“They say I gotta respect the system, but there ain’t no respect in that system for me” – Lost and Found by The Saints
The return of Pop Punk
I don’t think the kids and teens of today will ever truly understand the lengths some of us in the 2000s went to to identify with our favourite music genre. We all had at least a phase of wishing Brendon Urie was our husband (still do); and given the copious amounts of (detailed) fan fiction written about Gerard Way I’d say we were pretty obsessed. It was a moment in time defined by thick pink streaks in our hair, studded belts and myspace.
But there was so much more to it. Young people were feeling trapped and beaten by a system that was not designed for their creative and revolutionary minds; which wouldn’t listen to them. Much the same is happening now with the stigmatisation of mental illness and the removal of basic human rights for people in protected groups, so people want to spit in the face of authority once again.
While pop/rock punk music originated in the 70s with bands and artists such as Blondie, The Police and The Jam; the pop/rock punk music I am referring to is to the more mainstream 90s-2000s music. I’m talking about Avril Lavigne, Fallout Boy, Panic! At the Disco, My Chemical Romance, Blink-182…. I could go on for ages. I think I speak for a lot of us pop/rock punk lovers from that time when I say that the last few years have been really gratifying in terms of the sounds that have returned, especially in the charts.
Personally, I believe this all started with the return of Busted and Paramore; controversial, but I stand by it. We’ve had a good constant flow from Panic! At the Disco throughout the years which is always a favourite of mine; and we’ve also had Machine Gun Kelly move over to the genre (we shall not speak of the Rap Devil era), which if you have not listened to Tickets to my Downfall yet strap in and get ready for a journey back to 2009. MGK also kindly mentored jxdn and now it seems like our music isn’t going away any time soon.
We have new artists who are making a splash by using the pop/rock punk sound and modifying it and crossing it with other genres such as rap and creating the new world pop punk sound. Artists such as YUNGBLUD, jxdn, Don Broco and even Halsey has given us some punky moments recently (featured in Tickets to my Downfall which, wow).
This genre has repeated its initial cycle to the mainstream. In the 70s, the genre emerged from the underground scene and was popular amongst the people who considered themselves the underdogs, the silenced and the deviant.
This music was like a massive scream in the face of any authority figure who stood against self-expression. It them grew in the underground scene and quickly gained popularity as the feeling of needing to rebel was strong amongst the young. It celebrated the need of self expression and denounced those who wished to silence those voices.
Voices who spoke out about substance abuse, love and suburbia. Nowadays these themes are very much still there, though today’s artists also speak out about LGBTQ+ rights, abuse, and mental health.
Whether you’re new to the genre or still listen to the classics, there’s always somethings for any one of us when it comes to music. Some people may reject the newer sound of pop punk but I believe that the merging of genres is what’s needed to carry the message forward.
Older pop punk / punk rock albums to listen to:
Black Parade – MCR
Infinity on High – Fallout Boy
From Under the Cork Tree – Fallout boy (couldn’t pick just one)
A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out- Panic! at the Disco
Riot! – Paramore
Green Day – American Idiot
A Hangover You Don’t Deserve – Bowling for Soup
Nothing Personal – All Time Low
Let Go – Avril Lavigne
Enema of the State- Blink-182
If you enjoyed these back in the day you might also like these newer releases:
Tickets to my Downfall – MGK (listen to it and I’ll shut up about it)
Weird! – YUNGBLUD
Death of a Batchelor – Panic! at the Disco
Tell Me about Tomorrow – jxdn
Teatro d’ira: Vol. 1 – Måneskin
Technology – Don Broco
and basically anything Travis Barker has featured in.