Early pioneers of Chicago’s post-punk scene, Naked Raygun’s undeniable impact on punk music can still be heard today. Influenced by art-punkers like Wire and Gang of Four, they formed during 1981 in Chicago, and were one of the first bands of the early ‘80s to introduce more complex melodies into punk. The group contained several different members during its ten-year career, including leaders Jeff Pezzati (vocals), Marko Pezzati (bass), Eric Spicer (drums) and in the band’s early days, future Big Black member Santiago Durango (guitar).
Unlike many of their contemporaries, who often had brief and chaotic runs, Naked Raygun remained a driving force in the punk and hardcore scene for a decade. Many fans and critics consider them to be the most important band to come out of Chicago in the 1980s and 1990s, and their first six albums had an immeasurable influence on bands that followed. Their rousing anthems covered politics and social issues in an accessible style that was both melodic and raw, giving rise to what many would eventually call “The Chicago Sound.”