Punk has become emblematic of all things rebellious. If rock is the genre that gives authority the middle finger, then punk punches authority in the jaw, and spits on its bruised face.
Punk finds its roots in the early 1960s, with bands largely from the Detroit music scene who rejected the popular conventions of mainstream rock.
Acts like Cream, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin were developing a style of psychedelic blues, that focused on elaborate guitar solos. But, early garage rock bands were keeping things simple. Playing hard and fast, these guys thrashed out simplified chord progressions, with no nonsense lead parts, adding a punch to their anti-authoritarian lyrics.
The early ‘70s saw these sounds developing further with the emergences of acts that would become known as the 'proto-punks'. By the mid ‘70s the London pub-rock scene had evolved into the London punk scene, and In LA, California, early hardcore groups were developing a furious sub genre.
By the ‘90s and early 2000s punk became a washed out and overly commercialised imitation of its former self. But with more recent acts likes, Slaves, IDLES and Viagra Boys creeping into the mainstream, we're seeing a resurgence of punk inspired groups who are keeping the old spirit alive.
10. New York Dolls
Formed in 1971 the New York Dolls were instantly polarising. Originally branded as a pale imitation of The Rolling Stones, they have become considered one of the most influential music acts of the era. Pre-dating the hair metal scene by almost a decade, their visual aesthetic was appropriated by the likes of Mötley Crüe and Bon Jovi. But, their sound was more akin to early punk bands of the mid '70s.
Lead singer David Johansen, might have pranced about like Jagger, but his vocals emulated a sound you might get if you crossed Lou Reed with Tom Waits. Screeching his way through songs, at times, and using his surprisingly deep vocal range at others, he made a marked impression.
Audiences didn't really know how to interpret the group, however. Visually they drew from Bowie and Mark Bolan, with a more effeminate dress sense, but their sound was a form of stripped out rock, that was closer to The Stooges than anything that was happening in the glam scene.
With aggressive guitar progressions, pounding drums and vocals that delivered lyrics with a punch, these guys were punk in all but name.