, also known as Streetpunk
, is a working class
subgenre of punk rock
which took shape in the early 1980s, partly as a rebellion against the increasingly artistic pretensions of the first wave of British punk. Street punk emerged from the Oi!
style, performed by bands such as Sham 69
, Angelic Upstarts
, Cockney Rejects
, Cock Sparrer
, and UK Subs
. However, street punk continued beyond the confines of the original Oi! form. Street punks generally have a much more outlandish appearance than the working class
image cultivated by many Oi! groups.
Punk veteran Felix von Havoc offered this description of the style:
It was aggressive yet had melody. As opposed to today's "melodic" punk it still had a lot of energy. It was honest. Hence the term "street punk." There is and was a feel that this was the kids music, from the streets, and was uncorrupted by "professionalism" or "musicianship." As opposed to the anarcho bands its message was more bleak and irreverent. The music was not a-political, just a less intellectual expression of political views of working class youth. The music was marketed as being of and by the working class. I suspect this was not universally the case. Still most middle and upper class kids cringe at frank discussions of violence as evidenced in a typical Blitz song. Early 80's UK punk was catchy as hell; it has sing-a-long choruses and hooky riffs.
Street punk music is characterized by two main musical aspects: single note guitar lines and short solos. Unlike similar genres such as hardcore punk
, street punk bands often contain two guitarists, one of which plays guitar melodies while not singing. Street punk also makes frequent use of gang vocals and sing–along choruses, one of the aspects the genre borrows from Oi!. The lyrics to most street punk songs often feature condemnation or praise of acts of violence, drinking and drug use, partying, inner-city turmoil, or personal politics. Street punk bands sometimes express political viewpoints, typically of a left-wing variety, although some street punks eschew politics altogether in favor of a more hedonistic, nihilistic outlook.
Street punk style is highly visible. Dress for a street punk is characterized by leather, metal studs, ripped jeans, and Dr. Martens
boots. Hairstyles often include unnatural coloration, liberty spikes
. Some street punk bands have included skinheads
. A minority of street punk bands — including The Violators, Major Accident, and The Adicts
— dressed like the "droogs" who appear in Stanley Kubrick
's film A Clockwork Orange
. Other bands, such as Anti-Nowhere League
, took inspiration from the Mad Max
UK 82 (also known as UK hardcore
, second wave punk
, real punk
, and No Future punk
) took the existing punk sound and added the incessant, heavy drumbeats and distorted guitar sound of New Wave of British Heavy Metal
bands, especially Motörhead
. The lyrics of UK 82 bands tended to be much darker and more violent than the lyrics of earlier punk bands. The term UK 82
is taken from the title of a song by The Exploited
. The three most prominent of these bands, according to Ian Glasper, are The Exploited, from Edinburgh
, from Stoke-on-Trent
; and GBH
, from Birmingham
. The Exploited were controversial in the scene for their violent lyrics and for wearing swastikas, considered by many to be "cartoon punks". They also had a large Nazi punk
following. Nonetheless: "For many, The Exploited were the quintessential second wave punk band with their senses-searing high-speed outbursts against the system, and wild-eyed frontman Walter 'Wattie' Buchan's perfect red mohican
. Discharge's early work proved to be enormously influential, providing the blueprint for an entire subgenre. Their later work, however, was decried as bad heavy metal.
Cross pollination existed between this era of street punk and American hardcore punk. Lyrics in the UK82 scene tended to focus on the possibilities of a nuclear holocaust, and the apocalypse, partially due to the Cold War atmosphere. The other mainstay of the lyrics of the time was unemployment, and the Conservative Party government of the time. Lyrics demonized the Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher in the same way that American hardcore punk bands did with the Ronald Reagan administration.
Other UK 82 groups include English Dogs, Chaos U.K., Blitz, The Partisans, Disorder, Broken Bones, The Violators, Abrasive Wheels, One Way System, Vice Squad, and Anti-Nowhere League.
(also known as Discore
, in Sweden) was developed in the early 1980s by imitators of Discharge
, for whom the genre is named. The first such group was The Varukers
. The vocal content of D-beat tends towards shouted slogans. The style is distinct from its predecessors by its minimal lyrical content and greater proximity to heavy metal. It is closely associated with crust punk
, which is a heavier, more complex variation. D-beat bands typically have anti-war, anarchist messages and closely follow the bleak nuclear war imagery of 1980s anarcho-punk
bands. The style was particularly popular in Sweden
, and developed there by groups such as Anti Cimex
, Mob 47
, Driller Killer
, and Wolfbrigade
, and Disfear
are contemporary Swedish D-beat groups. Other D-beat groups include Disclose
, from Japan; Crucifix
and Final Conflict
, from the U.S.; and Ratos de Porão
, from Brazil.
Contemporary street punk
Prominent 1990s street punk groups included The Virus
, The Casualties
, The Unseen
, A Global Threat
, The Restarts
and The Distillers
also borrowed from street punk.
Glasper, Ian (2004). Burning Britain: The History of UK Punk 1980-1984
. Cherry Red Books. ISBN-10: 1901447243
Glasper, Ian (2006). The Day the Country Died: A History of Anarcho Punk 1980 to 1984
. Cherry Red Books. ISBN-10: 1901447707
Jandreus, Peter (2008). The Encyclopedia of Swedish Punk 1977-1987
. Stockholm: Premium Publishing.