Warning – This Is A Tangent About “Punk Rock”

Mr. D Bag: “So what kind of music are you into?”

You: “Well, I’m not sure, everything really…i guess I listen to a lot of Punk”

Mr. D Bag: “Punk?? Ohh…”

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Conversation Over.

Does that sound familiar at at all? The music genre that is Punk seems to be generally frowned upon in the musical community. It is met with steaming opposition, people turning their heads up in disgust, or in a turn of more recent events trend followers thinking Black Flag is a clothing line instead of a band. See below and I apologize in advance.

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I guess Black Flag COULD be workout music?

Now…I’m not trying to start an argument here…But what is “Punk”. Is it any artist that spikes their hair? Does it have to be anti-authority? If a song reaches more than 3 chords on the guitar is it no longer a Punk song? Something tells me it’s definitely not a Richard Simmons work out video.

 A simple search on Google will reveal the countless arguments that the Trolls of the web have already had of this topic. so lets leave it there. Believe me, the Irony of how much politics there is in Punk Rock is not lost on me. It is an argument that never seems to reach a conclusion, so why not get rid of the term all together?

I’ve put together 8 bands that are, or were at one time, labeled a Punk Band. They should all sound the same right? The same way Theory Of A Nickleback and other Rock Bands sound the same right? Let’s see.

If you take the time to listen to this relatively small list of “Punk” bands, you might notice variances of the sounds, lycricism, attitude, and general style between each band….yet people will say there the same right? Having a job where music comes up often at work (I work in radio), I’ve come to realize that Punk is somewhat of a second class citizen when it comes to other styles of music. The general consensuses is that any snot nosed teenager can  play three chords and can be in a punk band. No. There’s too many talent musicians, each in their own unique way to be classified into this. Any snot nosed teenager can rhyme “bitch” with “tits” and download a free beat off the internet, but does Hip Hop get this reputation? Punk is a stupid term.

It’s almost ridiculous to think one category of music can encompass so much. Take a band like Blink 182. They started off as what you would think is a typical “Punk” band, and have now evolved their sound into something that is the furthest thing from it. Yet they still have this “Punk” label hanging over their heads. Are they trapped in the “Punk” niche forever?

Blink 182 - 1995

Blink 182 - 2012

I guess what I’m getting at is there is just too much talent of differing styles to be grouped together under one word. It’s like saying Metallica is similar to the Jonas Brothers since they  both have guitars. I have a feeling that New Found Glory would never fit in with a Casualties crowd –  but some people are so naive to say it’s the same kind of music, so shouldnt they? I can’t think of anything those bands have in common, so why are they grouped together? 

To me, it’s music, and that’s it. No two Artists or Bands are the same. If you can find something in their music worth appreciating, it shouldn’t matter the type of music it is. Especially with “Punk”. It’s been a while since new Punk Bands have gotten any radio play. It sucks to see so much talent get overlooked because it’s in the form of a “Punk” band. The name “Punk” almost destroys the music that’s written within it! Get rid of it!

Overall, Punk should not be looked down upon for being Punk. The term shouldn’t exist. It means different things to different people, this is shown from the conflicting music that comes out of the genre. It’s obviously means a lot to me, what’s it mean to you?

 

– Daly got told Punk Rock is just for kids. He then wrote this in anger and went back to playing Crash Bandicoot, check him on twitter @DalyRY
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5 responses to “Warning – This Is A Tangent About “Punk Rock”

  1. Very well done! This is a never ending discussion. What is “Punk”?, Is “Punk” Dead, Bad Religion did a Christmas album? I love it, reminiscent of my inaugural article on what exactly the term “Indie” means.These big overarching umbrella “Genres” are needed to be discussed from time to time to what they mean at all. In my personal opinion, “Punk” since 1979-80 has become fragmented into many sub-genres as has “Metal” and that complicates the entire narrative to begin with. But nevertheless, this is a can of worms that’s worth opening.Also, in my opinion FIDLAR is more “Garage” than “Punk”. See, I opened another can of worms!

    • Thank you for reading! Don’t get me started on the Christmas Record lol, although they have a habit of putting out albums that seem to come straight out of left field – see Into the Unknown, 1983. I agree is has become worn down with sub genres, pop punk, political punk etc. I just believe, as a huge fan myself, It is frowned upon, people don’t give it a chance…The punk songs played on the radio today are still the ones from back in 94. And needless to say it sucks. Putting music into categories is a shame lol

  2. Music,is always in categories. Especially in these circles. It cannot be escaped. That’s the reality. This is the modern world.

    • as The Jam said, Paul!…It’s great to see a discussion piece from the indie blender. I think punk is still very important for a lot of people, not neccesarily as a genre of music but as an ethos. Punk is the spirit of doing things for yourself, creating culture off your own back with an anti-establishment stance. It’s not neccesarily about loud, fast guitars. I think for a lot of people it’s really important as a philosophy, rather than a genre.
    • Thanks, @Tom! I do agree that punk is very much an ethos, a state of mind and world view. But it is also and will forever be tied to music, especially music married to a that very attitude, so it has definitely transcendent as British folks often say guitar music. “Straight Outta Compton” for instance is very Punk in this concept.

      Also one criticism for @Daly. Although I wholeheartedly agree with everything said re: punk and the semantics about the name there is one glaring thing that cannot be ignored…………..

      Every single band you included are all dudes.

      This further perpetuates the stereotype of Punk as being an entirely male testosterone driven rage fest. Females have been involved in Punk even before it had a name. Patti Smith, Sioxsie from Siouxsie and the Banshees. The Slits, Wendy O Williams, Exene Cervenka, Bikini Kill, Sleater Kinney, L7, right up to Pussy Riot.

      This isn’t a PC thing, this is a reaffirmation that PUNK IS FOR EVERONE AND INCLUDES EVERYONE

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