I recently got into an argument with a friend about the attitude carried by Punk Rock music. It came after another friend posted a picture on facebook depciting a severely disfigured war veteran and his new bride. This friend showed his apatheticness towards the welfare this picture was depicting, stated the world and its problems can fuck off and "i'm off to listen to some punk music."
First of all, that statement is both null and void due to how many areas of music and their topics fall under the concept of "Punk." If Punk is nothing more than all out nihilism and simply yelling "fuck everything" over a power chord then you've got the dismal racket that is the Sex Pistols et al. First wave Punk was not overtly political until The Clash released their first single "White Riot" concerning police brutality and racial stereotyping on the streets of London. Then came the secondary waves of Punk music with American bands such as the Dead Kennedys, Bad Religion and the father figures of Hardcore, Black Flag.
What makes the point made by my friend null and void is that he obviously doesn't pay attention to the topics covered by Punk music, or his taste in Punk is not as wide and diverse as his love for Thrash Metal. (Note: thrash metal was influenced heavily by punk music-particularly the hardcore punk of america and the street punk of the UK.) Which does sadden me a great deal as music is meant to inform as well as entertain.
The point of this posting is to remind people of the numerous kinds of music that fall under punk music and what topics they concern-not all punk is about studs, spikes and sniffing glue. One excellent example of overtly political punk music and the concern for the suffering of society is the band Conflict. And here is their concern for those affected by war and militarism with: "The Serenade is Dead" a classic Anarcho Punk track.
As well as those promoting Anarchism, there is Crust Punk, a music genre which fuses early extreme metal with the loud, snotty growls of Hardcore/Street Punk:
Thrashcore: an early form of thrash metal music which is characterised for its minature songs with early blast beat drumming and metallic power chords-very popular amongst skateboarders before skating became a mainstream pasttime:
D-Beat, very simple stripped down three chord blasts with minimal vocals and a very basic but frightening drum technique which got its name from the band Discharge, who took a great deal of influence from Motorhead:
And finally: Street Punk, punk music concerning the working classes of society and the everyday suffering they have such as living on the dole, drinking, drugs, poverty, degredation, prostitution, homelessness and other social problems.