10 Great Lost '80s Punk Bands

Photo by Jay Francis
Legionaire's Disease Band
Ah, punk rock. No matter how many times declare its demise, it just keeps coming back upon us. Right now, Houston's underground scene is bubbling over with talent and the influence of the '80s scene is going strong. Underground bands are getting resurrected by 7-inch collectors, and the look going forward seems to be looking back.

In the midst of all that, it might be time to explore some of the more underrated bands of the time. Some were influential, some just outright forgotten, but there were so many people kicking ass in this genre at the time that it was hard to keep up. These aren't your Black Flags or your Misfits, but are worth remembering all the same.

Really Red
Really Red were early adopters of punk rock in Houston, showing off a sound indebted to the Cramps that Houstonians likely had never heard before at the time. They remain influential locally, but unfortunately have been forgotten by the larger punk continuum.

Gorilla Biscuits
Gorilla Biscuits ended up being hugely influential in the straight-edge scene of hardcore punk, but are still overlooked these days, unfortunately. It's important to note that they also incorporated some of the melodic overtones that Fugazi was adopting around the same time, but just didn't manage to bring it to the mainstream as much.

Negative Approach
Despite experiencing a small renaissance thanks to their 2006 reunion, Negative Approach remains one of the more obscure hardcore punk bands to come out of the early-'80s scene. Their cred remains intact in the underground scene, though, especially since the acclaimed shows they've played in Houston over the last few years.

Big Boys
This Austin band became huge in the skate-punk scene and were one of the main hardcore bands to incorporate heavy funk influences into their music. Leave it to Texans to do it totally off-kilter from the Bay Area sound, which had become so popular by then.

Jerry's Kids
Boston hardcore has its own distinct sound these days and is known for its rich scene, but in the early '80s it was just starting out; Jerry's Kids was one of the de facto leaders. They also participated in the influential compilation This is Boston, Not L.A.

Sons of Ishmael
Virtually unknown outside of collectors from Canada, Sons of Ishmael were an awesome hardcore punk band that mixed in some thrash-metal influences to create some early crossover records. Some interludes sound like Metallica during their Kill 'Em All days, only sped up about 50,000 light-years.

List continues on the next page.

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What the...? Really Red sounded like The Cramps!!??? That's sure news to me. Nice to have been included though. Thank you very kindly.


AK-47, Mydolls, Sugar Shack, Bevatron, The Judys, 3 Day Stubble, The Killerwatts, Wild Bores


Where are these bubbling undeground shows? I need venue/warehouses what ever. I need locations!

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