Post-punk is a broadly defined musical genre that emerged in the mid to late 70s. Bands began experimenting with a variety of musical genres while maintaining a DIY punk ethic and punk’s raw energy. The result was an array of interesting and unusual bands. Here are some of the best post-punk bands ever:
Wall of Voodoo
Wall of Voodoo kicked off their post-punk career with a self-titled EP in 1980. The EP contained a psychedelic cover of Johnny Cash’s song, Ring of Fire, which captured the band’s signature sound: a combination of post-punk synth and spaghetti western. But their most success track by far was Mexican Radio, released in 1982.
Siouxsie and the Banshees
Inspired by the punk rock of the Sex Pistols and the aesthetics of early glam rock, Siouxsie and the Banshees formed in London around 1976. The band received a great deal of critical acclaim for their innovative post-punk sound and musicality. For his part of the song Spellbound, guitarist John McGeoch was given a place on Mojo’s ‘100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time’ list.
Gang of Four
Originating in Leeds in 1976, Gang of Four were one of the top post-punk bands of the early generation. Their songs focused on political issues while the music was raw punk with dub and funk undertones. Their album, Entertainment!, is widely considered among the best post-punk albums ever made.
Mission of Burma
Mission of Burma was a short-lived post-punk band from Boston, USA. The band formed in the late 70s and disbanded in 1983. During the few short years that they were active the band made a name for themselves in the post-punk scene. Their debut album, Vs., is a creative, innovative, example of post-punk.
Killing Joke – Eighties
Killing Joke formed in 1978 in Notting Hill, London. The band incorporated elements of metal, goth, and synth pop into their post-punk sound. In 1985, Killing Joke achieved mainstream success with the album, Night Time. But our favourite song is their classic hit, Eighties.
This Heat’s music was post-punk, experimental, verging on noise music at times. Their experimental approach meant the band never achieve mainstream success, but their music was influential on the development of post-punk.
Talking Heads was formed by a group of New York art students in 1975. They fused punk with art rock and became one of the definitive American post-punk bands. Their biggest hit was the single, Burning Down The House, but several of their songs have since became well-known classics, including Once In A Lifetime, and Psycho Killer.
Devo emerged out of Ohio in the early 70s. The band achieved mainstream success with their song Whip It, but our favorite song of theirs is Mongoloid.
There are a lot more amazing post-punk bands that could have been included on this list, but to be honest, we just don’t have time to go into them all. So let us know who your favourite post-punk bands are in the comments section below.