Punk: a word that makes you think of anarchy, ass-kicking and rebellion. Some may argue punk is dead. Others would have you believe there is no need for punk because there are so many sub-cultures that fight the system.
However, there is still a need for the classic punk attitude. There needs to be someone who will smash the white-picket fences and give the finger to the American dream.
Maybe punk isn’t as in-your-face as it once was but its ideologies around humanitarianism, anti-establishment, civil rights and gender equality still hold true today. Many movements have embraced these concepts. What is more punk than fighting the system and being political by fighting for what you believe in?
Punk music and culture is believed to have started sometime in the mid-‘70s in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. The movement created a new subculture and a new generation of rock bands such as Sex Pistols, Ramones, The Clash and Black Flag.
In the late ‘70s and ‘80s, the punk movement experienced a second wave as genres such as new-wave, hardcore and anarcho-punk emerged with bands like Minor Threat and Subhumans.
In the ‘90s punk influenced new genres such as post-punk, indie and alternative rock. It evolved into new sub-genres like hardcore-punk like Anti Flag and pop-punk with bands like Green Day, the Offspring, Good Charlotte, Sum 41 and Blink-182. Green Day is known for their iconic 2004 song “American Idiot,” which is still relevant today.
Now, punk music is thriving in its own way with the many popular sub-genres and its influence can be heard throughout many rock genres.
Punk portrays its ideologies through its music, fashion and general culture. Many bands have continued this trend with having complex, politically charged lyrics. Examples include The Wonder Years, Neck Deep and Senses Fail. On their seventh album, in the song “Gold Jacket, Green Jacket…” Senses Fail speaks on gun violence, twisted Christianity and the impact of 9/11.
Punk isn’t dead, it has just evolved. And in this current political climate, we need punk more than ever. We need people to fight the system, smash the white picket fences and give the finger to the American dream.