The 16th annual Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival in Downtown Las Vegas is fast approaching this weekend. For the uninitiated, it is undoubtedly the best punk rock music festival on the west coast if not all of America.The three-day bacchanal that takes place in in the middle of Las Vegas, complete with free poolside day shows, punk-rock-themed standup comedy and even a few punk rock movie screenings. Of course, this year's lineup is nothing short of epic with headlining acts like Cock Sparrer, Descendents and NOFX.
But you'd be remiss if you decided to skip some of the baby bands playing this thing. Here is a list of the top five newish bands playing the main stage (separate then the club performances after-parties, which are another story) that is. Despite the popular saying, punk rock is still very much alive and kicking in 2014.
"Gypsy Mediterranean Punk Rock" by way of Ottawa–need we say more? At times, their beats might border on the edge of metal and straight-up Arabic music but their lyrics talking about fucking your mom and same 'ol trusty power chords assure you that they are purely punk rock.
4. Blackmarket Syndicate
This band from Houston captures the golden 90's era of poppy-but-heavy punk rock but with a very much appreciated cheerful youthful element to it. Think of Rancid, Screeching Weasel an The Clash in their prime and then some. Just might make you love punk again.
3. La Plebe
Bilingual Ska-Punk is a thing and this San Franciscan group plays it amazingly. The horn harmonies may remind you of Mexican folk music but once their hard and fast loud bass drum-led choruses drop, their circle pits are among some of the biggest-and funnest-around.
2. Cerebral Ballzy
These guys from Brooklyn have been making quite the splash in the scene since their eponymous 2011 debut. The New York quintet are being recognized by several media outlets already for their their utterly raw sound inspired by true 80's hardcore punk. They're well on their way to becoming modern-day punk legends.
1. Masked Intruder
Because 2014 is the year of pop-punk and power pop! Masked Intruder's colorful ski-mask gimmick is entertaining and their skillful doo wop-like vocal harmonies paired with melodic punk chords are stupidly catchy, whether you'd like to admit it or not.