Punk Rock Girl – Dead Milkmen

This minor hit is widely considered as something of a pop punk classic. Hailing from ’88 it hits pretty much all the touchstones of the Blinks, Sums and Charlotte’s that followed.

Local scene references are covered in the opening line (Zipperhead is a famous Philadelphia Punk Rock Clothing Store). There’s The Girl All The Bad Guys Want in the form of the titular knocking ’em dead Muse.

There’s off beat pop culture references in 50’s comedy icon Minnie Pearl, Fastfood culture The Phillie Pizza Company and punk rock itself Mojo Nixon. And yet most tellingly and tone setting of all are two features in the lyrics that do most for the Pop Punk scene that followed.

Firstly there is the celebration of naive teenage energy as rebellion.

 “And someone played a Beach Boys song on the jukebox It was “California Dreamin'” So we started screamin’ “On such a winter’s day””

And the understanding that this is kids jerking their parents about first and foremost

“She took me to her parents for a Sunday meal, her father took one look at me and he began to squeal, Punk rock girl it makes no sense, Punk rock girl your dad is the Vice President, rich as the Duke of Earl, yeah you’re for me punk rock girl”

Teenage rebellion first, social commentary second. And the whine in the voice… The stage was set…

Enter 90’s Punk pop stage left.

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