16 Punk Rock Bands to Slam Into at SXSW

Dirty Fences (Photo by Braydon Olson)

The Dunts

Wed. 13, British Music Embassy @ Latitude 30, 3:50pm; Sat. 16, 720 Club, 10pm
Glasgow's most ferocious musical export presents September's Self Proclaimed Council Punk EP: working-class political rage, loud guitars, and accelerated tempos like a more-pissed-off Undertones. This is punk for the modern denizen, projecting them far beyond Scotland's borders.

The Klitz

Wed. 13, BD Riley’s, 10pm
Ramshackle, crude, arrhythmic, this all-female Memphis quartet fronted by Alex Chilton's onetime girlfriend Lesa Aldridge began as a mid-South Slits in 1978. Ushering punk into Elvis' backyard, their anti-musicality turned up more No Wave than pogo rock. Championed by Chilton, Jim Dickinson, and even produced by Sam the Sham, the Klitz became a necessary assault on music and gender norms.

Viagra Boys

Wed. 13, Swan Dive Patio, 10pm; Thu. 14, the Main, 10pm
Sweden's Viagra Boys and their 2018 debut LP, Street Worms, bring a reductio ad absurdum to punk. On "Sports," singer Sebastian Murphy deadpans minimalist lyrics like "Baseball/ Basketball/ Weiner dog/ Short shorts/ Cigarette" over crunchy riffs, cement-mixer basslines, and metronomic drumming. Think the Birthday Party and the Fall remaking the Stooges' Fun House as nonsensical haikus on a bum acid trip.

The Get Up Kids

Wed. 13, Mohawk Outdoor, 11:45pm; Thu. 14, Scoot Inn, 11pm
Darlings of late Nineties/early Aughts emo supremacy, the Get Up Kids owned Hot Topic's customer base by essentially being the Midwest answer to Superchunk: heart-on-sleeve hooks galore wed to hyperthyroid tempos and adenoidal vocals. 2018's Kicker EP, cut when bassist Rob Pope broke away from his concurrent Spoon membership, is no less urgent or loud.

Amyl & the Sniffers

Thu. 14, Barracuda Backyard, 11pm; Fri. 15, Hotel Vegas Patio, 11:30pm
Raw and raunchy, these Melburnians offer an explosive young addition to Australia's long and noble punk tradition. Former housemates who reportedly formed up, wrote their first songs, and released debut EP Giddy Up within 12 hours, they boast a gruff, guttural, Seventies-inspired sound and one of modern punk's most engaging frontpersons. Amy Taylor's bratty bawl matches her wall-crawling, crowd-surfing stage presence.

The Sick Things

Thu. 14, 720 Club Patio, 11:45pm
Moniker from an Alice Cooper oldie, the Sick Things remain Montreal's finest power-pop ambassadors. Only this quartet seems more enamored of the ghosts of AOR past than Big Star. They accompany big choruses with all the buzzing guitar bombast of Boston, Thin Lizzy's harmonized axes, and the wailing, anvil-on-my-privates lead vocals and vocabulary of Journey.

Sick Thoughts

Fri. 15, Beerland, 12mid
Those who still light a candle at their destructo-punk altar for late Memphis legends the Reatards, commence rejoicing. New Orleans belches forth a band to sate your hunger for loud, fast, trashy, drink-and-drug-stoked, socially irresponsible rock & roll. Two cheap-'n'-nasty full-lengths, the last one titled Songs About People You Hate, and two 45s via Goner Records tell the tale quite rudely.

Daddy Long Legs

Sat. 16, Hotel Vegas Patio, 8:45pm
Gutbucket, lo-fi, blues-punk offspring of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and the Jim Jones Revue, DLL consists of three vets from NYC's garage-punk scene. Clad like renegade riverboat gamblers on a 1975 night out at Max's Kansas City, they shift to Yep Roc after three LPs and a fistful of 45s on Norton Records for this May's Lowdown Ways, tracked by JD McPherson bandmate/producer Jimmy Sutton, both of whom also contribute songs.

The Briefs

Sat. 16, Hotel Vegas Patio, 10:15pm
Slashed peroxide hair, skinny ties, skinnier pants, ripped-and-safety-pinned menswear, cheap sunglasses, and loud/angry/high-speed pop in the mold of Buzzcocks and Generation X. The early-Aughts Seattle punks here advance their first studio full-length since 2005's Steal Yer Heart. Titled Platinum Rats, it's due in April on Burger Records, filled to the wraparound shades in vintage Briefs snot-pop.


The Dirty Nil

Wed. 13, Bungalow, 11pm
Canadian combo pictures punk as reimagined by Cheap Trick.

The Pinheads

Wed. 13, BD Riley’s, 1am
Australian mixed-gender quintet channels both the Ramones and something weirder and cheaper.

The Pearl Harts

Thu. 14, British Music Embassy @ Latitude 30, 9pm
Two London ladies playing raw, catchy punk as if the Kills were Alison Mosshart twice.

Death By Unga Bunga

Thu. 14, Elysium, 12mid; Sat. 16, Hotel Vegas, 12:30am
Absurdist Norwegian punk that marries Mark E. Smith's Dadaist lyricthink with a No Wave take on MC5.

The Blinders

Thu. 14, British Music Embassy @ Latitude 30, 1am; Fri. 15, Valhalla, 12mid; Sat. 16, Beerland, 12mid
Politically tinged, angry Manchester, UK, outfit resembling Oasis covering the Stooges.


Sat. 16, Hotel Vegas Annex, 8:15pm

Southern rock gets a garage-punk makeover by this Birmingham sextet of twentysomethings.

Dirty Fences

Sat. 16, Hotel Vegas Patio, 12:30am
New York punks who clearly own as many Kiss records as they do Dictators albums.

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