Best Of Dallas

The Top Ten DFW Punk Albums

See also: The top 10 North Texas blues albums

See also: The top 100 Texas songs

The Telefones, Vibration Change Released in 1980, this album is more punk in spirit than execution. Songs like "Rocket Rocket" and "The Ballad of Jerry Godzilla" fuse punk rock's oomph with a new wave sensibility. The rest of the album is pretty soft on the ears, but Vibration Change certainly opened the door for many other bands, punk and otherwise.

The Nervebreakers, We Want Everything Besides opening for the Sex Pistols at the Longhorn Ballroom, the Nervebreakers actually predate the Telefones. We Want Everything was recorded in 1980, but didn't see the light of day until 1994, long after the band was no more. In any case, songs like "My Girlfriend Is a Rock" and "I Don't Believe in Anything" are as potent today as they were three decades ago.

Stickmen with Rayguns, Some People Deserve to Suffer Fronted by the legendary Bobby Soxx, Stickmen with Rayguns recorded sporadically throughout the '80s, and most of those "songs" ended up on Some People Deserve to Suffer. Believe me, many people did suffer at Stickmen shows, as Soxx was a demented (and tormented) showman, but as a document of pure punk attitude, this album is revelatory.

Hugh Beaumont Experience, Virgin Killers From Cowtown, this foursome recorded half of Virgin Killers at a live show in 1982. The rest was produced by Hüsker Dü's Bob Mould and the entire album didn't get issued until the mid-'90s. Standouts: "Eric's on Thorazine," "I Don't Wanna Go to Bellevue" and "The Man Who Shot the Pope."

Hagfish , ...Rocks Your Lame Ass Although it would be fairly easy to label Hagfish an alternative rock act, the band's roots were firmly in the California punk heritage of The Descendants.This was the band's sophomore effort and nearly everyone associated with the Deep Ellum scene of the '90s predicted great success. Sadly, such success never came, but ...Rocks Your Lame Ass remains one of the best-sounding records to ever come out of Dallas.

Bomb Squad , Children of War Led by a large skinhead by the name of Johnny Chaos, Bomb Squad played Oi-influenced punk that never drew much of an audience. The band's lone 12-inch, Children of War, featured cover art by Raymond Pettibon and such powerful (if humorless) fare as "Question Authority" and "Genocide."

The Von Ehrics, Loaded Released in 2009, Loaded is my favorite album from these locals. Like Steve Earle fronting Motorhead, the songs have a country influence, but "Just Leave Me Out" and "Lost, Found, Free" are undeniably punk.

Spector 45, Break Me Hard to believe that it's been over a year since we lost Frankie Campagna. The charismatic frontman of Spector 45 had been mixing Buddy Holly and Johnny Rotten since he was a teenager, and at the time of his death, he was just reaching his apex. Break Me is six songs of petulant bluster, the kind of snotty bravado that defines good punk.

Dog Company, A Bullet For Every Lie This sophomore effort came out in 2009, and is one of the best local punk releases of the past decade. Modern without sacrificing authenticity, nearly every song here is a winner. It's all very political and angry, but so are most real punks.

Grey Skull , State of Ruckus A little-known local gem, State of Ruckus surfaced in 2004. Supposedly, Grey Skull is still around and recording new songs, although most of the members are in other bands. State of Ruckus lives up to its title in spades.

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Darryl Smyers
Contact: Darryl Smyers