Friday 27 January 2017

The Best Pop Punk and Punk Rock songs of the 90s and 00s

When you’re coming towards 30, it’s easy to look back at your teenage music taste and say “what was I thinking”. Frankly, we never did. You put the three of us in a car for any amount of time and guaranteed one or two of these songs are going to get played.

Hopefully this post will bring back a few memories of watching Kerrang! in your parent’s living room, because that’s we first heard all of these songs.

10. My Friends Over You by New Found Glory – 2002

Firstly, a lot of these songs aren’t just an audio feature and really need to be considered as a music video. Pop Punk/Punk Rock is rarely a profound musical experience, but taking the video into account you get a much better picture of why these were so popular.

“My Friends Over You” is a brilliant example of this. The song is ok, catchy but nothing special. However, the video adds a layer of comedy and energy that you don’t see in many other music genres.

9. Gives you Hell by All American Rejects – 2008

Having done some research, All American Rejects were a lot bigger thing than I had understood. They are little after my Pop Punk teenage years but I do like this track.

This is on of those "down with the normals" kind of songs, which over time has lost its edge, especially as most people who were into this now work in normal 9 to 5 jobs...

8. Dance, Dance by Fall Out Boy – 2005

While I was never a big fan of Fall Out Boy, it would stupid to create a list of Pop Punk songs without including them. They were Massive.

Fall Out Boy came to me during the Emo wave of music and attitude and I think I just assumed it was all the same and never bothered with it.

However, this song is quite catchy and I don’t hate it, I just think this one came a little bit late for me.

7. Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus – 1994

This is a classic one hit wonder and one of the first songs I was exposed to from this genre. I think the genius of this song is in the music video, while the clips are from the unsuccessful "Loser", everyone knows the stars from American Pie which was all every teenager was talking about. Couple that with a catchy tune and some high pitch singing and you’re bound to have a winner.

It will always bug me that in the music video the guy is clearly playing an acoustic guitar, but during an electric guitar led chorus. Saying that, these days I often see guitars in music videos when there isn’t even one playing…. maybe this song started a trend.

6. Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous by Good Charlotte – 2002

Good Charlotte are one of the few bands that, while I enjoyed it in my teens, I’m not quite so keen now. This song was definitely my favourite, but it sort of loses its “down with the filthy rich” edge when you know that the lead singer married Nicole Richie from The Simple Life.  

5. Girl All the Bad Guys Want by Bowling For Soup – 2002

Bowling For Soup are probably the funniest band on this list. This catchy classic hit all the right spots from parodying the infamous feud between Slipknot and Limp Bizkit (with specific reference to Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff" music video) to referencing their teenage audiences lust for the "bad girl".

Also, which teenage Grunger didn't have a crush on the girl from this video...

4. Basket Case by Green Day – 1993

Green Day took a very different turn after their initial stint as a “rough round the edges” pop punk band. American Idiot was a good album but I think I will always prefer their earlier sound because it’s not quite as clean shaven.

3. All the Small Things by Blink 182 – 1999

Blink 182 prove without any doubt that you don’t really need to be able to sing to be the front man of a band. These guys were one of the biggest bands of my formative years (in my crowd anyway) and this song is their best one in my books.

Again, throwing lots of parodies and jokes into a music video is always a good idea which is one of the reasons I think this one was HUGE for quite a while.

2. Pretty Fly For A White Guy by The Offspring - 1998

The Offspring are one of the few bands on this list that I consider actually continued to create good music. A lot of the other songs I have talked about were great at the time, but you don't tend think, what a fantastic Band.

I'm sure people may disagree, but I think The Offspring have kept a significant quality throughout the years and if you've seen them live I think you will agree that they play a damn good show.

This song is not my absolute favourite of theirs but it definitely deserves one of the top spots in this list because it got me and my friends hooked on the band.

1. Fat Lip and In Too Deep by Sum 41 – 2001

I honestly couldn’t choose between the two of these songs, in my mind you can’t play one without instantly playing the other. All Killer No Filler was the first album I ever bought and it really kick-started my interest in music.

Sum 41 had the perfect mix of catchy tunes, easy to play riffs and a “down with the system” attitude that me and all my friends could so easily relate to (and try and play). Sum 41 may not have stood the test of time as well as some of the others on my list, however they are a damn good band and a lot of fun to listen too.

I think that these songs are the cornerstone of any Pop Punk/Punk Rock playlist and if I need a little cheering up or just an injection of nostalgia, these will be the first two songs I listen too.

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