Top 10 Best Punk Rock Bands

Born in the gritty '70s, punk rock has been flipping the bird to mainstream music for decades, and it's still as rebellious as ever. With its DIY spirit, it's inspired hordes of artists to pick up a guitar or drumsticks and say "screw you" to the man.

So what makes a punk band legendary? Is it the raw energy that turns a gig into a sweaty mosh pit? Or is it the earworm hooks that you can't get outta your head? No matter what you're into, there's no shortage of kickass punk bands that have shredded stages and left their mark on the scene.
The Top Ten
1 The Ramones The Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974. They are often cited as the first band to define the punk rock sound.

I don't really understand how anyone who is a true fan of punk rock could place many of these bands on any list related to punk rock. Ask Billy Joe who he thinks is the best punk rock band ever. He might put his band in the top 25, but definitely not number one.

Come on, people, do some research. Papa Roach, All-American Rejects, and Simple Plan are not punk rock bands by any standard. Punk rock bands should not be judged or rated according to record sales either. That defeats the purpose of what punk rock stands for.

I suggest some type of screening process before people can vote because without education there is ignorance. Thank you, Bad Religion, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedys, Op Ivy, Rancid, Guttermouth, Strung Out, The Misfits, and others. Most are on this list, just not where they deserve to be. Live long, punk rock. Pop rock should not be on this list.

2 Green Day Green Day are an American pop punk/punk rock band formed in East Bay, California in 1987. The members include Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals and guitar), Mike Dirnt (bass), Tré Cool (drums) and Jason White (guitar). Green Day are associated with punk rock, pop punk and alternative rock. Some of their... read more

Their music is so meaningful. It delves into topics like government, politics, and religion. Billie Joe Armstrong has a great voice that has remained consistent over the years. When it comes to bassists, I believe Mike Dirnt is the best bass player in the history of punk rock. Tre Cool is also the best drummer in the history of punk rock, as confirmed by Billie Joe Armstrong during their Bullet in a Bible concert.

Green Day is unquestionably the best punk rock band out there. Billie Joe Armstrong has influenced many people in how they write music. He has inspired others to take up the guitar and even has a signature model with Gibson Guitars.

Mike Dirnt is renowned for his bass guitar riffs, licks, and techniques. It's no surprise that he has been nominated for the title of the world's best bassist of all time. He even has a signature bass made by Fender.

As for Tre Cool, where do you even begin? He's incredibly funny and highly skilled on the drums. Who would have thought that a German kid, raised in a hippie environment, would grow up to play American punk rock drums?

3 Sex Pistols The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band formed in London in 1975. Although they initially lasted just two and a half years and produced only four singles and one studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, they are considered one of the most influential acts in the history... read more

Okay, here is the point. We have to go back in time and consider the context. The Sex Pistols had one official album and three official years of existence, probably the shortest career of a punk band. But what they did was pure honesty.

If you put it in the period and political state of England, they were the first band that ever did it with such a "straight-in-your-face" approach as the Pistols did. After 30 years, they are known all over the world. Keep in mind, they never went mainstream or radio-friendly like all those new poser bands did: Offspring, Green Day, Good Charlotte. They all sold out and use punk only for its attractive side. They are nothing more than rich kids making money with major record labels. Pistols rule. It's as simple as that.

4 The Clash The Clash were an English punk rock band that formed in 1976 as part of the original wave of British punk.

Their music is so iconic and still feels so fresh and clear. I respect the Sex Pistols for their role in the creation of the punk industry, but many people forget the impact of The Clash. To be honest, the Sex Pistols sounded a bit off-tune in some of their songs.

For Vicious's sake, they only had one album! The Ramones are good, but their songs are a little too repetitive. Green Day is good, but they are not the best band on this list. In my opinion, The Clash should at least be at the top. Green Day should be in fourth or third place, Ramones second, and Sex Pistols fourth or third. The battle for third should be between impact on the industry and quality.

5 Bad Religion Bad Religion is an American punk rock band that formed in Los Angeles, California in 1979. The band makes extensive use of soaring three-part vocal harmonies, guitar solos and lyrics that often contain religious and political commentary.

Undoubtedly, the most intelligent and meaningful punk rock band out there is Bad Religion. Their lyrics put all others to shame, never dumbing them down despite knowing that intelligent music is not popular. This is evident from the popularity of bands such as Sum 41, The Offspring, and Green Day.

They are also some of the most influential, inspiring artists like Green Day, the Offspring, and Rise Against. The Offspring and Rise Against deserve a top 10 slot. I'm only 19, but I've been listening to punk my entire life. If any band deserves the title of Best Punk Rock Band, it would be Bad Religion.

6 Dead Kennedys Dead Kennedys are an American hardcore punk band formed in San Francisco, California in 1978. The band was one of the first American hardcore bands to make a significant impact in the United Kingdom.

Punk is really dead because I see all those girly love song bands at the top of the list, and Dead Kennedys are at Number 13? Jello Biafra is one of the best inspirational figures of punk rock. I could call him the best person in the entire world. He's 54 now but has not yet abandoned his ideals.

Look at all those "hardcore punk" band members from the '80s. They are probably sitting behind a table doing a lame-ass job. Jello is trying to get his message out to the world as a spoken word artist. He aims to help people free themselves from the chains society has placed around them. He's promoting free speech and free thought.

If you've never listened to Dead Kennedys before, you should. But don't listen to the Dead Kennedys of 2012. For Jello, songs were never about money. He left the band not because he fought with his band members, but because people coming to their concerts were dumb metalheads with no brains, and he couldn't get his message out.

The "New Dead Kennedys" suck. They actually changed the "MTV Get Off the Air" song to "MP3 Get Off the Web." Jello is a supporter of music piracy and would have never allowed that to happen. The song "MTV Get Off the Air" is intended to make people aware of the crap that is promoted on TV.

I've been blabbing on and on about how amazing his message is, but I should also say what an amazing voice he has. East Bay Ray and all the other band members were also awesome. Jello was never good at guitar, and he hummed out the riffs to the others so they could make music. His voice is so amazing, with a really great warble in it. Just listen to "California Uber Alles". His pitch changes so amazingly.

Once more, remember, "Dead Kennedys" a.k.a. Jello Biafra left the band a long time ago. The ones who dare call themselves Dead Kennedys right now are supporting the exact thing that Jello wanted to stand up against, and wanted others to stand up against. They actually sued him for not letting them... more

7 Rise Against Rise Against is an American hardcore punk band from Chicago, Illinois, formed in 1999. The band's current line-up comprises vocalist/rhythm guitarist Tim McIlrath, lead guitarist Zach Blair, bassist Joe Principe, and drummer Brandon Barnes. They are known for popularizing punk. Some of their most well-known... read more

Rise Against has been my favorite band since I was eight years old. I have a deep passion for punk, and Green Day simply isn't punk anymore. While many love the overwhelming political statements that Green Day projects in its songs, I don't want to be listening to something that is going to make me mad. Green Day is almost like Anti-Flag, with ridiculous anarchist messages in their songs.

I do understand The Ramones being ranked higher than Rise Against because The Ramones were really the first good punk band. I also get why Blink-182 is ahead, as they were the first in pop-punk. However, the idea of Sum-41 even being in the top ten is absurd. Bad Religion not being in the top ten is also absurd. Class dismissed.

8 The Misfits Misfits are an American Horror Punk band often recognized as the progenitors of the horror punk subgenre, blending punk rock and other musical influences with horror film themes and imagery.

How in the world are Blink-182, Sum 41, The Offspring, and Green Day on this list? Don't get me wrong. I love those bands, especially Offspring, but they aren't real punk. They barely sound like real punk bands. I've heard them called pop-punk, and I think that's the best term for them. Whatever they are, they shouldn't be here. Misfits are punk. Black Flag is punk. The Sex Pistols are punk. I used to think that the pop-punk bands were true punk, but now I know.

My favorite band of all time.

By the way, since when are a bunch of emos, sellouts, and pop-rock bands considered punk? Back in the '90s, those bands wouldn't even have been considered punk by the biggest musical noob in the world. I really don't like that nowadays there are almost no real punks anymore. Nowadays, it's just a bunch of posers. It's a shame.

9 The Offspring The Offspring is an American punk rock band from Huntington Beach, California, formed in 1984. Formed under the name Manic Subsidal, the band consists of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Dexter Holland, bassist Greg K., lead guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman and drummer Pete Parada.

I'm mentioning these guys only because of their self-titled album: The Offspring, and Ignition, Smash, and Ixnay. After that, I don't think The Offspring qualify as punk rock from Americana onwards. I don't think this band should be number one, but definitely top three.

I've listened to so much punk rock, and "The Offspring" and Ignition are extremely good albums. Despite The Offspring not actually being my favorite punk band, their self-titled album is by far my favorite. I've been told that Dexter's voice isn't for everyone, but they did produce some amazing horror punk and hardcore punk. I do find it a shame how they turned out. Now they get categorized with Green Day, Blink-182, and Sum-41, which is sad really.

10 Black Flag Black Flag was an American punk rock band formed in 1976 in Hermosa Beach, California. Initially called Panic, the band was established by Greg Ginn, the guitarist, primary songwriter, and sole continuous member through multiple personnel changes in the band. They are widely considered to be one of... read more

This list cannot be left out of the top 10 on any true punk rock list. This list is making me feel very angry and punk rock. Maybe it's a trap! Such a shame that these millionaire boy bands found a way to steal the name "punk" and convince millions of unsuspecting jocks and rich kids that being "punk" was cool. There's no better way to crush the revolution than to brand it and make it cool.

My God, does anyone know what punk is? Bands like Simple Plan and Fall Out Boy are not punk. Black Flag is a real punk band. They started the hardcore scene that all these kids, who don't even know who Black Flag is, are mimicking. Henry Rollins is a legend.

The Contenders
11 Social Distortion Social Distortion is an American punk rock band formed in 1978 in Fullerton, California. The band currently consists of Mike Ness, Jonny Wickersham, Brent Harding, David Hidalgo, Jr., and David Kalish.

Blink-182 and My Chemical Romance? Seriously? I've been listening to punk rock since I was about nine, and they are not punk, maybe alternative rock. Social Distortion, The Ramones, and The Clash are my all-time favorites. They should be the top bands. Punk pretty much died after 2003.

The best punk rock band in history, with rockabilly influence, is Social Distortion. Story of My Life is one of the best songs I've ever heard in my whole life. It makes me think about the good times from the past. They are just so great.

I do love The Misfits, The Ramones, The Clash, and The Sex Pistols, but Social Distortion is my ultimate favorite punk rock band. To me, Mike Ness is the Johnny Cash of punk rock. "Ball and Chain" is one of my all-time favorite songs.

12 NOFX NOFX are an American punk rock band from Los Angeles, California. The band was formed in 1983 by vocalist/bassist Fat Mike and guitarist Eric Melvin. Drummer Erik Sandin joined NOFX shortly after.

Thank God, a real punk rock band. Listen to their song "The Separation of Church and Skate." Look up the lyrics, read them, and you'll know why I don't like bands like Simple Plan anymore. They're another lame, soft, and whiny sub-genre of punk rock. People mistake this as being punk rock.

Listen to the song, and you'll hear the difference. The lyrics mean something, as opposed to that song "I'm Just a Kid" by Simple Plan, which is just a guy (who has definitely outgrown his teens) whining about what a hard life he has with his parents and school. Seriously, who cares? I sure don't.

13 The Descendents

Greatest punk band of all time, for sure. Okay, they didn't write songs about rebelling against the powers that be as often as other, more high-profile punk bands (e.g., The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Ramones), but no other band wrote about the smaller pains and problems of life like they did. Note the use of the word "did": unfortunately, like The Stones, Descendents are still active, even though they passed both their studio and live prime about thirty years ago, but what a glorious prime it was. Albums like "Milo Goes to College" and "All" have stood the test of time.

14 Minor Threat Minor Threat was an American hardcore punk band, formed in 1980 in Washington, D.C. by vocalist Ian MacKaye and drummer Jeff Nelson.

I do really like these. Why are bands like My Chemical Romance and Paramore on the list? Just because they talk about politics or whatever doesn't make them punk. They aren't part of the genre. They are just alternative/popular rock.

Pioneers of the Straight Edge movement, this band was raw and unadulterated while delivering a positive, get-your-stuff-together message. I had the opportunity to see them later on as Fugazi, and it was the craziest mosh pit I've ever seen.

These guys not only defined punk/hardcore long before GD, etc., they were/are incredibly talented musicians! I saw Fugazi in a small venue, and they blew the top off the place. Crazy!

15 Bad Brains Bad Brains is an American hardcore punk band formed in Washington, D.C., in 1977. They are widely regarded as among the pioneers of hardcore punk, though the band's members have objected to this term to describe their music.

A bunch of posers must be voting on this. How are those preppy little pop-punk bands ahead of Bad Brains and Black Flag, both great bands? Good Charlotte is not punk rock. It's corporate pop, as are Simple Plan, Blink-182, Sum 41, Boys Like Girls, Yellowcard, Taking Back Sunday, and the majority of these bands ahead of Bad Brains. I don't think they're the best, but they're top 25 hands down. All those bands I mentioned are just a bunch of 20-year-old millionaires whining about their make-believe problems and that girl who didn't go to the prom with them because she thought they were dorks. Get over it, you losers. How is Good Charlotte even on here? Britney Spears is more punk than them.

16 The Stooges The Stooges, also known as Iggy and the Stooges, are an American proto-punk band from Ann Arbor, Michigan, first active from 1967 to 1974, and later reformed in 2003. Although they sold few records in their original incarnation, and often performed for indifferent or hostile audiences, the Stooges are... read more

The Stooges should be number one. They were punk without even trying and couldn't care less. They never bothered to sell out, and their music just has that great sound.

Besides, what other punk band had a frontman that could compare to Iggy Pop? You get such a calm-looking but fierce-sounding guitarist, Ron Asheton. Then there's Dave Alexander, a great bassist who played for a short time. If you listen to his bass lines in Fun House and T.V. Eye, few can beat those drums as loud as Scott Asheton (Rock Action). Their three original albums were a source of inspiration for The Ramones and The Clash. Their music sounded like no other during their great time (1967-1974).

17 Anti Flag Anti-Flag is an American punk rock band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. The band is well known for politically charged lyrics and activism, focusing on anti-war activism, anti-imperialism, class struggle, human rights, and various sociopolitical sentiments.

Best punk band. Many great songs - punk, hardcore punk, melodic hardcore, and pop-punk. The songs are really melodic. I really like it. They have fast songs (hardcore punk) and slow ones (from pop-punk to alternative rock), as well as some acoustic songs too. Justin Sane and Chris Head are great guitarists, and Justin Sane and Chris #2 provide impressive, wonderful vocals.

It was hard to choose, but come on, Anti-Flag is REAL punk. Most people don't know what punk is. Simple Plan, Panic! At the Disco, and Paramore are so NOT punk. I mean, I love My Chemical Romance, and maybe some of their songs are kind of punk, but they're not really political, and it's not real punk though.

18 Dropkick Murphys Dropkick Murphys are an American Celtic punk band formed in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1996. The band was initially signed to independent punk record label Hellcat Records, releasing five albums for the label, and making a name for themselves locally through constant touring and yearly St.

They are the most creative punk band out there. They definitely should be up there in the top tens. So many punk bands just sound cookie-cutter, but these guys have so much character to their music. THIS is what punk music should sound like.

Dropkick Murphys is definitely my favorite punk rock band. Go Irish boys! (Okay, my roots are Irish, so it helps.) People, if you put Green Day in first place and Dropkick Murphys only at 21st, there is a real problem!

Behind Blink-182 are the Murphys, my absolute favorite band, because they make the best Irish-folk sound in the world. They should be in the top ten! P.S. The best songs are, in my opinion, "Shipping up to Boston," "Which Side Are You On," and "Rose Tattoo."

19 Pennywise

Okay, okay, okay, I know it's a little high, but bear with me. A ton of bands could be right here. But after careful deliberation, I decided that, hey, I don't want to leave Pennywise off the top ten because, quite frankly, they rule!

Personally, no top 10 punk bands list is complete without Pennywise. They are a band who know how to interact with society and clearly explain their views.

Love this band. Their sound is good and loud, and the music kicks ass. My favorite song by them is As Long As We Can from their album Reason to Believe.

20 Operation Ivy Operation Ivy, sometimes called "Op Ivy," was an American Ska punk band, from Berkeley, California formed in May 1987. The band was stylistically important as one of the first bands to mix the elements of hardcore punk and ska into a new amalgam called ska punk and was critical to the emergence of Lookout... read more

They are among the best ever for Punk and Ska. This band was the motivation and inspiration for Green Day. Green Day saw Operation Ivy numerous times and hung out with them when they rehearsed. Operation Ivy should be before Green Day on this list! If you like the old-school sound of garage-style West Coast Punk Rock and haven't done so yet, check out Operation Ivy. They are a great band to hear, and I very much wish they'd go on tour again!

It was really hard to leave these guys off the list. Even to this day, whenever I listen to "Artificial Lie," "Room Without a Window," or "Missionary," it just puts a smile on my face.

21 Circle Jerks

This list makes me sick! It was obviously concocted by teenagers with no real sense of what authentic punk music is. Seeing Circle Jerks at number 40 on the list, under "boy bands with guitars," such as Fall Out Boy, Good Charlotte, and Sum 41, makes me cringe. Circle Jerks meet all the criteria for a true punk band: political and social defiance, fast grinding guitar, and speedy beats. Additionally, as the first lead singer of the notorious band Black Flag, Keith Morris delivers vocals that are not as polished as some of the corporate-controlled "punk puppets" of today.

So, here's my top 10 list, whether anyone likes it or not:

1. Dead Kennedys
2. Sex Pistols
3. Black Flag
4. Circle Jerks
5. X
6. Minor Threat
7. Ramones
8. New York Dolls (I bet you teenagers have never heard of them. Do your research!)
9. Pennywise
10. Social Distortion.

22 The Damned The Damned is a British punk rock band formed in London in 1976. They were one of the first punk bands to release a single, contributing to the birth of the UK punk movement. Over the years, the band's style has evolved to include elements of goth rock and post-punk. The Damned are recognized for their... read more

The Damned at No. 60 is an absolute terrible rating. I'm looking for Buzzcocks, Stranglers, and SLF, among plenty of others. Lame poll. Green Day at number 1? Laughing my face off! Is this an American poll by any chance? If anyone suggests that none of these bands were punk, then they were not around at gigs in the 70s and 80s.

I've never been a big fan of The Damned (being a punk myself), but their recent live shows convinced me otherwise. The Captain & Co. still totally have it.

The Damned released the first British punk rock single. How are they not in 1st place? Not to mention, Dave Vanian basically founded the goth genre and subculture.

23 Suicidal Tendencies Suicidal Tendencies is an American crossover thrash band founded in 1980 in Venice, California by vocalist Mike Muir, who is the only remaining original member of the band. The band is often credited as one of "the fathers of crossover thrash".

Based only on their first album, a masterpiece from beginning to end, this is the best for me. I appreciate the pioneering work of the Sex Pistols and Ramones, but ST's first album takes the cake.

The best band ever. I got my guitar signed by them.

Mike Muir just wanted a Pepsi, and she wouldn't give it to him. Just one Pepsi.

24 The Germs

The Germs had a three-year career and one album. That album ended up being one of the greatest punk albums ever released and was a major influence on the underground music community, influencing countless punk and hardcore bands.

Darby Crash was incredible. I love the band, and Pat is awesome.

The fact that The Germs aren't even in the top 20 is quite sad.

25 Buzzcocks Buzzcocks are an English punk rock band formed in Bolton, England in 1976 by singer-songwriter-guitarist Pete Shelley and singer-songwriter Howard Devoto.

These guys kick ass, and they're real. I can't believe I'm even reading Paramore's name on this list. I've died and went to mall hell.

They should be so much higher on the list. Yellow card isn't punk. So how does the happen.

Love these guys, introduced me to punk and have had them my whole life. its possibly due to them that I'm now in a band with a punk/metal theme

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