Article by Zac Gallacher
Punk. What is it? David Byrne of the Talking Heads refers to it as “…an attitude over musical style …”, which may mostly be accepted as a truth. However, there is a defining style to the punk scene which harkens back to the barebones sound created by punk legends of the past, and this sound is making a resurgence within 2019. With Artists and Bands such as Slowthai, IDLES and Slaves creating amazing punk inspired music, this long thought dead culture is surely to be screaming back into 2020 with a riot.
It’s a given that Punk is on its way back, and the natural assumption for this change in pop culture would be to blame a single factor, such as the government. The truth is, when it comes to punk, there are no defining factors on why it exists. Punk is the unaltered, raw self.
As rising grime/punk infused artist Slowthai said within an interview “Everyone that’s true to themselves – You’re a punk!”. Recent events within national politics will obviously play a part as a sort of catalyst for these new trends within popular culture, the mishaps of Brexit and questionable actions of our government, it all acts as a common denominator for the people to become fed up and tired – to the point where opposing sides can agree on how terrible the nations situation is. And for this reason, punk is back, the sheer unforgiving and representative ways in which individuals are now representing themselves –
going against norms and speaking their mind regardless of law and social standards.
IDLES and Slaves are two groups that have been running amuck within the UK punk scene for years, and though IDLES refuse their punk title, it can’t be denied they have that unique punk drive behind their sound. Slaves have kept up regular appearances for the last few years at popular festivals like Glastonbury and Leeds, as well as dropping singles and new material on a fairly regular basis. Both of these bands have a large following behind them, actively selling out on tours and are a sure sign of punks rising popularity.
The current leaps in the revival of punk are, to many people’s surprise, being made within the Grime scene. Artist Slowthai, traditionally a grime artist himself, states that grime is just a “…sub-genre of punk…” – simply a means of standing up against the systems in place and revelling in a working class setting. Slowthai’s newest feature, with the highly rated and followed Mura Masa is almost a definitive archetype of the punk sound and look. The track Deal Wiv It brings the working class and general public’s lifestyle to the forefront of the viewers ears without romanticising any aspect. I highly recommend following this budding grime-punk infused scene.