Twelve of Denver's Best Punk Bands, 2016 Edition

Barbed Wire
Barbed Wire
Tom Murphy

Punk has ebbed and flowed in Denver's underground music world since the mid-’70s. The current wave of the genre is one of its most diverse, both demographically and musically. What follows, in alphabetical order, are twelve of the best Denver's punk bands from 2016.

Allout Helter
Allout Helter
Tom Murphy

1. Allout Helter
2015 album: Ruins

At the intersection of thrash and melodic hardcore, Allout Helter has been active since the summer of 2008. Political without being preachy, this five-piece band anticipates the release of its next album later in 2017.

Barbed Wire
Barbed Wire
Tom Murphy

2. Barbed Wire
Latest release: 2015 demo

Including former members of Hot White and Chase Ambler, Barbed Wire is a modern D-beat band. That style of music, which threads together hardcore, anarcho punk and thrash, emphasizing the sharper edges of all three, is particularly suited to Barbed Wire's pointed anthems against war, sexism and late capitalism.

Big City Drugs
Big City Drugs
Tom Murphy

3. Big City Drugs
2016 EP: Human Cargo

All of the members of Big City Drugs are professional comedians. The group harnesses tension from dealing with a wide variety of crowds and channels it into an explosive live performance style; its humorless songs reflect the thoughtful minds behind both the music and the comedy. Sonically, Big City Drugs evokes the bluesy garage-punk sound of New Bomb Turks.

Cheap Perfume
Cheap Perfume
Tom Murphy

4. Cheap Perfume
2016 album: Nailed It

Cheap Perfume's Nailed It is the blast of irreverence and creatively critical commentary the world needs right now. A fascinating combination of youthful energy and mature, nuanced perspective, Cheap Perfume's songwriting sidesteps some of the more ill-advised rhetoric that usually comes from having little life experience. The band's energetic live shows more than live up to the promise of the record.

The Corner Girls
The Corner Girls
Tom Murphy

5. The Corner Girls
2016 EP: demo$

Musically, the Corner Girls sound like they came right out of that wave of garage punk that tapered off a couple years back. Except this band brings a dynamism to the structure of its songs that the bands riding that wave often didn't possess. That, along with the acerbic wit of lyrics aimed at the wearying silliness of patriarchal culture, makes the Corner Girls stand out.

Herse
Herse
Tom Murphy

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6. Herse
2016 release: Parasitic Death/Herse “Cathartic Noise” split

On the surface, this duo is a grindcore band, but if you pay close attention, you'll notice that unusual pacing and noisy elements place its music on grind's more experimental end, even with the band's Napalm Death-worthy short songs.

Read on for more of Denver's best punk bands.



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