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10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey

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Best Punk Bands from New Jersey

When you think of punk rock, New Jersey is usually furthest from your mind. You probably think about the pioneering Punk scene that exploded in New York. Not so much the state that Bon Jovi hails from. Despite this, New Jersey has had some incredible punk rock bands come out of its hallowed streets in recent decades. Here’s our top picks.

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Adrenalin O.D.

10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey: Adrenalin O.D.
10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey: Adrenalin O.D.

Adrenalin O.D. formed in October 1981 in New Jersey, from the demise of late 1970s punk band The East Paterson Boys Choir. Adrenalin O.D.’s first recordings were widely distributed due to the New York Thrash cassette compilation released in 1982. The compilation also featured first recordings from the likes of the Beastie Boys, Kraut and Bad Brains.

Adrenalin O.D.’s first album entitled The Wacky Hijinks of Adrenalin O.D. showcased the band’s use of speed-punk and sarcastic lyrics, taking aim at the suburban experience with songs like “Middle Aged Whore”, “Trans Am”, and the crowd favorite “Rock n’ Roll Gas Station”. Interestingly, the album contains an untitled track, which when played backwards, includes the band members saying in unison; “God is very, very nice. Be kind to animals. Satan sucks.”

I’m not sure how punk that is, but hey, power to you!

The Cryptkeeper Five (CK5)

10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey: The Cryptkeeper Five (CK5)
10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey: The Cryptkeeper Five (CK5)

The Cryptkeeper Five (CK5)’s style can best be described as punk rock/rock and roll. They were formed in 1997 in Trenton, New Jersey.

The Cryptkeeper Five is a blended reference to the fictional “crypt-kicker five” from the Monster Mash, and the host of EC Comics’s Tales From the Crypt. Despite the name, “CK5” name does not refer to the number of band members, a number which has fluctuated from between 3 and 7 musicians throughout its career.

The Cryptkeeper 5 are a straight ahead punnk rock band, with their first album “Dear Dr. X… I Wanna Be the Creature,” reflecting this musically. While the title of the album and lyrical content spells out a clear preoccupation with B-horror movies. Since those days, the band has evolved into a raw, relentless punk rock machine!

Electric Frankenstein

10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey: Electric Frankenstein
10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey: Electric Frankenstein

Electric Frankenstein is a punk rock band from the New Jersey area. The band first formed in the wake of a band called The Thing breaking up. They developed a strong following in New York City and by 1995, they toured nationally and internationally. After releasing singles on a handful of independent labels, they released their first vinyl EP, The Time Is Now, in 1995. Since then, Electric Frankenstein have released over 10 albums with almost every album being released on a different label.

Founder of the band, Sal Canzonieri, later created the critically acclaimed series of compilations called “A Fistful of Rock & Roll”, which collected and highlighted all of the best of the new rock bands, collectively known as the New Rock Revolution. There have been 13 volumes of this series so far, published on various record labels (Tee Pee Records, Victory Records, and Steel Cage Records). A second series followed known as “A Fistful More of Rock & Roll”, which is ongoing, featuring over 20 volumes.

Not to mention an art book, self published by Canzonieri, containing their record covers and concert posters, designed by underground artists including Coop, Kozik, Johnny Ace, Art Chantry, Dirty Donny and Peter Bagge.

Folly

10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey: Folly
10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey: Folly

Folly was a Punk Rock band from Sussex, New Jersey, United States. Although, not strictly punk, their music was a mix of hardcore, metal, punk and ska.

Their debut album Insanity Later was recorded in late 2003 at Big Blue Meenie, production by Sal Villanueva, and released on April 6, 2004. The album features guest vocals from Joey Southside of The Banner, Eric Gunderson of Killed By Memories, and Erin Farley, and includes a montage music video for the unreleased song “Broken”, edited by Robbie Tassaro.

Folly’s second album, Resist Convenience, featured guest vocals from Tyler Guida of My Bitter End, Logan Laflotte of Paulson, and Eric Gunderson. While their final release, EP entitled These are the Names of the Places We Broke Down, had just seven tracks named after the town the band had broken down in while touring.

The Gaslight Anthem

10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey: The Gaslight Anthem
10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey: The Gaslight Anthem

Probably the most successful band on this list, The Gaslight Anthem were formed in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 2006. They describe themselves as a rock band.

The Gaslight Anthem released their debut album, Sink or Swim, on XOXO Records in May 2007, and their second album, The ’59 Sound, on SideOneDummy Records in August 2008. The band’s third album, American Slang, was released in June 2010, and their fourth, Handwritten, was released in July 2012 through Mercury Records.

The lead single from Handwritten, “45”, became their most successful single on the charts, and possibly their most well known to date. The band’s fifth studio album, Get Hurt, was released on August 12, 2014, through Island Records. On July 29, 2015, the band announced an indefinite hiatus following their European summer tour, however, as of writing this article – The Gaslight Anthem are currently a “full time” band.

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Lost in Society

10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey: Lost in Society
10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey: Lost in Society

Lost in Society have been, in the past, described as an alternative rock band. However, their roots are firmly entrenched in the New Jersey punk scene. Based out of Ashbury Park, New Jersey, their Lost in Society split CD (released circa 2012), saw them get added to that year’s Vans Warped Tour. This saw them tour with high profile acts such as The Bouncing Souls, The Misfits, The Flatliners and Catch 22.

Despite still being active, Lost in Society are best remembered for fan favourite song, Plastic, which appeared on the Sideonedummy’s Warped Tour Compilation in 2014.

None More Black

10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey: None More Black
10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey: None More Black

None More Black is a New Jersey-based punk rock outfit on Fat Wreck Chords, formed by lead singer/guitarist Jason Shevchuk after the demise of his previous band, Philadelphia’s Kid Dynamite. Despite producing amazing music, None More Black have been plagued with an endless array of lineup changes. Over the years, the main driving force behind None More Black has been due to the efforts of lead singer/guitar Jason Shevchuk and his brother Jeff Shevchuk.

The band name, None More Black, originates from a line in the mockumentary movie ‘This Is Spin̈al Tap.’ To add to the hilarity of pop culture references, several of None More Black’s song titles are references to jokes from the TV show Seinfeld.

To date, None More Black have released three full-length albums and two EPs. Their most recent album, titled “Icons”, was released on October 26, 2010 by Fat Wreck Chords.

Sexpod

10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey: Sexpod
10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey: Sexpod

Sexpod was an American punk rock band made up of three women from Hoboken, New Jersey: vocalist and guitarist Karyn Kuhl, bassist Alice Genese, and drummer Tia Sprocket.

Critics identified the band as being part of the riot grrrl movement and lesbianism, saying “they’re not playing cookie-cutter punk rock for kids who think it started with Green Day.” Another critic described their appearance as “defiant women who wear their love of making heavy loud noise like a badge of honor.”

Sadly, Sexpod never achieved mainstream success. They played at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival in the 1990s. They’re probably best known for their song, Foot on the Gas, which was used in the film Escape from L.A.

Sexpod broke up in 2004, after founding member Tia Sprocket had already left in 1998 and with Karyn Kuhl now exiting the band.

Trophy Scars

10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey: Trophy Scars
10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey: Trophy Scars

Trophy Scars, is an American experimental rock band from Morristown, New Jersey, with blues and psychedelic influences. Trophy Scars began as a post-hardcore group but has since embraced broader genres.

Trophy Scars song catalog is embossed by major themes such as time, memory, language, and romantic tragedy. Not to mention, film director David Lynch, who was a big influence on their 2014 album, Holy Vacants.

Known for their intimate live shows and independent booking techniques, Trophy Scars evokes a strong indie DIY ethic.

The Undead

10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey: The Undead
10 Best Punk Rock Bands from New Jersey: The Undead

The Undead is an American horror punk band formed in 1980 by Bobby Steele (vocals and guitar), Chris “Jack” Natz (bass) and Patrick Blanck (drums). They were one of the pioneers in the New York hardcore scene.

In June 1982, the Undead released their first EP, 9 Toes Later, and were featured on the ROIR New York Thrash compilation. A few months later Natz and Blanck left the band; Natz later played in Virus, the Blacksnakes and Cop Shoot Cop. They were replaced by Brian “Payne” Aliano on bass and Bobby Savage on drums, and this lineup released the “Verbal Abuse” single in 1983. Steve Zing (of Mourning Noise and later Samhain) then took over as drummer.

Between 1983 and 1986, Aliano and Zing performed with the band intermittently, while many other musicians played in the Undead for short periods. Aliano and Zing finally quit the band in December 1986. Later full-length studio albums included Act Your Rage (1989), Til Death (1998) and Dawn of the Undead (1991).

The Undead recorded their own full-album cover version of the “lost” Misfits album, 12 Hits from Hell, and made the recording available as a stream on the band’s website on October 31, 2007. This release was quickly followed by a new single, a cover of the Misfits’ “Halloween”, on Germany’s No Balls Records.

What do you think of these New Jersey Punk Rock Bands?

What do you think of these Punk bands? Have you added any of their albums to your spotify playlist?
Let us know in comments below.

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