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The Punk Thread

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RPS    12,116

Looking for stuff mainly pre-1985. I'm pretty open minded over any suggestions on bands. The only reason I specify 85 is what I wanna cover pre-85 first and than go back and get everything after. I'm asking for recommendations because I lost a great deal of my vinyl collection and I'm now looking to reclaim some of it. My mind is pretty hazy and I'm know there are lots of folks on the board with extensive punk knowledge (looking at you Verbal). I've got the major guys covered: Clash, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Descendents, the Slits, Bad Brains, etc. So fire away. Anything obscure I'm missing? I tend to prefer straight up punk rock more than the more new wave stuff like Wire or hardcore stuff, but I'm open minded.

Edited by RockPaperScissors

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IceLint    10,878

Crass? The Damned. some of Bad Religions earlier stuff. If you can find/download Into The Unknown, its not really a punk record but is still pretty good

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LittleDaniel    6,236

Minor Threat

The Minutemen

The Germs

The Cramps

The Misfits

The Damned

Crass

Reagan Youth

Hüsker Dü

Suicidal Tendencies

The Exploited

Here's some off the top of my head/looking through my iPod. Some would be considered hardcore punk, which you said you didn't want, but you also said you like DK and Black Flag and Bad Brains so maybe you just don't like new hardcore?

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VerbalPeru    9,480

Since you seem to like the Ramones and Sex Pistols, I can say go with some good 77 style like the Dead Boys, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, and the Saints (one of the most underrated and under appreciated bands of that era). The first three groups were New York bands while the Saints were from Australia to give you an idea of the sound you'll be getting.

No Alternative were a good band from San Francisco, they were around the same time as Dead Kennedys were getting big. They only have two albums, Johnny Got His Gun and Nights in S.F., you'd be fine with just Johnny Got His Gun, it has pretty much everything they ever recorded. I'd recommend getting the second album only if you really dig these guys because both albums are pretty much the same, except that Nights in S.F. has two songs not on Johnny Got His Gun.

San Francisco had a great scene honestly, a lot of interesting sounds came out there, but as far as straight punk goes I'd also recommend the Lewd. Look for the album "Kill Yourself Again".

One of my personal favorites is the Anti Nowhere League, actually got the chance to see them live a few years ago and they were great. Most people probably recognize the song So What due to Metallica covering them. Fuck Metallica and their cover.

I'd also recommend the Adolescents due to your enjoyment of the Descendants. They can somewhat be classified as hardcore because they play fast, but they are much more advanced than the typical 1 minute, shitty recording hardcore you'd get from the early 80s.

Sham 69 is another one from England that were fairly well known, they helped spark the Oi scene but fell more closely in with being a punk band than a skinhead band. Same could go for the Angelic Upstarts, Teenage Warning is a must have for any punk fan if you ask me.

Speaking of good English bands, Slaughter and the Dogs, good stuff. Definitely just good old punk, and they do a great cover of Quick Joey Small.

I've got a ton more, but it's a bit late and I'll leave off at that. If you decide you want to hear some of the stuff that was part of the same scene, but had it's own unique sound I can help with that (looking at you Screamers, Geza-X, and Black Randy).

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PolaMDK    22,201

Agent Orange, it's punk with a dash of surf rock thrown in. One of my favourite bands, definitely worth a listen.

Basically just let VP hold your hand, he knows all the best bands.

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LittleDaniel    6,236

Looking for stuff mainly pre-1985.

Green Day?

Nah, there's no way they were around that early.

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RPS    12,116

Thanks for the recommendations. Will check some of these out on YouTube and will report back.

Also, sorta related... I forgot how shitty Road to Ruin by Ramones was.

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I just noticed VP mentioned The Screamers. They never had any official album releases, did they?

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VerbalPeru    9,480

Yeah, Road to Ruin is definitely below the standard set by their first three albums, but it does have a few good tracks. "I'm Against It" is good, but I never did like "I wanna be sedated", always a song I skip by them.

A couple of more suggestions, the Avengers are a good female fronted band, punk definitely had a lot of good female fronted groups. X-Ray Spex is another that you're probably familiar with.

I definitely think you should check out some of the Texas groups like the Dicks, M.D.C., and Big Boys (the best of the bunch, a punk band that infused funk into their work and made it sound great).

I'll always be around for suggestions, if you need help acquiring the albums or need good resources to purchase vinyl you can message me.

Edit - To answer Cloudy's question, no they did not. The two albums by them is a large double album of their live work, and a demo album they did in the studio. Technically the demo was released on vinyl (I paid 40 bucks for it so I know it exists) but they never had an official album. Basically all that exists of them are the two albums I mentioned, and then the DVD release which is excellent. The DVD release features a show they did at the Mabuhay Gardens (The Fab Mab, one of San Francisco's best punk venues in the 70s and 80s) and has a few studio recordings as well. On top of that there is this amazing 20 minute feature which has short clips of a ton of different punk, new wave, no wave, synth, and industrial bands playing. It has everything from the Ramones, to the Talking Heads to Tuxedo Moon to the Gun Club to....shit Iggy Pop and Code of Honor. It's by the same people that recorded the Cramps live at the Napa Valley Mental Hospital. For the record, most of the Screamers videos from that DVD are on youtube.

Part of the reason that the Screamers never did record an actual album is because they wanted to release albums on video. It was an idea far too ahead of it's time in the first place, but the band would end up splitting before the plan came to fruition. To some degree they pulled it off, just that the videos didn't see release until the DVD I mentioned earlier.

Edited by VerbalPuke

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RPS    12,116

How the fuck did I never listen to Minutemen? Fucking fantastic band. Double Nickels is amazing. Holy shit.

Really enjoyed Agent Orange Living in Darkness. Mixed bag of styles and sounds, really enjoyable. Avoids monotony.

Dead Boys and No Alternative are great bands as well. I'm not enjoying them as much as Agent Orange and Minutemen, but still really good bands.

A few of the bands I had heard before but just fell of my radar - Minor Threat, X Ray Spex, X Crass, the Germs - still sounds as great as they did before. The Germs probably the most of all the groups. Any other recommendations on more female fronted bands, Verbal? I'm pretty well versed on the riot grrl movement of the 90's - Team Dresch, Bikini Kill, Sleater Kinney, L7, Babes in Toyland. But anything worthy pre-Riot Grrl worth checking out in the girl department? Or any good riot grrl bands who I may overlook?

Still making it through everything. Was just caught off guard by how much I enjoyed Minutemen so thought I'd post my thoughts thus far.

Edited by RockPaperScissors

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LittleDaniel    6,236

I don't know too much about older female-fronted bands (so I'm also looking forward to VP posting some more), but for a good current band there's The Two Funerals. I love love love their "Invade Poland" LP, which you can find (along with other stuffs) here:

thetwofunerals.bandcamp.com

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VerbalPeru    9,480

Honestly, Riot Grrl is out of my realm, I'd probably be better off consulting my wife in that department. I do however know of a few more good punk bands with girls at the helm.

The first is the Bags or the Alice Bag Band, basically the same band, their work can be found under either name. Probably the biggest claim to fame is that they were part of the Decline of Western Civilization documentary which also featured Black Flag, Fear (great band), The Germs, Circle Jerks, Catholic Discipline, and X.

Bush Tetras were a cool post punk band out of New York, all female, kind of reminds me of the Talking Heads a bit.

Destroy All Monsters is getting a bit before punk, but they have a distinct Detroit proto-punk sound ala the Stooges, probably because Ron Asheton was part of the band (along with Fred Smith of the MC5).

You could also try Even Worse, though they may be a bit further on the hardcore side than you'd like. They were around the Reagan Youth, Cro-Mags, Kraut, and Agnostic Front days of New York hardcore though a lot of their work could pass as regular old punk.

The Nuns are another group, very good actually. They have a female and male that share lead duties, but the woman seems to do the majority of the vocals, and she really has a great voice. They have a pretty unique sound actually, shame they never gained much notoriety. I'd recommend finding what I believe is a self titled album, it's another situation of an old punk band being a bit obscure and not having a ton of recordings readily available.

You may already know of the Plasmatics, and some of their later stuff sort of delved into metal, but Wendy O. Williams may be my favorite female lead vocalist of all-time. Sort of reminds me of Luna Vachon taking over the vocal duties for a hard rock band.

There's definitely some more out there but some of it is getting into ska or even further into post punk.

By the way, I wanted to toss in a few more recommendations. The Zeros are the first, some say they are the Latino Ramones, I don't know if I'm totally buying that but they are a fucking great band. They have a totally L.A. punk sound, definitely a great listen, classic stuff. Another L.A. band I love are the Weirdos, they probably don't get nearly enough credit for being one of the first groups to dress weird and just in general be non conformists within their music scene. They formed in the early 70s but didn't really make waves until the late 70s when they were actually playing shows with L.A.'s top groups like the Germs and X.

And about the Minutemen, they were great. Double Nickels on the Dime holds up against any album recorded in the 80s, it's as good as say London Calling in my opinion. It used to get a ton of play in my car a few years back, and for a time was probably the best album I had ever heard. The same year that album came out, Husker Du's Zen Arcade also was released, I'd recommend that one if you haven't already heard it. Both of those albums seem to pop up in those "Best albums you never heard/underground/punk/post punk/blah blah fucking blah" lists.

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IceLint    10,878

A good female fronted band was Tilt. their singer Cinder Block had a pretty good range from an almost angelic voice to straight up screaming. After Tilt broke up she formed an all girl band that was named, I think, The Fabulous Disasters. don't think their still active..I think Cinder was diagnosed with lymphoma.

Blatz I think it was was a mid 80s/early 90s East Bay band that had a make and female sharing vocal duties, but I think the guy had the majority of the songs.

Edit: Ok...I'm at home now. Bratmobile was a good riotgrrl group. The Muffs were a decent female fronted punk group too.

As far as Even Worse goes, I wouldn't say they sound too much like the Cro-Mags or Agnostic Front...much closer to a west coast hardcore, like Black Flag or the Circle Jerks.

Oh yea..can also check out I Wanna Destroy You..The Circle Jerks featuring Debbie Gibson

Edited by Lint6

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RPS    12,116

Just working on the recommendations. Don't think I forgot about them.

Read a feature on Darby Crash the other day. The Germs are probably one of my favorite hardcore bands, and after reading the piece, I'm even more fascinated by Darby Crash. It's hard to tell if he was a genius, mentally ill or just strung out (or a combination of the three). The dude was definitely very fascinating and interesting. Shame they made some crap Hollywood movie about his life starring the dude from A Walk To Remember.

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Have you seen the film The Decline of Western Civilization? It has some pretty interesting bits with Darby Crash.

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LittleDaniel    6,236

Taking a quick look at that list, are Good Luck really unGoogleable? I fucking love them, and they have a Bandcamp and a Facebook page. Not that hard to find, writers-of-this-article!

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RPS    12,116

Have you seen the film The Decline of Western Civilization? It has some pretty interesting bits with Darby Crash.

Nah. Will watch it this weekend. I've heard good things about it. Any other good punk/hardcore docs? I've seen the Strummer and Sex Pistol ones.

Edited by RockPaperScissors

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Gabriel    828

To be fair, What We Do Is Secret is actually a pretty decent film. It follows the story fairly closely and has made The Germs known to many new young fans. Also, Shane West (That's him, right?) did a pretty good job, and his singing was almost spot-on.

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RPS    12,116

On one hand, that seems like a rational and well articulated opinion.

On the other hand, your avatar.

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VerbalPeru    9,480

Just working on the recommendations. Don't think I forgot about them.

Read a feature on Darby Crash the other day. The Germs are probably one of my favorite hardcore bands, and after reading the piece, I'm even more fascinated by Darby Crash. It's hard to tell if he was a genius, mentally ill or just strung out (or a combination of the three). The dude was definitely very fascinating and interesting. Shame they made some crap Hollywood movie about his life starring the dude from A Walk To Remember.

I went in expecting the worst from this movie, and I actually really enjoyed after it was all said and done. As Gabe said, Shane West did a great job as Darby Crash, and they did a nice job of casting some of the other punk bands such as the Screamers, and especially Claude Bessy aka Kickboy Face. I did think Pat Smear's character was a bit off, but eh no biggie.

I think Darby was a combination of the three as you mentioned, probably more genius than anything. The Germs could have been big (by punk standards) had Darby not wanted to kill himself at such a young age. It's sad really, the band started off so terrible, but when they got good, they really were one of the best, if not the best of their era.

I do recommend the Decline of Western Civilization, or rather endorse Cloudy's recommendation, it's a great film. It can be viewed on youtube unless you want to pay 50 bucks for a bootleg VHS copy of it (not that I did that... :shifty: ).

As for good documentaries, I'd assume you're talking about the Filth and the Fury when referring to the Sex Pistols? I love that one. Rage: 20 Years of Punk West Coast Style is pretty good also, there is also American Hardcore, but I'd honestly recommend the book over the documentary because the book goes into so much more detail. It was a very good read. And if you can stomach it, G.G. Allin's "Hated" is fucking great, but as I am sure you know, it's not for the feint at heart. It's a great look into the mind of rock and roll's greatest madman. Speaking of which, I'd recommend you check out his work with the Jabbers, fantastic power pop before he turned into a real fucking nut.

Since I'm on books let me also suggest Johnny Rotten's Bio, We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk, Our Band Could Be Your Life, and Please Kill Me: The Story Of NY Punk (I don't remember if that is the exact title, my buddy borrowed it and never returned it). The book about the LA and NY punk scenes are very good since it starts with the inception of each scene, talking a lot about the early roots and influences for each scene. In the case of LA you'll get the Doors, Sparks, David Bowie, and Zolar-X where as the NY scene will give you Iggy Pop, MC5, Patti Smith, The New York Dolls, The Dictators, and The Velvet Underground for it's early days. Each book spends plenty of time on their respective punk scene, but it's cool reading how some of the punk bands got their inspiration from a lot of the early glam rock and proto-punk groups.

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RPS    12,116

I've got the Bob Mould biography lying around. My uncle gave it to me months ago, I just haven't gotten around to it. Worth the time?

Punk rock is such an interesting music genre. It just seemed to attract these individuals who were all brilliant outsiders who just fell by the wayside. There are so many iconic figures in the punk rock movement - Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious, Iggy Pop, Joe Strummer, Henry Rollins, Darby Crash, Ian MacKaye, GG Allin. Such weird, fascinating and brilliant individuals who probably never would have made it famous in any other music genre. It's weird to think that a guy like Jello Biafra, who is so over the top, looks normal and dull in comparison to countless other punk rock figures.

The Germs is definitely one of the bands I've been listening to recently who I legitimately missed out on as a youth. They sound so blissful now, but would have sounded a million times better when I was younger.

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VerbalPeru    9,480

Basically what you just said is what hooked me on punk, well a lot of things did. Originally I was a young teenager bored with the same music, then I hear the Ramones, Sex Pistols, and Dead Boys and it blew me away. I couldn't believe how raw, how fast, and just how fucking cool it all sounded. Eventually I'd expand more on it and find so many more bands that I could never imagine as being considered "punk" before I actually knew anything about punk rock.

I find it amazing that a lot of people don't realize that there are punk bands out there with heavy influences of rockabilly, electronic, jazz, funk, heavy metal, country, and just bizarre avante garde type stuff. Punk is honestly responsible for shaping much of my music taste beyond it. I may never have become so heavy into surf, rockabilly, electronic, thrash metal, and even Irish folk type of shit.

I honestly haven't read the Bob Mould bio, but I'd say it would be worth a read. Husker Du were fucking fantastic, on par with the Minutemen albeit a much different style, but Zen Arcade came out the same year as Double Nickels on the Dime and both are regarded as two of the most important albums released in that year (1984 I think it was?).

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