25 Worst Things About Punk

Articles | Jan 28th, 2006

25. Can’t Wait One Minute More
Punk in commercials. People have complained about it forever, but much of it doesn’t bother me. So the Ramones sell soda and mobile phone plans – big deal. Joey Ramone always wanted to have a big commercial hit anyway. The trend I find disturbing is punk rock you simply couldn’t imagine being commercialized. First you had Levi’s trying to use “Holiday In Cambodia,” which I suppose makes sense since that’s where the jeans are made. But class warriors The Clash selling Jaguar? Thug / tough guy wannabes the Transplants selling fruit shampoo? What next – Skrewdriver songs to sell Hebrew National Kosher Hot Dogs?

24. Punk In Movies
You know exactly where punk rock stands in today’s society when it’s featured prominently in Disney movies like Herbie Fully Loaded and Freaky Friday. Next time you think you’re rebellious, just remember that the 7-year old girl down the street is skipping along to the same music you like.

23. Arrrr-ible
Okay, pirate imagery and lyrics aren’t that big anymore, and when this trend was in bloom, the worst perpetrators were in the ska scene. But to make sure the coffin remains nailed shut, let me remind you that the ONLY sea shanty that could be considered punk rock is the Sex Pistols’ Friggin’ in the Riggin’, and that song flat-out sucks.

22. Punk’d
Why did our beloved word for underground culture become synonymous with pulling some lame, rated-G, unfunny prank on B-list celebrities? I want to see Ashton Kutcher punked – in the prison sense of the term.

21. Noise Punk
Unless you are Japanese, you have no business being in a noise band, no matter how long and clever your song titles are.

20. Political Pop Punk
I listen to pop punk to hear songs about being 40 and crushing on high school girls. I really don’t care about Green Day’s opinions on the fluctuating Euro.

19. Enhanced CDs
Is there anything worse than wanting to hear a CD on your computer, only instead of playing music, every application freezes as the disc tries to launch some crappy web site that offers such important features as a press kit, one crappy video, and an e-card? Y’know, we are smart enough to go to a band’s website if we wanted to – we don’t need this crap forced upon us when we just want to listen to music.

18. Epitaph’s Epitaph
Yeah, they’re the Microsoft of punk and as “indie” as Enron, but they used to produce tons of quality albums. Seeing a promo from Epitaph used to brighten my day. Now I groan and curse the gods. Instead of continuing to do what they do best, two or three years ago Epitaph decided that expansion was the key to good business, and now they have a dozen or so imprints showcasing the blues, hip-hop, Eurotrash, and over-the-hill alternative rockers. Losing sight of their core competencies, they’ve watered down their label to the point of losing all credibility. Epitaph needs to revisit their business model and branding strategies.

17. Downfall of Lookout!
Epitaph’s turnaround is an example of a larger trend of diversification within labels. Lookout! is another good case study. Known for being the top, best, greatest, go-to label for Bay Area-style pop-punk, they’re now as unfocused as Hopeless and as crappy as Drive-Thru. Garage, emo, singer/songwriters, hipster fashion bands, 80s throwbacks… while the pop-punk – and Lookout’s core fans – have all but vanished. Way to squander all the money you generate off of old Green Day albums!

16. Sappy Acoustic Solo Album By A Punker
Just stop. Okay? Just stop.

15. Anti-Capitalist Bands
Either give away your CDs for free or shut the fuck up.

14. McPunk
Sure, a lot of these bands write good music, and to be honest, I don’t mind the traditional instruments they sometimes feel they need to throw in for cred. But do you think it would be possible to write lyrics that aren’t about: drinking whiskey, working in the coal mines and factories, hanging out at the pub, and the retelling of some ancient battle with England that no one cares about? Especially since none of these bands actually live, or have ever lived, in Ireland, nor have ever worked in a coal mine or factory, nor have done any hard labor except maybe deliver pizzas, since they’ve all grown up in middle-class suburbs of Boston?

13. Christcore
Jesus doesn’t care about your shitty band. Stop thanking him like you know the guy – it only makes him look bad.

12. Hardcore Reissues
Since hardcore bands change labels like some emo bands change tampons, labels feel the need to reissue the old albums of their new signings… even if the old albums came out a year or two ago. Listen – reissues are to make available very old, hard-to-find, long out-of-print music, not to make more money off the same crap just because you suddenly received the rights to do it.

11. Hardcore Anthologies
Shitty band plays shitty hardcore. They play locally for about a year, releasing three 7″s and contributing to a couple of local comps, before collapsing under the weight of their own crappiness. But wait! They’re from the 80s! Dust off those tapes, we’re making a CD anthology of this “classic” and “influential” band with unlistenable bonus demo versions and terrible live tracks! Sadly, this logic actually works very well in the hardcore scene.

10. E-Cards: Who Fucking Cares?
When did someone decide that e-cards were punk rock? Why does every web site offer them? Do people use them? Who are these people? Why are publicists emailing me about them? Why does punknews.org post about new e-cards as if their existence is legitimate news? Is there anything more pointless than an e-card? I mean, why don’t you just email banner ads to each other?

9. Punk Bands Reunited
Why can’t long-disbanded groups just leave things be? It’s been recently reported that The Clash are “reuniting” with Tim Armstrong on vocals. Why not simply dig up Joe Strummer and sodomize his corpse on stage? Besides, Tim Armstrong thinks he’s been in the Clash for the past 15 years. Please don’t feed into his delusions.

8. Zines
Music zines come in two varieties: 1) mouthpiece for labels and other advertisers, with countless band spotlights, scene reports, news and release schedules, record reviews, show reviews, interviews, and other rewritten press kit blurbs, and 2) same as #1 but with repetitive political rants. What a waste of trees. It really says something when the most popular zine is Maximumrocknroll and everyone claims to buy it “only for the ads.”

7. Cover… your ears!
The Dan Band and Me First get old pretty quick, just to let you know. Sure, you’re curious about the novelty of a punk version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” but are you really going to listen to it more than once? Stop encouraging this crap.

6. Cover Comps
Yay, crappy bands doing crappy covers of other crappy bands! That’s EXACTLY what I want to listen to! How ever did you know, Fearless?

5. Mallpunk/Warped Punk
This “punk rock” is so watered down, Poland Spring wants to bottle it.

4. Reaper Ramone
The specter of death is hanging over the Ramones so much, they might as well make him an honorary member. And you can’t even say there are any more Ramones left, cuz the survivors are the crappy Ramones that no one cares about.

3. Metalcore
Too screamy and obnoxious to be hardcore; too untalented to be metal. The retarded frat boy stepbrother of punk rock.

2. Williamsburg
Suburban kids move to Brooklyn, raising the rents and driving out the working class families that were living there. Then the suburban kids spend hundreds of dollars to look unkempt, so they “look” like Brooklynites. Once they’ve fashioned themselves into such cool people, their narcissism leads them to creating a shitty band that reflects their lives – a lot of money to sound “garagey” and “soulful,” but it’s ultimately hollow, empty and eye-rollingly contrived. If these bands think they’re so cool and so urban, I’d like to see them spend 25 minutes in East New York.

1. Emo
It seems like what was once a couple of marginalized sadsack indie bands has spread into every corner of good music, corrupting and twisting it into the lamest, most unlistenable diarrhea-spewing pussyfarts imaginable. Things were fine when we just had to contend with Jawbreaker and Promise Ring. Now emo is practically synonymous with “punk,” with every new “punk” band, playing this testicle-less, whiny-bitch, woe-is-me bullshit, just because the idiot 14-year-old girls eat this shit up, and therefore will eat up the band members’ sperm. I have seen vaginas more manly than these bands. This radio-friendly garbage is so unpunk that its very existence will no doubt kill off the remaining Ramones – you know, umm… Ritchie, Tommy… and uh… Stinky. Anyone who plays emo has no respect for independent music, no respect for me, and no respect for themselves. Any label that encourages this flavor-of-the-month, which has somehow become the flavor-of-the-decade, needs to publicly apologize for pissing on the grave of punk rock in the name of the holy dollar. And then they and their bands need to whore themselves out, just as they whored out punk rock. And after all that whoring, they may finally have something to whine about. Damn you, emo. You are so weak, and yet so powerful. May god have mercy on all of your souls, you lame-ass shitlicks.