Thursday, April 24, 2008

The 6 most underrated punk songs ever

1. Suspect device – Stiff Little Fingers
Its not unknown or anything. Its pretty damn famous, to tell the truth. But what bugs me is that I never hear it being mentioned in the same breath as ‘Anarchy’ or ‘White Riot’ while it is every bit as focused and angry and political as them. Everything about it pure punk – the aggression, the we-take-no-prisoners stance and the absolute refusal to recognize the existence of such a thing as a guitar solo.

2. Radio free Europe – R.E.M
Though R.E.M is rarely spoken of as falling in the punk genre, their early music could reasonably be described as folk-punk. Radio Free Europe, though, was pure punk in execution, even though the subject matter was interpreted as either cryptic (if you decided you liked R.E.M) or mumbled bollocks (if you couldn’t care less). Hear the single version, the album version has better sound and is much clearer, which is not what you listen to a punk rock song for.

3. Spanish bombs – The Clash

An example of how far punk rock can be stretched, by a band that pushed back punk’s horizons further than any one else. An amazingly ambitious song which time travels between the Spanish Civil War and the modern day troubles in Ireland, and in the process proves two things – one, you can name drop Garcia Lorca and still call yourself a punk band, and two, an acoustic spanish guitar chopping away in the background can sound deadly.

4. Rumble – Link Wray And his Raymen

The greatest instrumental punk rock number ever. It sowed the seeds long before the sound even had a name.

5. Teenage riot – Sonic Youth

A band that has defied easy labeling, and this song is a good example why. Its starts off with a simple guitar figure which extends for a minute and twenty-three seconds and cannot be called punk by any stretch of imagination. But then the loud guitars kick in, swirling and chopping and we are in punk territory, yet there’s something weird. Where’s the anger? Where’s the sloganeering? The answer lies in the album title – Daydream Nation – and in that marvelous line ‘it takes a teenage riot to get me out of bed’. A perfect example of where restless minds took punk in the ‘80s (and a private lament that no one took it further).

6. Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams

I left this one for last, since I know all of you will be out of your seats yelling as soon as you see it. But I’m serious. Summer of ’69 may just be the Greatest Punk Rock Song You Never Knew. Just bear with me and hear it again. What sentiment could be more punk than playing your first cheap guitar till your fingers bleed? And listen to that damn starting riff. No matter how sissy you may think Adams is, who can take that riff away from him, that primal, straight from the gut, shut-up-and-listen riff.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

hello you "skate board punk rocker... New York city, imagine that!"

This may just be the greatest punk post of all time. i mean, look at it, its punk in essence. How anti-establishment, how anti-authoritarian, how entirely novel, how punk, to suggest that summer of 69 may just be the greatest punk song of all time? haha.

umm. how about sk8r boi? hahahah. joke! joke! don't kill me!

a fan apart said...

sk8rboi is great!! it contains the greatest punk rock couplet of all time 'He was a skater boy, she said see you later boy'. Its the first alphanumeric punk rock song title song in history! How punk is that!! I love blogs! You can say bloody anything on them!

Ernest Penfold said...

new look is quite cool. one approvs. its very you btw.

a fan apart said...

ernest: thanks. took longer than it should have to create, but considering it was at work, and at the expense of other, more ostensibly useful tasks, i would rate it as time well spent...