essential punk bands
[Photos via NOFX/Spotify, Jawbreaker/Spotify, Alkaline Trio/Spotify, Joyce Manor/Epitaph]

2020 is rapidly approaching, which means this decade is coming to a close. Because we are coming closer to our generation’s roaring (or RAWRing) ’20s, let’s not get sad and instead take a look at some essential punk bands to watch in 2020. 

Maybe punk isn’t exactly what Jay Gatsby was listening to, but we think we have more to look forward to this coming decade.

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1. Green Day

This wouldn’t be an essential punk bands to watch list without including Green Day. With their new album, Father Of All Motherfuckers, being released in early February and the Hella Mega tour with Fall Out Boy and Weezer kicking off later in the year, we’re stoked to see what they get up to. The iconic punkers just keep pumping out albums because they love it. Having already been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2015, this trio show no signs of slowing down as they approach their 50s.

2. NOFX

NOFX haven’t officially dropped a full-band album since First Ditch Effort in 2016, but with word from Fat Mike that the band are in the studio, things are looking good for a 2020 release. Fingers crossed we get some more content from NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub And Other Stories.

3. Alkaline Trio

Yes, we know Matt Skiba might be busy with blink-182, but Is This Thing Cursed? released in 2018, and Alkaline Trio have shown they’re capable of pumping out an album every two to three years. With Is This Thing Cursed? being their best album in a while (thanks to Dan Andriano really showing off his singer-songwriting chops), Skiba can afford to take a backseat with any newer albums, given his busy schedule.

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4. Jawbreaker

Jawbreaker—The Little Band Who Could But Probably Would Rather Not—are touring more and more since 2017. This means nothing as Blake Schwarzenbach is in his 50s, and there’s been no mention of a new Jawbreaker album, but we can all keep our fingers crossed. We’ve seen them at Riot Fest and The Fest, and they still rip, so let’s hope 2020 is the year.

5. Taking Back Sunday

Taking Back Sunday may not please all as an essential punk band, but the rockers have certainly held their own for 20 years now. The band recently released career-encompasisng Twenty earlier this year, but they haven’t released an original studio album since 2016’s Tidal Wave. Adam Lazzara and co. obviously show no signs of slowing down, so we can be sure to expect something from the emo/post-hardcore mainstays in 2020.

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6. Elway

Perhaps a lesser-known group on the list, this band are not to be overlooked. Yes, they have drawn criticism from the legendary Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway, but the punks are also in Colorado, so it’s fair game. Elway dropped For The Sake Of The Bit in 2018 and have since stated they would have new tunes out by the end of this year. So, we can probably expect a couple of singles for now and an LP in 2020.

7. Dangers

Dangers haven’t dropped a new record since 2016’s The Bend In The Break. In fact, Dangers appear to have disappeared musically with the exception of some live shows, and we can hope this only means the California hardcore crew are working on their best album to date.

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8. Paint It Black

When hardcore legends Kid Dynamite split, two bands were formed: Paint It Black and None More Black. The former is fronted by guitarist and writer of Kid Dynamite, Dan Yemin (Lifetime). While they put out an EP in 2013, it’s been over a decade since their last full-length, New Lexicon, and we think 2020 would be a fine time for a proper release.

9. Joyce Manor

With Million Dollars To Kill Me releasing in 2018 and Joyce Manor pumping out an album roughly every couple of years, we should definitely expect something in 2020. Still young and full of talent, these guys should be on everyone’s radar for the next five years, minimum.

10. The Menzingers

Yes, the Menzingers released a new album, Hello Exile, in October, but the quartet have shown they’re more than willing to pump out singles and special releases in between albums. Currently on tour in support of Hello Exile, we wouldn’t be surprised if, at the very least in 2020, the Menzingers released a live album or a split with tour mates Tigers Jaw.