13 Incredible Bands Similar To NOFX

Written by Dan Farrant

For over three decades, NOFX, an American punk rock band, has been a formidable force in the music scene. Their distinctive sound, characterized by hook-filled melodies and sharp humor, has not only garnered a loyal fan base but has also significantly shaped the landscape of punk rock music.

This influence is evident in the number of bands that have adopted a similar style and sound. Through these artists, we’re here to appreciate NOFX’s contribution to punk rock.

In this post, let’s explore 13 incredible bands similar to NOFX, all of whom are keeping the energetic and rebellious spirit of this genre alive. Let’s get started!

NOFX by Camilo Gomez (CC BY 2.0)

1. The Offspring

We begin with The Offspring. They became one of the most well-known punk rock bands to come out of California’s music scene in the ’90s. The band was formed in 1984 by vocalist/guitarist Dexter Holland, bassist Greg Kriesel, and drummer Ron Welty.

Their breakthrough album, Smash, released in 1994, became an instant classic and helped revive mainstream interest in punk rock alongside other notable bands such as Rancid, Green Day, and NOFX.

Another notable album is Americana in 1998. It contains their greatest hit, “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy).” The song topped several charts worldwide, including the UK Singles Chart, and won a Kerrang! award for Best Music Video.

2. Blink-182

Another highly popular pop-punk band sharing similarities with NOFX is Blink-182, which also came from the Southern California punk scene. The band played a significant role in the second wave of pop punk of the 1990s.

The band’s most famous song, “Dammit,” is often credited with catapulting them into fame. This track’s radio airplay opened doors for the band, leading to the creation of their massively successful, award-winning album Enema of the State.

Today, Blink-182 remains one of the most iconic bands of the pop-punk genre, despite some changes in line-up over time. They continue to create music and tour, keeping the spirit of punk rock alive for their dedicated fanbase.

3. Rancid

Hailing from Berkeley, California, Rancid is a band often compared to NOFX. Formed in 1991, they were instrumental in shaping the punk rock scene for over a quarter of a century.

Comprised of Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman, both former members of the band Operation Ivy, Rancid quickly became a household name in punk circles with their fusion of punk and ska.

Rancid debuted in 1993 with an eponymous album, but their breakthrough came in 1995 with …And Out Come the Wolves, which became certified Platinum. Their most recent album, Tomorrow Never Comes (2023), continues to carry the torch of their distinctive sound.

4. Green Day

Green Day is a band that needs no introduction. They’ve been around since 1987 and have become one of the biggest names in punk rock music. Alongside NoFX, they helped to popularize pop-punk bands in America during the early ’90s.

Their breakthrough came with their third album, Dookie, which won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 1995. Certified Diamond by the RIAA, it has sold more than 10 million copies in the United States alone.

In the years following Dookie, Green Day continued to evolve their sound, experimenting with different styles and themes. This resulted in the rock opera American Idiot in 2004, a politically charged album that resonated with audiences worldwide and introduced the band to a new generation of fans.

5. Bad Religion

Formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1980, the rock band Bad Religion is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of punk, playing a crucial role in shaping and defining the sound and style of this genre.

Like NOFX, Bad Religion has garnered respect as an influential figure for many emerging punk bands. For instance, at Punk in Drublic, a music festival named after NOFX’s 1994 album, both Bad Religion and NOFX shared the stage with other prominent punk rock artists such as Pennywise and The Descendents.

Bad Religion’s most recent album, Age Of Unreason (2019), continues to carry their distinctive sound. The album features their longest track to date, “Time and Disregard,” which runs for seven minutes. Despite being active for over four decades, Bad Religion shows no signs of slowing down.

6. Lagwagon

American punk rock band Lagwagon hails from Goleta, California, just outside Santa Barbara. The band was formed in 1989 and has marked its presence in the music scene with its punk rock and melodic hardcore sound.

Lagwagon’s discography is extensive, with numerous albums showcasing their signature sound. Notable albums include Railer, Hang, and Resolve. Their EP I Think My Older Brother Used to Listen to Lagwagon, released in 2008, reflects their humorous and self-aware approach to music.

As of now, Lagwagon continues to tour across various countries. Upcoming concerts are scheduled at venues like the San Francisco Bath House in Wellington and the Princess Theatre, Woolloongabba, in Brisbane.

7. Descendents

Emerging from the sunny shores of Manhattan Beach, California, in 1977, the Descendents took the music scene by storm. They have been lauded for pioneering the pop-punk genre, with their early rehearsals marking a significant moment in the birth of this music style.

They released their debut single, Ride the Wild, and then took a break from the music scene. However, they returned stronger than ever, releasing a series of landmark albums like Milo Goes to College and Hypercaffium Spazzinate.

Today, the band continues to produce music and engage with their fan base. Their latest offering, 9th & Walnut, was recently released, and the band remains active across various social media platforms, keeping their fans updated about their latest releases and tours.

8. Less Than Jake

Fans of NOFX might enjoy the Florida band Less Than Jake—their music is a delightful mix of ska-inspired punk with a dose of power pop, and are known for their sense of humor and fascination with Pez candy.

Formed in 1992, the band has released nine studio albums, many of which landed a spot on Billboard 200. Their songs, like “All My Best Friends Are Metalheads,” “The Science of Selling Yourself Short,” and “History of a Boring Town,” have garnered millions of streams on Spotify.

Recently, they’ve even poked fun at NOFX’s Fat Mike by releasing a new song titled “Fat Mike’s on Drugs (Again)” with a hilarious music video accompanying it.

9. Propagandhi

Next up is the Canadian punk rock band Propagandhi, formed in 1986. Combining frantic energy, punk attitude, and sappy melodies, the band’s music has been compared to popular punk bands such as Lagwagon and NOFX.

Their album Less Talk, More Rock turned 25 in 2021 and is considered one of their boldest records. It tackled topics such as war, imperialism, globalization, homophobia, sexism, and animal rights with an unapologetic approach that resonates with fans worldwide.

If you love NOFX but want more depth to your punk rock music experience, listen to Propagandhi! They represent everything alternative music should be: angry yet inspiring, with thought-provoking lyrics about some of modern society’s most pressing issues.

10. Unwritten Law

Hailing from Poway, California, Unwritten Law made their mark in the punk rock scene since their formation in 1990. The band was initially brought together by drummer Wade Youman and has seen several changes in its lineup over the years.

Their sound is a compelling mix of classic punk and melodic hardcore, reflecting the early ’90s style that they emerged from. Their discography of seven studio albums and 11 singles is a testament to this.

NOFX fans looking to explore Unwritten Law’s works can begin with the hits “Seein’ Red” and “Save Me (Wake Up Call),” both of which landed in the top five of Billboard‘s Alternative Airplay chart.

11. The Vandals

Next up is The Vandals. This punk rock band emerged from Orange County, California, and has been around since 1980. Like NOFX, they have become one of the most famous 1980s punk bands.

Interestingly enough, while they started as teenagers playing fast-paced punk music, The Vandals have managed to maintain their longevity by evolving with the times. They’re not afraid to blend various musical styles into their sound and experiment with different genres when creating new music.

From their debut album, When in Rome Do as The Vandals, to later releases like Live Fast Diarrhea and Hitler Bad, Vandals Good, their discography reflects their commitment to pushing boundaries and exploring new musical territories.

12. Strung Out

Next, Strung Out is an American punk rock band that has been rocking since 1989. They are often compared to NOFX due to their punk roots; however, Strung Out blends metal influences to make their own unique sound.

Another link Strung Out has to NOFX is through their record label, Fat Wreck Chords. They were among the first bands signed to the label, which is owned by NOFX’s Fat Mike.

Debuting in 1994 with Another Day in Paradise, Strung Out has since released eight more studio albums. Notable among these are Blackhawks Over Los Angeles and Songs of Armor and Devotion, both of which reached the top five of the Billboard Heatseekers Chart.

13. Pennywise

Concluding this list is Pennywise, the Hermosa Beach, California, punk rock band that has captivated audiences since their inception in 1988. The group derived its name from the menacing antagonist in Stephen King’s horror novel It, reflecting their bold and influential presence in the punk rock genre.

As one of the most influential bands within the punk scene, Pennywise shares similarities with other renowned groups such as NOFX, Bad Religion, and Blink-182. They gained an international following through 12 studio albums, relentless touring, and their high-energy sound.

Currently, Pennywise is still active and touring. Their enduring relevance and influence in the punk rock scene make them a band worth knowing for any fan of the genre.

Summing Up Our List Of Bands Like NOFX

And that’s a wrap! Thank you for taking the time to explore with us bands that echo the distinctive sound and style of NOFX. Hopefully, this dive into punk rock’s diverse landscape has put new songs into your playlist

While we’ve covered quite a bit of ground in this article, we might have missed some bands that deserve to be on this list. Let us know which bands we left off so we can add them here!

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.