Tag: Punk Rock

1978, Music

Power in the Darkness (1978) by Tom Robinson Band

This is certainly more musically traditional punk than so many of the punk albums that came out in 1977 and especially in 1978. I guess that’s why some people consider it pub rock; it’s more musically competent than punk and, were it not for the lyrics and the vocals, it could be mistaken for pub …

1978, Music

Another Music in a Different Kitchen (1978) by Buzzcocks

Full disclosure: I don’t like the Buzzcocks. Until hearing this debut, I’d only ever heard A Different Kind of Tension and that record likely biased me towards this one and its importance.

1978, Music

Easter (1978) by Patti Smith Group

I struggle with Patti Smith; she’s one of those artists I think I should like, not just because of received opinion but because the things she does are things I supposedly like. But for some reason I have this barrier. I think it comes from how I first heard her.

1978, Music

Crossing the red Sea With the Adverts (1978)

I think the thing that so many people find really appealing about this band is that they manage to combine punk attitude with a pretty strong sense of melody, a sense of melody lacking in other punk bands of the sort of second wave of British punk bands, who got record deals in 1977 but …

1983, Music

What Makes a Man Start Fires? (1983) by Minutemen

This is such a unique take on hardcore – if you can even call it hardcore, since it’s hardly loud enough or musically violent enough to qualify. It’s like something else. I see the descriptor “post punk” thrown around, which might fit, though Minutemen sound absolutely nothing like the British post punk bands (or the …

1982, Music

Milo Goes to College (1982) by Descendents

This is the point where hardcore starts to lose me: where the virtues of the genre are starting to give way to things more common to earlier punk or the later skate punk. It is very clearly the bridge between early hardcore and skate punk/pop punk but I don’t know that this is a thing …

1982, Music

Back from Samoa (1982) by Angray Samoans

I feel like I’ve listened to a fair amount of offensive music in my time but this record is right up there. If you’ve ever wondered where the “piss off at all costs” aesthetic of some bands comes from, it might be from Angry Samoans. Though Gwar and Anal Cunt sound nothing like this band, …

1977, Music

Like a Mother Fucker (1977) by Heartbreakers

Aka L.A.M.F. and these Heartbreakers are not to be confused by Tom Petty’s band of the same name. Recorded in the UK, this record still sounds extremely “New York.” In fact, the central feature of this record and the thing that I struggle with while listening to it is its huge resemblance to the New …

1977, Music

No More Heroes (1977) by The Stranglers

I used to think there was only one true British New Wave band: The Police. (Well, and Elvis Costello. But Costello is labeled New Wave primarily due to laziness; too punk to be Pub Rock and too classicist to be Punk, people didn’t know what else to call him.) The Police were the only band …

1977, Music

(I’m) Stranded (1977) by The Saints

This is a really early punk record – so early it beat The Clash and The Pistols to the punch in terms of their debut LPs – that likely gets ignored because it’s Australian. It louder and grimier than almost all the UK bands and most of the American bands, pointing the way for future …

1971, 1972, 1973, 1976, Music

The Modern Lovers (1976)

This sort of compilation of “demos” is an early punk classic that lets the rest of the world know what probably only a few people in Boston and the music industry knew. The mix of straight ahead rock music and the laconic delivery is not quite bratty enough for punk but way more in line …

1981, Music

Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash (1981) by The Replacements

As someone who has come at The Replacements backwards, this is a bit of a surprise. I mean, I’d read they were a hardcore band before, but it wasn’t really something I got until I heard this record. And it’s still a surprise. Listening to this record finally lets me understand why so many people …

1976, Music

The Runaways (1976)

I understand why this is an important record to a lot of people: it’s an all-woman rock band, with a bit of a punky attitude and very much behaving like men (or, at least, not like women were supposed to behave). And I’m sure it’s been hugely influential. But the music isn’t all that great: …

1996, Music

Reject All American (1996) by Bikini Kill

This record starts off as serious Riot Girrrrl (angrier than any I’ve heard before) but then takes a weird detour into Tsunami-style slowcore (albeit played a lot faster…). It’s an odd combination that somehow works in spite of the rather radical changes in tone and energy. The songs aren’t as good as Sleater-Kinney’s, but there’s …

1996, Music

Call the Doctor (1996) by Sleater-Kinney

This is my first encounter with Sleater-Kinney and, unfortunately, Riot Grrrl in general. And the first impression is positive. It’s just punk but, unlike so much ’90s punk, it still sounds hard – such as the screams on the title track – rather than obnoxious and faux-British. And this is a strong set of songs …

1977, Music

This is the Modern World (1977) by The Jam

I don’t think you need to know the background story to know this album is a significant step backwards from the debut: the songs are weaker, the attitude is reigned in on a number of songs, the reverence for the past is growing. If this is still punk music (and it is, at least I …

1977, Music

In the City (1977) by The Jam

The Jam’s debut is somewhere between the punk bands that it’s usually lumped in and Elvis Costello – I feel like they’re punkier than Costello but as reverent to rock and roll tradition as he is. I mean, the reverence for the mid ’60s Who is off the charts at times (such as the breakdown …