In honor of Labor Day, it only seems fitting that we take time to reflect on everything that makes us loathe the grind so much! So, we’ve compiled the most comprehensive “middle finger to the man” punk rock playlist you can find anywhere. Spanning many decades and every possible genre, we’ve left no stone unturned in our search to compile the best variety of belligerent, insubordinate tunes that prove that we’re not the only schlubs who struggle through the Nine to Five. This eighteen track list started as a countdown, but we quickly realized we were putting way too much effort into a list about the ills of working, so we put the kibosh on that.
We did however, save our five favorite tracks for last so stick around ‘til the end. If you’re one of the poor souls that had to pick up the slack the rest of us left today, pop your headphones in, put your head down and bulldoze through that shit. You make us proud! For the rest of you lazy animals, crank up the volume, kick off your boots, slam a Schlitz and enjoy our Ultimate Labor Day Playlist along with some of our favorite lines from each song (and a little tomfoolery) below.
18. “Take This Job And Shove It” by Dead Kennedys
“Let’s all go use our sick leave up and then we’ll shoot some pool. Got brand new skinhead haircuts. You think he’s a fool.”
Partial points on this one as it’s a cover song, but it’s a great way to kick off the list! PSA: We don’t recommend using all of your sick leave. With the kids back in school, the office is a veritable petri dish, teetering precariously on the edge of an epidemic.
17. “Cashiers” by The Copyrights
“We are the cashiers. We are the janitors. We’re not ashamed. We are the cashiers.”
Humble, honest work is nothing to be ashamed of! It’s the “Holder Uppers” as Claw Hammer so eloquently put it that really make the world go rockin’ ‘round. Without us, there is no them. Now get off your lazy asses, your ten minutes is up!!
16. “Worker Bee” by DRI
“They’ll buy a machine. Know what I mean? It punches your holes at twice the speed and half the cost.”
OK, I’ll give it one and half times as fast, but I’ll be damned if some new fangled machine is gonna punch holes twice as fast as me! Kurt, go get the hole punch and a stopwatch, I’m too close to being fully vested to be fired now.
15. “Money Changes Everything” by Choking Victim
“Money means much more to you feeling you had to screw, the friends you had, the friends you knew. All they were was nice to you. Life is such a lonely place and there’s no one to trust.”
Another cover, but c’mon! When it comes to preaching on evils of the almighty dollar, who’s more qualified to deliver the message, Cyndi Lauper or STZA?
14. “Mr. Coffee” by Lagwagon
“Here I come to save the day on legal speed (The American way). Drinking coffee, I drink coffee. Drinking coffee everyday”
You know it and we know it. Coffee is the only thing that gets you outta bed and to work
some most mornings. Hell, coffee deserves about 80% of the credit for anything that comes from our desks.
13. “A Deadly Rhythm” by Refused
“We consume our lives like we are thankful for what we are being forced into. Is it our duty to die for governments & for gods? Is it our privilege to slave for market and for industry?”
Damn you! Why’d you have to go and destroy our belief that wanton capitalism, corporate greed and income inequality aren’t issues unique to America? So many more molotov cocktails to make now, and here we thought we had the day off.
12. “I’ve Had It” by Black Flag
“I can’t go to work. The boss is a jerk. I ain’t got time for this school.The fuckers are fools. I’m going to… explode! I’ve had it!”
Ummm….Keith., HR has had some complaints about you screaming something about explosions? Just settle down a little, buddy. You don’t want to get canned right before the conference in Orlando. The buffets are incredible, not to mention, free day passes to Disney!
11. “Go To Work Wasted” by NOFX
“You gotta go to work high if you’re getting paid low. You gotta put your nose to the grindstone, stoned.”
We’re not endorsing this as the best way to get through the work day, we’re just saying sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. We do however, endorse Fat Mike’s advice when it comes to making just about anything more enjoyable. So, you do the meth….ummmm….math. Sorry.
10. “I Quit” by Descendents
“I quit! Go ahead and say it, tell me I’m getting old. Tell me I’m a sellout, but it’s you that’s being sold. See, I refuse to think of rock and roll as my career. Tell me all my opportunities, ask me if I care”
It could be worse you decrepit, old sellout….No, really. Don’t quit. We love you. I’m sure the Rockstar Lifestyle sucks just as much as the Elementary School Teacher lifestyle.
9. “Bossman” by Voodoo Glow Skulls
“Hurry up, punch in. You’d better not be late, the Bossman is near and he’s coming your way.”
…probably with TPS Reports.
8. “Don’t Make Me Get My Fat, Lazy Ass Off This Couch” by The Vandals
“I’ve never stood a chance. My best laid plans we’re quickly dashed by cheaters, thieves and squealers-glory stealers, that hold me down.”
I know the judging for the office Halloween Costume Contest was a little biased but dammit Dave, you can’t just give up on everything.
7. “American Dream” by Bad Religion
“I hate my job, I hate your god. I hate hypocrites and common slobs. Hate people who aren’t what they seem, more than anything else, American Dream.”
We were told that just about any Bad Religion song would qualify for this list. We chose one from back in the day before a dictionary was required to understand the message. Keeping it as easy as possible today. That’s our message!
6. “We Quit The Cavalry” by The Toy Dolls
“Down in the valley we can see the men marching for victory. We’ll skip the blood on the battlefield. Stuff all the bravery.”
That’s called going AWOL gentlemen and in the British military, it carries a sentence of not more than thirty two months in the brig. If we’re being honest though boys, with that attitude we don’t think the Army wants you anyway.
5. “If There’s Black Smoke Over A Bridge, It’s Over” by The Sainte Catherines
“Success is another word for greed. What you call wasting time, I call working, what you call working is a waste of time. The dirty kids are changing the world tonight.”
Look, we’re all for shirking responsibilities and not wanting to be a proper adult, but there’s no excuse for neglecting personal hygiene!
4. “Life Sucks” by No-Ca$h
“We’re worked, erased, and then replaced. Boredom has taken over my brain. Chilled the blood inside my veins. Left me in this place insane.”
Crust punk always has a wonderful way of making you feel all warm and fuzzy doesn’t it?!?
3. “Fuck Shit Up “ by Wingnut Dishwasher’s Union
I don’t believe in cops, bosses, or politicians. Some call that anarchism. I call it having a fucking heart that beats!”
Never have truer words been spoken. Much like Bad Religion we technically could’ve added any of Pat The Bunny’s stuff to the list (probably even more so), so we just went straight for the gold!
2. “Die While We’re Young” by A Wilhelm Scream
“Now us slaves break bread and go to work and these pigs will tread on our backs. Every bastard to pass through the grinder can just laugh at the mania of his own nerves.”
It’s a rare talent indeed being able to get you pumped for work even while singing about how much it sucks. We credit the blazing guitars in that last chorus! Go listen, then tell us you’re not ready to go kick the CEO’s door in a demand a raise!
1. “Network Affiliates” by None More Black
“From 9-5 we’re far away. Why am I here today? The clock is ticking. It’s laughing at me as I pine away.”
We’ve saved the best for last! Out of all of the tracks we listened to, this one hands down topped the list. Every word was written as a seething indictment of the rigors of a typical work day. None More Black = None Much Better!
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