In Defense of the Genre is a column on BrooklynVegan about punk, pop punk, emo, post-hardcore, and more, including and often especially the bands and albums and subgenres that weren’t always taken so seriously. Here are The Genre’s five best songs from August.
Before I get into the August roundup for In Defense of the Genre, I'd like to pay my respects once more to Power Trip's Riley Gale, who we sadly lost this month at age 34. If you like the punk, emo, post-hardcore, hardcore, and other related subgenres covered in this column but you haven't checked out thrash/hardcore greats Power Trip, I highly recommend giving them a good listen. They've got plenty of great studio material and they were a force on stage, as captured in some of these great live videos. Riley's impact was felt far and wide, as evidenced by the tributes that poured in from all over the metal and hardcore communities, including from Code Orange, Touche Amore, La Dispute, Knocked Loose, Anthrax, Ice-T, Thursday, Fucked Up, Jay Weinberg, Converge, Cave In, Turnstile, Lamb of God, and many others. Rest in peace, Riley.
Riley's death was so shocking because of his age, but we also lost a true punk legend this month: Walter Lure of Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers. Members of the Ramones, Sex Pistols, Blondie, Garbage, and more have paid tribute.
On to the roundup. Here are the punk-related features we ran this past month:
* Be Well’s Brian McTernan talks powerful debut LP, influences & more in Q&A
* Q&A with The Faith on upcoming live album from 1981 CBGB show with Bad Brains
* Jesse Malin discusses 11 of his favorite Todd Youth songs
* country singer Arlo McKinley discusses his 5 favorite punk & metal albums
* 11 must-hear punk albums from 2020 (so far)
* 14 must-hear emo, screamo, and post-hardcore albums from 2020 (so far)
* 12 must-hear hardcore albums and EPs from 2020 (so far)
* 10 classic '70s punk concert videos to watch right now
* 15 classic '90s/'00s emo live videos to watch right now
* A look back on underrated punk/post-punk legend Adrian Borland of The Sound and The Outsiders
Some other August punk news: The Bouncing Souls have a don't-call-it-an-acoustic album coming (The Menzingers do too), Bad Religion put out a drastically reworked version of "Faith Alone" and an autobiography, a Distillers reissue is coming, a Bane documentary is coming, Jimmy Eat World's Jim Adkins launched a video podcast (guests so far include Mark Hoppus, Nate Ruess, Chris Carrabba, Ben Gibbard, Tegan Quinn, David Bazan, and more), Henry Rollins did too, blink-182 return to skate punk on new song, Soulside released their first 7" in 31 years, Comeback Kid paid tribute to Chi Pig with an SNFU cover, and Jello Biafra took on Trump and Putin with a new song.
Read on for my picks of the five best songs of August 2020 that fall somewhere under the punk umbrella. Just by chance, all five this month fall on the heavy side...