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Dork's Bangers of the Year (So Far): 50-41

It's the first ten tracks in our Q1/Q2 stock take of the biggest bangers.
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Published: 11:00 am, July 25, 2018Words: Jake Hawkes, Martyn Young, Stephen Ackroyd.
Dork's Bangers of the Year (So Far): 50-41

We’re more than half way through the 2018 auditing period, Dear Reader. That means it’s time to pull down the shutters, call in the staff, and do a stock check on the only thing that counts. Cold, hard Bangers.

We’ve run the sums, calculated the co-efficients, and come up with our definitive top 50 tracks of the year so far. You can read the full run down now in the new issue of Dork, or keep pace on over the next few days as we count down.

Obviously there are rules to this countdown. You can read them here.

Featuring appearances from the likes of Black Honey, Peace, Pale Waves, Years & Years, Chvrches, Spring King and more, here's the first 10 to make the cut.

Dork's Bangers of the Year (So Far): 50-41

50: Black Honey Bad Friends

Think you know Black Honey? Think again.
In the world of bangers, it’s important to never sit still. There’s no danger of Bad Honey doing that, finding an evolution on their trademark sound which challenges expectation and throws the four-piece head first into a world of possibilities. As a taster of a debut full-length to come, it’s the palette cleanser every band strives to deliver.

What they say: “Bad Friends is a still in time - when you feel just as lost in a moment as you are lost in an internal conflict between your ever-changing feelings for the wrong people. It’s about ultimately craving something that makes you alive. Sonically we wanted to create our own Frankenstein’s monster of pop music that felt equally wrong as it is right” - Izzy B Phillips
Dork's Bangers of the Year (So Far): 50-41

49: MGMT Me And Michael

The weirdo wonders are back on top pop form.
It takes a lot of guts to discover the perfect formula for making a chart-topping track, then proceed to ignore it completely from then on. It wouldn’t have worked for everyone, but it did for MGMT. ‘Me and Michael’ sees a band that are comfortable in their psychedelic niche, but still know how to write a chorus or two.
Dork's Bangers of the Year (So Far): 50-41

48: Ten Tonnes Lay It On Me

Laying down the bangers, right?
While big brother George Ezra is ripping up the charts, younger sibling Ethan is not so quietly crafting his own line in turbo-bangers. Really, apart from the pop heritage, those family comparisons mean little to Ten Tonnes’ musical output. More assertive, direct and packing an indiefied edge, ‘Lay It On Me’ is more in the lineage of Sundara Karma and the Maccabees before them. Shorthand for ‘it’s brilliant’, then.

What they say: “Lay It On Me’ is telling someone if they need you, you’ll be there,” says Ethan. “You’ve been away and distant, but now you’re back.”
Dork's Bangers of the Year (So Far): 50-41

47: Spring King Animal

The kings of the indie banger are back.
Kings of the indie rock banger, Spring King are established hands at this game. Their debut album was filled from front to back with the kind of incendiary energy that raises pulses and sends pint glasses flying. The first offering from their second full-length showed they’d not lost their vicious touch, either. This animal has teeth.

What they say: “’Animal’ takes you two hundred miles an hour, and by the end of it, you’ve got rid of all the demons. You’ve shaken them all out,” starts Tarek Musa before adding a smile. “It’s a workout.” “Guitar-wise, it’s inspired by Pantera. Not that it sounds anything like it. I was really getting back into heavy music,” explains Pete Darlington, who set out to write 100 riffs for this record.
Dork's Bangers of the Year (So Far): 50-41

46: The Wombats Black Flamingo

They’ve beaten the landfill to become indie’s veteran kings.
Born of an era committed to the ‘indie landfill’, to many the fact the Wombats have delivered one of the best alt-pop records of 2018 so far may make for a difficult narrative, but it shouldn’t. In truth, any number of shiny, polished gems from the trio’s fourth album could have made its way into this list, but with its desert rock swagger, takes the prize.
Dork's Bangers of the Year (So Far): 50-41

45: Chvrches Miracle

Beware the drop.
‘Love Is Dead’ saw Chvrches inhabit a more overtly pop persona, working with outside influence to find their best selves, but it’s on ‘Miracle’ that the trio really step into new territory. Shimmering, crystal clear vocals clash headfirst into bassy, brash drops to create the sort of stadium-filling moment that opens up whole new worlds. A chart-levelling WMD, deploy it with care.

What they say: The song was produced by Steve Mac (Ed Sheeran / ‘Shape Of You’). On working with the mega-producer, the band says: “‘Miracle’ is the only song from ‘Love Is Dead’ that we didn’t write and record in the States, instead producing it in London with Steve Mac. Steve is such an intuitive writer with such a killer ear for melody and working with him felt very easy and natural. He makes space for everyone in the room and really pushes people to try things and go outside of their comfort zone, in a good way.”
Dork's Bangers of the Year (So Far): 50-41

44: The Vaccines I Can't Quit

Neither can we, lads.
The Vaccines might not have fulfilled their destiny as the future of UK music, but ‘I Can’t Quit’ shows they still know how to craft a perfect indie-punk banger. It isn’t exactly a step into unknown territory, but really - what did you expect from The Vaccines?
Dork's Bangers of the Year (So Far): 50-41

43: Pale Waves The Tide

The Tide is high (in our list of bangers of the year so far).
Bristling in house-coloured neon, Pale Waves’ command of aesthetic is their greatest strength - each new cut fortifying those around it. ‘The Tide’ has all the tricks - that magpied 80s sheen, a nonchalant goth-pop shrug in the face of sugar-sweet hooks - but crucially breezes with the confidence of a band who increasingly know exactly who they need to be.
Dork's Bangers of the Year (So Far): 50-41

42: Peace You Don't Walk Away From Love

You leave in an ambulance?
Peace’s latest album ‘Kindness is the New Rock and Roll’ was absolutely chock full of bangers, but ‘You Don’t Walk Away from Love’ might just be the cream of the crop. A stonker of a chorus and more jangly guitars than you can shake a stick at. It’s dead good.

What they say: “This song is about the colours of the heart that live under the cool pastels and monochrome chequers,” says frontman Harry Koisser. “It’s about the bright primary stubbornness and unsophisticated optimism that won’t stop squirming toward true love. It’s a 100% real life true human emotional time capsule being unearthed for me. It was something I was desperate to say to somebody but obviously didn’t have the courage.”
Dork's Bangers of the Year (So Far): 50-41

41: Years & Years Sanctify

Track one on the most bangerrific album of the year.
Olly Alexander and co. are ready to take you to an altogether higher plane, and there’s nothing you can do about it except give yourself up to ‘Sanctify’s’ smouldering desire. Oozing with the confidence that comes from ascending to British pop’s highest peak, Years & Years’ return is big, bold and transcendent.

What they say: “I want to take people on a wild and wonderful adventure through my dreams to a world that’s very different from our own. I’ve been thinking about this place for a long time, a place to tell stories from; about identity, sexuality, celebrity and performance.” - Olly Alexander.

Follow our top 50 rundown with this Spotify playlist, that will be updated through the week. You can read the full list right now in the new issue of Dork. Order a copy below!

August 2018
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