Hello! My name is Colin and I write for the punk rock blog Colin’s Punk Rock World (or CPRW for short). A few months ago I cyber bumped into Sarah from Shout Louder, this blog you’re currently reading. After initially trying to recruit her for CPRW we struck up a friendship and decided to do some blog swaps and some collaborations. The first of these blog swaps will be pieces on why we love punk rock so much. So why do I, Colin from Colin’s Punk Rock World (CPRW for short) love punk rock so much?
I feel like that before I really begin I should give a brief account of how I first discovered punk rock. I, like many of you reading this was a teenager who was slowly finding out who they were. It was 1998 and The Offspring’s Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) was just released. I didn’t know The Offspring’s previous punk rock history or that this was even punk rock music but I was hooked and eventually got the album Americana that Christmas. Soon I discovered more punk bands such as Green Day and Blink 182 before digging slightly deeper and eventually discovering bands like Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, New Found Glory and Dropkick Murphys. I loved these bands but it wasn’t what really tipped me over the edge of becoming fully obsessed with punk rock. It was eventually discovering underground UK bands such as [Spunge], Lightyear, Capdown, Jesse James, King Prawn and 4ft Fingers. I discovered these bands and my life changed forever.
So why do I love punk rock so much? Well first of all it’s the music. That’s blatantly obvious. If you’re reading this post it’s probably because you love punk rock music as well, so you know that it’s the best type of music. It’s fast, it’s fun, you can sing-along, it makes you dance, you can relate, you can learn, it’s passionate, it’s energetic and most importantly it’s an escape. Everyone needs some escapism in their lives, something to take them away from all of the rubbish that goes on around them on a personal level as well as a global one. There’s no better feeling than putting on your favourite record and singing along to every word. As well as just being a whole lot of fun there’s a comforting feeling to it, like spending time with an old friend. I did tell a little lie there, there is one better feeling – hearing these songs played live, in a small sweaty basement or bar and screaming along to the songs with your new best friends. I’ll talk more about live music and the people a little further down the page because next I want to talk about learning from punk rock music.
Punk rock music has always had political themes. From day one it’s been about fighting against the establishment for what you believe in and that theme has remained important to this day. In the past fifteen to twenty years and especially in more recent times newer themes have become apparent in punk rock song writing. Issues such as growing up, social awareness and mental health have become a popular and important topic in punk rock music. These themes have taught me a lot about how to be a good human being and helped me get as far as I have in my life. I have often questioned where life would have taken me if I hadn’t discovered punk rock. Growing up without a father in my life I learnt a lot about what it means to not just be a man but be a good person from punk. I learnt about standing for what I believe in no matter the problems that might occur for yourself by doing so. In later years when I began to develop mental health problems there was plenty of music that I could relate to and help me feel like I wasn’t alone. I can’t begin to image that any other genre of music can help a person in such a way. I mean, talking incredibly quickly about how much money you have, the size of your cars wheels or how many ladies love you isn’t something you can really relate or learn from is it.
Last my point is something I slightly touched upon earlier. Going to a punk show is the greatest feeling in the world. It’s hard to explain the sense of euphoria you get from going to a punk show. It’s amazing to be in a room of like-minded people who share the same beliefs and passions as you. It gives a sense of belonging that you don’t get from anywhere else. For me personally, growing up I was and still am lucky to have plenty of great friends but I always had a feeling of being a misfit in whatever social or work group I happened to be in. Punk rock taught me to embrace feeling different and eventually I had the confidence to have the attitude of “I’m me, you’re you, whatever, cool.” I strongly believe that this the most positive way that anyone can live their lives. I’ve learnt this not just from the songs but from the people I’ve met through punk rock music. The punk community is among the greatest on earth. You can go to a gig anywhere around the world and meet like-minded people who will in that moment that you’re singing or dancing together. I have so many great memories of meeting so many great people at gigs. One great memory I have is from Fest 15 last year. The Menzingers were playing and I needed the toilet. The band started playing Casey whilst I was queuing and quickly found myself with another fella patiently waiting singing along as if we will never hear the song again. There’s a kinship and camaraderie in the punk rock community. A real sense of us all being in this together and trying to make a difference.
For me punk rock transcends just music. Though the music is the best. It’s about the people who live their lives how they choose. Who don’t judge people for being different. For accepting different beliefs and wanting to learn. For working together to try and create something special. The punk rock community around the world is an important part of society and is making the world a better place for people all over, whether it’s a big change or a tiny one, it’s taking steps in the right direction, that’s a good thing.
That dear readers of Shout Louder is why I, Colin from Colin’s Punk Rock World (CPRW for short) love punk rock.
Colin’s Punk Rock World (CPRW for short) is the creme de la creme of punk blogging, with heaps of reviews, top 10s, articles, festival-guides and band profiles. Check out their website here and follow them on Facebook.