Punk & Hardcore

10 Underrated Punk Albums That Should Be Considered Classics

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See also: 10 Classic Punk Records That Actually Kind of Suck 10 Years Ago, My Bandmate Knocked Danzig Out

1. Dead Kennedys, Frankenchrist

How can a great record from a classic band be underrated? It's pretty easy, actually. This album was not like its predecessors, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables or Plastic Surgery Disasters, whose attack was more sonically straightforward. "Frankenchrist" has some fairly long songs and a nice array of additional sounds brought in to the mix. Guitarist East Bay Ray even plays an acoustic guitar on "MTV Get Off the Air," which was just sacrilege to any card-totin' punk back in 1985.

For me, though, this is the Dead Kennedys firing on all cylinders. Not that there was any doubt about the musical ability of DH Peligro (drums), East Bay Ray, and Klaus Flouride (bass) prior to this release, but their playing on this record just about smokes every other punk rock band that put out a record that year. The high point, for me, is the last track, "The Stars and Stripes of Corruption" which just takes the piss out of 'Murica. Singer Jello Biafra's (whose current band, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo Bay School of Medicine is amazing) opinionated rants are not for everybody, but so much of what he states in this killer song holds true today.

"Rednecks and bombs don't make us strong. We loot the world yet we can't even feed ourselves."

When you listen to Frankenchrist again (or for the very first time), I implore you to remember it is almost 30 years old. Sure some of the lyrics to "MTV Get Off the Air" are outdated, but the sentiment still rings true. Tracks like "This Could Be Anywhere (This Could Be Everywhere)" and "Soup Is Good Food" are still raw, haunting, and radical (in the true sense of the word).

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Tom Reardon has written for Phoenix New Times since 2013. He's been in several notable bands over the last 25 years including Hillbilly Devilspeak, North Side Kings, and the Father Figures.
Contact: Tom Reardon