10 emerging punk rock bands who are bringing new life to the genre
Be it through the continued influence of traditional groups or experimental infusions by genre-bending outfits, the punk sound is still ever-prevalent in the modern scene. While not all of the emerging bands harness the sound from acts such as Green Day or the Offspring, they're largely emblematic of the genre in their own right. Read on for 10 of our favorite next-gen bands who are epitomizing punk rock.
Swedish trio Randells are one of those outfits you could have sworn traced back to the '90s. We won't fault anyone for the confusion—they've certainly got that sound despite being founded in 2014. Drawing on elements of surf rock, the group put a sunny spin on more traditional punk sounds. We challenge you to listen to a single song without getting hooked. We recommend checking out their new, ultra-fun release, "Topanga Sand."
We can't believe that the Oozes only debuted on SoundCloud last year. In line with their name, the Manchester-based group ooze raw, DIY punk vibes that will take you back decades. They debuted their first EP, With Love, From The Oozes, on streaming services in 2020, and it's totally worth the listen if you're into emotionally charged, grunge-infused punk.
Hailing from Austin, Texas, Pleasure Venom boast a multifaceted post-punk sound that's reminiscent of the early 2000s. Putting a unique, hardcore-leaning twist on the genre, the band deliver aggressive energy that's simultaneously melodic and emotive. Check out their 2018 self-titled EP for the full effect.
The Dirty Nil
Having played alongside greats such as Against Me!, Billy Talent and Alexisonfire, it's no surprise that the Dirty Nil have their punk game down pat. The Dundas, Ontario-based band draw on a variety of early scene sounds—from pop punk to post-hardcore—to deliver songs that are punchy and energetic to the max. For a good representation of the band, listen to recent tracks "One More And The Bill" and "Blunt Force Concussion" (unless you're a girlfriend of one of the members, in which case skip the latter).
On first listen, we figured New Orleans' PEARS had to be rooted in the early 2000s. Wrong. These guys only debuted on the scene in 2014. Their eclectic sound infuses elements of pop and hardcore into more traditional-sounding punk rock. If you want a taste of everything they have to offer, check out their 2020 self-titled album.
Coming by way of Essex, England, False Heads bring a garage-punk sound capable of captivating even Iggy Pop. Though they only debuted in late 2015, the band have been steadily gaining widespread traction in the alternative scene. Their take on post-punk is markedly modern and best exemplified by their 2020 album, It's All There But You're Dreaming.
If you haven't heard of Doll Skin by now, we implore you to take some time to familiarize yourself. The punk outfit burst onto the Phoenix, Arizona, scene with their 2016 album, In Your Face (Again). Since then, their hard-hitting, angsty sound has earned them recurring performances on Warped Tour and support slots for the likes of New Found Glory and With Confidence, among others. Check out their latest album, Love Is Dead And We Killed Her, for everything this powerhouse have to offer.
We challenge anyone who lists Alkaline Trio as an influence not to show up with a healthy dose of punk rock. Southampton's Miss Vincent do exactly that, blending deeply melodic punk with more traditional rock 'n' roll elements. To get a good preview of the group's signature catchy but polished vibe, check out their new single, "Vials." Spoiler alert: It'll be stuck in your head by the one-minute mark.
"i'm gonna tell my therapist on you" might be one of the most fitting punk song titles ever. Granted, we wouldn't expect anything less from Pinkshift. This Baltimore-based outfit are yet another who hit the scene running. On the heels of their 2019 debut, the band have rapidly grown a relatively large listener base. Check out their latest release, "Rainwalk," for a good sample of their uniquely modern, grunge-leaning take on punk.
Leave it to Chicago to turn out one of the next big names in punk. Guardrail's approach to the genre includes elements of pop and post-hardcore that make the music as catchy as it is powerful. To get a good taste of their ultra-high energy and evocative lyricism, be sure to check out their latest EP, Yikes.
Who are your favorite up-and-coming punk-rock bands? Let us know in the comments below!