The Ten Greatest Texas Punk Bands

Categories: Commentary

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The Dicks

With D.R.I. coming to Trees last night, we at DC9 thought it might be opportune to look at some of the legendary punk bands that have claimed Texas as their home. These days, D.R.I. is better known as a metal act, but when they began life way back in 1982, Kurt Brecht and crew were a classic hardcore punk outfit.

For all practical purposes, the 10 bands on this list are the godfathers of punk rock in Texas. And nearly every punk band that has come after them has been derivative to the point of imitation. One quick caveat: Before the screaming starts, The Butthole Surfers were intentionally left off this list, as they deserve a category all their own.

10. The Hates - Forming in 1978, Houston's The Hates were among the first Texas punk bands. Christian Arnheiter's love of the Sex Pistols and The Ramones was ever-present in the great singles produced by this underappreciated band.


9. Marching Plague - Little known, even at the time, San Antonio's Marching Plague were one of those bands in the middle of every great punk-rock triple bill. The band had a sense of humor missing from a lot of punk acts. Case in point, Marching Plague would wear Ronald Reagan masks and sing "Reagan Man" to the tune of Sabbath's "Iron Man." And this was when dear old Ronnie was still in office.

8. Really Red - Teaching You The Fear, Really Red's 1981 full-length debut still stands today as one of the best albums ever made by a Texas punk band. Hailing from Houston and lead by Ronald "U-Ron" Bond, Really Red never got their due.


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68 comments
jeterjoshua
jeterjoshua

We gigs alot Houston Austin Dallas ft worth loved nervebreakers bobby sox fw catsshit sheri

jeterjoshua
jeterjoshua

Don't mention platinum Paul and the skuds

Joshua
Joshua

Plus, that picture above of the Hates, isn't the Hates...Its GBH. They're from England.

Joshua
Joshua

Any list that does not include Austin's The Offenders, is incomplete...

MikeO
MikeO

Does anybody really have a good definition of "Punk Rock"? I'll never forget talking to friend's younger brother who was a Misfits/My Bloody Valentine fan and telling him I like punk rock bands like the Clash and he laughed at the fact that I called the Clash a punk rock band! Oh well.

MikeO
MikeO

Did anybody ever see Austin's Sharon Tate's Baby? I saw their first ever show at Raul's. I know that they played some other shows but I'm not sure how prolific they were. I need to google this stuff!

MikeO
MikeO

And I can't believe no one mentioned The Next! What a great Austin omission!

MikeO
MikeO

I too am having a problem with the exclusion of the Nervebreakers. Sure, they may have had a garage rock bent, but you included Austin's Skunks, and I would say that the Nervebreakers were a comparable, probably better, band. You also should have mentioned the Skunks great guitarist, Jon D Graham, still an Austin music great. Speaking of the Nervebreakers, did the Observer bother to publicize the Bar of Soap reunion last w/e? I missed it no thanks to y'all. I think Barry needs to get a posse together and we beat up this hack!

Alex Alexander
Alex Alexander

Seriously, Poison 13 does not even make the top 10? Immediately drains your list of legitimacy and any interest on my part.

craig323
craig323

Is this writer anti-Straight? The Dicks and Big Boys lead singers are gay like me but WHY only those two are the top of the map. Are you prejudiced against Hetero Punks? Dang!!!

pelachile
pelachile

I remember a couple of good bands from the south (San Antonio is south texas). The Krayons in particular. 

rb1044
rb1044

Big Boys and The Dicks in the top 2 spots without a doubt. 

CowtownPunk
CowtownPunk

Any list without the Nervebreakers or the Fort Worth Cats loses all credilbility.

CowtownPunk
CowtownPunk

Any list without the Nervebreakers or the Fort Worth Cats loses all credibility.

KEVINK8
KEVINK8

Ten? You make ten? And you leave off the Nervebreakers? I wasn't even in Texas when I heard of them and played what few scraps of vinyl that was available on the Radio and you left them off? What, is it because they didn't have a video from back in the day on You Tube? You lazy sumbich jackoff! Before internet, one researched and lived this shit. Jesus key-rist where the hell is The Loco Gringos? You're a lazy jack off - don't pay his ass, Observer - jeez, you could have asked George Gimarc and Jeff Liles, but you ask some pantywaist born in the eighties/ninieties who couldn't tell Circle Jerks from Angry Samoans.

Chårlie Kuhlmån
Chårlie Kuhlmån

I love how the Dallas observer walks into my home and interviews the suspension crowd for three hours but when it comes to my music they've never listened to one seconds. I don't blame them. Hooks are more interesting.

bagowire
bagowire

i love lists made by someone who either wasn't around earlier than 1982 or choose to ignore the the early days... NO NERVEBREAKERS or SKUDS or VOMIT PIGS or even legionnaires' disease (even they opened for the Clash in Houston)... if the list has another criteria or style qualification i missed that. as far as that goes what about NCM? Punk to me had a much broader definition back in the original time period... less confining... by todays PUNK standards the Ramones were just a bunch of sloppy rock guys on too much coffee... yes lists are subjective but should be defendable to some extent... IMHO

ChrisYu
ChrisYu topcommenter

pretty sure any of us that are old enough could think of some omissions, but very entertaining post. there are some bands on your list I'd never heard of. shout out to D-Day and the Vomit Pigs!

Ditto
Ditto

I agree with Frank26, no Nervebreakers? Really? They were even featured in Rolling Stone.

Nancy Moore
Nancy Moore

I'm gonna' say it! Brave Combo, nuclear polka. They punked-out polka music. People were pogo-ing to polka. That counts!

Tim Smathers
Tim Smathers

These bands were a long way off when I was pogoing at DJ's in the70's to bands I can't remember because I fried my fucking brain!

Nancy Moore
Nancy Moore

Todd Deatherage, if I remember correctly, "Buddy Magazine" awarded Joe King Carasco Best Punk/New Wave artist of 1986.

Blackie Geer
Blackie Geer

SuperMans Girlfriend? Teenage Queers? The Torpedos?

Nancy Moore
Nancy Moore

Matt Spleen! What was his band called? And Texas Twisters. Werewolves? Where's Jonathan Lacey?

Nancy Moore
Nancy Moore

How did I not know that DRI was from Houston? Rank 'n File wasn't punk, but they had lasting impact on that era of Texas music.

Nancy Moore
Nancy Moore

Mydolls. I'd even put The Telefones on the list. And I'd include New Wave and Rockabilly on the list. Like I said on Frank Campagna's share of this story. Who did The Clash hang out with on their first trip to Texas? Joe Ely. I'd even give The Devices props, for sure. Their list seemed pretty Houston-centric. Oh, let's give Blackie Geer credit. The Projectors!

Frank26
Frank26

Having worked with nearly all these bands I must say, by the time any of them really started rocking it, Nervebreakers had already played w/ the Ramones,  Sex Pistols, Clash, Police not to mention from NYC to LA and were winding down due to frustration. That is one major omission Darryl.


Jeffrey Lowry
Jeffrey Lowry

The fact that The Nervebreakers aren't on this list, and #1 for that matter, is quite frankly, abhorrently offensive. I hope the party or parties responsible for this abomination are receiving proper punishment.

darrylrs
darrylrs

I saw the Offenders probably 20 times. THey were always the opening band for great bands like Husker Du, etc. Second tier, copy cat hardcore.

darrylrs
darrylrs

I am unsure if Poison 13 qualifies as a punk band. Like Scratch Acid, there was more going on than punk. And the members of both bands would probably agree.

darrylrs
darrylrs

against hetero punks? that's funny. the big boys and the dicks were great bands with or without gay lead singers. but your comment did make me laugh.

darrylrs
darrylrs

First off, Kevin, I didn't add the videos and I wouldn't care if a band didn't have one. Secondly, I was never the biggest fan of the Nervebreakers. I understand their importance in the Dallas punk scene, but I wanted this list to represent the whole state. All lists are going to leave off certain bands. But Loco Gringos? They sucked back in the day. And I don't even think I would call them a punk band.

darrylrs
darrylrs

sorry Nancy, I like Brave Combo, but they don't belong anywhere near this list and I am sure they would agree.

darrylrs
darrylrs

well, in 86, a lot of writers were awarding "punk" awards to non punk bands because they (the writers) couldn't get their heads around real punk. I like Joe King, but he aint no punk.

darrylrs
darrylrs

Nancy, can't include new wave and rockabilly on a list of ten. Good bands that you mentioned, but not punk.

darrylrs
darrylrs

yes, I agree about the nervebreakers, but even though they were important to the local scene, their music never got to me. Lots of good music on the list and I wanted a wider view of the state of Texas punk.

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