10 Songs That Made Me Fall In Love With Punk – Stu Gill Ross (Gallows)

We recently caught up with Gallows bassist Stu Gill Ross to get his take on the songs that got him in to punk rock.  Check out his list here.

1. Sham 69 – “Borstal Breakout”

“Sham probably got the ball rolling for me when I was lent a tape by my older cousin. I still love this band to this day. The thing that made sham 69 special is that most of the early british punk bands sung about the economic and social problems in the UK but were all middle class bands. Sham were undoubtedly a real, working class punk band, they were the first wave and they have the best sing alongs!”

2. Discharge – “The possibility of life’s destruction”

Probably the first British hardcore band that ever existed. I think they started in 1977?! Anyway, for someone born in 1980 like I was, Discharge have always been the coolest British hardcore band. The riff in this song is so heavy and has been covered by everyone from slayer to machine head and even Metallica site them as a key influence.

3. X-Ray Spex – “Oh bondage, up yours!”

In the late 70’s/80’s there were lots of women active in bands and Poly Styrene was probably the first female singer in a punk band that I had heard and this song also has a saxophone in it! It made me realise that next to bands like discharge there were no rules in punk rock. This tune is probably their most well known but also a defining song in that era of punk rock for me.

4. Sick of it All – “No Cure”

I never listened to much American punk or hardcore before the internet was out there as I would rely on tapes or cd’s from my cousin and friends and whatever I could pick up at shows that would let me in underage. I remember being bored in a maths class at school and a friend playing me the ‘Scratch the surface’ album on his walkman and I was blown away. It was one of the heaviest punk bands ever to my ears and this set me off into a huge interest in NYHC. This record still stands up today.

5. Rage Against The Machine – “Know your Enemy”

RATM are probably the band most responsible for bringing socio-political hardcore into the mainstream conscience. Their debut album was the first time I’d heard such use of groove and crazy guitar lines opposed to straight ahead punk. It is also the record that made me want to pick up a bass guitar. Im very proud of having got to tour with them with Gallows.

6. Black Flag – “Nervous Breakdown”

As I got into more American hardcore via Sick of it All, I started to look into the bands at the root of that movement and inevitably came across Black Flag. There’s nothing much else to say about Black Flag other than I fucking love this band.

7. The Clash – “London Calling”

Probably quite an obvious choice, but this clash record to me really encapsulated the sound of the time and the angst of social unrest that was prevalent all over the country and not just in London. The clash were also the coolest looking punk rock band ever, they just oozed style. Find a cooler looking band than the clash..You can’t.

8. Cockney Rejects – “I’m not a fool”

Cockney Rejects were the first band who got tagged as an ‘OI!’ band that I got into. I just loved the nihilistic, mindless sense of anarchy in it as a teenager. As I got older and realised that there were some pretty close to the bone right-wing undertones to the lyrics I stopped paying them much attention. However, it has a place here simply because it opened the gates to so many good Oi bands for me.

9. Minor Threat -“I Don’t Wanna Hear It”

Similarly to black flag, when I was listening to a lot of American Hardcore in the mid-90’s I looked into the bands who started things going over there. Minor Threat had a really direct message that was positive, something different to what a lot of the UK punk bands of the same time were talking about. Minor Threat then made me want to check out the whole DC scene and Dischord is still one of my favourite labels to this day.

10.Gorilla Biscuits – “Hold Your ground”

Probably one of the essential Youth Crew records in my eyes. Gorilla Biscuits were sort of this cross between everything I liked about NYHC and the early DC bands with the speed at which they played. This song just rips!


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One Comment

  1. Alison Watkinson7/17/2012 3:51 PM | Permalink

    No Refused? I thought he was a big fan. Pretty good choices though

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