The Avengers photographed by Marcus Leatherdale
The Avengers were a San Francisco based punk band in the first wave of American punk. Penelope Houston, who later turned to folk music, was the singer for the band, and part of what made the band unique and memorable. She was born in L.A. and raised in Seattle. In the mid–1970s she attended Fairhaven College in Bellingham, Washington. She made herself known for telling people in the dorm to turn down their music. In 1977, Houston moved to San Francisco and attended the San Francisco Art Institute and shortly after became the lead singer and songwriter for the Avengers.

The Avengers opened for the Sex Pistols in San Francisco for their final show at Winterland, and their 4–song EP was produced by Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols. This recording, released in 1979 on White Noise Records featured the memorable song, "The American in Me," as well as " Uh Oh!," "Corpus Christi," and "White Nigger." In addition to Houston, James Wilsey played bass, D. Furious played drums, and Greg Ingraham played guitar. Brad Kent played guitar on "Corpus Christi."

An earlier 3–song EP on Dangerhouse Records was issued in 1977. A full album called "The Avengers" was issued in 1981. In 1999, a compilation of unreleased tracks and outtakes called "The Avengers Died for Your Sins" was issued by Lookout! Records.