Darren OConnor's Top 5

Photo by James Bunoan1. THE STITCHES “Just…fuck. I don't know what to say. The truest, best band ever to come out of OC. They've been together over 10 years and they barely got signed to a label, after 10 years of playing and staying true to everything punk rock could be. They just did shit their way. Like a Heartbreakers show, you never knew what you were gonna get. Either the greatest show ever or the worst fucking nightmare in the world.”

2. U.S. BOMBS/THE HUNNS/EXPLODING FUCK DOLLS/POLITICAL CRAP/DUANE PETERS IN GENERAL “Doesn't seem to matter what Duane gets behind him. His attitude and voice are so true to the streets and to the craziest life. It's the craziest true story you could imagine; he's the master of disaster. The most amazing thing is just that's he's survived to tell his tale.”

3. SOCIAL DISTORTION “Definitely the first album is all we're really talking about, but it's a life-changer. The darker side of hardcore meets punk rock. I think that album is absolutely kind of perfect in every style or way.”

4. THE BLADES “The only thing they did was on the BYO Records comp, Someone's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In.” The guy has such a great voice—it's really melodic punk from the '80s, not broken-glass, scratchy-whiskey voice. I can't explain it. I wish they would have gone somewhere.”

5. THE CROWD “The first OC band to ever put out a full-length album. Beach-punk new-wave at its finest.”

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