Punx Who Shred: Vol. 1
Welcome to the 21st century, where punk is only dead if you stopped paying attention when Descendents became All. There are a dozen articles I could write on how the histories of punk and metal intertwine and how you need to show your local dirty punx some respect, but for now I’m just going to set the record straight on one thing for you narrow-minded heshers: punks can shred a guitar just as hard as any of you ponytail dweebs can, and they’ll look cooler while doing it. Let’s dig into a handful of my favorite punk bands with killer guitarists.
In the late 2000’s, Propagandhi developed from a hyper-political ska band into a hyper-political progressive thrash punk band. Blistering 5/4 riffs are seasoned with licks on licks on licks courtesy of Chris Hannah and David Guillas, all supported by Jord Samolesky’s powerful, relentless drumming that proves you don’t need a double kick pedal to rip your skins to pieces.
White Lung‘s lone 6-stringer Kenneth William is a humble genius of the rhythm guitar. He casually plays the instrument as if he is replicating a warped LP of a Bach organ concerto played at 45 RPM. Listen to Bag (above) to hear him play every octave in his guitar’s range at once and sound positively spritely doing it. The success of White Lung relies on William’s zazzy, ludicrous playing as a perfect compliment to Mish Way’s tough, alto wailing.
Screaming Females are the least hardcore band in this article, but resident guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Marissa Paternoster might shred the hardest of any of these players. Not only are her riffs memorable and dynamic, but her solos are loose, wild, and totally refreshing to hear from a band that otherwise sounds at home opening for Modest Mouse.
Weird opinion time: I think Marissa Paternoster plays guitar like Brann Dailor plays drums. Both of them tend to play ahead of the beat, use lots of fills, and can perform freakishly fast and technical solos while still sounding totally human and organic. Discuss.
This piece was written entirely on a smartphone while on the road with Rifle Diet. The author begs forgiveness for the half-assed nature of this article.