Help a mid 20's guy find some new punk music.
July 24, 2008 12:19 PM   Subscribe

Help me discover some great new punk music that isn't for 16 years olds.

I've loved punk music since I was old enough to pay my own money for music. The thing is, the older I get (26 now) I've grown weary of the 3 chord, my girlfriend dumped me, Drive Thru Records, type punk music. I also prefer recent bands/releases, so please don't recommend me obscure bands from the 80's.

Basically, I'd like to find some new bands that have intelligent lyrics, with the more musical skill the better.

Just to give you an example, I like The Lawrence Arms, Alkaline Trio, (really any of the bands from the Slapstick family tree), Sparta, No Use for a Name, etc.
posted by highfidelity to Media & Arts (36 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
How about Bay Area-based American Steel? (Currently opening for Alkaline Trio, actually.)
posted by Asherah at 12:31 PM on July 24, 2008

If you like some bagpipes with your punk, The Real McKenzies is extremely awesome.
posted by Nelsormensch at 12:44 PM on July 24, 2008

*are* extremely awesome ... sigh
posted by Nelsormensch at 12:45 PM on July 24, 2008

Thank You
posted by OmieWise at 12:46 PM on July 24, 2008

Black Moth Super Rainbow (not punk exactly, but I have similar taste as you and I dig them)
posted by infinityjinx at 12:51 PM on July 24, 2008

No Age and Abe Vigoda have been tearing up the LA music scene lately.
posted by carsonb at 12:55 PM on July 24, 2008

Q And Not U have been defunct for a few years now, but they're relatively unknown and were awesome.
posted by carsonb at 12:57 PM on July 24, 2008 [2 favorites]

This is broad here and NOT all the above bands mentioned are really just want good music with good lyrics.

I am certain you have heard of them, but if you want intelligent music, look no further than Coheed & Cambria
This band ranges from heavy, to pop-punk to power balads (in the style of Queen and Rush). Amazing.

Also, check out (if you can) the new Norma Jean (Anti-Mother) its not out really till August and their older stuff may be way too heavy BUT the new cd is awesome...

Saosin is really good and leans more on the punkish side...intelligent lyrics...
Also another punkish band that I cannot recommend highly enough is Boys Night Out (especially Trainwreck).

The Exploder (no longer a band but you can still find their stuff on Reptile Records, Baltimore MD)
Engine Down (Who ironically, USED to be the band that Sparta's new guitar player/singer was in. I went to school with some of these guys and Engine down (notably Under The Pre Tense of Present Tense) is stunning! Unreal.....

Let me know if these are in the right direction and I can help you out more....

Good Luck
posted by TeachTheDead at 1:01 PM on July 24, 2008

Some of the old dudes are still working hard. Wire's latest album is pretty good. (MUCH better than the one before.) Mission of Burma are definitely post-punk, but they may be up your alley, they're fabulous live, and put out an album in 06.
posted by desuetude at 1:03 PM on July 24, 2008

The Riverboat Gamblers may fit your bill, especially their most recent, To The Confusion Of Our Enemies. Some of their earlier stuff is kinda dumb three-chord punk rock, but it's still good; To The Confusion, though, is a stellar record.

Also, Supersuckers.
posted by pdb at 1:15 PM on July 24, 2008

Bad Religion isn't a new band, but they're still making new music. They're definitely intelligent punk rock (the lead singer has a Ph. D. from Cornell).
posted by CrunchyFrog at 1:28 PM on July 24, 2008

It sounds like you would probably like face to face- their original bass player joined up with No Use for a Name and they sound vaguely similar. face to face broke up a few years ago, but just got back together again, so you might be able to catch them in concert. I recommend their self-titled album.

Flogging Molly are classified as an Irish punk band- I think they sound more rock than punk, but they are lots of fun. Their newest release, Float, is pretty good.

Of course bands like Pennywise and Bad Religion are still going strong. I especially like Bad Religion's newest album, New Maps of Hell.

Social Distortion is still around and still kicking ass. They have a strong rockabilly influence and if you like Johnny Cash as well as punk, you should check them out if you haven't already.

The Swingin' Utters are another great band- they have a strong working class sound and feel, with smart lyrics that focus on the types of issues the working class faces- classic punk fare, but they do it with style and musical panache.
posted by Caius Marcius at 1:29 PM on July 24, 2008

Split Lip Rayfield (MySpace page, page). You can find some of their live shows on etree.
posted by cog_nate at 1:34 PM on July 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

You might enjoy The Mad Caddies.
posted by arianell at 1:40 PM on July 24, 2008

You said no 80's stuff, but what about the 90's? I'd recommend the following albums, all of which are on the screamy side, but totally awesome:

The Sleepytime Trio - Memory Minus
Drive Like Jehu - Yank Crime
Four Hundred Years - Suture and other songs
Hoover - The Lurid Traversal of Route 7

There are several discographies out of 90's punk and hardcore bands that you might enjoy, including Swing Kids, Crimson Curse, Shotmaker, Mohinder and Angel Hair. May be worth a listen as well.
posted by saladin at 1:50 PM on July 24, 2008

Gallows and Fucked Up have been getting pretty good press in the British press lately.
posted by minifigs at 1:50 PM on July 24, 2008

If you like your punk equal parts fuzzy and catchy, with minimal studio sheen, try Times New Viking.
posted by porn in the woods at 2:03 PM on July 24, 2008

Check out ... it's not a band, but a music streaming service. The site allows you to create "stations" based on songs or artists you select. Pandora then chooses other songs / artists that share musical qualities. You can rate the songs to further customize the station.

This could help you find new artists.
posted by steeb2er at 2:08 PM on July 24, 2008

The Exploding Hearts - Guitar Romantic
posted by dydecker at 2:23 PM on July 24, 2008

I don't know if you want sci-fi/Lovecraft-inspired, not so serious punk-ish rock, but I have really enjoyed the last two albums from The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets, namely Spaceship Zero and The Shadow Out of Tim. They are definitely intelligent and not-three-chord.
posted by adamdschneider at 2:27 PM on July 24, 2008

Thanks for all the suggestions, definitely excited to check out a lot of these.
posted by highfidelity at 2:31 PM on July 24, 2008

I'm in the same boat, and like the bands that you mentioned. While not strictly punk, Motion City Soundtrack is pretty good (but, uh, maybe not the new album). If you're willing to go further afield, Ellegarden (Japanese, but mostly in English) is great poppish punk, and Millencolin is a pretty good Swedish (again, songs in English) punk band.
If you like a bit of ska with your punk, Less than Jake just put out a new album, better than the last one. Also, Freygolo (French, lyrics in English) is a pretty good punk band with moments of ska.
And yeah, some of Bad Religions new stuff is actually pretty good.
I think it's pretty amazing, myself, how good Slapstick was, and how much good music has come out of the various bands since then.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:44 PM on July 24, 2008

I've already favorited carsonb's recommendation of "q and not u," but I'm going to add this link to the coolest 2 mins and 55 secs of punk rock awesomeness of the past decade.

Disclaimer: other undiscovered performances may, in fact, be more awesome.
posted by ferdydurke at 3:46 PM on July 24, 2008

Look highly at what Saladin said....
Bad Religion is a joke...I have a hard time understanding how people like their 4 chord (nope, not 3) same-songness....ugh...

4400 Stories, Envy, The Sleeping, Action Patrol, No Knife

Again, most every band Saladin mentioned are from Virginia or San Diego (especially Mohinder and Drive like Jehu)

OLD hot water music is good (they even did a spilt with Alkaline Trio a few years back)
posted by TeachTheDead at 4:28 PM on July 24, 2008

Oh dear. Don't make me rant. I refuse to rant.

I'll second what many of the above have said, but I won't get into particulars. However:

If you like the Swinging Utters (and I'm kind of hit and miss on them) definitely check out the Street Dogs. Their lead singer is Mike McColgan, who was the original lead singer of the Dropkick Murphys. From what I've read, I was actually at the final show he played with DM (they played after the Lower Class Brats and before The Business -- April 1st, 1998 at.....oh god, the name of some club I can't recall any longer in Austin, TX), and for the rest of the tour, the lead singer of the Swinging Utters sang for them, in some sort of luchador-style mexican wrestling mask. I haven't much cared for the Al Barr-era Dropkick, but I was glad to see McColgan resurface after a couple of years.

If you like what you hear from Fucked Up (mentioned upthread) check out Cloak/Dagger as well. They're label-mates and fairly similar, although they (both) lean a little closer to the hardcore side than the poppier side of the spectrum. I'm actually playing Cloak/Dagger right now since I have a ton of work to do around the house and my girlfriend isn't home. It's pretty good stuff.

Also: don't give up on some of the 80's stuff or the 90's stuff that you may have missed. The Subhumans and/or Citizen Fish still tour the US pretty frequently and both bands back catalogs are well worth digging into. I saw Youth Brigade last fall and it was a fantastic show. Just 'cos they're greying around the temples doesn't mean they don't still rock the eff out occasionally. Like me. Or you. Someday.
posted by Ufez Jones at 5:12 PM on July 24, 2008

I came in here to recommend American Steel and I see I have been long since beaten to it. Check out "Mean Streak" if you're looking for a place to start.
posted by AV at 5:37 PM on July 24, 2008

I'll second No Age and Bad Religiion (especially Bad Religion - 2 of their last 3 albums are their best ever (Process Of Belief and New Maps of Hell))

NOFX is another band making better albums in recent years than ever before (The War On Errorism is easily their best album ever)

How about The Falcon? (members of The Lawrence Arms and Alkaline Trio, but good.)

Teenage Bottlerocket. "Bloodbath At Burger King" is just excellent.

Against Me!. Any band that writes songs with titles like "You Look Like I Need A Drink" and "Pints of Guinness Make You Strong" wins in my book.
posted by namewithoutwords at 6:40 PM on July 24, 2008

No one has mentioned The Thermals? Their new album is one of my new all-time favorites.
posted by agropyron at 8:24 PM on July 24, 2008

You might like The Evens. Here is a good example of their stuff.
posted by astrochimp at 9:17 PM on July 24, 2008

Wire still rule
No Age seem to be big with people I know who are really into the punk rock
The Apes are pretty awesome
Black Lips
posted by citron at 9:28 PM on July 24, 2008

Dammit, you're going to make me late for work digging up these linke.

Hot Snakes, recently defunct, born from the ashes of the great Drive Like Jehu, formed specifically to save punk rock from the dumbasses. If you have not yet discovered Drive Like Jehu, don't wait another minute.

Les Savy Fav frequently veers towards the punk and are pretty much the best live band going.

While we're talking Frenchkiss Records, how's about Fatal Flying Guilloteens? Might I recommend starting with "Illegal Weapons Party" on their Myspace page.

Something Fierce. Again, I'd recommend starting with "Teenage Ruins" here.

Pissed Jeans?
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 6:56 AM on July 25, 2008

posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 7:00 AM on July 25, 2008

The Ex.
posted by Beardman at 9:08 AM on July 25, 2008

If you can take a horn section/ska mixed in with your punk, check out Streetlight Manifesto, especially Everything Goes Numb. You may also want to check out Snuff.

Also, seconding Flogging Molly. I still can't get enough of Within a Mile from Home, which can be summed up as sad songs, pirate songs, and sad-pirate songs.
posted by gc at 5:32 PM on July 25, 2008

I found that after a number of years of the exact kind of music you mentioned, I transitioned into listening to a lot of post-punk kinda music. Q and not U and Les Savy Fav were mentioned above. I'd also recommend Bloc Party, The Matches, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Trail of Dead, Enon, Spoon, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Death from Above 1979, At the Drive-In (and the spin-off bands Sparta and The Mars Volta.

*goes back through cd collection to dive back into forgotten music*
posted by radioamy at 12:56 PM on July 26, 2008

Not strictly punk, but Smoking Popes got back together recently, released a new CD and they're brilliant - they were one one of the inspirations behind early Alkaline Trio.

Saosin are punkish and are brilliant, the first EP (Translating the Name) is better than the album. They stand out because their lead singer can /really/ sing and their lyrics are at best interesting at worst impossible to understand

Motion City Soundtrack slightly appeal to kids but Commit This To Memory for me hit the spot after a few too many dull identikit pop-punk bands appeared. Might stumble onto power-pop.

Brand New's Deja Entendu isn't really punk and is more indie via pop-punk but the album is rightly regarded as fantastic.
posted by HaloMan at 2:14 PM on July 29, 2008

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