I'm sure we've all by now seen the trend on Facebook of being nominated to share your ten biggest musical influences without saying why. I got nominated and I did this. Problem was though I really enjoy talking about music and the acts that have influenced me. So that's what this top ten is. Me running through my ten biggest influences and explaining them. Talking about music is good.
Lightyear – Call Of The Weasel Clan
On the surface, ska punk legends Lightyear are a fun ska punk band that never take themselves seriously but, when you take the time to listen to the lyrics, they actually touch on a lot of subjects that are super relatable. Call Of The Weasel Clan was released in 2001 and amazingly it still sounds as relevant today as it would have back then. And it's still a lot of fun!
Fletcher – My Revenge
I don't think I really realised how much my musical tastes were influenced by former London punk rockers Fletcher until many years later when I re-found them. My Revenge was originally released in 2003 and is full of melodic and what today would be classed as "gruff punk" bangers. That "gruff punk" sound has become my go to genre when I want to find a new band and the majority of my favourite albums from the past fews years would probably fall under that banner. Fletcher's Lee now lives in Canada and fronts a new band named Lee Resistant & The Lost who are great. Check them out.
The Bouncing Souls – How I Spent My Summer Vacation
I don't think there are many punk bands more universally loved than The Bouncing Souls. They, and How I Spent My Summer Vacation, taught me more than any other album that what punk rock is really about is doing things with your friends, being true to yourself and having a great time whilst doing it.
Great Cynics – Don't Need Much
After initially getting into punk rock through bands such as [Spunge], 4ft Fingers, Lightyear, Uncle Brian and Jesse James, I eventually fell into the trend that many people do and began to exclusively listen to bands from America. Then I somehow heard Don't Need Much by a UK band named Great Cynics and I loved it. Through this album, I went on to discover Apologies, I Have None, Bangers, ONSIND, Muncie Girls and loads more. It sent me down the path of DIY punk rock that I love so much now.
ONSIND – Dissatisfactions
Dissatisfactions is probably the first time I truly took in any political messages from music. I heard bands like Anti-Flag and NOFX sing about politics previously but it never really hit home with me until I heard this album from a duo from Durham named ONSIND. The stripped back acoustic nature of the album really caught my imagination and moved me in a way that no other album had at the time. I learnt a lot from this album.
Wank For Peace – Fail Forward
Wank For Peace were a French melodic hardcore band who recently reformed under the new name Tiny Voices. Wank For Peace were the band that ignited my passion for checking out punk rock from mainland Europe. There's an incredible amount of amazing bands in Europe that not enough people in the UK are checking out when they really should be.
Less Than Jake – Losing Streak/Hello Rockview
Ska is a big love of mine and that mostly stems from Less Than Jake. The first CD of theirs I ever owned was the Losing Streak/Hello Rockview double CD. I played that album to death for years and never ever got bored of it. The band, and very very few other ska bands, have never managed to top these two albums. Less Than Jake are still going strong to this day and it's the songs from these two albums that always get the biggest reactions whenever I see them live.
Against Me! – Reinventing Axl Rose
I was slow to get onboard with Against Me! for ages, they just didn't click with me and then I heard We Laugh At Danger (And Break All The Rules) and I got it. Previously I didn't enjoy the rougher, rawer sound of punk rock at all but Reinventing Axl Rose opened my mind to a whole new world of punk rock. It feels like there's such passion in these songs that I don't feel you get with a slicker, more produced album.
[Spunge] – The Story So Far
[Spunge] were not only my gateway into UK punk rock but my gateway to underground punk rock all over the world. I remember being a bit of an indie kid as a teenage because that's what my best friends enjoyed but never properly connected with it. Then one evening I was listening to Steve Lamaq on Radio One and Roots by [Spunge] came on and that pretty much changed my life forever (hopefully for the better). [Spunge] pretty much played a big part in me being the person who I am today.
Davey Dynamite – Holy Shit
Holy Shit by Davey Dynamite is, in my humble opinion, the greatest album ever made. It's full of such passion and energy. It tackles important subjects in a way that really makes you think. It's full of ear worms and moments where you'll find yourself singing along with all the gusto that you can manage. No other album ever has moved me in the way that Holy Shit has. For me, this album should be the blue print for every punk rock album. More than just being incredible though, it not only shaped a lot of my political beliefs but it made passionate about standing for what I belief in and gave me the confidence to call people out if I believed they are acting in a way that isn't right.
This top ten was written by Colin Clark.