Thursday, 5 November 2015

Top Tens: Jesse from Modern Triggers Top Ten Punk Rock Influences

Here is Jesse from New York folk-punk band Modern Trigger's Top Ten Punk Rock Influences.

- I really wanted to include a modern punk band who are relatively new to the scene that I think people should check out and these guys fit the bill. The band name, an acronym for Fuck It Dog, Life's A Risk, suits their style so well. They're California surf punk about partying, skating, drinking cheap beer, smoking weed, and partying some more. They have a real old school punk feel that I love. Their self-titled first album has been on repeat for me since it came out. Just a few weeks ago, their second album, Too, was released and is still as impressive. These guys will be mainstays in the punk scene for years to come.

9. Bad Brains - what could possibly be said about Bad Brains that will convey how much they've meant to the punk/hardcore genre? They played faster and harder than anyone at the time and forced their way onto people's radios. Every punk in a band today secretly wishes they could be in Bad Brains, me included.

8. Refused - I grew up as a hardcore kid and Refused's 1998 masterpiece "The Shape of Punk to Come" changed my approach to hardcore music. The album redefined the genre, it was musically challenging and the level of musicianship was incredible and unlike anything I had ever heard before. This was easily the most influential album I have ever listened to. They took the idea that punk music couldn't continue to be "anti-establishment" if it all sounded the same, set out to change the approach to punk and hardcore music and succeeded in influencing bands after them, living up to the album title. Crazy time signatures, jazz breakdowns in the middle of songs, and samples results in an album that pushed boundaries. Anyone making an album that tried to be unique and special post TSOPTC drew influences from that album. It is an absolutely brilliant record. Masterpiece is the only word for it.

7. Piebald - This Boston punk outfit is now broken up, but their style of upbeat, catchy punk lives on. All of their albums were great but, in my opinion, their greatest achievement was the 2002 release "We Are The Only Friends We Have." From start to finish, it's perfect and has inspired many sing-alongs between my friends and me.

6. Against Me! - Being in a folk punk band, I look to bands like Andrew Jackson Jihad, Defiance Ohio, and others for inspiration. To me, Against Me! have been amongst those mainstays in this genre that continue to release albums that challenge the standard of punk music. Reinventing Axl Rose was a phenomenal album and they continued to release great album after great album. While Laura Jane Grace's personal life has gotten a lot of publicity, the fact is that Against Me! has continues to pump out classic albums. 2014's Transgender Disphoria Blues is one of their most impressive albums. It takes a lot of balls (no pun intended) to come out as a transgender woman in the punk scene and this album, the first since Grace came out, had to live up to expectations for fans, and it did just that.

5. The Movielife - Being from Long Island, New York, we're pretty spoiled with our music scene. A bunch of bands led the push to develop a great scene here; The Movielife are one of those bands. They're Long Island legends and recently reunited to play some shows in NY, which were absolutely insane. Call them pop-punk, call them emo, call them whatever you want, The Movielife are not only a great Long Island band, they are a great punk band period.

4. Minor Threat - If you were to make a Mt. Rushmore of hardcore music, I'm pretty sure Minor Threat's frontman Ian MacKaye would be at least 2 of the 4 faces on the mountain. Enough can't be said about Minor Threat's influence in hardcore and punk: from bringing the Straight Edge movement to the scene to establishing the DIY ethic that we, and many other bands operate under. Their label Dischord Records is iconic, as is Minor Threat's style and music. It's not always about longevity. Minor Threat was a short lived band but they laid the groundwork for pretty much every hardcore band to follow them, as did MacKaye's follow up project Fugazi who could warrant a place on this list as well. They're absolute legends.

3. Brand New - Arguably Long Island's most successful band in recent memory, Brand New started as a pop punk band with their debut Your Favorite Weapon, singing songs about growing up and problems with girls. They have since evolved into something so much different. Deja Entendu, The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me, and Daisy are all completely different albums with a different sound specific to each album. They are still one of my favorite bands to see live even after seeing them countless times as a fan and after being lucky enough to share the stage with them with my old band. They evolved and got better with every album that they released. Deja Entendu, their most successful album, is a standard for a lot of bands in New York and Long Island in particular. They play sold out shows around the country and when they play in the New York area, shows sell out in minutes. Their most recent show on Long Island sold out in under 3 minutes. Brand New are legends here on Long Island and for good reason. Everything they put out is solid gold. People here always have something critical to say about them but it's because they pushed the genre forward with every album and started new trends.

2. Saves The Day - I absolutely love this band. After 22 years, and 8 full length albums, New Jersey's Saves The Day continue to pump out great albums. Their evolution is as impressive as their catchy songs. Listening to their Debut "Can't Slow Down" and their sophomore release "Through Being Cool" brings back the days of seeing your 18 year old friends playing punk music at a basement show, sing-alongs, catchy guitar hooks, and songs about being angry towards girls for not loving you bring back those high school days. Then came "Stay What You Are" and my personal favorite of theirs "In Reverie" which saw them, grow up and mature in their song writing. "Sound The Alarm" and "Under The Boards" have a much more dark, depressive feel to them. Chris Connelly the singer worked through a really rough time in his life which makes these albums really emotional to listen to. Following that came "Daybreak", an album that feels like he finally is getting better and moving forward. Their most recent release, the self titled album, is a return to their roots. Saves the Day is one of those bands that you may forget about for a little bit, but then one of their songs come on via shuffle in my car or on my computer and then I am inevitably forced to listen to all 8 albums from start to finish.

1. Green Day - yeah ok, I know what people are thinking: what a cop out. It is not. Green Day is our generation's Ramones. They have been at it since 1986, and have been punk from day one. People are often really critical of Green Day calling them sell outs or not punk, but for years they have been putting out albums that are true to themselves. Sure the tone has changed, but I have never listened to Green Day and thought that they were playing something other than what was special to them and that to me is the definition of NOT selling out. Dookie was the first CD I ever bought and to this day is one of my favorite albums of all time, it's flawless from beginning to end. Kerplunk and 1,039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours came before Dookie and built the foundation for what they would become. They deserve the honor of getting inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame because they led a charge in the 90's that brought punk to the mainstream. It's because of bands like them that lots of people started really getting into punk music. They are also an incredible live act. To me, Green Day is one of the most successful punk bands of all time and absolutely deserve to be number 1 on this list.

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