There's not been a Top 10 for a while so this week I'll be posting two. The first one has kindly been chosen by Sarah Williams. From Manchester, Sarah's definitely into her music, not only has she seen around 150 different bands already in 2018 she also has her own webzine, Shout Louder.
With the introductions complete I'll hand you over to Sarah. There doesn't appear to be videos to all the songs but we'll link to them as best we can....
Top 10 Punk Songs feels like an intimidatingly wide remit, so for simplicity I’ve chosen to select ten punk songs that I’m obsessing over right this second.
Over the years, I’ve been a fan of a variety of different punk subgenres and we cover the whole range at my webzine, www.shout-louder.com, however currently I’m really on a melodic hardcore bender. My passion lies in the urgency, the hooky melodies, layers of guitar and sheer wealth of skill that goes into creating it. That combination may not appeal to all punk fans, particularly those into the more ‘traditional’ punk, but there’s a thriving DIY skate-punk scene in Europe that’s just begging to be discovered. Along with that, I’m really into my melodic punk with dark lyrics and gruff vocals right now, especially anything that’s catchier than chlamydia.
Here are my current 10 punk songs to obsess over:
Darko - Lifeblood
Released last year, Darko’s album Bonsai Mammoth cemented their position as the best melodic hardcore band in the UK. Standout tracks for me include Lifeforms and I Should Have Taken That Left Turn At Albuquerque, however Lifeblood is one of the tracks that made me realise there’s more to this band than shreddy hi-octane fast punk. It’s a thoughtful polemic on the subject of work that they’ve recently made a great new video for.
The Burnt Tapes - Things Get Weird
The DIY scene’s answer to emotional behemoths like Iron Chic and Polar Bear Club, The Burnt Tapes have invented an irresistible take on sad punk. Things Get Weird is this band at their gritty, melodic best, showcasing their signature dual gruff vocals and an unmatched capacity for evocative, gut-wrenching lyrics. They’re poised to explode this year: get on the bandwagon now.
Goodbye Blue Monday - Take Your Pills
This is the second track from a glorious EP about bipolar disorder from Scottish gravelly pop-punks Goodbye Blue Monday. When I first got my hands on this I listened to it 10 times on repeat; it’s a lively little banger. Graham Lough is a sad-punk songwriting genius. “Choke ‘em all fucking down.” Hands down the best thing you’ll hear all year.
Youth Avoiders - Ghostland
I saw Youth Avoiders in January and was absolutely blown away. Live, it came across like Descendents dallying in hardcore - tight, energetic and heavy as hell. On record it’s a slightly cleaner but nonetheless a frantic, sonically mesmerising experience. They’re Parisian and I’m literally begging people to book them in the UK at the moment - so far there’s one show in Brighton on June 22nd and one in Hastings on December 1st. More please!
A Wilhelm Scream - Boat Builders
To say that I’m obsessed with Partycrasher at the moment would be a significant understatement. I literally spent 24 embarrassing hours repeatedly drunk-singing the chorus this weekend, it’s that firmly lodged in my head. Far from just a rad melodic hardcore band, these guys are technical wizards with inspiring lyrics. In a bit of a personal wet dream-made-reality scenario, they’re touring the UK with Darko in June, including an appearance at Polite Riot festival down at the New Cross Inn on June 24th.
Polar Bear Club - Hollow Place
There is a brutal lack of hope in this song, which appeals to me in the deepest, darkest kind of way. I feel like Polar Bear Club speak to my soul in a way that other bands can’t and the guitars on each song kill me every time. If you’re not familiar with Polar Bear Club, they’re an American band that play hooky post-hardcore who are now sadly on hiatus. These are songs that you can lose yourself in, so a girl can still dream on seeing them live one day.
Call Me Malcolm - There’s No ‘I’ In Apocalypse
The new Call Me Malcolm album I Was Broken When You Got Here is getting a lot of well-deserved hype at the moment. They’ve taken ska punk and perfected it, throwing in a dose of anxiety and depression to keep it modern. It was an instant hit at Shout Louder HQ and is due for repetition all summer.
Triple Sundae - Fabricated
This will be a winning discovery for fans of The Menzingers. London’s Triple Sundae have killed it with their stupendous EP Peace Of Mind, but this is my top tune on it. I had bloody lovely time shouting along to it at the record release show and I can’t wait for them to make a full album now.
Forever Unclean - Words
I’m a big fan of Danish pop/skate/indie-punks Forever Unclean so I was seriously excited to hear a new tune from them. It doesn’t hurt that it’s even grittier and more Gnarwolves-esque than their other recent material. Like everything they release, it’s catchy with gripping, fake-messy guitar work. Enjoy.
PMX - Another Day
This is a band that I’ve loved for a long time, but I got a bit re-obsessed with this year. It’s pretty rare to see these strapping Scottish lads down South, but I’ve managed to catch them four times so far this year and I’m hoping they’ll treat us to some more epic shows if they’re not too busy recording their new album. They’re masters of tight, technical melodic hardcore, buoyed by Chic’s clean, soaring vocal, yet another staggering hub of songwriting talent.
Like what you heard, or want to read more of my semi-inebriated ramblings? Come check out my webzine over at www.shout-louder.com. We’re a music zine for punks who don’t like paper cuts, covering all kinds of genres in a personal, off-hand style. We’ve even just started a new podcast, if that’s your bag.
In the meantime, I’ll see you down the front!