Being a stepparent is hard, and it’s even harder when your stepson is punk as fuck. Worry not, normie stepmoms and stepdads of the world because the family therapists at Hard Times HQ can help! If you listen to our recommendations, your punk stepson will finally accept you as some sort of vague authority figure even if he refuses to look you in the eye or have a picture taken with you.
To get this kid’s respect, you can’t just break out some Hot Topic tee-shirt bands and call it a day. Put on a Discharge album after you pick him up from detention and watch as your wife’s son begrudgingly looks in your direction.
Listening to Joy Division is reverse therapy, so be sure to dabble in eye makeup and name-drop other post-punk bands in front of his friends. And don’t worry, you will not be pressed for what your favorite song is as long as you seem sad in a cool way.
Most Napalm Death songs sound like warm ass and do not hold up, but that’s part of the charm. It hasn’t been 1986 for a long time, but playing pretend is nostalgic and fun. For maximum props, steal this brat’s bong and tell him you need to take some rips before you listen to “Scum.”
Somehow, nu-metal is hot again, so you need a token band. Every other stepparent in HEYDUDE shoes will pick Korn or Limp Bizkit, so loudly complain about how much more recognition this ridiculous-looking band deserved while blasting “Dig” and “Death Blooms.” Your newfound Mudvayne fandom might be enough to make him stop yelling “Fuck you!” every time you ask him to take out the trash.
If you want this kid to stop pretending you’ve kidnapped him whenever you’re in public, listen to a guy in a basketball jersey and Dr. Doom mask rap about food and sex when you’re making dinner this week. DOOM’s rhymes are grimier than your stepson’s jagged fingernails, so be sure not to follow any of the recipes on “Mm..Food.”
The Dillinger Escape Plan
While you were getting a finance degree at UPenn, this band was making music that’s harder to enjoy than it is to play. Dillinger Escape Plan sounds like an atomic bomb going off in a glass factory, so be sure to take your blood pressure medication and put on the relaxed-fit Dockers before playing “Calculating Infinity” at a reasonable volume.
Once you listen to Converge’s album “Jane Doe”, you’ll understand your stepson’s shitty neck tattoo of a woman’s face. Once you’re in the Converge Cult, one-up him by getting a framed Jacob Bannon print and a full chest piece of the “No Heroes” bird.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
This haunted house of a man makes music between dognappings, and that’s exactly what it sounds like. Try listening to a few Nick Cave albums and then just start leering at people and saying cryptic, depressing things in a husky voice. He’ll know.
You won’t be able to handle–actually… you probably will. You should start with Turnstile, and if you play your cards right, maybe you can get by with just knowing them.