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Back in around 1993/4 when I first started chosing what music to listen to I opted for the Metal albums borrowed from one of my older brothers, Nat. Bands like Metallica, Megadeth and Machine Head (funny how they all begin with ‘M’!) regularly assaulted my ear canals while out delivering papers. In 1994 when I got my first CD player (for Christmas) I bought my first 2 CD’s: “The Best Rock Album In The World… Ever” and Green Day’s “Basket Case” single. The latter changed my musical tastes for ever. Punk rock was then, and has been since, my musical preference although I do still love a bit of metal every so often! If you asked me around 1997/8 during 6th Form who my favourite bands were I would have said Green Day, Rancid, NOFX and The Offspring.

So, moving onto 2008/9 we’ve had new albums from each of those bands. The Offspring released “Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace” at the end of 2008 which was a classic Offspring album – fast tempo’d American punk rock with the odd ballad/slower song thrown in. Next up we had NOFX’s “Coaster” (or “Frisbee” if you bought the vinyl version). This was a return to form, the previous couple of albums were a bit too political and it kinda spoiled the records. Rancid’s “Let The Dominoes Fall” is probably the best album of 2009 (so far) – a great mix of punk rock and ska with Matt Freeman even taking on more of the lead vocals than the last few offerings. Of the four bands Green Day have changed the most. Now, don’t worry, I won’t be going down the whole ‘sell out’ thing cos I honestly don’t think that they have; they’ve just changed their style somewhat. Green Day have a special place in my heart as being the band that got me into punk rock in the first place – as clichéd as it sounds, they changed my life! However, “21st Century Breakdown” is not a punk rock record; that’s not to say it isn’t a good record though! Green Day may have gone more stadium rock than punk rock but they still know how to make good, catchy music – even if it IS five times longer than their previous offerings!

So, in July 2009, if you asked me who my favourite bands were I would have to say, still, Green Day, Rancid, NOFX and The Offspring regardless of how they have changed.