Hey! I’m back! I’m finally making posts again after a nightmare-ish week I had last week. Since it’s the Monday before finals week where I go to school, I thought I would do another fun Top 10 list to liven up the week. These are 10 of my favorite modern pop punk songs. By “modern” I mean this sort of new age of pop punk that’s hit the Warped Tour scene with bands like Neck Deep, The Story So Far, Real Friends, etc. I could easily see some of you guys disagreeing with me, so as per usual, I’d love to discuss in the comments what you guys think about my picks!
10) Stupid For You – Waterparks
I’m starting the list off with a bit of a reach, I’ll be honest. I think in the past year or two, pop punk has began to shift in a new direction with bands like Waterparks getting introduced into the scene. While they aren’t nearly as aggressive or “pit-worthy” as some of the other bands on this list later, this song really bridges the pop and punk gap with it’s upbeat pop instrumentation but also punk-y, alternative rhythm. Give this song a listen and it will definitely grow on you like it did for me.
9) Guts – Homesafe
Again, this is another song that is a bit of a reach, but just hear me out before you’re quick to judge! This more alternative, edgy, almost grungy style has been really popular lately in the pop punk/emo scene and Homesafe has been blowing up consequently. Hearing this song live is absolutely incredible because Tyler’s screaming vocals really come alive and the crowd goes totally bananas. This is leaning a lot more on the punk side of pop punk, but if you’re a fan of bands like Life Lessons or Knuckle Puck, you’ll love these Chicago natives too.
8) Distant – Like Pacific
Like Pacific opened up for State Champs and Neck Deep on their world tour and has only grown in popularity since then. Their sound encompasses that classic modern pop punk style that’s more common in the rest of the songs you’ll see in this list. Distant was the first song I really got into by them and I think what’s unique about it compared to other pop punk songs is that Jordan’s vocals really range from being that gravely punk style, to being a little more soft and showing some diversity in the track. If you aren’t on board with Like Pacific yet, you better get familiar – they’re only going up from here.
7) Heavy Gloom – The Story So Far
A list of modern pop punk songs wouldn’t be complete without something from The Story So Far. There are a lot of great tunes this band has put out but my favorite by far is Heavy Gloom. I’m not sure if it’s Kelen’s bass line driving the song or if it’s the flawless second verse (try singing it in one breath, it’s literally the hardest thing you’ll ever try to do), but in the first listen to their self-titled album, I was immediately drawn to this song. The chorus is perfect to finger-point along to and will be a great track to blast this summer and sing with all your friends.
6) Yer Killin’ Me – Remo Drive
In the past 6 months, this local Minneapolis band has blew up in the pop punk scene. This was the leading single from their first album release Greatest Hits and it burst onto the scene so fast. I’ve been listening to Remo Drive for over a year and loved that they’re bringing a new, more experimental sound to pop punk. Their songs are filled with unique guitar tones and nothing is boring about any of their tracks. They all have plenty of variation to keep you guessing as to what comes next. This next year is going to be huge for them, I can already see it!
5) Anchor Down – Real Friends
Again, this is another band that I couldn’t not include in a modern pop punk list. Real Friends was one of the first pop punk bands that I got into back in 2013/2014 and this was one of the first songs by them that I fell in love with. There’s something about that opening line that’s just isolated before the rest of the band kicks in with the typical fast-paced sound they’re known for. Nothing beats the crowd vocals that come in on the “fuck the past, and everyone that dragged you here!” part when this song is played live. Such a banger.
4) Critical – State Champs
State Champs put out The Finer Things in 2013 and there is not a single bad song on that record. Critical just happens to be my favorite because there’s something about the “You’re crying, I’m not trying” in the chorus that I absolutely love. I’ve only been lucky enough to hear this song when they performed it on the AP World Tour and haven’t heard it since (despite how often I’ve tried to get them to play it). It’s a good throwback song that’s critically underrated. (no pun intended, even though I wish it was)
3) Pretense – Knuckle Puck
In the past few months I’ve gotten really into Knuckle Puck because they’re my best friend’s favorite band and I’ve seen them quite a bit recently because of it. Pretense has been the song they’ve been using as their closer and it’s the perfect way for them to round out their set. This is one of the faster tracks on Copacetic that’s a perfect modern pop punk song because of high tempo drum line that picks up even more in the second verse before Nick’s solo. That’s the best part of seeing the song live: when Nick jumps down from the stage and gets in the crowd to sing his section of the part. People crowdsurf and pit to get up there and sing in the mic, it pops off like no other.
2) Came Out Swinging – The Wonder Years
If you’re a fan of pop punk and this song isn’t one of the most played in your Spotify/iTunes…what are you doing? When I was first getting into pop punk, I remember seeing the lyrics to this song all over tumblr in gifs and edited onto photos so I had to listen to it. The song starts out kind of quiet as all the instruments are coming in but once Soupy’s vocals hit, you can almost feel the energy shift into something much heavier and powerful. The song just elicits that raw emotion that a good pop punk song does, full of angst and pent up frustration. Then when the song is getting to the end, and Soupy’s vocals get soft at the first “Came out swinging from a South Philly basement…” part, it’s like everyone is getting ready to lose their minds when it hits again with the full band.
1) Tables Turned – Neck Deep
If anyone ever asked me to send them a song that perfectly summed up pop punk in my eyes, this is what I would send them. If you’ve heard this song before then you know exactly what I mean when I say that. I won’t blabber on and I’ll let the song speak for itself if you give it a listen.