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Top 10 Female Punk Performers Of All Time

Top 10 Female Punk Performers Of All Time
By Amelia Night | September 01, 2018
Was Punk-Rock music only made for males?

Interesting. Some might argue that maybe men are more associated with punk because they are more naturally aggressive? I call bullsh*t.

So the answer is no, it is not a genre wholly dominated by men. Women have fought tooth and nail to earn their rightful place in the music industry – the punk-rock genre is not excluded from this. Although the recognition of iconic punk women isn't as high, there are still many female front punk bands that deserve some recognition!

This article is here to highlight and countdown the top 10 amazing hardcore women and punk bands to exist. We will show you that this legendary scene is just as gender diverse as it says!

10. Patti Smith

This list cannot possibly be of iconic punk women without including the incredible Patti Smith. When appearing on Kids Are People Too to sing You Light Up My Life (which you can see here) to children, she said that "Rock 'n roll is getting back in the hands of the people. It belongs to the kids again, not the big business guys". What words could possibly express the ethos behind the punk movement better?

Sure, she's not your typical Sex Pistols or Dead Kennedys, but she helped shape the culture into what it is today.

9. Screaming Females

Contrastingly to Patti Smith, Screaming Females are a phenomenal three-piece band with female lead Marissa Paternoster. A relatively new band to set the punk-rock community alight. You cannot mistake this band for any other due to the mind-blowingly powerful lead vocals and guitar. This multi-talented woman has the hands of god and the scream to match!

To prove my point, she has gained a rightfully deserved spot at #77 in Spin magazine's article '100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time'.

If you still don't believe me, listen for yourself.

8. Sleater-Kinney

I know, you all saw it coming. It's a given though, and I couldn't ever give the title of most influential female punk band of the 2000's to anyone else. Riot Grrrl culture wouldn't be near as big of a thing it is today without these powerful women behind it!

Songs about politics and gender equality keep them in line with core punk values, even if they do divert from the traditional a little.

This band is underrated and deserves a place o this list for being influential to punk girls and boys a-like.

7. Skinny Girl Diet

This all-girl punk band are the literal embodiment of girl power and female empowerment! Delilah, Ursula and cousin Amelia kick-ass when it comes to performing and producing lively and harmonic pieces.

Like Sleater-Kinney, one of the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Skinny Girl Diet (besides wanting food) is of course, Riot Grrrl. Many of their songs centre around feminism and gender ideals.

If you're in need of a reminder that being a girl is ultimately freakin' badass, then this is the band for you!

Their sound is great, but their look here is just as great. Surprisingly, it's not as hard to replicate as you'd think. You'd be the coolest rocker in true Skinny Diet Girl style in no time with a pair of tight leather trousers like this or chunky leather shoes like these!

6. Vexx

Coming from the break-through punk scene in Olympia, Washington, Vexx is here. Welcome to our top ten. The crazy and intense lo-fi vibes this band produces is revolutionary! When it comes down to it, nobody has been able to create such drama and chaos and that's where it's at.

This female four piece dropped their EP in 2014 including the tracks 'Clairvoyant', 'Falling Down' and 'Stress'. You can listen or buy the album here.

Front woman Jane is a killer vocalist, sending waves of heart-attack inducing energy throughout any crowd!

5. Siouxsie Sue

Goth, yes, but punk too. Siouxsie Sue combined these two genres together to produce amazingly catchy and mysteriously dark music from the beginning of '76.

Her amazing talent has led her to be one of the most iconic female faces in the community – recognisable to all.

Her fame extends to 11 albums with her infamous band Siouxsie and the Banshees and her ever growing solo career, starting in 2004.

Her dark and gothic style has contributed to her fame just as much as her hypnotic voice.

4. NUN

No sound will ever grab your attention more than this Melbourne born band. Fusing eerie noise-punk with synth pop, they have created a new sound for punk lovers everywhere!

Predictable is one word that couldn't be further from the truth when it comes to their sound. The blending of such harsh vocal from Jenny Branagan with the creepy backing – this band is an amazing example of strong and powerful female punk artists. Definitely in need of a listen.


If you're a fan of experimental noise, you've probably heard of this petrifying all female trio before.

Using noise textures while borrowing elements from old-school punk classics, RAKTA are fierce and distinctive in their sound.

Their artistic EP hit our dark hearts in 2014 and has held a place there ever since!

2. Kathleen Hanna

Riot grrrl is all that Kathleen Hanna is! Co-founder of Bikini Kill, she set the movement off in the early 1990's! Her band toured for almost ten years – distributing feminist ideas and taking on tricky subjects like sex-work and abuse. She blessed up with an amazing lo-fi dance-punk album under the name Julie Ruin and for this, she deserves a close second on the list for being one of the most influential female punk icons to exist.

1. G.L.O.S.S

It was a tough decision, but we made it.

G.L.O.S.S are undoubtedly the most influential punk band with powerful female members. Standing for 'Girl's Living Outside Society's Shit' is a powerful and important message in itself to all girls everywhere. Giving a voice to not only females, but any people who suffer society's bullsh*t – their sound is a force to be reckoned with.

G.L.O.S.S @ bandcamp

If you liked this article and want read more then get in touch! We'd love to hear from you.

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