Recently I've been making my way through the gargantuan task of putting all of my 1500 CDs onto my laptop. It's taking a very long time but it's allowed me to reminisce on some of the bands who I used to love (and still love) but just don't listen to all that much anymore. Here are ten of my favourites.
Definitely not a punk band but one of the first guitar based bands I really loved. When the album Echo Park was released, with the hit singles Buck Rogers, Seven Days In The Sun and Just A Day, Feeder really struck a chord with me. As I grew older my tastes obviously found their way to punk rock but whenever I hear a Feeder song, a smile always finds its way across my face.
The Have Nots
After releasing two fantastic albums in Serf City USA and Proud, Boston's The Have Nots seemed to disappear. That for me was a big shame as I was a massive fan of the band who mixed sing-a-long punk rock with ska. I can't remember ever hearing about the disbanding so I'm hoping they will be back with some new material and some shows.
I cannot begin to describe how obsessed I was with The Johnstones six or seven years ago. I would listen to their entire discography near enough every day and knew every single word to every single song. I was definitely a superfan. The Canadian band mixed ska, punk, rap and pop music to create one of the most unique sounds in the ska scene. The Johnstones were a great party band.
I'll never understand why Madcap weren't one of the biggest bands in punk rock in the early 2000s. They released three albums but the one that has always stood out to me as a classic is East To West. Putting a modern street punk spin on classic '77 punk rock, the LA based four piece were the soundtrack of my 2002.
The McRackins are a band from Canada comprised of three men, two of which were transformed into eggs and the other into a dog and given super pop punk powers by a nuclear explosion. The kings of the gimmick pop punk band, before Masked Intruder came along. Every album, of which there were many, had an egg pun for a title. I always found this very amusing. A little research shows me that the band is still going today and I will be checking them out again.
I feel like Dan from RXR, and who also contributes to Colin's Punk Rock World, may use some of his martial arts training on me for including MXPX on this list. I first heard MXPX just after they released Ten Years and Running and became hooked on the three piece. Sadly as I've gotten older their newer material just didn't do it for me in the same way the old school did and I gradually stopped listening to them altogether. That being said, whenever I hear Punk Rawk Show I do still get quite excited.
The Santa Barbra band, Nerf Herder, are perhaps most famous for providing the theme tune to Buffy The Vampire Slayer. This more geeky side of pop punk really grabbed me back when How To Meet Girls and American Cheese where released in the early 2000s. I just adored their catchy, sing-a-long songs. Other than releasing a new album named Rockingham last year the band have been very quiet. Frontman Parry Gripp has become a bit of a YouTube star thanks to his hamster playing piano video.
The Planet Smasher are a long running ska punk band from Montreal, Canada. The mighty Golf Records rereleased a handful of their albums back in the day and at the time the newest one, Mighty, really got me. Focussing on more of a ska/pop/rock sound rather than punk rock, the Planet Smashers were unlike any other band I listened to at the time. Despite a big health scare for lead singer and guitarist Matt Collyer last year the band are still very active in the Canandian ska scene. I'm hoping for a trip back to the UK - it's very overdue.
The Ramones do feel like a bit of a strange band to be putting on this list as, you know, it's The Ramones. There was a time when I would pick up every single CD, book, magazine, DVD, piece of merchandise I could featuring The Ramones. I loved them. I still love them but with so many amazing bands around these days I just don't have time to listen to them. They are amazing though so I should find the time. I am slowly collecting original pressings of Ramones albums on vinyl so I shall listen to them more. For the longest time my Facebook and Google account about me section has said "When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Ramone."
River City Rebels
Say what you will about how Victory Records was run but at their peak they had an incredible roster of bands. One of the bands that I always felt was really overlooked was the River City Rebels. Their mix of street punk and ska made for one of the most entertaining and unique party punk rock bands of their era. The album in particular that I especially enjoyed was 2002's No Good, No Time, No Pride. Songs such as Aborted, Drunken Angel, Life's A Drag, Pass The Bucket and Mutiny were firm favourites on any punk rock playlists I'd make.