Disclaimer: I change my mind about this list daily, but these are the punk rock(ish) songs that are currently making me play air drums in the street (other instruments are applicable).
1) Shine – The Smith Street Band
I could do an entire list of only SSB songs to be honest, but this one wins because it works when you’re up, down, angry, sad, ecstatic – the human condition in 3 minutes and 46 seconds. Plus I live in the Heathrow flight path so it has special relevance (never been that tempted to ‘take off all my clothes and run screaming in the pouring rain’, mind).
2) Face Down – latewaves
These guys are from New Jersey, proving once again that there must be something in the water over there. Fingers crossed they’ll get over to New Cross someday soon. Anyway, this is a singalong description of the banality of depression, with a kick-arse guitar solo to boot – what’s not to love?!
3) Oh Joy – Nervus
This should be the standard for anyone trying to write songs about their ex – ‘it’s been a while since I’ve given much thought to you’ – oof. Plus the vocal harmonies and the counterpoint and the build and the bass. I love it, I love them.
4) My Mistake – Dave Hause
Is Dave Hause punk? Probably not, but I don’t care – ‘King of Shit Mountain’ is too good a lyric. One of my summer driving songs.
5) Heartbreakers – The New Heat
Famously less punk than Dave Hause, but these guys are my buddies and spirit animals, and this is the stand-out song on their current EP (in my opinion, of course). There exists some awful video footage of me yelling the outro into my phone after one too many daytime beers…
6) Never Going Back – Hot Water Music
Pretty much all the songs in this list have lyrics that I’d consider getting tattooed, but ‘if you rest, you rust’ is sitting at the top of the list. You all know how good HWM are so I shouldn’t need to say much more.
7) Look What Happened – Less Than Jake
The Borders & Boundaries version, specifically. I listen to this after bad gigs, sometimes for catharsis and other times for affirmation. I was the worst musician in a ska band for a while (with the drummer from King Punch, weirdly) so LTJ will always have a special place in my heart!
8) Bad Reputation – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Yeah, so it seems cheesy now but it sure as hell wasn’t when it first came out, and who gives a shit anyway – it’s a banger. All praise Queen Joan.
9) Baby’s Breath – Doll Skin
It is impossible not to nod your head to every transition in this – finally a song I can send to Tobias (Alexander, my drummer) to prove that I’m not the only person who writes songs with a stupid amount of discrete rhythm sections (Average Capitalist has 23, apparently. Sorry Tobias…). Anyway, Doll Skin are awesome and I was gutted to miss them when they were touring over here in the summer.
10) Take My Country Back – Enter Shikari
My favourite of the many protest songs around at the moment – ‘I don’t want to take my country back, I want to take my country forward’. It seems so simple, doesn’t it…
Check out Katie MF on Bandcamp here and Facebook here.