Sometimes, everything in your life is infuriating, and you need to stop on the street and let out a primal scream. But you can't because the neighbors would disapprove and someone might ask you if you're on your period and tell you that you're overreacting. Whether you're pissed off by all the little things like the impossibility of finding anyone who isn't garbage on a dating app or larger problems like the looming societal expectation that you settle down and have a family someday, you aren't overreacting. Here is a list of songs by punk artists who would probably tell you that you aren't nearly angry enough about these all too common, blood-boiling situations.
1. When your best friend is being a jerk: "Becky" by Be Your Own Pet
Whether you and your bestie are just in a fight or it's goodbye forever, "Becky" will pour gasoline on the simmering flames of your betrayed anger. As be your own PET screams, "I found a brand new friend ok/ Me and her will kick your ass/ We'll wait with knives after class", the "Becky" situation escalates quickly from making the offending ex-friend cry at lunch to… well homicide. But it's all tongue in cheek! One of the beautiful things about punk rock is that it provides an acceptable outlet for the angry, twisted emotions you would never act on, but are definitely thinking about.
2. When your government is an infuriating trash fire: "Combat Rock" by Sleater-Kinney
Even though "Combat Rock" is from Sleater-Kinney's 2002 album, One Beat, the sarcastically patriotic lyrics are, unfortunately, still relevant in 2017. The Sleater-Kinney of fifteen years ago shout an eerily timeless warning as they sing, "We'll come out with our fists raised/ The good old boys are back on top again/ And if we let them lead us blindly/ The past becomes the future once again". The full-throated chorus is guaranteed to have you burning flags in true punk fashion.
3. When it's time to switch to Bumble: "Siri, Open Tinder" by Childbirth
From dreadlocks to spaghetti straps to group pics, Tinder is a compilation of the worst that men have to offer, all in one convenient, location-based app. Childbirth honors the modern dating struggle in this hilarious grunge jam.
4. When you refuse to conform to expectations: "I Wanna Be a Punk Rocker" by T-Rextasy
T-Rextasy's lead vocalist mocks her parents' desires that she settle down as a cable-knit clad doctor with an expensive zip code, a therapist, and (*shudder*) a husband, in favor of a career as a punk rocker. I wish I knew this song a few years ago when I switched out of pre-med to become an English major in an extremely nerdy version of the parent-child conflict in "I Wanna Be a Punk Rocker". If I ever break down and do the whole family thing, I'm singing this song to my children every night before they go to sleep.
5. When you're just fine on your own thank you: "Unicorns and Rainbows (Boyfriend)" by Daddy Issues
Speaking of generational conflict, this is the song to play next time your relatives hit you with the dreaded, "No boyfriend? At your age? Why not???" It's also the song to play for your friends who have gotten really boring ever since they settled down with a significant other.
6. When you'll never be a corporate sheep: "The Gap" by Potty Mouth
Potty Mouth shows defiant attraction to that most dreaded of concepts among the conventionally ambitious: The gap year. "The Gap" is about making choices based on what's best for you, regardless of the questions and criticism you may have to fend off. Potty Mouth's flippant refrain, "I've said a million times/ I don't know, who cares", is the perfect response to all your doubters.
7. When you just want to riot: "Meet Me In The Street" by Sheer Mag
This song from Sheer Mag's new album, Need To Feel Your Love, is a pounding anthem perfect for the kind of sourceless rage that makes you want to rally an army of friends and release your fury on anything and everything standing in your way. The heavy, lo-fi guitar chords and Tina Halladay's fierce, spitfire vocals will get you fired up and ready to fight. Even if you are just fighting your way through the rush hour crowd on the way home from your 9 to 5. Don't worry, you're a punk rocker at heart.
8. When you actually are moody because of your period: "Crimson Wave" by Tacocat
It definitely sucks to have your reactions written off as ‘PMS', but, let's be real, that time of the month can really get you down. Tacocat handles the inconvenient cramping the way we all wish we could with "white wine and vicodin", a well-deserved sick day, and surfing.
9. When you refuse to have your voice drowned out: "I Hate Danger" by Bikini Kill
We've all been in those situations, whether at work or while hanging with friends, where it's just you and the boys. Sometimes they're cool about it, but then there are those times when they seem to think they can just disregard your contributions or make you feel like you have to neutralize your opinions if you wanna hang. Bikini Kill is, of course, having none of this male-centered group dynamic nonsense. The crashing, pure punk noise of "I Hate Danger" cannot be drowned out by any number of men.
10. When the absolute bullshit that is slut-shaming still exists somehow: "Slutmouth" by Girlpool
"Slutmouth" delivers a deadpan message wrapped in deceptive innocence. Cleo Tucker and Harmony Trividad's vocals skip, carefree through a chorus of "I don't really care about the clothes I wear/ I don't really care to brush my hair", only to stop dead in their tracks and deliver the line "I go to work every day/ Just to be slut-shamed someday". Girlpool offers "Slutmouth" as a response to anyone who thinks they can make assumptions about women based on what they see or hear from "the boy down the street". You can hear the disgusted eyeroll in Trividad and Tucker's voices in their exasperated "Baby, please".
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