The 411 Music Top Five 9.11.12: The Top 5 Pop Punk Bands
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 09.11.2012
From Green Day and Blink 182 to The Offspring and more, 411's Jeremy Thomas counts down the top 5 pop punk bands of all time!
THE TOP 5 POP PUNK BANDS
NOTE: I don't consider a lot of classic punk bands to be "pop punk." For the purposes of this list, the genre is defined as a fusion of pop music's melodies and punk's sound. There is one exception on the classic punk rule which I will explain why below.
Honorable Mention: The Ataris, Jimmy Eat World, Unwritten Law
5. Sum 41
Sum 41 is a band that I kind of think is underrated, largely because of their pop punk past. The group has moved away from that, but the fact remains that pop punk is a genre that is viewed with disdain by "pure punk" fans because it seems to run contrary to the whole point and spirit of punk. Why would you want to make punk music sound more mainstream? Because that's the direction the music takes you, of course. The band has gone back and forth in and out of the subgenre but its best work has always been within it, where they seem more comfortable. Just look at their biggest hit, "Fatlip," which is a landmark song of the '90s pop punk movement. Even if you don't like the genre, you have to admit this is a ridiculously catchy and entertaining song.
4. The Offspring
Hey, remember when we all thought The Offspring was killer hardcore music? Well, a lot of people I knew thought it at least. There's no denying that the group has lost its edge lately, particularly with their subpar album this year. But the fact remains that at their height, no one did pop punk better than The Offspring. From more badass songs like "Come Out and Play" to humorous stuff like "Pretty Fly For a White Guy" and "Why Don't You Get a Job," these guys were at the forefront of the pop punk revival and for good reason. Truth be told, "The Kids Are All Right" is one of my absolute favorite songs from any of the bands on this list.
3. Blink 182
I've never known someone who was middle of the road about Blink 182. Either you loved the hell out of them or you absolutely hated them. I've always been in the former. Throughout the years, many groups have drifted away from pop punk as it became "uncool" to like the genre and chart success began to wane. Blink 182 has always stayed true to the genre and as a result, they pretty much own it. They never treated it with the kind of disdain that other groups have and basically became poster boys for the genre. In the meantime, they also did some pretty kick-ass songs that, like The Offspring, ranged from the funny ("Dammit") to the rebellious ("Feeling It") to the deadly serious ("Adam's Song").
2. Green Day
You knew they were making it on the list somewhere. Blink 182 may be the poster boys of pop punk but Green Day is the banner for the genre. Sure, the group has leaned away from the label at times but their music has always been part of the genre and often when they changed their sound, pop punk followed to some degree. Green Day has become the most successful group in the genre and they have stayed relevant far longer than anyone would have imagined to boot.
1. The Ramones
Here's the one exception. While the Ramones are not "pop punk" in the way that many of their successors are, they paved the way for the genre without any doubt. And to be frank, they're a hell of a lot better musically than pretty much all of those who came after them. It's almost unfortunate that they never saw the mainstream success of those bands they inspired, because they deserved it by taking the genre and adding elements that would help it to survive throughout the years. Punk fans may turn their noses up at pop punk, but its success helped the form survive throughout the years and they have the Ramones to thank for that.
The Final Word
As always, the last thoughts come from you, the reader. We're merely unpaid monkeys with typewriters and Wikipedia. Here's what you need to do: List your Top Five for this week's topic on the comment section using the following format:
5. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
4. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
3. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
2. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
1. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it