Since Dying Scene rose from the grave a few months ago, I’ve made a concerted effort to put a spotlight on underrated punk bands you likely, potentially, perhaps haven’t heard of before. It seems like you guys have enjoyed that, so why not keep the party going? Here’s another list of ten lesser known bands that should be on your radar and in your ear holes!
SKIN OF TEARS
Formed in 1991, Germany’s Skin of Tears plays a refreshingly unique brand of ska-infused skate punk. They’ve released six full-length albums, with their latest effort Fake My Day being one of my favorite records of the 2010’s. Frontman Toto Löhnert has quite the penchant for writing awesome guitar riffs, and his vocals are a perfect fit for the band’s fast-paced, melodic sound. If you like 90’s skate punk, Skin of Tears needs to be on your radar. Start with Fake My Day, and work your way backwards from there. 2001’s Out of Line is fantastic as well.
FLAG ON FIRE
Hailing from my wonderful home state of Florida, Flag On Fire made a strong first impression on me (in a good way!) when their debut album Practically the Best You’ve Ever Been released in 2017. If you’re a fan of Authority Zero or Pulley, or you just like melodic punk with a harder edge, these guys are right up your alley. Check ‘em out!
FRIENDS WITH THE ENEMY
Australia’s Friends With The Enemy have been around for over a decade, but their newest album Divide & Conquer is their most polished and well produced release to date. This record is fantastic and sees the band continuing to evolve their technical, metallic melodic punk sound. This is one of my Top 10 albums of 2022.
SYMPHONY OF DISTRACTION
If there’s one thing California’s good at, it’s pumping out some of the finest skate punk on the planet. Sacramento’s Symphony of Distraction keeps that tradition alive, playing lightning fast punk songs with witty lyrics and a surplus of melody. Just imagine if Slick Shoes never found Christ and you have a pretty good idea of what Symphony of Distraction sounds like. They’ve released four records (including one earlier this year!), but my favorite is 2018’s Horse.
7 YEARS BAD LUCK
Austrian punks 7 Years Bad Luck are the second band on our list to have eclipsed the 20 year mark. Their 2017 LP Great, Big, Nothing delivers melancholy pop-punk that harkens back to Reactionary era Face To Face, mixed with a dash of The Copyrights. It’s a crime that these guys only have a little over 100 monthly listeners on Spotify. Let’s change that, folks!
Duchamp may be a 2020’s baby, but don’t be fooled: the members of this band are grizzled punk rock veterans. The band lead by Donots singer Ingo Knollmann cites Kid Dynamite, None More Black and Dag Nasty as some of their influences. I can definitely hear bits and pieces of each of those bands in Duchamp’s sound. Slingshot Anthems is a stellar record that flew under a lot of people’s radars (including mine), and it definitely deserves your attention.
Quebec City’s Fullcount takes cues from their bigger Canadian brothers in Belvedere and Mute, playing technically proficient, riffy skate punk that goes toe-to-toe with those bands. They’ve released two full-length albums, with 2018’s Part of the Game being the most recent. These guys are players and this is some high quality shit, folks! I can’t recommend Fullcount enough.
You’ve heard of Teenage Bottlerocket, you’ve heard of the Lillingtons, but have you heard of SACK? If you’re looking for raunchy punk songs about the joys of binge drinking and general debauchery, SACK is the band for you. The band has the same general feel as TBR and the Lils, but Kody Templeman puts down the guitar and presents a more theatrical persona akin to that of Guttermouth‘s Mark Adkins. Their new record Ripper! is pretty fuckin’ good.
Edmonton’s Real Sickies have been on a roll lately, having cranked out three records in the last three years. The COVID lockdowns couldn’t even stop them from writing and recording an album in just seven days! Their 2021 LP Love is for Lovers is their best work yet. This is some top notch pop-punk. European friends: catch the Real Sickies on tour with the Real McKenzies this winter!
Look, another Australian band! There must be something in the water down under. Melodic punk, pop-punk whatever you wanna call it, Nerdlinger is all of that and more. Their 2018 album Happy Place has a little bit of everything: some songs are slow and mellow, others are obscenely fast. Track #8 “Sunny Days” is my favorite song on the album, and it’s a prime example of both sides of the band’s sound. Check that shit out and stay tuned, because I hear they’re working on a new record as we speak.
Thanks for joining us! Hopefully we were able to help you discover some awesome new bands you hadn’t heard of before.