Aaron Jacksona2482703989_10

  1. The Dirty Nil – Master Volume
  2. Kanye West – Ye
  3. Pinegrove – Skylight
  4. Press To MECO – Here’s To The Fatigue
  5. Don Broco – Technology
  6. The Xcerts – Hold On To Your Heart
  7. Black Foxxes – Reiði
  8. Anderson .paak – Oxnard
  9. Turnstile – Time & Space
  10. Slaves – Acts Of Fear And Love

Reflecting back on this year has served as a reminder of how exciting a year it has been for music. For us personally at WaveByte, not only have we had the pleasure of reviewing the vast majority of these records, but we’ve also been lucky enough to see the artists ply their crafts on the live circuit. Whether this is through their own headline shows, support slots or festival appearances, now more than ever, we are seeing just how hardworking these musicians are. For me, the best music is when you can hear the artist’s blood, sweat and tears permeate through the barriers of the physical and embody itself within their work. This year, no album has sounded more visceral, authentic and intoxicatingly exhilarating as The Dirty Nil’s Master Volume. Truly a no-skip riot, The Dirty Nil hit every mark on their latest record which showcases all of the aspects from their previous effort, Higher Power, that made fans fall in love with the band in the first place. Furthermore, they pushed their boundaries and are beginning to explore further dynamics, perhaps best demonstrated in the album’s concluder, Evil Side – a moody, brooding number that crawls along for nearly 6-minutes but never outstays its welcome. This is just the start for The Dirty Nil.

More-than-honourable mentions include Fatherson, Can’t Swim, IDLES, Boston Manor and Black Peaks, all of which dropped records that, on another day, could well have crept onto this list.

Thanks to all. Here’s to an even better 2019.


Callum Huthwaite51H9eqU-0eL._SS500

  1.  The Dirty Nil, Master Volume
  2. Camp Cope, How to Socialise and Make Friends
  3. Don Broco, Technology
  4. Boston Manor, Welcome to the Neighbourhood
  5. The Xcerts, Hold on to Your Heart
  6. Slaves, Acts of Fear and Love
  7. Black Foxxes, Reiði
  8. Press to MECO, Here’s to the Fatigue
  9. J Cole, KOD
  10. The Story So Far, Proper Dose

2018 has been an exceptional year for music and for us, personally, at WaveByte. Having the chance to meet, interview and review some of the works of my favourite artists has blown my mind – so, before I begin, I must thank anyone and everyone that has taken their time to take a glance at our website this year. Alas, into the music. There was no shortage of releases that could have made my Top Ten, with some of my favourite bands not even being able to worm their way in. The Wonder Years, Tiny Moving Parts, Prey Drive, All Get Out, Pinegrove and Gloo all deserve mentions for the incredible bodies of work they released this year, however, there is one that stood above all. The self-proclaimed saviours of good ol’ fashioned Rock ‘n’ Roll have made a statement that could just cement this lofty claim. If you haven’t heard of The Dirty Nil, now is a time to educate yourself. With whirlwind riffage, raging hooks and dancing vocals aplenty, Master Volume is colossal from the first note to the last. When the singles for this album were released, I think most fans of the band began fizzing with excitement due to the infectious energy in all three tracks – That’s What Heaven Feels Like, Pain of Infinity and I Don’t Want That Phone Call. Forthright in every sense, these singles are three of the strongest I have ever listened to in the run-up to an album. Naturally, despite the bar being set so high, when we were treated to the rest of the album, I don’t think anyone has been disappointed. Tracks that will be stuck with you for hours, Master Volume is THE album that you find yourself telling everyone about. The band have been relentlessly touring all four corners of the globe since the release of this record, and I am glad that they are getting their message to as many people as possible. It deserves to be heard. Bravo The Dirty Nil, deservingly top of the tree in a stacked 2018.

Will Wilkins


  1. Press To MECO – Here’s To The Fatigue
  2. Brockhampton – Iridescence
  3. Post Malone – Beerbongs & Bentleys
  4. Travis Scott – Astroworld
  5. Ariana Grande – Sweetener
  6. Mac Miller – Swimming
  7. Slaves – Acts Of Fear And Love
  8. Don Broco – Technology
  9. The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships
  10. Dead! – The Golden Age of Not Even Trying

My taste has matured and grown over the past year, resulting in my Top Ten list having a wider range of genre then I had initially anticipated. It may not seem that broad to many, yet when it comes to music I usually argue on the side of playlists over albums. As such, I never used to listen to many albums, instead sticking mainly to singles and EPs.

With 2018 being such an emotional year, I’m sure many of you can understand some of my choices. Ariana Grande’s triumphant return to the spotlight with Sweetener was the light that came “to give back everything the darkness stole.” A few weeks later, the industry was dealt a heavy blow with the loss of Mac Miller. Yet, there were many positive outcomes of the year – Brockhampton released their first album since signing with RCA Records, smashing the Billboard charts and cementing their legacy as the greatest boyband of all time. Post Malone’s sophomore album, beerbongs & bentleys broke a number of world records previously held by Michael Jackson and the Beatles. Finally, Travis Scott’s ASTROWORLD was met with critical acclaim, earning a spree of ‘Top Albums of All Time’ placements.

However, one album stood above the rest for me. Press To MECO are England’s best-kept secret; they’re the gold buried in the mountain of music released daily on the internet. Here’s to the Fatigue is as close to the perfect album as any artist may reach. Following from their debut 2015 album Good Intent, PTM have now established themselves as musicians with class, taste, and dexterity. The expressive and demonstrative range on display in Here’s to the Fatigue is mind-blowing, and I am extremely excited to see where the band might go next. For those who aren’t a fan of the heavier, alternative grind, then take a look at the upcoming acoustic version of the album. Who knows; that might be Album of the Year for next year.

Thank you to all of our readers, artists, and partners for a spectacular 2018.



Celia MoonVillains

  1. Emma Blackery, Villains
  2. j-hope, Hope World
  3. Snow Patrol, Wilderness
  4. Tonight Alive, Underworld
  5. BTS, Love Yourself ‘Answer’
  6. Fall Out Boy, Mania
  7. Nicki Minaj, Queen
  8. Years & Years, Palo Santo
  9. Stand Atlantic, Skinny Dipping
  10. Ariana Grande, Sweetener

2018 was the year I joined WaveByte, and what an incredible year it has been. In the past seven months or so I have had the opportunity to write about what I love, discover new genres and artists, and educate myself on a world of music that I had no idea about before. I found a number of wonderful albums jostling for the top spot and it sure has been a hard choice, but I think I’ve cracked it now.

Palo Santo was the sound of my summer, Mania my go-to driving album, Wilderness the first I ever reviewed, and Hope World the first to ever make me feel a sense of motherly pride for an artist. In the end, however, the standout top album for my year is YouTube star Emma Blackery’s debut, full-length Villains. Having never listened to her music before being asked to review it I was plunged into something raw, exciting, and heart-breaking, and I couldn’t get enough of it. I still can’t. She still somehow manages to pull at my heartstrings even though by now I know each song off by heart, and I know I’ll keep on singing them well, well into the New Year as well.

2018 has brought with it many things, top of which is, of course, the stunning music it has produced, so here’s to plenty more in 2019.

Fraser Wakeling


  1. Don Broco – Technology
  2. 30 Seconds to Mars – America
  3. The Xcerts – Hold On To Your Heart
  4. Greta Van Fleet – Anthem Of The Peaceful Army
  5. Black Foxxes – Reiði
  6. Panic! at the Disco – Pray For The Wicked
  7. Twenty One Pilots – Trench
  8. The Dirty Nil – Master Volume
  9. Jeremy Loops – Critical As Water
  10. Fatherson – Sum Of All Your Parts


This year has been eye-opening for me, finding new artists and music repeatedly. An ever-challenging task, choosing the top 10 albums was incredibly tricky. However, Don Broco with Technology have to take the top spot, simply as a result of how much it’s blared out of my speakers since its release in February. There is simply no filler with this album, and the guys have done an amazing job of adapting their sound over the last couple of years. I think credit also has to be given to the team who have worked on the music videos for some of the tracks on the album. The marketing from Don Broco has been astounding ever since fans were fooled into thinking Tom was getting married prior to the release of Pretty in 2017, followed by comically-disturbing music videos for Everybody, Come Out to LA, and Greatness. If you haven’t had the pleasure of hearing the album or viewing the music videos just yet, be sure to check them out soon!

Megan FoxenThe_XCerts_-_Hold_on_to_Your_Heart_1290_1290

  1. Don Broco, Technology
  2. Camp Cope, How To Socialise and How to Make Friends
  3. The Dirty Nil, Master Volume
  4. The Xcerts, Hold on to Your Heart
  5. Lennon Stella, Love, Me
  6. Boston Manor, Welcome to the Neighbourhood
  7. The Wonder Years, Sister Cities
  8. GLOO, A Pathetic Youth
  9. Slaves, Acts of Fear and Love
  10. Pinegrove, Skylight


Don Broco have done it again. With both their first and second albums – Priorities and Automatic – comprising of a catalogue of undisputable bangers, the pressure was on for the boys from Bedford (Bedford!? Where’s Bedford?!) to deliver with their tricky third album. Unsurprisingly, for fans of the band anyway, they found no trouble in bringing yet another fantastic album. The excitement that surrounded the release of each single at the start of the year was incredible and when we were treated to the full album it was clear to see that the latest chapter in the Don Broco story could be the best one yet. Each song offers something different and as proven when I was lucky enough to see them earlier in the year, they deliver every track emphatically live. It is not too late to get aboard the Don Broco train, and I think that after one spin of Technology you will be hooked. Another ground-breaking year for one of the UK’s hottest talents.



Don’t wanna flick through playlists? Check out the megamix.

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