Welcome back to Answer That and Stay Fashionable, where every week various 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 was your first punk album?”.
Read our responses below.
Punk-O-Rama 3, in 10th grade (so…1999 or 2000). I wanted to check out what punk was, and this CD was pretty cheap. Plus, I’d heard of a couple of the bands on it, like Rancid and Bad Religion. I still maintain it’s the best of the Punk-O-Rama series, but that might just be nostalgia.
It’s hard to choose one because both The Offspring’s Smash and Green Day’s Dookie were the “first” punk albums I ever owned. I remember buying those albums around early-to-mid-1995 after their music got airplay on KROQ, the modern rock radio station in Los Angeles, California (where I was living at the time).
It’s cliche and typical and such, but my first punk album was Green Day’s Dookie. But I guess that’s probably pretty common for us 30-something punks. (Embarrassing side-note: when I got this CD for my birthday, I also got Boyz II Men’s II with it. Don’t judge!)
The Offspring’s Smash in 1994. I was 11…and now I realize that it’s 20 years old. Wow. Although the first video/image I remember seeing was for Rancid’s “Ruby Soho” and it completely changed my life. It’s the reason I named my dog “Ruby Soho.” :)
Indestructible by Rancid.
This question is surprisingly difficult for me to answer. I can’t really pick one album. I was first exposed to punk rock by my cousin, Randy, who was an avid skateboarder. He made mix CDs of a lot of the Fat Wreck Chords / Epitaph bands and passed along a bunch of his old albums like Green Day’s Dookie to my older brother. Through those albums and the Tony Hawk video game series, we both got heavily into punk rock. My brother bought Lagwagon’s Blaze at a Media Play during one of our trips to North Carolina. I listened to that album more times than I can count. I don’t think I ever gave it back. Oops. I love the fact that Lagwagon later named an EP I Think My Older Brother Used to Listen to Lagwagon because my older brother was a big reason I got into punk rock, but he has kind of moved on to different things.
There weren’t many kids at my school who were into punk rock at the time, so I relied on the internet to learn as much as I could about all of the punk bands I could find. I became obsessed and used KaZaA to download a bunch of albums on my own. My brother and I would make each other mix CDs of our favorite bands and trade them back and forth to listen to on the bus ride to school.
Losing Streak by Less Than Jake. The incredible mix of bouncy ska and kick ass punk rock is what led me to fall in love with both genres.
You’d think that this would be a pretty clear-cut question, but there are so many ways to answer. Technically speaking, my first punk album was Green Day’s International Superhits compilation. But I don’t want to answer technically, I want to dig in deeper. Plus, that’s a singles collection, and everyone knows that those kind of things don’t count as real albums. After I got into Green Day, I started listening to the Ramones and The Clash (albums which I obtained from my parents- how punk of me). But it wasn’t until my uncle found out that I started becoming interested in punk rock, but never heard of any of his favorite 80’s bands, when I got my first ‘true’ punk albums of my own: He immediately went out and bought me my own copies of the Circle Jerks’ Group Sex, Social Distortion’s Mommy’s Little Monster, Agent Orange’s Living in Darkness, and Minor Threat’s Complete Discography. A fantastic four-way introduction to hardcore punk, if you ask me.
I’m one of the youngins on the Dying Scene staff, so Green Day’s Dookie was my first dive into punk rock. I shared a room with my uncle at my grandmother’s house a long-ass time ago and every day he’d come home from high school and play that album over and over again. I loved “Longview” even though I had no idea what masturbation was. “Basket Case” and “She” were two of my other favorite tracks on the record from the band that would end up introducing me to the countless amazing bands I listen to and write news about today. It sounds totally cheesy, but Dookie and Green Day had a huge impact on me as a person… that’s a big part of the reason why I still listen to the band, in spite of the fact that their recent three-part album thingamajigger may have been pretty lackluster.
I was given a compilation of everything Operation Ivy put out and I was hooked!
My first punk album, or rather, the album that got me into punk, was the self-titled New Found Glory album. Nothing they did before, or since, has really hit me the same way, but I still stand by that album as being nearly flawless. It’s a beautiful piece of pop-punk cheese with just enough production to get them on the radio but still sound awesome. The band went in a million directions I didn’t want them to, and only stuck around until their follow up, Sticks and Stones, but that self-titled album will always have a place in my heart.
Somewhere around this time, and for reasons I can’t remember, I became enthralled with Alkaline Trio’s “Stupid Kid,” and got the idea that I needed to pick up the Alkaline Trio / Hot Water Music Split (why, again, I’m not sure, since “Stupid Kid” wasn’t even on it). This is what I lay claim to as my first punk album, since it’s more legitimately “punk” than New Found Glory. I remember that I didn’t know whose songs were whose for a while, and I was in love with the second half of the split (the Hot Water Music half) but was convinced those songs were by Alkaline Trio. I bought up some Alkaline Trio albums that I liked to varying degrees, but it wasn’t until I picked up “A Flight and a Crash” used at a record store, on a whim, that I realized who was who and what I meant to be listening to.
Assuming we’re not including Chipmunk Punk as a genuine punk album (yes, that’s a real album which I’m still in possession of, on vinyl no less), I’m pretty certain that Social Distortion’s Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell was my first punk album. The memory from those days is a little rusty, but I’m pretty sure that it’s the only punk album I purchased on cassette tape (a trend I refuse to go back to… damn hipsters) and I’m pretty sure it was for $4.99 at Lechmere at the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua, New Hampshire. First album I recall buying on CD was Bad Religion’s Recipe For Hate the following year. Then, 1994 happened…
I actually got into celtic punk and ska punk before listening to any straight-up punk acts like Rancid or Bad Religion or a lot of the other typical first-punk-album norms. The first punk album that I bought was Flogging Molly’s Drunken Lullabies, but prior to that, I’d have to say that Catch 22’s Keasbey Nights is what got me hooked.