For this issue, I focused on my favorite Punk-classifiable albums. Of course, when talking about Punk music, the usual suspects would be The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, and Dead Kennedys—which I personally dub as the “Big Four of Classic Punk”—all of which are included also on my regular rotation. However, the following five albums were really the ones that deeply resonated in me—most likely because I was never the angry nor the angst-filled type of a person; and I neither am I a placard-wielding anti-establishment guy. I am simply a music enthusiast who gets drawn to music primarily because of the musicality itself.
Having said that, the Punk albums that have become my favorites are described more for their wackiness, fun, melody, and lyrical romanticism—instead of the seething “Fuck you, I hate myself, and I wanna die” rants. But don’t get me wrong.
I have also some of those on my list of favorites, which I will be featuring in the future issues.
But for now, here are my Top 5 Favorite Punk Albums.
Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes (1983) (“Kiss Off”)
May be more specifically classified as Snot Punk, Scruff Rock, or Cowpunk, this album came to my big hands as early as 1986. To this day, it remains as compelling as how it was the first time I heard it.
Descendents – Enjoy! (1986) (“Clean Sheets”)
Punk at its most romantic! “Get the Time,” anyone? I actually thought that “Wendy” was an original by the band. Hey, I was talking about the pre-Internet days! It was already in the 2000s when I learned that it was actually by The Beach Boys. I could still play this album in repeat mode while singing along to the top of my lungs.
The Dead Milkmen – Bucky Fellini (1987) (“Watching Scotty Die”)
A highschool classmate of mine who immigrated to the U.S. in 1987 was the one who introduced me to this band in 1988, when he sent me a vinyl-record copy of it. I fell in love with the music right there and then, especially with the songs in this album, which sang about cats, badgers, and walruses.
Anti-Nowhere League – We Are…The League (1987) (“Streets of London”)
See? I’m drawn more to Punk’s brattiness. “Woman” is another top Punk song for me.
Wuds – Arms Talk (1985) (“Sana Hindi Minsan Mo Lang Akong Tingnan”)
Of course, there are lots of other personal favorites from Philippines’ own Punk archives. However, this one remains my number-one. Again, the ornate song arrangements and melodies were what drew me to the music of Wuds, which will always be the best Philippine Punk band in my books.
These are just some of my favorite ’80s-released Punk albums. I will tackle some of my picks from the other decades in future installments to this series. Punks not dead!