Here are some of my favorite punk bands. Most of these are the newer punk revivalists, pop-punk, which I’ve gradually come to live more than the original genre.
These are “my” bands. The bands that helped shape who I am, roughly in order of how much they mean to me.
Dave Mattingly: The Musical, Part 8
- Known For: Time Bomb
Memories: Back in 2001, my wife interpreted for the deaf at the Billy Graham Crusade in Louisville, so I was there with her for the whole multi-day event. Since I’d hear the same things over the course of those days, I’d often wander around. While strolling the promenade, I
saw a teenager (presumably dragged along by a family member as he pretty obviously didn’t want to be there) wearing a Rancid shirt. I eagerly talked with him about the band, and asked if he’d ever heard their cover of the “Gilligan’s Island” theme song, which he hadn’t. It totally blew his mind that someone else at a Billy Graham event was a fan of the band.
- Favorite Songs: Fall Back Down, Ruby Soho, Gilligan’s Island, Roots Radicals, Memphis
- Known For: DJ DJ
- Memories: I first heard the Transplants on some video music channel that was running a ‘pool party’ theme, and played “DJ DJ.” It still cracks me up that their “Diamonds and Guns” piano got used in a shampoo commercial. I still love hearing Skinhead Rob’s rant in that song.
Favorite Songs: Diamonds and Guns, Gangsters and Thugs, Come Around
Stiff Little Fingers
- Known For: Self Esteem
- Memories: I don’t generally go for a lot of the Offspring’s earlier grungy work, and prefer their faster-paced punky work. Especially when it’s a little goofy. The catchphrase lyric ‘gotta keep ’em separated’ was unique in the musical landscape at the time, having a band member sort of interrupt the chorus with commentary.
- Favorite Songs: Come Out and Play, Pretty Fly (For a White Guy), Why Don’t You Get a Job?, The Kids aren’t All Right
Public Image Ltd
- Known For: (This is Not a) Love Song
- Memories: PIL is best known for spinning off from the Sex Pistols, and John(ny Rotten) Lydon’s lyric “anger is an energy” still rings true, and helps to spur me into action. Whereas the Pistols were raw and angry, Public Image was smoother and stylized, but still with some crazy in the mix.
- Favorite Songs: Rise, Seattle
- Runners Up: MC5, The Damned, Buzzcocks, The Distillers, The Clash, The Ramones, The Suicide Machines, Steriogram, Social Distortion, Wire, !!!, Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, Dead Milkmen, Velvet Underground, New York Dolls, Offspring, The Stranglers