more from Funeral Shakes on Spotify


Imagine yourself walking through the streets of Los Angeles to find the oddest of objects on the ground; a conch shell. Through sheer curiosity, you put this to your ear as you do, and hear a grand, spacious and otherworldly sound. That’s the feeling this writer would describe when listening to LA alt trio Mossbreaker. On paper, their sound, a mix of alternative, dream pop and space rock, in this day and age, is to some a tired genre. However, Mossbreaker breathe new fantastical life to it. Last year’s debut album ‘Between the Noise and You’ is embedded with such marks, with approval from Failure’s Ken Andrews, who appears on the title track. If you’re ever in dire need of new wondrous soundscapes to explore, then Mossbreaker will guide you there. [Aaron Lohan]

Listen to more from Mossbreaker on Bandcamp


This Melbourne-based quintet recently signed to UNFD and will release their new EP ‘Butterfly’ on February 16. Their djent-like riffs, soaring vocals and country of origin draw obvious comparisons to Northlane, but this young band have so many layers and dynamics to their sound, they transcend simple pigeonholing. Elements of prog-rock, alt-rock and some blistering breakdowns help keep their songs fresh and interesting and we can’t wait to see the full span of ‘Butterfly’ when it lands next month. [Mark Johnson]

Listen to more from Thornhill on Bandcamp

Savage Hands

Maryland-based quintet Savage Hands are gearing up to release their debut EP ‘Barely Alive’ on March 2, and if latest single ‘Red’ is anything to go by, we’re in for a real treat. The band recently signed to Sharptone Records, home to two bands from Part 1 in this series, Loathe and Holding Absence, and in keeping with the label’s roster, you can expect high energy, impassioned vocals and hooks that stick in your head for days. These guys have seemingly come out of nowhere, but they’re making a big statement and we’re sure they’ll be sticking around. [Mark Johnson]

Listen to more from Savage Hands on Spotify

Happy Hour

Fans of Dance Gavin Dance will be familiar with the term ‘Swancore’ – a term used to lovingly describe a sub-genre of bands inspired by the work of the aforementioned’s talismanic guitarist Will Swan. Swancore is synonymous with complex but groove-oriented instrumentals, punctuated by technical, intricate guitar work and dynamic drumming, often fronted by a pair of vocalists trading clean and screamed vocals. Florida’s Happy Hour fit the blueprint perfectly, bursting with impressive instrumentals and powerful vocals. Their 2017 EP ‘What’s Your Poison’ managed to deliver memorable, well-written songs but with a tongue-in-cheek style and it’s this jovial attitude that gives them a unique edge in the genre. A new single is just around the corner, airing on February 1, and is hopefully the first of many more to come this year. [Mark Johnson]

Listen to more from Happy Hour on Bandcamp

Grumble Bee

We’ve spoken about multi-instrumentalist, fantastic vocalist and songwriting extraordinaire Jack Bennett many times at Punktastic. His Grumble Bee project has carried such a lasting impression over the past couple of years that it’s hard to believe he’s only got one substantial release to his name: debut EP ‘Disconnect’. Bennett teased fans with new singles ‘Red’, ‘Heron’ and the amazing ‘Bravest Soul’ in 2017, and after an agonising wait, we’ll finally be able to get our hands on his second, self-produced, EP this year. We’re huge admirers of Grumble Bee at Punktastic and it’s time for the rest of the world to fall in love with Bennett’s incredible vocals and massive, anthemic songs. [Mark Johnson]

Listen to more from Grumble Bee on Bandcamp


Crushing and carthatic are the specific words that come to mind when listening to Ithaca. The Londoners are inspired by the chaotic stylings of early Cave In and Botch’s emotively charged brand of mind melting metalcore. This year will see them drop their upcoming debut untitled album at some point. Recorded by Pijn’s Joe Clayton, it’s sure to build upon the foundations they set on their first two EPs, 2014’s ‘Narrow the Way’ and 2015’s ‘Trespassers’. Until then, get acquainted and embrace the storm that emanates from this band’s hearts and minds. [Aaron Lohan]

Listen to more from Ithaca on Bandcamp


Concocting a myriad of styles under their wing, Leicester band Kermes are sure to make ears prick up with their refreshing sound. The quartet craft ambient pop, jaggedly articulate indie rock and captivating sentimentalities into one prestigious package. After releasing a scrappy debut EP and the single ‘No Names/No Flags’ last year, this self described trashpop group will be rolling off the tongues of many an avid music fan in 2018. Be sure to catch them on tour with Happy Accidents this spring and get on board with the release of their debut album ‘We Choose Pretty Names’ in April! [Aaron Lohan]

Listen to more from Kermes on Bandcamp

Gender Roles

For this writer, and for most likely a smattering of music enthusiasts, the ‘illness’ of genre saturation is a dreaded factor. One gets to that point where they see all the predictable tropes after being over gorged by a particular style. The only remedy to overcome it is to find that band who takes a crowbar to the kneecaps of said style and executes it exceptionally well. This is exactly the delivery Gender Roles take to the slacker/indie punk genre. Last year, the Brighton trio’s debut EP ‘Planet X-Ray’ had genuine guts, hooks and integrity emitting from its very core. The signing to Big Scary Monsters (a label of whom, let’s face it, are currently at the top of their game) is sure to elevate them to the next level. Based on the recent singles ‘Plastic’ and ‘About Her’, this is sure to be the case! [Aaron Lohan]

Listen to more from Gender Roles on Bandcamp

Previous Entries

Ones to Watch in 2018: Part 1

Ones to Watch in 2018: Part 2

Ones to Watch in 2018: Part 3