Legendary pop-punk pioneers Descendents give us their top ten punk songs of the 90’s

Legendary pop-punk pioneers Descendents give us their top ten punk songs of the 90’s

Frontman Milo Aukerman put together an epic old-school playlist for us.

It's not every day that the singer of one of the biggest and most influential punk bands of all time offers to put together a piece like this for your site, so when it happens you gleefully accept and spend the next two hours repeatedly listening to the epic playlist he's compiled. Milo Aukerman, frontman of the Descendents and former research biochemist, gave us his top ten punk songs of the 90's and there are some distortion-laden gems in there for any punk fan, particularly those of the old school. Descendents have been doing their thing since 1977 and, along with having their own lengthy and hugely successful career, have influenced some of the biggest punk and pop-punk bands of the last 20 years; including blink-182, Green Day and The Offspring.  Descendents are due to release their seventh studio record Hypercaffium Spazzinate on July 29; it'll be the band's first album in 12 years and their first through Epitaph since 1996's Everything Sucks.

Check out Milo's killer list of 90's punk classics below.


ALL – Nothin’

No surprise, ALL was my favourite band in the late 80’s and 90’s.  This song epitomises what I love about them:  intricate guitar phrasing, key changes mid-song, heartfelt crooning by Scott Reynolds.  Even with all the complexity, the song still rocks…that kinda defines ALL as a band.

Hagfish – Disappointed

Take the Ramones, add some rock swagger and soulful melodies, plus tongue-in-cheek sartorial style…what else do you need?  From Rocks Your Lame Ass, probably my favourite album from the mid-90’s.

NOFX – Perfect Government

Political poetry…I know they didn’t write it, but they made it their own.  Like the best political songs, it is still relevant today, especially in this election year here in the US.  Can we make this the national anthem?

Pollen – Tiny Shoes

Like the Descendents, this band’s secret weapon was the drummer, who was the primary songwriter.  You can hear the Bill Stevenson influence…not a bad thing, in my opinion!  Their best record, Peach Tree, was produced by Bill and had plenty of goose bump-inducing melodies.  Fans of pop-punk oughta get to know this band.

Turbonegro – The Age of Pamparius

I doubled over in laughter when I heard this, doubled over a few more times, then found out I was really headbanging instead!  It’s a metal song about pizza…who can deny the genius of that?

Bad Religion – Infected

Dark, disturbing, personal…the lyrics are not their typical subject matter, and neither are the melodies.  The chorus really gets in your head, and your humming it, and then you realise the despair within…heavy.   

Guns 'N' Wankers – Skin Deep

I like these guys more than Snuff (which shares some members), and wish they would have put more music out.  They put out just one album on Fat Mike’s label; the whole thing’s awesome.  Don’t know anything more about them.

My Name – It’s a Miserable Life

From Tacoma, Washington and there’s something Northwest-y about them, maybe the harmonies that sound a little like Alice in Chains…but they are not even remotely grunge.  Intricate punk a la ALL, with a cerebral lyricist in Abe Brennan…and check out the post-My Name band Wretch Like Me, also.

Face to Face – I Won’t Lie Down

I first heard this one on the radio in the mid-90’s, and was pretty psyched about it.  It’s anthemic without being too lush or orchestral, and the melody of the prechorus really drew me in.  Nice fellows, also.

Jawbreaker – Chesterfield King

Had to choose a Jawbreaker song; there are so many good ones but this one in particular has a good story going on in the lyric.  I could relate to them because the “heart-on-sleeve” confessional approach was something we had going on in my band also…I guess it eventually got called emo.

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