15 Must-Listen Punk Albums of the First Half of 2024

Posted on June 11, 2024

by Eric S

If the Billboard charts are any indication, punk rock music (and really rock music of any kind) has waned in cultural significance in recent years, but of course, that is but one metric for determining how music truly speaks to people. Regardless of genre, there’s always new and interesting music being made if you venture beyond TikTok, Instagram, and the radio (if people still listen to that).

While punk rock may not have the same mainstream relevance it did 20 or 30 years ago, I would argue that 2024 is still an important time for it and its various subgenres. The massive When We Were Young Festival (a gigantic celebration of ‘00s bands, including My Chemical Romance and Taking Back Sunday) sold out within minutes. Soundcloud rappers are embracing the punk pop of their childhoods. Modern day punk rock heroes like Jeff Rosenstock are redefining punk to be more ethical and inclusive. Paste Magazine’s list of the 300 greatest albums of all time (released this month) included punk staples like The Clash’s London Calling and Patti Smith’s Horses, but also albums by Hüsker Dü, Bad Brains, The Promise Ring, American Football, The Stooges, Sleater-Kinney, Fugazi, and X-Ray Spex. Young bands continue to find creative ways to incorporate influences from emo, hardcore, post-punk, riot grrl, queercore, and countless other offshoots. And perhaps most importantly, the DIY ethos, sense rebellion, and anti-authoritarianism that was embodied by early punk are just as relevant today.

The year may only be half over, but we’ve still seen some impressive punk releases in 2024. We’ve selected 15 of the best—all available to listen to for free with your library card. With albums by Fontaines D.C., Stand Atlantic, Boston Manor, Cursive, and The MC5 (their first in over 50 years) on the horizon and anticipated tours from Social Distortion, The Descendents, and Bikini Kill, the remainder of 2024 certainly offers a lot to look forward to on the punk rock front. Until then, check out the stellar music below.

For more great music, make sure to check out the offerings of your local branch and Freegal.

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