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10 punk songs every metalhead needs to know

Punks stagediving
(Image credit: Gary Leonard/Corbis via Getty Images)

The dividing line between punk's heaviest albums and thrash metal has always been paper thin, both genres sharing a need for speed, aggression and all-out chaotic energy that remains true today. That in mind, we asked Tony Foresta, vocalist of thrash/crossover kings Municipal Waste to pick out 10 punk songs every metalhead should know.  

"I’m not going to lie...I jumped at the chance," Foresta says. "This is a good opportunity for me to showcase a lot of the punk stuff that was basically my gateway drug into metal. Now, I was originally going to put the basics in here and drop a big list of the usual metal/punk suspects like DRI, Cryptic Slaughter, Agnostic Front and early Corrosion of Conformity...but I feel like we’ve all read that list a few times already. So here is a list of some punk songs that really pushed me into more extreme music and also influenced me as a musician."

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1. English Dogs - The Chase is On (Forward Into Battle, 1985)

"This record in my opinion is the perfect mix of punk and metal. It's my go to whenever anyone asks what my favorite metal/punk record is. It’s like if Metallica and GBH had a pissed off child."


2. Spermbirds - Bed Tool (Something To Prove, 1986)

"Super underrated band from the 80’s. They never really toured the States much, so I think they got a bit overlooked here. Killer band and Something to Prove is nothing short of a classic album.


3. Inepsy - Street City Kids (Rock'N'Roll Babylon, 2003)

"My all time favorite Canadian band, and that’s saying a lot. Motörhead/Discharge worship done perfectly. RIP Steve [Bennett, vocals]. We love and miss you."


4. Belching Penguins - Shitfaced (Draft Beer.... Not Me, 1986)

"This one was an early Municipal Waste favorite. We’ve been talking about covering this song for almost 20 years."


5. Poison Idea - The Temple (War All The Time, 1987)

"The greatest punk band of all time. This track is from (my opinion) their best record, War All The Time. I’ve put this song on countless mixes and will continue to do so till eternity."


6. Killing Joke - The Wait (Killing Joke, 1980)

"What’s not to love about Killing Joke? On my bucket list of bands to see live. Still putting out amazing music even today. Some popular metal band covered this song. I can’t remember who [Metallica covered The Wait on The $5.98 E.P. - Garage Days Re-Revisited]."


7. Dystopia - Ignorance Of Pride (Human = Garbage, 1994)

"I’m considering these guys a 'punk band' just like I consider Amebix a punk band. Even though both bands are pretty heavy they've spent their existence predominantly entrenched in the punk world. Heavy as shit and depressingly thought-provoking lyrics. This record was waaaay ahead of its time and is still very much loved today. This should be a staple in everyone’s metal/punk collection." 


8. The Spits - Take Back The Alley (The Spits, 2002)

It’s hard to pick which Spits song to put on the list because every record they’ve put out rips. Super loud, fun and dirty. Hell, Midnight even did a 7” covering their songs. 


9. Rich Kids on LSD - Why? (It's A Beautiful Feeling, 1984)

"One of my favorite bands and arguably one of the most insane live bands of all time. A colossal train wreck of punk/metal/rock and roll. Kings."


10. Dayglo Abortions - Inside My Head (Feed Us A Fetus, 1986)

"More Canada love!  Dave Brockie (fun fact: also Canadian) told me these guys were a big influence on GWAR coming up and you can see some of the comparisons with their hilarious lyrics and killer riffs. Dayglo makes me want to drunkenly plow a snow mobile into a Tim Hortons."

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Municipal Waste tour the UK with Anthrax in September

Rich Hobson
Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.