Treble’s Top 100 Punk Albums

Eternally70. The SaintsEternally Yours
(1978; Harvest)

It’s no exagerration to call The Saints one of the most important Australian bands of all time, having shared members of The Birthday Party and The Church at various points in their career, but it’s the music and not the personnel that’s made them legends. While their early single “I’m Stranded” put Down Under punk on the map, with Eternally Yours they released one of the greatest albums of its canon, kicking off with the horn-driven, soulful anti-commercial screed “Know Your Product” before zig-zagging between fuzzy four-chord throwdowns and tuneful janglers. There’s no lull to be found here. – Jeff Terich

top 100 punk albums Iceage69. IceageNew Brigade
(2011; What’s Your Rupture?)

A furious debut from a band constantly undergoing evolution. The depressive moan of the vocals on Iceage’s New Brigade contrasts the jagged spasms of guitar, and the noisy edges that clang throughout give it a personality of its own. Their songwriting, however, manages to balance out the recklessness. While the Copenhagen band might have continued to mature into a more rock ‘n’ roll direction, this album served as their rowdy calling card. Even in its most chaotic blur, the songs still have something to say. – Wil Lewellyn

top 100 punk albums Germs68. Germs(GI)
(1979; Slash)

Perhaps (GI) is destined to occupy the same hallowed space as Joy Division’s Closer and Nirvana’s In Utero as albums that largely—rightly or wrongly—serve as suicide notes. It’s true that one year after its release Darby Crash intentionally injected himself with a lethal dose of heroin. But it’s the life of Crash, not the death, that should be (GI)’s enduring legacy. Here was a man whose influences ranged from serial killers to 18th century philosophers. Darby Crash was a dangerous free thinker, and (GI) served as his final resting place, an altar to punk ennui. – Wesley Whitacre

essential Epitaph Records tracks Rancid67. RancidAnd Out Come the Wolves
(1995; Epitaph)

The success of Rancid’s third studio album was not a result of any changes in the band’s sound. Rancid shares DNA with Green Day, and the release of …Wolves followed Dookie by a year and a half, so by then newcomers to the Berkeley punk sound were ready for the next level, and Rancid certainly is that. “Time Bomb” and “Ruby Soho” received their share of airplay, and while they represent a tamer side of Rancid, they are not atypical of the band’s unrestrained approach to their songwriting. – Chad Gorn

Cure albums rated Three Imaginary Boys66. The CureThree Imaginary Boys
(1979; Fiction)

It’s easy to forget that at one point in time The Cure were a punk band. The band’s debut album maintained a unique tension early on that was a gateway into their more celebrated post-punk era. Though not as refined as what the band grew into, Three Imaginary Boys found frontman Robert Smith managing to capture a wide range of moods on this album. The songs don’t speed by, rather there’s a bounce in their step. Even as sketches of greater things to come, Three Imaginary Boys is  just as hooky and infectious as what the Cure would become. – Wil Lewellyn

Wipers youth of america American post punk65. WipersYouth of America
(1981; Park Avenue)

Wipers frontman Greg Sage learned how to cut vinyl long before he could even play an instrument. He endlessly studied the physicality of records while his father worked in broadcasting, molding his musical philosophy long before his own musical pursuits. Distancing themselves from their stripped and straightforward debut, Wipers delve into more sophisticated territories on Youth of America, with Sage taking full hold of the album’s creative reins. Over six songs in a mere 30 minutes, the album embarks on a deliberate trek into punk’s uncharted territory, years ahead of its time. – Patrick Pilch

best dancepunk tracks Contortions64. ContortionsBuy
(1979; ZE)

James Chance and the Contortions were introduced to the broader listening public, so to speak, via the No New York compilation, credited as the Holy Grail of the no wave movement. Yet for how fucked-up a sound was permeating the New York art-punk world at the time, Chance and company still managed to find its groove, which is on full display on debut album Buy. Like a hybrid of Gang of Four and Captain Beefheart, The Contortions did exactly as their name suggested, deconstructing post-punk song structures and sounds and pairing them with saxophone bleats and disco beats. It’s an exciting sound, even 38 years later, as well as one that still twists and provokes.  – Jeff Terich

top 100 punk albums Dead Boys63. Dead BoysYoung, Loud and Snotty
(1977; Sire)

Punk’s history is full of bands whose quality—or importance/influence—bears inverse proportionality to their quality as human beings. The Dead Boys, as depicted in the definitive punk chronicle Please Kill Me, were body-mutilating, VD-spreading, despicable to most they encountered…and this album rips. It’s more musically diverse than you’d expect from a band with their reputation, with “Not Anymore,” “I Need Lunch” and “Sonic Reducer” all displaying inventive song structure and complex lead fretwork. Also, frontman Stiv Bators’ lyrical lunacy and propensity for ad-libs predates—and surpasses—the theatrics for which the Sex Pistols are better known despite being a markedly inferior band. – Liam Green

top 100 albums of the decade so far cloud nothings62. Cloud NothingsAttack on Memory
(2012; Carpark)

I doubt Dylan Baldi ever set out to write anthems but Attack On Memory’s catharsis feels like an album-length one. The songs speak loudly to the undercurrent of nihilism that seems to sour everything, a loud and painful recognition of wasted time and the dead-endedness of ending youth. Instead of admission and confession, Attack On Memory swings like a fist from the build-to-break of “No Future/No Past,” the unstoppable “Wasted Days” and the growling “Cut You.” It’s no surprise that Attack On Memory feels just as urgent now as half a decade ago. – Matt Perloff

Fugazi albums ranked 13 Songs61. Fugazi13 Songs
(1989; Dischord)

Following the disbandment of Minor Threat in 1983, frontman Ian MacKaye floated in and out of groups before deciding that he was more interested in “making music” than “being in a band.” That subtle focus shift led to the formation of Fugazi. Their debut 13 Songs combines their self-titled debut EP and Margin Walker into one compilation of sounds that live on the outskirts of punk: reggae beats (but not ska), high energy (but not hardcore) and touches of cacophony engage and challenge the listener with a genre-defying classic. – Chad Gorn

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View Comments (12)
  • This is not the top 100 punk bands this is a joke you guys don’t know punk rock if it slapped you in the face some of the band’s are punk rock but most are not I have love that life for over 38 years And all my life I have ran into people like you on the streets get your facts straight green day is not punk iggy pop is not punk and over half of you bands are not punk so you should of called it too 100 rock bands so fuck off with this shit

  • Not much punk on this list. Treble is pretty close minded. Won’t touch the big boy punk bands. Didn’t even touch the punk band Big Boys. HAHA OH MAN.

  • Just when i thought metalheads were the close-minded…It turns out that title is already taken by the punk rednecks. Congrats, Pig Pen 😉

  • Ramones first album should be first. Most of punk was made off that album. Ramones are the founding fathers of punk

  • Disappointed to not see 7 Seconds somewhere on the list. The Crew and Walk Together, Rock Together were on pretty heavy rotation with many of the records.listed here.

    Was also hoping to see The Dead Milkmen, as it was the goofball entry point to punk for myself and many friends in the mid to late 80’s. Not the musically, or intellectually,
    challenging stuff but still had a noteworthy place in punk history

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