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Gen Why's "Dirty James" McDowell II
Gen Why's "Dirty James" McDowell II

Best of Houston® 2019: Best Music Genre

Best of Houston® 2019: Best Music Genre — Punk

The state is experiencing a punk revival, with interesting acts like Austin’s Hans Gruber and the Die Hards and Dallas' Noogy representing some of the best of what’s happening outside our city. But Houston feels like the epicenter of Texas punk thanks to strong efforts from many acts with diverse sounds. Ruiners’ self-described “delightfully depressing” songs made for one of the best reviewed local albums of the year. They sound entirely different from an act like Days N' Daze, which delivered “H-town thrashgrass” to Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival, The Fest, Europe and Australia this year. Those bands are sonically different from the hardcore offerings of Noisey darlings Lace and that band will never be confused with the Prettybads, which has gained a solid following for their winning foray into punk’s Ramonescore sub-genre.

The spotlight on Houston punk shines on more than diverse music. There are grassroots efforts here to grow interest in the genre. Revels hosts ATX vs HOU, an annual punk fest bringing Austin and Houston bands together for a good-natured, in-your-face throwdown. The YouTube channel Punk With a Camera boasts 12,000 subscribers and hits in the millions and showcases Houston-area groups. And bands like Gen Why, which just returned from its inaugural tour run and ran some White Pride members from a show at White Oak Music Hall this year, live the punk ethos by taking action when others won’t, which is the very essence of punk.

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