Rock 'n' roll may have been an American innovation, but its influences have spread across the globe like mayonnaise on a slice of bread. Punk rock and its pimply cousin garage rock are no exceptions, as the bands in the following list illustrate. The 1990s was a particularly fertile decade, with hard-rockin' outsider bands cutting memorable records in countries as diverse as Japan, Norway, England, Sweden, Italy, Spain and Brazil.
By no means is this list intended to be a best-of round-up. These are just a few of my personal favorites, records I've returned to repeatedly over the years. The cover art was cool and the music was even better. For some -- millennials, to be precise -- these records may be new sources of inspiration. For some they'll be a nostalgia trip back to a more innocent decade, before 9/11 and George W. Bush helped make the world a less friendly, more paranoid place.
Broken away from the rigid conventions of hardcore punk, a genre that had flattened itself against a brick wall by the end of the '80s, the '90s garage punk explosion was endlessly creative, irreverent and above all fun.