Welcome back to Answer That and Stay Fashionable, where every week members of the Dying Scene team will take a question posed by you, the readers, and pour their hearts out in regards to all things punk rock: from favorite records and show experiences to embarrassing purchases and fashion styles. If it’s punk, it’s fair game. This week’s question:
“What punk bands do you think are underrated / deserve more attention?”
You can read our answers below.
About 6 or 7 years ago I was in a massive folk punk kick, eating up as much as I could with bands like Defiance, Ohio, This Bike is a Pipe Bomb, and Mischief Brew, and I seem to be going through another one. So here are some folk punk bands that I have gotten into over the last year or so that I think everyone should know:
Hail Seizures – I think these guys are broken up, or not touring currently or something, which I hope is not the case, because I really want to see them live. Reddit describes them as the single most metal folk punk band in existence and I can’t help but agree. Check out this video and if you like what you hear check out the full length album over here.
Arroyo Deathmatch – These guys are more experimental in their approach to folk punk, much like Hail Seizures, and I really like the use of traditional instruments as well as some instruments I didn’t even know existed (what’s a bejota?). Check out this video as well as their full length albums over here.
Blackbird Raum – This might be the most well-known group of the bunch, and that is well deserved. They’re like the Crass of modern folk punk with their anarcho-inspired lyrics and their use of some “psychedelic” aspects on their latest album. Check out this video and their newest full length album here.
Days N Daze – These guys are responsible for this whole new wave of folk punk kick I seem to be on. I saw them twice earlier this year at some house shows and they are all super nice and seem to really love just being on the road and playing shows. Check out this video and their full length albums over here.
There are two bands I can think of right now that I feel like deserve more exposure than they currently have. First is California’s Plague Vendor. These guys are a relatively new act, so that might have a bit to do with why they don’t have as much recognition, but I feel like some of their merch designs combined with the fact that they’re signed to Epitaph hurts them as far as the punk community giving them the time of day. Generally signing to Epitaph isn’t really a bad thing (just look at The Menzingers or Off With Their Heads for modern examples, or pretty much any band signed to Epitaph in the late 80’s and 90’s), but with the label’s current trend of signing bands like Falling in Reverse and Skip the Foreplay… punk fans have to be more careful when checking out new bands. And given Plague Vendor’s tanktops that just say “PLG//VNDR” in obnoxious bold fonts, it’s easy to think that Plague Vendor might just be more misogynistic crap, but that’s hardly the case. Their debut album, Free to Eat is a fast hitting, almost surfy, garage punk record that’s over in 17 minutes. It’s kind of like if Veni, Vidi, Vicious-era Hives tried to make their own version of Group Sex. Yeah, I believe it’s that good. You can stream the whole album here and tell me if you think I’m wrong, but I don’t think I’ll listen to you if you say that.
The other band I can think of is Chicago’s AM Taxi. Generally people who do know them love them, but considering their band member’s previous projects (most notably Lucky Boy’s Confusion) and the fact that they’re pretty similar to acts like The Gaslight Anthem and SHARKS, I just think that they’d have more of a following. Maybe it has a lot to do with the fact that they released a couple of EPs and their debut album all within a short period of time, and then just stopped releasing music for awhile. After a four year wait, they just released an EP this year, so hopefully it won’t be too long until album #2 drops. You can stream King of the Pond here.
Tons of bands… my friends in Victims of Circumstance are the first band that come to mind, along with The Loved Ones, who I didn’t find out about ’til they released Build and Burn. The Murderburgers and DeeCRACKS are also very under-appreciated. Hell, DeeCRACKS put out one of the best records of 2014. Just listen to the damn thing!