Punk Never Dies - No Really, It Doesn't

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Punk Never Dies, no really it doesn’t. We are led to believe that the flavor of the month is heavy metalcore/djent/hardcore/etc. and we know every little “Christian” label is pushing that stuff. I do love a lot of those bands but my passion has always been on the punk rock side of things. I never understand why the punk purists were so slow to embrace the poppier side and how come no independent (or major) labels have signed bands like this in the past decade. I call it fear of the commercial sound wrecking punk cred and for that I say, who cares? Now the genre alone is filled with a lot of sub-genres and spin offs, enough to make fans scratch their heads in disbelief (really, it’s okay folks, don’t be afraid). There are the hardcore “punk” fans that trash the poppier stuff and the poppier fans that snub their nose at the tough guys. Me, I’m somewhat in the middle of it all. There is wide range of bands out there many of which play without any “Faith” ties meaning it’s “general market” stuff (yeah you know what I mean). I’ve found myself listening to a majority of those bands over the past several years and always wondered why there isn’t a variety of “Christian” artists making stuff comparable if not better than their peers. Mixing my love of independent music with the onset of the coming punk rock storm, I’ve devised a top secret plan to take over the world. Okay, not really and I’m only dreaming (wishful thinking), but really, isn’t it time for a comeback of sorts? In terms of fan appreciation, the genre never died. Much like “Ska” in the late 90’s/00’s, it didn’t die, it just went underground to be consumed by the fans who truly understood the music for what it is. As much as I appreciate the heavier music bands, there is a place and time for pop-punk/punk rock and that time is now. So what exactly am I getting at? Well the purpose of this little write up is to share with you some of the bands I enjoy that are in the independent realm playing punk rock (and all associated sub-genres), plus all those “classics”. Read more, below.

Current, Active, and Inactive Bands That Make IVM Proud

    -Check them out- – For a Playlist of all these bands, see below or click here

    Craig’s Brother (still active and hopefully releasing a new ep this year)

    Eleventyseven (The band recently reunited and Matt is working on new songs with this now “classic” pop-punk group. I’ve dug the poppier moments of this band even some of the synth driven influence isn’t all that bad. I just hope he kicks up the guitars and bass a notch and goes full on punk rock on this new effort)

    Kept On Hold (Andrew who formerly played in the band We Are Leo went solo and created this gem of a pop-punk band who are really going places. Look for a new album this year)

    Blank Pages (Great pop-punk that brings to mind bands like All American Rejects, Relient K, Yellowcard, The Dangerous Summer, The Maine, Mercy Mercedes etc. New album out this year)

    False Idle (Melodic punk rock for fans of The Bouncing Souls, Rancid, Rise Against, etc. Working on a new release for 2017. By the way, Sef Idle is awesome am I right?)

    A Common Goal (Gritty punk rock for fans of Dropkick Murphys, Rise Against, Nothington, Social Distortion. Working on a new album for release in 2017)

    Relient K (After all these years, nearly two decades, this band is still going strong. Though they’ve traded more members than I remember the one thing consistent is Matt’s unmistakable voice and melodies. The band recently released “Air For Free” and the “Candy Hearts” Ep which showed the band dabbling in the pop-punk that made them huge. My hope is that on the next full length they take the pop-punk a step further)

    Cross-Check (The hardcore punk band just released their Thumper Punk debut “Drop the Gloves”. They have a fast and furious sound that’ll make any fan of the genre smile from ear to ear. Fists in the air)

    Headnoise (The old school punk/hardcore band is back together and supposedly working on new music. Our fingers are crossed for some new tunes. You can catch the band live at a number of shows around Southern California right now)

    Anti-World System (The band is working on a new ep titled “There’s a War” that will blow everyone away with their brash, unapologetic in your face d-beat/crust punk. The ep will be out soon)

    2Minute Minor (Posi-hardcore punk band from Chicago also featuring current The Blamed and October Bird of Death frontman. I encourage you to give these guys a listen. Great stuff)

    October Bird of Death (The rock n’ roll punk band band just released their debut ep “Death Made It’s Offer” which is available now. The band features current The Blamed and 2Minute Minor vocalist Wiley Willis).

    Grave Robber (This “horror punk” band has been making great punk rock sounds for over a decade now. The singer is a pastor and runs a cool record label as well as appearing in a dozen of other bands. How he finds the time for all these projects is baffling :) The band is working on a new album for release in 2017, I know because I contributed to the campaign a long time ago. Come on guys get with it!)

    Flatfoot 56 (rough and tumble celtic punk rock to please fans of Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, The Tossers, Street Dogs. Just released new album titled “Odd Boat” a few weeks ago)

    Children 18:3 (this pop-punk band from Minnesota has been making music for nearly two decades and still manages to slip under most people’s radars. This completely DIY punk spirit keeps the band ahead of their peers and their hard work ethic shows great strength. If you haven’t picked up any of their last 4 full lengths you’re doing yourself a huge disservice, get with it!)

    Capital Lights (inactive but a fan can wish right? This band made two really diverse and poppy full lengths for Tooth & Nail before going on a hiatus once again. Will they make new music? I sure hope so).

    Hangnail (This band has been inactive since 2003 but my hope is that the guys will come out of hibernation and release the album we’ve all been dying to hear for years. They were truly talented group of gentlemen and their last album “Transparent” in 2003 was a great way to go out. PS- Did I say how awesome their 2002 live album is? Go get it from our bandcamp page)

    Side Walk Slam (this band never really called it quits for good did they? David Curtis has been doing time with Run Kid Run and Solo work which are both great but he really shined with his work in Side Walk Slam. More please!)

    Man Alive (currently on hiatus as Lead singer/guitarist James Hilsden plays with his hebrew worship band Miqedem, touring the world. This israeli punk rock band has been one of my faves for over a decade now. Hopefully will do another ep/full length soon)

    Pleading Guilty (A new band on Thumper Punk Records that plays melodic punk music to please fans of Dogwood, Strung Out, and Good Riddance. Just released “Defacto” full length a few weeks ago)

    Paperweight (melodic punk rock featuring former lead singer of Take It Back! “Can’t Fight Robots” album and Holy Spirit Chainbreaker. Looking forward to what this band does in the future. New ep release coming soon. For fans of The Story So Far, Comeback Kid, Rise Against, Take it Back!))

    Heart Like War (Pop Punk for fans of MxPx, The Ataris, Sick of Change, Allister. Released their new full length “Fired Up” in 2016)

    Slick Shoes (inactive recording wise at the moment but maybe that’ll change? A real classic in my book and after 20 years they play just as fast, hard, and furious as ever before)

    Dogwood (on hiatus? You can’t mention punk rock from Christians and not mention Dogwood, even if they are somewhat dead. The band came out of retirement back in January to play two dates with MxPx and FIF. New music would be awesome although don’t hold your breath because all 4 of those guys are busy with their own projects).

Metanoia (this melodic punk band from the country of Chile made a fan out of me with their latest album “Chili-Nation” released in 2015. The band plays a style of music that would please fans of Craig’s Brother, Dogwood, Pennywise, and Millencolin. Here’s to hoping they come out with something new in 2017)

No Lost Cause (Frontman Rob Jensen has helped for a number of years with promoting IVM and even writing for us. I almost forgot to mention his band which is called No Lost Cause or NLC for short. NLC has release two great diy independent eps through thumper punk records and will be recording new stuff this summer. Check out the lively punk/ska/rock sounds of NLC)

A Broken Line (The band released their Thumper Punk debut record in 2016. Fast and furious gritty melodic punk rock)

Living Fire (this Brazilian based street punk band has been playing all over their native country and beyond, picking up fans from around the planet in the process. The band is currently working on their new 2017 album for Thumper Punk Records)

May Weather (this Maryland based punk-ska band released their new full length “Spring Forward” at the end of 2016. Check it out below via Bandcamp. Would please fans of Streetlight Mannifesto, Catch 22, We Are The Union, Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake)

The O.C. Supertones (A much celebrated ska-punk/skacore band from Orange County, CA. They broke up in 2005, got back together in 2010, released the fabulous come back album in 2012 and then are sadly calling it quits for good June 3rd of this year at Shoreline Church in San Clemente, CA. They will be no more but their music will live on in the hearts and minds of a generation)

Huntingtons (You can’t go wrong with this band. They’ve been together for over two decades now and have released countless full lengths of classic styled punk rock. The band is together right now and my hope is that new music is coming)

MxPx (How can you forget to mention punk rock and not list the band that started it all, opening countless doors for Christian underground punk and rock bands to come. While Mike has shifted his beliefs in recent years, their early music lives on and continues to influence generations of music fans. I am holding out hope for a revival of heart and know Mike will come around one of these days. You can never go too far :)

Peter118 (This artist from the UK makes catchy punk rock for every fan of the genre. He’s been making waves in Europe as well as the U.S. and will only continue to rise)

Ghoti Hook (With all the classic hits in this band’s arsenal it’s a mystery to me how come they haven’t reunited yet for a few new shows. Conrad was an exceptional songwriter and contributor to the early recordings and my hope is that he’ll rejoin the band if and when they decide to come out of retirement. New music would be icing on the cake)

The Crucified (While Mark and company focus on Stavesacre and the rock side of things his more punk/thrash persona continues to influence new fans. I love Stavesacre and I love Crucified, both as individually talented groups which much different sounds. You never know if new music will be recorded and I sure hope something someday comes out of these guys in recorded form)

The Insyderz (another ska-punk band, these guys were grittier than their more Christian peers. The band came from Detroit and brought that street level punk rock with them. The band released 4 studio albums and two worship albums in their time. The band is currently on hiatus but you never know)

Five Iron Frenzy (do they fit on this list? Why yes, as evidenced on the fast pace beats of “So Far” and all their prior punk rock influenced music. We know these are punk rock kids old people at heart. I hear the band is working on new stuff and there is hints they’ll release something special for Record Store Day this year. Plus SMLXL Vinyl is working on pressing their entire back catalog on vinyl :)

The Wicked Bees (Ex-The Ska Skank Redemption. This band played Sonshine Fest a year ago and I heard they were well received. The band ran a crowd funding campaign for their debut ep “People Change” which has just released. They play ska-punk style of music for fans of Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, Five Iron Frenzy)

The Blamed (riding more on the hardcore side of the punk realm this band has been hitting it hard since the early 90’s. Original members Bryan Gray and Jim Chaffin are back along with an insanely talented new grit-fueled vocalist Wiley Willis who played old hits and the Frail album last summer at Audio Feed Fest. Well the band recently has been recording their comeback ep and it will see release sometime this year)

Olivia the band (An inactive band at this point but one I’m quite fond of. These Hawaii dudes played music for a decade then disappeared off into the sunset. I am holding out hope for a reunion album)

The B-Listers (this melodic punk supergroup featuring members from False Idle and The Old-timers is working on some new stuff and hopefully will release a new full length this year. Their strong 90’s era Epitaph and Fat Wreck punk sound is sure to please fans of the genre with ease)

Too Bad Eugene (One of my personal faves. Adam Nigh (Ex-Craig’s Brother) and company have been making music since the late 90’s. Their classic album “At Any Rate” still ranks as a favorite all time melodic punk rock album. I mean how can you go wrong with a Mike Herrera produced debut effort with BGV from Mike on a few tracks? If you don’t have that record, go look for it. The band recently reunited to play some shows with MxPx in Los Angeles. I’ve talked with Adam and although he is quite busy with his teachings he may (or may not) make time for more Too Bad Eugene material in 2017. I’m holding out hope).

Mainsail (this relatively NEW band from Oceanside, CA. surprised fans last year at Joshua Fest with their infectious style. Leaning more towards the pop-punk side of things, this new band is poised to go places in 2017 and you need to strap yourself down for the ride. The band just released their debut ep titled “Photographs” that is available on all digital networks. For fans of The Story So Far, Neck Deep, Man Overboard, Knuckle Puck, Four Year Strong, The Starting Line, and Blink-182)

Lights Go Down (this band is on hiatus? I sure hope not because Jason Dunn does pop-punk better than most and has cemented his influence in the the pop-punk scene by leading the band Hawk Nelson for 5 full lengths plus a bunch of other b-sides/acoustic/christmas tracks. Hawk Nelson was at it’s best when Jason was fronting them and when he launched this new project, I was instantly a fan. My hope is that people will convince Jason to work on more LGD tracks and put his “solo” stuff on hold ;)

Light The Way (An extremely talented new band from Northern California that just happens to be on Indie Vision Music. The band released “Grace Ep” back in January and has been earning fans all over the globe with their infectious brand of heavy yet melodic pop-punk. Fans of Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong, Blink-182, Knuckle Puck, The Wonder Years will love these guys. The band drops their new ep “DUDE, LAME” on April 29th.)

At The Wayside (I’ve been a fan since a few of the guys were in Alakrity almost a decade ago. It’s a shame that things went south with Alakrity and their label but we are thankful At The Wayside formed in the ashes of that band and now we have their new full length to look forward to titled “The Breakdown And The Fall” on May 26th through Indie Vision Music).

If anyone has some more indie punk rock suggestions, please post them in the comments along with links. I’m always on the hunt for new talent to check out/promote

That’s it, enjoy the rest of your day :)

-Brandon

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19 Comments on "Punk Never Dies - No Really, It Doesn't"

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Matt

Dude, have you listened to October Bird of Death, 2 Minute Minor or Anti-world System ? Also check out Moral Monsters on Veritas Vinyl. Great article!

Scott

Good stuff Brandon!

At The Wayside, Mainsail & Light The Way should tour together :D

Ron

Sef is indeed awesome. Great music and one of the most helpful dudes out there!

Hey, Brandon! I was thinking, you and I are about the same age and seem to share similarities in music taste. I wanted to throw in a list here of Christian pop punk bands for you and all who read these comments to include bands and links to some of their tunes that have been left out. Some of these bands I’ve found because of IVM and your bandcamp pages. Much appreciated! Ok, here it goes: Archote (Christian pop punk from Brazil. They sing in Portugese, but great music!) https://archote.bandcamp.com/album/archote Average Joe Aspiring https://screaminggiant.bandcamp.com/album/the-big-idea Blank Logic http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=163385&content=music Broken Cedars https://screaminggiant.bandcamp.com/album/forever… Read more »
Phil C.

You listed some great stuff! I’m going to enjoy checking these bands out. Pocket Change is the only band I can’t find. Not even in YouTube. You have any links or anything so I can check them out?

Jeremy

Yeah, I hope that Mike from MxPx comes back around, too.

Bang

This is a great list! I wonder if Capital Lights will ever release anything again.

Daniel J

Awesome post Brandon, a gold mine with some old favorites and new bands to me, I’m looking forward to checking out. Have a happy Easter.

Aaron friesen

Thanks for this list. 90,s and earl you 2000’s punk is where it’s at. It’s what got me into music and what keeps me coming back. I don’t think I’ll ever grow out of it. While I played in a melodic hardcore band for years (means), I always wanted to get to play in a punk band. I would love to run a podcast just talking about old punk bands. Excited to check out some of the band songs on this list that I don’t recognize.

I know what you mean when it comes to punk, Brandon. I haven’t played in a band in 6 years! Where I currently reside, it’s difficult to find musicians who want to sing about Christ and his message yet sound like Kid Dynamite. But I digress. Oh, one artist I’d add to your list is Outer Circle. Short lived Minor Threat-esque band which Mark Solomon of Crucified and Stavesacre fronted. Love this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZU9MSu5vH8

Steve young

Saw must build jacuzzi and dad jokes at audiofeed they were great

John C

Add Must Build Jacuzzi…great ska out of Illinois .

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