Songs from Houston-Based Punk and Indie Bands

Written by on February 21, 2024

This playlist is a compilation of my favorite songs from the Houston-based bands that keep the local music scene alive. All the bands on this list are currently active, and I’ve even had the privilege of seeing a lot of them live!

While the bands on this list vary in genre, they are all united by a specific rawness that can be felt in every Houston bands’ sound.

1. “No Restraint” by True to Form

The first time I heard “No Restraint,” or any song by True to Form, was live at The Compound. The song’s dynamic vocals translate well both live and recorded as it alternates between airy singing and powerful yells.

2. “Crimes” by Goodgirl

“Crimes” by Goodgirl is a melodic song with beautiful lyrics that describe a complicated relationship that fluctuates between infatuation, fear, and resent. The drums on this track are also particularly solid and pair well with the reverb on the guitar and bass.

3. “Obituary” by Primaries

Primaries can best characterized by their quirky instrumentals, but “Obituary” stands out on their self-titled debut album for its melancholy sound. The peppy, fast-beating drums contrast the gloomy melody of the guitars, conveying a unique feeling that is difficult to put into words.

4. “Cool in Motion” by Narrow Head

Narrow Head is the only band on this list that is not originally from Houston, as they recently moved here from Austin, Texas. The band combines metal and alternative rock to create a mix that combines the best of both genres. “Cool in Motion” stands out in particular because of its catchy beat and despondent lyrics.

5. “Drown” by Juicebox

Despite only having three songs out at the moment, Juicebox has already created a distinct sound for themselves that incorporates heavy drums, bass, distortion, and screeching vocals. The band itself also stands out for their cutesy album art that is unlike most other bands of the hardcore punk genre.

6. “Police Brutality” by The Cops

“Police Brutality” by The Cops is reminiscent of 80’s punk rock. It’s lyrics are a satirical, political commentary on the human rights violations committed by the police force. The subject is a large part of the band’s identity and they often dress up as police officers during their live shows.

7. “Behemoth” by Daze

“Behemoth” by Daze features reverb and dreamy instrumentals that fittingly accompany lyrics about often dreaming of someone. I especially like Daze’s execution of traditional shoegaze distortion because they do not use it so much that the vocals or intricacy of the guitar melody is drowned out.


“INHALENT HERO” by SEXPILL is a hardcore punk song that is made even more heavy by its crunchy recording quality, giving it an extra layer of grit. SEXPILL’s songs burst with so much energy that it is contagious, exhausting even.

9. “My Head” by Substance

“My Head” by Substance is a hardcore song that emphasizes feelings of frustration and rage through rumbling vocals and a loud rhythm section. The cover of this EP features a photo of Jack Delaney, a heavyweight boxer, a fitting representation for an EP that addresses issues such as conflict and masculinity.

10. “The Halfpipes” by The Halfpipes

Last but not least, “The Halfpipes” by The Halfpipes. I really loved the idea of this song because it feels like an introduction to the band itself, not unlike the opening song of a TV show. It’s fun and full of energy, overall a great representation of The Halfpipes’ signature sound.

  • Sophie Nimberger

    Hi! My name is Sophie and my favorite genre is alternative rock. I'm currently majoring in psychology and I play bass in a band called Grey Pix! I can be found at @s0ph1e.n on instagram.

    View all posts

Reader's opinions
  1. Wendolee   On   February 21, 2024 at 9:24 pm

    You should check out COMA. They’re from Houston and they’re a shoegaze style band. they’re pretty new and have a demo out 🙂

Comments are closed.

Coog Radio

Riding the Airwaves

Current track