13 Incredible Bands Similar To Rancid

In the punk rock world, the name Rancid will most likely come up. Since 1991, they’ve not only contributed to shaping the sound of the genre but also influenced countless other bands over the years.

If you enjoy Rancid’s music—a mix of punk rock, ska punk, and pop punk—then you will definitely enjoy what we have in store for you here.

In this blog post, we’ve compiled a list of 13 incredible bands like Rancid that your inner punk rocker will love. Let’s get started.

Rancid by Alfred Nitsch (CC BY-SA 4.0)


Since their formation in 1983, NOFX has been making waves in the punk rock music scene. As a key player in the California punk and skate punk genres, they share many similarities with Rancid, making them an ideal choice for fans looking to expand their musical horizons.

NOFX’s music style is characterized by a blend of punk rock with elements of ska and hardcore punk. They are known for their humorous and satirical lyrics that often address political and social issues.

Despite their fame, the band has retained a do-it-yourself approach to their music, recording in frontman Fat Mike’s own studio and releasing their albums through his independent record label, Fat Wreck Chords. Their discography is extensive, with over a dozen studio albums, several EPs, and numerous singles.

Despite their longevity, NOFX announced in 2022 that they would officially disband after 2023. Fat Mike revealed this news in response to a fan’s question on Instagram.

2. Green Day

Next up, we have Green Day, a rock band that formed in California’s East Bay music scene in 1987. Like Rancid, the band gained popularity during the punk rock genre movement, and their high-energy music and youthful, rebellious attitude made them a hit with audiences worldwide.

The band first gained attention with their 1994 album Dookie, which was a major commercial success—now Diamond certified. Following this, Green Day continued to evolve their sound while maintaining their punk roots.

In 2004, they released American Idiot, a rock opera that further propelled their fame and won them a Grammy for Best Rock Album. The title track, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” and “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” were among the hits from this album.

As of 2023, Green Day is still active and continues to release new music and tour, demonstrating their enduring popularity and influence in the music industry.

3. Dropkick Murphys

Formed in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1996, Dropkick Murphys is a Celtic punk band that seamlessly blends traditional Irish music elements with punk rock’s raw energy.

The band was initially founded by bassist Ken Casey, who remains the only constant member throughout their history. Over time, the lineup has evolved to include several other members, all contributing to the band’s success and distinctive sound.

One reason for Dropkick Murphys’ success is their intense display of Irish-American culture and heritage throughout their music. This can be heard in songs like “Shipping Up to Boston,” a sports anthem for teams nationwide, and was also featured in the Academy Award-winning film The Departed.

4. Bad Religion

Los Angeles rock band Bad Religion was formed in 1980. They have been actively involved in the punk rock scene for over four decades, releasing songs with themes related to politics, religion, and social issues.

Bad Religion’s debut album, How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, gained them early acclaim within the punk community. However, it was their third album, Suffer, in 1988, that solidified their position as one of the leading forces in the resurgence of punk rock during the late 1980s.

This album, along with subsequent releases like No Control (1989) and Against the Grain (1990), are considered seminal works in the punk rock genre.

Over the years, Bad Religion has seen changes in its lineup, with singer Greg Graffin being the only constant member. Despite these shifts, the band has maintained its signature sound and continued to produce influential music.

5. The Clash

As a band frequently listed as similar to Rancid, The Clash stands tall in punk rock. Hailing from London, this punk rock group formed in 1976 and made history with their politically charged lyrics and high-energy performances.

During their career, they released a number of highly acclaimed albums. The Clash’s third album, London Calling (1979), is widely regarded as their masterpiece. The double album extended their punk sound to incorporate a range of styles, including jazz, soul, and ska.

This success was followed by Sandinista! (1980) and Combat Rock (1982); this last feature the singles “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and “Rock the Casbah,” which became their highest-charting hit in the US.

The Clash inspired Rancid and countless other popular punk bands, such as Green Day and The Offspring. Their continued relevance is evident in “The History of Punk Rock in 300 Tracks,” a 13-hour playlist featuring several lesser-known acts like Choking Victim and Cock Sparrer alongside legends like The Clash themselves.

6. The Bouncing Souls

Emerging from the vibrant punk scene of New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1989, The Bouncing Souls has become an influential force in American punk rock. They’ve been kicking out high-energy performances for over three decades, amassing a loyal fanbase.

Over the years, The Bouncing Souls has released several notable albums. How I Spent My Summer Vacation, in 2001, is often considered one of their best works, featuring fan-favorite tracks like “True Believers” and “Manthem.” Other standout albums are Anchors Aweigh and Volume 2.

Like Rancid, The Bouncing Souls continues to tour and produce new music, maintaining their relevance and impact in the punk rock scene even after three decades since their formation.

7. Social Distortion

One of the most influential punk rock bands of all time, Social Distortion has been a driving force in the music industry since their inception. The band draws influences from icons such as Johnny Cash, The Clash, and Elvis Presley, as well as fellow punk rockers like Rancid and Bad Religion.

The band’s debut album, Mommy’s Little Monster (1983), established them as a significant force in the Southern California punk rock scene. However, it wasn’t until their self-titled third album in 1990 that they broke into mainstream success. The album produced the hits “Ball and Chain” and “Story of My Life.”

Since their formation, Social Distortion has released seven full-length studio albums. Their most recent release is Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes in 2011, but a new one is in the works, set to be released in 2024.

8. Pennywise

Our next band, Pennywise, is a renowned skate-punk group hailing from Hermosa Beach, California. They were formed in 1988 and have since become synonymous with the punk music scene in California.

Pennywise gained a substantial following in the punk community with their self-titled debut album in 1991. However, their fifth studio album in 1997, Full Circle, propelled them into the mainstream. This album served as a tribute to their original bassist, Jason Thirsk, who tragically died in 1996.

One of the band’s most iconic songs, “Bro Hymn,” was originally written by Thirsk as a tribute to his friends who had died in accidents. After Thirsk’s passing, the band re-recorded the song as “Bro Hymn Tribute” on the Full Circle album, dedicating it to him.

Another interesting note is that the band has performed at various music festivals across North America and beyond. In 2019, they performed at Camp Anarchy, a new punk festival held in Ohio, alongside other legendary punk acts such as Rancid, Offspring, and Suicidal Tendencies, to name a few.

9. The Distillers

Punk rock band The Distillers emerged in the late ‘90s. Led by Brody Dalle, ex-wife to Rancid’s Tim Armstrong, they gained recognition for their hard-hitting and emotional lyrics that called to the youth of their time.

The Distillers debuted with a self-titled album in 2000. Their second album, Sing Sing Death House, was mainly tied to Rancid as Armstrong produced it. This collaboration added to the band’s reputation as one of the best punk bands when it took the 29th spot on the US Indie Albums chart.

Over the years, the band has gone through several lineup changes, with Dalle being the only consistent member. Despite disbanding in 2006, The Distillers announced their reunion in 2018 and have been performing together since then.

10. Less Than Jake

Active since 1992, the ska punk band Less Than Jake hails from Gainesville, Florida. With music featuring a mix of traditional punk rock and ska influences, they have released nine albums over the years.

One of Less Than Jake’s most notable songs is “All My Best Friends Are Metalheads,” which shows off the band’s signature sound with catchy horn sections and upbeat guitars. Another hit worth listening to is “The Science of Selling Yourself Short.”

Less Than Jake has a loyal fanbase and are well respected within the ska punk community. They have toured extensively, the latest being Back for the Attack in 2022.

With their fast-paced music and live performances, Less Than Jake offers an excellent option for fans looking to experience similar elements in Rancid’s music.

11. Flogging Molly

Formed in Los Angeles in 1995, the seven-piece Celtic rock band Flogging Molly is known for fusing traditional Irish music and punk rock. Led by Irish vocalist Dave King, the band includes Bridget Regan (fiddle), Dennis Casey (guitar), Matt Hensley (accordion), Nathen Maxwell (bass), Spencer Swain (mandolin), and Mike Alonso (drums).

Their debut album in 2000, Swagger, and the two following it received moderate success. However, their fourth album, Float (2008), took the fourth spot on Billboard 200 and landed #1 on the Indie Albums chart. It contains their highest-charting single, “Requiem for a Dying Song.”

They’re also known for their high-energy live performances and have played at numerous music festivals worldwide, including the renowned Warped Tour and the annual St. Patrick’s Day concert at the Hollywood Palladium.

While The Flogging Molly hasn’t won any major music awards, the band’s success can be measured by their loyal fanbase and the critical acclaim they’ve garnered over the years.

12. The Transplants

Mixing punk rock and rap, we have The Transplants, a rock supergroup that features some big names in the music industry. The band consists of Tim Armstrong, also known for his work with Rancid and Operation Ivy, Rob Aston from Death March, and Blink-182’s Travis Barker.

The Transplants released their self-titled debut album in 2002, which includes their popular song “Diamonds and Guns.” After this, the band briefly disbanded due to all members being involved in their own projects. They later regrouped and released their second album, Haunted Cities, in 2005.

Despite going on hiatus several times, the band has continued to release new music. Their most recent album, In a Warzone, was released in 2013.

If you’re looking for a band similar to Rancid but with its twist on sound, then The Transplants may be what you need to hear next.

13. Operation Ivy

Emerging from the California punk scene, Operation Ivy made a name for itself in the late ’80s blending punk rock and ska. The band was formed in 1987 and consisted of Jesse Michaels (lead vocals), Tim Armstrong (guitar/vocals), Matt Freeman (bass/vocals), and Dave Mello (drums).

They are often credited as one of the first bands to blend elements of hardcore punk and ska, creating a new subgenre known as ska punk or skacore.

They released only one studio album, Energy, in 1989, but it had a profound influence on the emerging punk and ska scene. The album includes some of their most popular songs like “Knowledge,” “Sound System,” and “Unity.”

Shortly after the release of Energy, the band chose to break up. However, their musical legacy lived on. After Operation Ivy’s dissolution, members Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman went on to form the successful punk rock band Rancid.

Summing Up Our List Of Bands Like Rancid

Punk rock has a long history and with bands like Rancid and all those on this list, people the world over were able to enjoy its fast-paced, hard-edged sound.

We hope that this journey through the world of punk rock has enriched your playlist and sparked your interest to delve deeper into this exciting genre.

However, this list is far from complete. Who have we left off that should be on this list? Let us know so we can add them for you!

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Written by Dan Farrant
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.