Check Out These Cool ’80s Punk Flyers!
Adolescents. Youth Brigade. The Dead Boys. Narcoleptic Youth. Misfits. There’s a reason punk rock starts making sense to people in their teenage years and that’s because, at a fundamental level, it’s all about the capture and release of nervous energy, something that teenagers and punk rock both have in abundance. But what do you with all that bottled up hyperactivity when you’re not sweating it out of your system at all-ages shows? In the days before the internet, you had a few, limited options: you could indulge it by smashing things with rocks, try to kill it with masturbation, or channel it into something genuinely productive, like getting an orienteering badge at Scouts or going into care homes and reading to old people.
Suicidal Tendencies - Institutionalized
Alternatively, you could tune out the drone of your teacher’s voice and spend afternoon Geography lessons transforming your school books or pencil case into a palimpsestic theatre of horrifying little images – the grim reaper taking a shit, a knife not doing healthy things to your teacher’s face, a skull sort of vomiting out its eyeballs and brain, endless bad stuff happening to Jesus. And eventually you could become so good at drawing those images that you get asked to design flyers for the local punk shows that you wish you could be sweating at all the time. You have a part to play in the scene and you are very happy.
Thirty years later your drawings end up sitting anonymously on an Instagram feed picking up kudos from the latest generation of kids for whom fidgeting during class has blossomed into an obsession with fast riffs and mutually appreciated violence. In their 2,195 posts to date, the people behind the SoldOut! Flyers Instagram have gathered together some of the finest hormonally charged art to come out of North America in the ’80s and ’90s, all made in the service of getting people to come see bands that have gone on to be revered: Cro-Mags, Misfits, Millions of Dead Cops, Op Ivy et al. Some of our favourites are below.
Go give ‘em a follow!
And here’s some fun US punk from the ’80s to keep the vibe going: