What Your Favorite Punk Band Says About You


We have been cracking up over John Peck’s brilliant piece, “What Your Favorite Classic Rock Band Says About You,” since McSweeney’s posted it last Friday. And since imitation is the highest form of flattery, we’ve put together an homage that more closely aligns with our interests: What Your Favorite Punk Band Says About You. You’ll find a few new-school bands in there, but for the most part, we’ve stuck to the classics. Try not to take it too seriously, and add your favorite punk-rock stereotypes in the comments. Oh, and if this devolves into a self-congratulatory pissing contest about who is or isn’t punk? We won’t hesitate to sic Henry Rollins on you.

Sex Pistols When your teacher called on you in elementary school, you just muttered nonsense.

The Clash You own a WikiLeaks T-shirt. Maybe this one.

Ramones At some point in your life, you have attempted to sniff glue. Maybe Elmer’s.

Buzzcocks You still have every love letter you’ve ever gotten.

The Slits You scare people a little bit… but they always come back for more.

X-Ray Spex You scare people a little bit… but fuck ’em if they can’t handle it.

The Exploited You have grown up to become the bully who tortured you in junior high.

The Damned At some point in your life, you have owned fake fangs, but now that we’ve got Twilight, you wouldn’t be caught dead in ’em.

The Dead Boys Vomiting in public doesn’t really bother you.

Siouxsie and the Banshees When you hear the word “scene,” your first thought isn’t about music, theater, or film.

Angry Samoans You’re usually the smartest person in the room but no one realizes it because you’re always, like, growling and shit.

Blondie Now more than ever, you are a cultural relativist.

The Adverts People really wish you’d stop bragging about that one time you went to England when you were 16.

Kleenex/LiLiPUT Every vintage clothing store owner in a 20-mile radius knows you by name.

The Stooges You’re the oldest person in your friend group, but not in a creepy way.

The Descendents No one understands a damn thing you’re saying.

Minutemen You read a lot of music blogs and probably have one of your own.

Dead Kennedys You’re still a member of the Green Party, Nader or no Nader.

Crass As far as you’re concerned, there’s no better smell than week-old B.O.

X You’d rather be working on your novel.

Bad Brains You may look like a punk, but you want people to know you like all kinds of music. Even hip hop! Even metal!

The Misfits If only your hair could talk, the stories it would tell.

The Fall Children hate you, but adults think you’re funny.

G.G. Allin Adults hate you, but kids think you’re funny.

Plasmatics The folks behind Suicide Girls would love to have you in for a focus group.

The Cramps You own a cowboy hat but can never find the right occasion to wear it.

Mission of Burma You know just enough about issues of interest to radicals to sound sexy and dangerous at parties.

Germs Some time in the past, you totaled a car… or five.

The Pogues It’s not a night out unless it ends with a bar fight (or, at the very least, you passed out in an empty liter-sized beer mug).

The Dead Milkmen You may be a punk now, but in high school you were a geek.

Black Flag You may be a veritable Charles Atlas now, but in high school you were a geek.

Teenage Jesus & the Jerks If you listen to Lydia Lunch alone, you’ve got latent masochistic tendencies. If you put her records on at parties, your friends probably already know you’re a sadist.

Minor Threat You’re under 21 and pissed about it.

Fugazi You’re over 21 and pissed about it.

Social Distortion About ten years ago, you kept a very sad LiveJournal. Now, you have Tumblr for that.

Nirvana You may be an adult, but you’re still recovering from your parents’ divorce.

Bikini Kill You have reclaimed words most people didn’t know existed in the first place.

Pansy Division You have reclaimed sexual positions most people didn’t know existed in the first place.

NOFX Every single scar on your body was caused by skateboarding.

Green Day You think Broadway has a great handle on what the kids are into these days.

Operation Ivy Your friends (and enemies!) know never to wear anything with a black-and-white checkerboard pattern; you practically have that look trademarked.

Rancid You were born too late.

Against Me! You were born after the concept of “selling out” was indoctrinated into even the greenest suburban mall-punk.

Fucked Up Once you were straightedge; now, you are realistic.