I've got a great top 10 for you today chosen by Morgan Brown who's a member of a couple of the best British bands of recent years, Pardon Us and Down And Outs. Originally from Ireby in Cumbria he now lives in Liverpool and has also graced a number of other bands including Flamingo 50, Town Bike and The No Marks.
Here's a couple of links to some excellent name your price music....
Firstly, please note that this is a top ten punk songs, rather a top ten songs if any genre - I listen to all kinds of stuff, but figure that readers if this blog can live without me rambling on about old country songs or Beach Boys records. Also, this is hardly definitive - I change my mind all the time, depending on my current mood, and there are definitely loads of songs which I will kick myself for not including here. That said, in no particular order, here we go:
1) HUSKER DU - Celebrated Summer
It's no exaggeration to say that the Huskers changed my life when I first heard them at 14. This is my favourite song of theirs, with all the intensity if their early hardcore material, combined with the melancholic, almost folksy tunefulness which Bob Mould was moving towards. The lyrics are at once a joyful hymn to youth, and an elegy for its passing. Perfect.
2) SNUFF - Somehow
I think some people probably view Snuff as part of the whole '90s Fat Wreck scene as a result of their later work, but I've always felt that they have a completely distinct sound, especially in their original incarnation. The whole first LP is an exhilarating listen, but this song in particular always gets me...
3) SLEATER-KINNEY - One Song For You
Combining the righteous fury of the early Riot Grrrl movement with some stellar musicianship and more nuanced lyrical take on the politics of gender and sexuality, S-K were pretty much untouchable in the later '90s. Dig Me Out may be the go-to album, but this deep cut from follow up The Hot Rock captures their mesmerising vocal and guitar interplay and rhythmic dexterity at a definite peak.
4) THE DAMNED - Love Song
Whilst I know the Pistols and Clash were important, The Damned are still my favourite early UK punk band, particularly the Machine Gun Etiquette era line-up. The blend of a raging Motorhead-inspired rhythm section with a big anthemic singalong pop melody was completely new, and stands up brilliantly to this day
5) J CHURCH - Tide Of Fate
J Church are criminally underrated, and Lance Hahn was a tremendous song writer, as well as an excellent human. His songs took in all manner of topics, from political history, through conspiracy theories, arthouse cinema, and obscure pop culture references, to more personal themes. This song celebrates the brief, joyous moments of freedom which make the daily grind tolerable, and it's wonderful.
6) NAKED RAYGUN - Home Of The Brave
Raygun strike a perfect balance between the artfully weird and upliftingly melodic sides of punk, with this track falling very much into the latter category. I saw Jeff Pezatti play this with The Bomb at a little gig in Stoke a few years ago. Me and my pals got to sing some back-ups, and it's one of my favourite ever gig memories.
7) RAMONES - Outsider
Along with Husker Du, the Ramones were my introduction to punk, and I still don't really think there is any better music. The first 3 albums defined their classic sound, but there are tons of gems in the later records too, this being one of the finest!
8) RUDIMENTARY PENI - Bloody Jellies
I love a bit of anarcho punk, and, along with the Subhumans, Peni are obvious stand-outs within the genre. Enigmatic, intelligent, chilling and so fucking powerful!
9) CAVES - Need It Most
My first 'proper' punk band was Flamingo 50, which me and Lou Hanman started while we were still in Uni. Since then, she's gone on to do great things with Caves, Worriers, the Mikey Erg Band and more, and amazingly seems to keep getting better! The most recent Caves LP is an absolute triumph, and this is one of the highlights. Mega.
10) MARTHA - Chekhov's Hangnail
The are so many great DIY punks doing amazing things in the UK right now, and I think Martha are right at the top of the heap, combining the grit and drive of punk with irresistible pop hooks and lyrics which mix the political and personal with warmth, pathos and humour. They're one of the most vital bands in existence right now, and this song is among their finest.