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So You Think You Hate Punk Rock: The Five Bands That Will Change Your Mind

Think the genre is just noise and self-destruction? Think again.

by
Jonathan Sanders

Bio

November 20, 2011 - 1:00 am

#4 — THE DAMNED

The Damned

The Damned formed in London in 1976, building a name for themselves by incorporating a variety of sounds into their blisteringly fast arrangements. Their cover of “Help” by The Beatles is a solid example of the Punk aesthetic, stripping the song down to its barest essentials without losing what makes it catchy in the first place. And “New Rose,” their first single, opens with a deadpan intro: “Is she really going out with him?” echoing the Shangri-Las’ 1964 bubblegum hit “Leader of the Pack” while turning the concept on its ear with what critic Ned Raggett once described as “a deathless anthem of nuclear-strength romantic angst.” The Damned would morph into a much more gothic-inspired theatrical act as the ’80s New Wave sound developed, and they’d have their biggest hits in that arena. But they were among the key early developers of the Punk Rock movement, and serve as a quick and dirty introduction to the style.

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Next: America’s contribution to punk rock…

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