Right now at the British Library, there is a small exhibition called Punk 1976 78. It charts the early days of punk and the incredible effects it had on culture at the time. It’s a brilliant exhibition and I would highly recommend going to see before it finishes.
However, I have one major qualm with the exhibit – it clearly insinuates that punk is dead. Now, I know the cultural ramifications of punk music are not a scratch on what they were in the mid-seventies, but there are still some epic bands out there, making some epic noise! The punk mentality will never die as long as there is a norm to fight against.
These four bands are some of the best examples of punk rock music for the modern generation.
This Birmingham three piece describe themselves as a ‘Destructive Brummie Sex Punk Trio’ on their bandcamp page and destructive they are. They create music that is punk in its purest form: angry, full of energy and raucous – mosh pit inducing. Their recent Wax EP is Youth Man at their ramshackle best, so be sure to check it out, in particular the fiercely cutting lead single “Fat Dead Elvis.”
Despite only having 3 tracks on the internet, this London band are probably the most promising punk acts on the circuit. “Sublime” is one of my favourite tracks of the year. Its piercing guitar line seethes into your veins underneath a passionate rhetoric bemoaning the X-factor culture of nurturing talent we have nowadays. Keep your eyes on this band.
White Lung are not only on this list because they hail from Vancouver – they’re here because they’ve released the punk album of the year with their fourth album. Paradise brought critical acclaim from all angles. Even NME, now horribly middle of the road, has it on its albums of the year so far. For a heavy-punk album to be on a list with Drake and Rhianna is an indicator of the sheer quality of this record. If you do one thing after reading this article, listen to that album.
The Kent duo’s debut album, Are You Satisfied, was a rip-roaring punk rollercoaster. Smashing together some enormous riffs, which go toe-to-toe with Royal Blood’s, and lyrics that aim to crush social norms, it deserved its Mercury Prize Nomination last year. “The Hunter” demonstrated everything that is great about this band, a mixture of almost grime-esque lyrical flow with an fat, fat riff. They’ve got a new album on the way, Take Control, due in the autumn. The lead single “Spit It Out” certainly got me excited for that release: they’ve returned every bit as angry as they were when they conceived their debut.
What a time to be alive.