I’ll start this list with Rancid as I feel they were my main influence while writing the ‘Anti-Bullshit’ EP. Tim Armstrong is just the man, man. I love his songwriting style and the way he blends genres so perfectly. Seeing Rancid live was one of, if not, the best gig I have ever been to. The atmosphere and feeling of community in that room was everything I love about punk rock. My favourite album is of course ‘... and Out Come the Wolves’ although ‘Indestructible’ is a very close second for me.
Pat the Bunny
Pat the Bunny is also the man… man. He’s gone under a few different names over the years but I love everything this dude has done for the raw emotion of his music. He has this somehow beautiful way of just screaming everything that’s in his head into a microphone and making it sound good. ‘Love Songs for the Apocalypse’ from the ‘Johnny Hobo & the Freight Trains’ project is probably my favourite overall album, but the number 1 anthem has to be ‘Wingnut Dishwashers Union - Fuck Shit Up’. There’s a video somewhere on YouTube of him playing this in what appears to be someone’s basement to about 10 people, screaming the lyric “A punk rock song won’t ever change the world, but I can tell you about a couple that changed me” - which I remember first watching when I was around 15 years old and getting mad inspired by.
Ducking Punches reaches this list more for personal reasons than anything musically. Both of us being from Norwich, as I was discovering the DIY music scene, Dan was the first person I saw to successfully be keeping himself afloat through art and music and going off on tours every few months and seeing the world. He was doing everything I wanted to do and he proved to me that it was possible. A big inspiration at that point in my life. My favourite song will always be ‘DIY or Die’ off his first album when he was still solo, just because of the impact that had on me at the time. My favourite album is ‘Dance Before You Sleep’ – every single song on that album is a banger.
NOFX just had to be on this list. They’ve gotta be on any punk rock list haven’t they? Mad fast drums and shredding with impeccable vocal harmonies. They were one of the first bands to get me hooked on punk rock and also taught me a bit about not taking life so seriously, which is nice. I recently read their book as well which I highly recommend – those guys are fucking mental. Favourite album would probably be either ‘Pump Up The Valuum’ or ‘So Long & Thanks for all the Shoes’.
Alkaline Trio are amazing songwriters and musicians in general. I wish I could write songs like them and I wish I could sing like them. Bastards. My love for Alkaline Trio also led me to discover The Revival Tour which grew my appreciation immensely for the folk punk movement by introducing me to artists such as Chuck Ragan, Dave Hause and Frank Turner who all deserve honorary mentions on this list. My favourite Trio album has to be ‘From Here to Infirmary’ – it bangs.
Goldfinger are one of the earliest punk bands I can remember listening to, thanks to my dad. The albums ‘Open Your Eyes’ and ‘Stomping Ground’ were playing in the car everywhere we went for a large portion of my childhood. I can thank my dad for a very large percentage of my music taste today – he’s a dude. I also realised in later years a lot of their lyrics are pro-vegan and back a lot of my current ideologies, which is also rad. My favourite albums would be those I mentioned, for the nostalgia.
I bloody love The Distillers. Up there with Tim Armstrong and Pat the Bunny, Brody Dalle is definitely also the man. Hard hitting angsty punk rock but with melodies for days – the best combination. My favourite album of theirs, contrary to popular opinion, is ‘Coral Fang’. So. Many. Bangers.
Awesome psychobilly infused punk rock from Canada. Another on my list of the top 10 gigs I’ve ever attended, these guys know how to put on a show and I think there definitely needs to be more punk bands making use of the slap bass! I grew up watching my dad play slap bass in rockabilly bands so I was already well acquainted with the instrument, but when I saw one used to smash out 1000mph punk songs I was blown away. Awesome. My favourite album would be ‘They All Fall Down’ (although they are all bloody brilliant!).
Days n Daze
Days n Daze are just about as DIY as you can possibly get. Proper rad roots folk punk, with a washboard n everything. For me, they make this list mainly for the lyrics in the chorus of ‘Fuck It!’ that have always stuck with me ever since first hearing them – “Cause life's a game, life's a joke, fuck it, why not go for broke? Trade in all your chips and learn how to be free. Why abstain? Why jump in line? We're all living on borrowed time, so do what you like, and we'll like what you do when you do it and if they don't that's fine, fuck 'em!” Awesome.
Larry & His Flask
Larry & His Flask are a wicked country/bluegrass band that play with a punk rock attitude. You’ve gotta love a band that breaks all the rules and Larry & His Flask do exactly that. I doubt you will ever see a country band that play with as much energy as these guys. My favourite album is ‘All That They Know’ – the guitar solo in the first track is way up there in my list of greatest guitar solos of all time.
Sharks Can’t Hold Hands links…