More so than any other musical genre, punk rock certainly has an overwhelming number of scene policemen. Said cultural arbiters are always ready to tell anybody within typing distance about what is definitely “not punk.” We understand the headline for this APTV rundown is enough to set the most hardened pit warrior into a frothing rage. Nonetheless, we are confident that we’ve figured out how to turn Black Flag into a band One Direction fans would like.
The process starts with a basic tenet: Nobody is born “cool.” Who amongst us had a mobile above their crib made up nautical flash by Sailor Jerry? Who has godparents who saw the Sex Pistols at Winterland in ’78? In 1995, were you in the studio audience when Rancid were on SNL? But we’re thinking that your personal experience with music was something positively mainstream and popular. It was the first time you felt an ownership of music. Not your parents’, not your older siblings’ music, but yours. Having that moment is the first domino to fall toward a realm of bands One Direction fans will like.
Where do we go from there? We start with the 1D proteges, followed by a band featuring a dude they once collaborated with. After that, it’s full-blown pop-punk royalty, but only the kind you see on the endcaps at Target and the occasional reality show episode. The connections are further established by bona fide punk legends who are routinely acknowledged as “game-changers.” These aggregates include (but are not limited to) the progenitors of the term “melodic hardcore,” the band whose label has been synonymous with a certain sound and a bunch of dudes in their fourth decade together. Oh, and Black Flag.
If you gave us some more time, we might be able to make connections between say, My Chemical Romance and these dudes. Or maybe you’ll just walk away pissed and slam your laptop shut. (As one former webmaster once posited here, “Hate clicks are the great clicks.”) But if we’re being honest, this really isn’t about bands One Direction fans will like. It’s the tacit acknowledgment that one piece of music can start you on a journey you have no idea where the hell it’s going to lead.