27 Best 90s Punk Bands

While punk music was around in the 1970s, it wasn’t until the 1990s that it became popular. After all, many people were tired of the posh and flimsy sound many 80s hits possessed. 

The following groups are some of the best 90s punk bands. I've put my favorite 4 first, but let us know your picks in the comments after.

Green Day

There might be some debate as to whether Green Day should be called a punk band. Viewing them with a current lens could give you a different impression than what you might think of as “punk”. 

However, Green Day was one of the most important groups for pushing punk into the mainstream of the 90s. The group actually has some of the most accomplishments out of any band throughout modern music history. 

However, it was the 1994 album, Dookie, that put them on the map as far as mainstream music is concerned. This put Green Day on constant rotation, with the album producing some of the biggest 90s hits. 

It’s needless to say that Green Day would become a staple on mainstream media outlets through the 2000s. They defied all expectations when they produced their own rock opera of Tommy proportions.

Green Day

The Offspring

The Offspring is another group that helped pave the way for punk to become mainstream. Their 1994 album, Smash, became one of the best-selling records of its time.

This group has a very unique sound, largely attributed to Dexter Holland’s distinct vocal style. In a way, this band’s sound has an addictive quality to it, which is partly why they became so successful. 

The Offspring was also not opposed to infusing a bit of humor into their brand of punk music. This offered a bit of relief in a music world that was rife with utmost seriousness at the time. 

The Offspring

Blink-182

If you’re only vaguely familiar with Blink-182, you might be surprised to find out they started playing in 1992. This is because the group really didn’t find the mainstream until the end of the 90s.

In fact, you really couldn’t go anywhere without hearing a Blink-182 song or reference during 1999-2001. Their brand of seemingly immature yet mature pop punk was just something that everyone could relate to.

From a historical perspective, it took bands like Green Day and The Offspring to lay the pop punk foundation. Once Blink-182 broke into the mainstream, punk music changed forever, with more pop coming to the forefront. 

Blink-182

Rancid

Rancid is definitely one of the biggest names in punk music, though they weren’t exactly mainstream in their success. Sure, they had plenty of hits, but at the same time, weren’t pushed heavily in media.

However, any 90s punk fan will tell you that the album, …And Out Come The Wolves, is a true classic. This album has some of the band’s biggest hits, many of which remain well-known to this day.

In reality, it was the fact that Rancid just had some catchy musicality for a punk band. Mix that in with memorable lyrics delivered in a unique way, and you have yourself a winning combination. 

What’s quite surprising is that Rancid is still quite active as a group. With the exception of 1 person, the current lineup still consists of the original members.

Rancid

Bad Religion

Bad Religion is one of the longest-enduring punk bands that is still going strong today. This group actually got its start in 1980 and has since become a very recognizable name in the genre. 

Most people know of Bad Religion by association with their singer, Greg Graffin. However, every era of the band has produced hits, largely in relation to the various lineups at any given time. 

Bad Religion

Agnostic Front

While a lot of the more popular punk groups are pop punk, Agnostic Front brings East Coast hardcore elements. This gives the band a much more intense sound, often incorporating thrash stylings.

Agnostic Front might not have been extremely popular, but they are one of the most respected in the genre. They are still enjoying a lively career thanks in part due to their reputation.

Agnostic Front

The Vandals

The Vandals

The Vandals are another important band within 90s punk music, though the group also dates back to 1980. This band was definitely not afraid to be goofy, which helped them gain a greater audience.

Members of this group are also responsible for establishing Kung Fu Records. This record company has given many up-and-coming acts a foundation to release their music over the years.

Frenzal Rhomb

Frenzal Rhomb

Australian group, Frenzal Rhomb, might not be the most popular in the United States. However, this group is massively famous around the world.

Frenzal Rhomb has toured with some of the biggest names in the punk genre. Frontman, Jason Whalley, is perhaps the most recognizable member (thanks to his hair) out of all the band’s various lineups. 

Misfits

Misfits

Even if you aren’t into punk music, you’re probably at least familiar with the famous Misfits logo. This is often seen on shirts, often worn by people who have no idea that it refers to a band.

The Misfits were one of the first bands to introduce horror themes into punk, essentially spawning the horror punk genre. They made a name for themselves in the 70s and 80s but came back in full fashion in 1995.

What’s amazing is that you can still catch the band playing live today. The original lineup, featuring Glenn Danzig, has started to make an emergence again.

NOFX

NOFX

NOFX is another group that has been around since the early 1980s. This group made a name for themselves by being humorous and also saying things explicitly and straight up. 

Most non-punk fans are at least vaguely familiar with bassist, Fat Mike, who founded Fat Wreck Chords. This record label has been instrumental in launching the careers of many punk bands.

NOFX has certainly had an excellent run. After 40 years, they are hanging up the phone in 2023, so go and see them if you still can. 

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29 Comments

  1. Millencolin did indeed have a track in a Tony Hawk game. The song No Cigar was in THPS2

  2. A third of the bands listed were around in the nineties, buy started in the early eighties. They were and still are the best ones.
    Don’t forget T.S.O.L. Thanks

  3. Millencolin- No Cigar was on THPS2. It’s how I found them. In fact, Tony Hawk actually covered the song.

  4. Blink-182 and offspring and that other band are not really great at all. That’s just my opinion. But a lot of the others should have been a top of the list, I mean come on the misfits for way down the line, that was sad.

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