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Categories: Stag Do Music Playlists
Image source / credit: Covert Booking / Next Best Thing PR It’s a Monday morning in early August, the sun is shining, and I feel like taking a step back about 10 years to the old wave of Pop-punk. Today we’re seeing bands such as Australia’s 5 Seconds of Summer, You Me At Six, and of course One Direction (they definitely lean towards pop-punk, listen to some early Fall Out Boy) hitting the charts and amassing sizeable fan bases, however there was a whole movement that no doubt influenced the bands we’re seeing today, with their own brands of catchy, fast pop punk with its roots in the speed and energy of punk, paired with the pop sensibilities needed to cross over and appeal to a wider audience. So with this in mind I thought I’d have a bit of a throwback to my youth and pick out 12 bands that I feel helped shape the sound of Pop-punk today. Most of these bands are still around today, and their earlier output definitely laid the blueprints for present day pop-punk bands. Feel free to disagree, and even suggest bands that you think I’ve missed. Let's start this nostalgia sesh:
Perhaps one of the best pop-punk bands from the early 2000s, and one of the most successful bands to come from the Drive Thru Records label when the emo / pop-punk era was in full swing (just a few others include Finch, The Early November, The Movielife, Hidden in Plain View, Allister; I could go on all day). This is the opening track from their 2002 album Sticks and Stones, and one of the best songs to open their live sets with, as they did almost every time I saw them after this album was released. I think I'm going to catch their UK tour in November, which would make it the twenty-somethingth time I've seen them live.
We step forward a bit to 2005 for the next song, Honestly by the incredibly talented Cartel. I really wanted to use the first track off their album Chroma, but Spotify only has Honestly and Save Us. It’s still a great song, so nothing to worry about here.
Another Drive Thru Records band, I got into Fenix TX because Mark Hoppus mentioned them in an interview once and everything blink-182 said I took as gospel back in the early 2000s. This song is the opener from their second album Lechuza, released in 2001, and as you can probably tell from the title is written about the actress Phoebe Cates, an actress who starred in a stack of 1980s and early 1990s teen movies such as Gremlins, Fast Times at Ridgemount High, Baby Sister, and Drop Dead Fred.
What first appears to set Yellowcard apart from the pop-punk pack is the fact that they have a violinist in their band, but under the surface they tick along much like any of the others in this list. However, they’ve a fantastic knack for crafting perfectly written pop songs, with Way Away proving to be one of their best examples so don't take that as a negative.
For me, Something Corporate was criminally underrated back in the early 2000s. Vocalist, and Pianist Andrew McMahon is insanely talented and their second record North had some great songs on it, really well written and produced. I’ve gone with a single from North, Space, but I could’ve chosen anything because the songs are all so great. McMahon also had another band called Jack’s Mannequin and they were amazing. Bonus: Check out Dark Blue by Jack’s Mannequin:
No list like this would be complete without Jimmy Eat World, one of the best emo bands to grace the earth. There are so many great songs that I could choose from, and I’ve gone with one I’ve been listening to a lot recently, which is from the album Bleed American (which later had its named changed to be self-titled after the events of 9/11). So simple, yet so good, just listen and learn.
One of my favourite bands, Saves the Day were another group that continually knocked out great pop-punk records in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with most people citing Through Being Cool as their favourite, and I’m the same. This is a great song and one that I always listen to in the summer. I can't write an article about pop-punk without mentioning their song Shoulder to the Wheel, either:
Another Drive Thru Records band, The Movielife released one of my favourite pop-punk EPs in the shape of …has a Gambling Problem. Fast and punky, the five tracks on the EP seemed to be over far too quickly, and I’m sure I almost wore out my CD copy of this. They released three albums before calling it a day; vocalist Vinnie went on to form I Am the Avalanche, while guitarist Brandon Reilly formed Nightmare of You. I remember deciding to make the two hour drive into London one day to catch the Movielife at the Mean Fiddler (a now sadly defunct music venue in central London) an hour before the doors opened and it was one of the best gigs I've seen.
Hands down the single biggest influence on my teens, blink-182 managed to get pop-punk into homes all around the world, and without even trying. Although everyone will remember All the Small Things as the song that really broke blink-182 in the UK, they’d had a steady following in the US for a few years and they already knew and loved songs like Josie, which is from their 1997 album Dude Ranch. The video that was shot for this song still makes me laugh today:
I got into the Ataris after buying a CD of theirs just because I loved the cover art (this was back in the day, before you could download an album in five seconds), and after listening I quickly bought a few more records. This song would always go down an absolute treat at their shows, and you get my nod of approval if you can name the film from which the song title comes from (hint: it was an excellent film).
I’ve thrown this one into the mix because there was a period in the early to mid-2000s where it felt like every single pop punk band was covering songs, mainly from 80s teen movies. This lead to a series of ‘Punk goes…’ compilations, including Punk goes Pop, Punk goes 80s, and so on and so forth. I always liked The Starting Line’s EP, and this is on it, so here you go. Everyone loves a cover version, right?
If you want to see where the musical cues for some of One Direction’s songs come from then look no further than Fall Out Boy. These were the guys who ushered in a whole new era of pop punk, before taking things to the next level and becoming a full on, bona fide rock band. Whether the influences in One Direction’s song were intentional or not, you can listen to the FOB album Take This to Your Grave and make your own decision. Now, make sure you listen to this playlist in all of its (New Found) glory:
If you think I’ve made some glaring errors and missed out some of pop-punk’s best songs and bands then let me know in the comments, or find me on Twitter. Maybe we can create the ultimate pop punk playlist together!