I’m not going to pretend to be some sort of expert on punk rock or anything here…
…but I’ve got a punk show, and that means I get to pick the best songs. This list will change 5 or 6 times over the course of the year, so make sure you post a comment if you think my list sucks. Maybe your song will make the cut next time! Score!
So gather round the campfire homies, here’s Jon Smith’s list of the top ten (or so) punk rawk tracks!
PENNYWISE – BRO HYMN:
I’m going to take it a step further and say the 2nd version of this song is the one on the list. Sure the original is strong too, but the band had suffered the loss of their bass player, Jason Thirsk to suicide and this song really had a strong message. Plus, if you were lucky enough to get in a pit to this in the 90’s it was pretty f***ing rad. Side note! Last time Pwise was here I got to go on stage for BroHymn and for some reason I was one of the only people out there. It was supposed to be a bunch of people, but it turned out to be me, my pal, Brandon Mizar, and the singer from Unwritten Law. I ended up standing their SUPER awkwardly. Here’s the video!
RAMONES – BLITZKRIEG BOP:
Probably the first punk song I heard?? Maybe! But I heard this for the first time when I saw the Vacation movie. (edited for TV version) I loved what I heard, and my Dad bought me the “Ramones Mania” tape.
GREEN DAY – LONGVIEW:
Some people will fire off the classic “Green Day is not punk” comment. Save it. Greed Day is one of the most punk bands and has earned their place on this list. Anyone who says different is entitled to their opinion, even if they’re wrong, and deserve a punch in the neck.
SOCIAL DISTORTION – BALL AND CHAIN:
I don’t have a whole lot to say about Social D. Mike Ness is the classic badass that needs no comment on my part. Love this track! Check out some of Mike Ness’ solo stuff too.
CLASH – GUNS OF BRIXTON:
Most “Top Ten” lists that feature The Clash would say “Should I stay” or “London Calling”. Maybe even “Casbah”. Granted, they were the hits and brought the band into the mainstream in the late 70’s and 80’s. But “Brixton” was the song that kept the band in the punk scene.
THE ADOLESCENTS – AMOEBA:
It was pretty rad to see this band with the “Warped Tour” this year. Cool that old school bands are mixing it up with newer artists like Sonic Boom Six (you should check them out). This song was featured in the SLC PUNK movie from James Merendino. By the way, do you remember how AWFUL the marketing was for that? Great movie. But the trailer was way off the mark.
Which brings us to:
FEAR – I LOVE LIVING IN THE CITY:
I had a fear T-shirt in high school, and I was accused of being a Nazi… sigh. But this song has been marked as an influence for bands like Guttermouth and The Vandals, who are legends in the scene by themselves. SO there.
How many is that? Seven? ok moving on.
DESCENDENTS – BIKEAGE:
Early stuff from one of my ALL time favorite bands! SLC roots for these guys and this song was later covered by FACE TO FACE on the Big Choice album. I have a Descendents shirt, which some dude in my neighborhood saw me wearing and said: “My kid loves that show”. He was talking about the Disney Channel show… *facepalm*
Honorable mention to “Everything Sucks”
RANCID – SALVATION:
Honestly speaking, Time Bomb is more influential…BUT! This was the first “hit” for Rancid and of course the “Let’s Go” album has a mention of Salt Lake City in the liner notes. I actually heard this song first on Sean Boy Walton’s show right here on X96!
DEAD KENNEDYS – HOLIDAY IN CAMBODIA:
Man, where to go with DK, there are a few different versions of this song. So, I’m going to pick the “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables” version. I love this band and have for a very long time. Jello Biafra is a bit nuts. This is true. This song was the first song I heard from the band, and it opened me up to songs like “Police Truck” and “Chemical Warfare”
When I was in high school, I would drive my Dad’s Jeep Wrangler to school sometimes. One day some asshole cut the vinyl door and stole my Dead Kennedy’s CD which I had to later buy back from Graywhale in Taylorsville. I knew it was mine because I
BAD RELIGION – 21st CENTURY DIGITAL BOY:
BOTH versions of this song stand alone, but the “Against The Grain” album was insanely good, so we’ll go with the original for this list.
I think that’s ten right? Let me look…WHOA, I did ELEVEN. Look at me going the extra mile!
Let me know what you think in the comments, and don’t be a dick.