9. Social Distortion
There's the typical idea that punk is a genre that intentionally restricts its players. For as much great talent these musicians have as songwriters, it's not as easy to showcase your skill when the songs are always supposed to be fairly rudimentary. However, Social Distortion were one of the few bands who could sit on both the hard rock and punk sides of the spectrum.
When the band originally started out in the early '80s, their style was more in line with the So-Cal punk sound, with choruses that wouldn't be out of place if they were on a Bad Religion record. As the band spread out though, they took a big risk by embracing rootsy rock, with songs like "Ball and Chain" and "Story of My Life" almost adopting a country twang to them.
Rather than being ostracized by the punk faithful, these guys managed to find favour with their fanbase who understood the honesty in their lyrics. From the minute he opens his mouth, the growl of Mike Ness almost feels like what Bruce Springsteen would sound like if he had decided to go down a more cynical road. With fans like Mike McCready from Pearl Jam and Matt Skiba from Alkaline Trio, Social Distortion remains one of the more overlooked bands of the early punk movement.