In 1981, British punk commandos the Exploited famously wrote “Punk’s Not Dead.” It was a response to people persisting that the genre was bundled up tightly in Sid Vicious‘ coffin and buried. That was almost four decades ago. And every year, we’re still waiting for naysayers to drink their last pints of icy cold STFU and move out of the way. Because by the looks of this countdown, punk is eternal. These are the bands that are keeping punk alive in 2020 and beyond.
We understand the situation. It is in your DNA to question anything that any so-called “authority” may espouse. There are a few icons still making vital tracks, as well as some die-hard lifers. Equally important are the new bands that are hungry and ready to raise both stakes and passion for their art. (Which is kind of hard when you can’t play out. More on that in a bit.) Whether it’s strident lyrics, wicked tones and worldviews or brutal honesty, these are the bands getting the noise out of their heads and into our faces.
So while these 20 bands are keeping punk alive in 2020 and beyond, they can’t do it all themselves. We have a moral obligation to support our favorite artists while researchers figure out the best ways to combat the coronavirus. (Seriously, we don’t know anyone who isn’t craving to be meeting friends while standing in front of a live band.) What is just as important is that we open our ears and attention spans to the next generations. We guarantee you that the people who are hunkered down writing and rewriting songs are waiting for the all-clear to play. We need to support them, as well.
And let’s not forget the venues. Learn about the Save Our Stages act and urge your representatives to help protect indie clubs so we’ll be able to enjoy live performances. Music is a tenuous ecosystem right now and we need to do our best to protect it. Because how’s punk going to progress if there’s no place to raise it?