Those who say punk is dead tend to be those who wish punk were dead, either still somehow threatened by the culture or -- and this is more likely -- chagrined that punks don't give a shit what they think. Punk is, of course, very much alive in 2013, particularly in regions like Southern California. It also lives on through the below albums, punk's twenty greatest. Hey! Ho! Let's go!
Milo Goes To College (1982)
Southern California has proven exceptionally fertile ground for punk rock music, and one of our finest moments came with the debut of South Bay maniacs The Descendents. Don't let the rapidfire 15 songs in just over 22 minutes fool you, Milo Goes To College's vulnerable (if occasionally snotty) lyrics courtesy of Milo Aukerman and its riffs at times feel like all-out assault. And for those of you wondering, yes, Milo did go to college. He has a PhD in biochemistry.
9. The Mistfits
Walk Among Us (1982)
The Misfits' first official full length consists of pummeling hardcore couched in the melodic style of late '50's and early '60s rock 'n roll. That these shout-alongs deal exclusively in B-movie guts and gore is an added bonus. Singer Glenn Danzig, whose voice is the most masculine in all of punk rock, compiled and edited this collection of songs from several different performances and recording sessions, stitching together The Misfits' strongest and spookiest record.
8. The Clash
The late '70s weren't kind to England. The economy was in the pits and the outlook was bleak. Enter three lads from London, who managed to channel the collective anxiety of the country's disenchanted youth, courtesy of Joe Strummer's madder-than-hell, politically charged lyrics and Mick Jones' machine gun guitar riffs. The Clash was a major turning point for punk. For the first time, the establishment had to recognize the genre as a voice for social change.
See also: Top 20 Greatest L.A. Punk Albums
7. Iggy & The Stooges
Raw Power (1973)
Those who say The Stooges' Raw Power is not really punk should shut it. Never mind that the record was mixed like a high school basement tape by David Bowie, or that it was recorded as catharsis for the band's cresting drug-induced nightmare. This album is so punk that it would still terrify your mom a little bit if she just saw the album sleeve sitting on your coffee table, what with its ghost-like, shirtless Iggy Pop in face makeup. Even the ballads that the studio forced Iggy to put on the record (like "Gimme Danger") exude strains of the dark emotional menace that would follow.
--Paul T. Bradley