As we kick off the new year, we wanted to take a step back and pay homage to some of the most influential and iconic punk records of all time. From the anarchic sounds of X-Ray Spex to the boundary-pushing experimentation of Bad Brains, these albums defined a generation and continue to shape the music we know today.
We've curated a list of albums that the Noskin team hold close to their hearts. Whether you're a seasoned veteran of the punk scene or just getting into the genre, there's something for everyone in our January favourites. So, put on your studded vegan leather jacket and let's dive into the world of punk records!
X-Ray Spex - GermFree Adolescence 1978.
Hailing out of London in the mid 1970’s, X-Ray Spex led the charge in the first wave of punks. Roaming King Street, repping the soon-to-be world renowned fashion designer Vivienne Westood’s outfits, playing night in night out at legendary music venues like the Roxy/Roundhouse and forcing their ever important lyrics into the homes and hands of every punk rocker in London.
Marianne Joan Elliott-Said AKA Poly Styrene; singer, songwriter and front woman of the powerhouse group forced every head to turn with iconic fashion statements and punk anthems like the 1977 single "Oh Bondage Up Yours!”. Styrene became one of punk's most iconic faces, and remains one of the most memorable front-women to emerge from the punk movement.
GermFree Adolescence soon followed in 1978 being the band's first released album. Anarchy in tasteful forms wail from track to track including “Identity" and “I Am a Cliche''. The 16 tracks showcase the band's timeless identifying sound paired with some of the most important lyrics which forced England and the world to hold a mirror up to their own society… ICONIC.
The Jam - All Mod Cons 1978
Another must-listen for any punk fan is The Jam's All Mod Cons from 1978. This album, which was the band's third, marked a departure from their earlier, more raw sound and showcased their maturity as songwriters and musicians. It's considered one of the greatest albums of the late 1970s and is a perfect representation of the band's unique blend of punk, mod, and power pop.
The album's title, "All Mod Cons", is a reference to the British housing term "modern conveniences" and the lyrics on the album reflects on the working-class life and the struggles of the time. Songs like "To Be Someone (Didn't We Have a Nice Time)" and "English Rose" are still regarded as some of the band's best work and are a must-listen for any fan of punk and mod music.
Bad Brains - Bad Brains 1982
Bad Brains… Every punk band's favorite punk band! Bad Brains played in a league of their own with mind meltingly fast songs and lightning fast lyrics. The band arose quickly as one of the pioneering bands of Hardcore Punk and still to this day influence almost every rock/punk band you know of.
Bad Brains self titled album is arguably one of the most iconic Hardcore Punk albums to ever come out. Ear blasting guitar riffs, insanely fast drumming and screeching vocals of HR pound through the album. Just as your heart is about to explode, the soothing and groove inducing Dub-Reggae beats come in. With the band's jazz/reggae influence, it seems only natural for these beats to come in and give you a minute to relax before songs like “Supertouch/Shitfit” and “i” raid your speakers. We could go on and on about how insanely p-u-n-k that merge of sounds is, although we will leave that for you to discover, or more likely, re-discover.