Rumor has it that before their pictures became commonplace in every middle-school girl’s locker, Fall Out Boy was actually a punk band. I would have never believed it if not for the release of “Love, Sex, Death,” the first single from their upcoming album “Pax Am Days.” But if Fall Out Boy can be surprisingly punk, who else has been holding back from us? Check out these songs and you’ll be guaranteed some surprises.
Fall Out Boy – Love, Sex, Death
Fall Out Boy is the only band on this list to have a new release that shows how punk they can be. Admittedly, lyrics like “welcome to the demolition derby that is my heart” would be at home written in pink gel pen on the back of a misunderstood 13-year-old girl’s notebook, but the music is pure punk. If this song is any indication of the rest of the album, it could be a whole new career path for the band.
AFI – Wake Up Call
Before lead singer Davey Havok started wearing makeup and got his own clothing line at Hot Topic, AFI was actually a respected band on the hardcore scene. Their first two albums are fast-paced punk rock that sounds like a totally different band than the melodic, theatrical act they’ve become. Actually, with a different guitar and bass player, they were in fact a 50% different band back then!
Social Distortion – Hour of Darkness
You’re sitting at a bar in perfectly enjoyable silence when in walks a middle-aged dude with a black t-shirt that is way too small and a pompadour that has so much pomade in it, the whole place is bound to burn down should he choose to light the Lucky Strike tucked behind his ear. He puts a dollar in the jukebox and inevitably you hear Social Distortion’s country-tinged “Ball and Chain.” Or “Story of My Life.” But it wasn’t always this way. Before front man Mike Ness sobered up, they were a great punk band as this song from their first album, released over thirty years ago, proves.
Beastie Boys – Polly Wog Stew EP
When the Beastie Boys first appeared on the New York music scene, they were kids playing hardcore like their California contemporaries DRI. In true punk fashion, their entire 8-song debut EP clocked in at under 11 minutes. Their sound would drastically change when they made it big with “License to Ill” in 1986.
Goo Goo Dolls – Messed Up
You’ve got to admit that this one came as a surprise. That’s right, before making it big in the mid-90s and becoming favorites of moms everywhere with “Name” and “Iris,” the Goo Goo Dolls were a punk act that regularly played famous punk venue of yesteryear, CBGB. It’s a shame Johnny Rzeznik got over his shyness and took over as frontman. Sure they became rich and successful, but at what cost?
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