With the year winding down and no huge pop-punk releases on the radar in the near future, I thought I’d go through my top 5 albums of the year for the genre. Let’s do it to it.
5. The Story So Far – Self-Titled
I’ll be honest, this record had to grow on me. The
Story So Far’s third offering sounded like it was too much of the same, like
the band didn’t show enough growth from their previous albums. I still do think
that to a certain extent, but eventually the album just kind of clicked with
me. The lead single, “Nerve”, and songs like “Heavy Gloom” will get your blood
pumping with vocalist Parker Cannon’s machine gun-like delivery of scathing
lyrics. Hopefully in the future they’ll mix it up a little bit, but for the
time being you can still count on The Story So Far to make you feel a little bit
better about that breakup you’re probably going through.
4. Knuckle Puck – Copacetic
Copacetic is a solid release from Chicago’s
Knuckle Puck. After a string of excellent EP’s, the band finally released their
first full-length this year. Relatively new to the scene, there’s no doubt the
band will see a rise in popularity due to killer tracks like “Pretense” and “Disdain”.
The songs are angsty, emotional, and hard-hitting. The one criticism I have is
that I don’t love the production on the album. I think it’s a little
over-produced. Nonetheless, it’s totes worth a listen if you love pop-punk with
a hardcore influence.
3. Neck Deep – Life’s Not Out to Get You
This is about as “pop-punk” of a record as you
can get. I like the message in the album title. Maybe it’s the demographic, but
sometimes it seems like bands in this genre are in a competition to see who can
feel the sorriest for themselves, so it’s nice to see a decidedly mature
message from Wales’ Neck Deep. They’re definitely the UK’s flagship band in
the pop-punk scene, and that won’t be changing any time soon with this fun
2. The Wonder Years – No Closer to Heaven
I’m biased because I think The Wonder Years are
far and away the best band in the pop-punk genre this decade, but this is
definitely one of my favorite albums of the year. No Closer to Heaven is their 5th
album and you get the sense that the boys from South Philly have grown up quite
a bit. Vocalist and lyricist Dan “Soupy” Campbell yet again crafts incredible
lyrics, showcased on songs like “Cigarettes and Saints”. This is not a
feel-good record, far heavier than their previous releases in both lyrical
content and instrumentation.
1. Turnover – Peripheral Vision
I feel like it’s cheating to put this album on a
pop-punk list, but Turnover started out as a pop-punk band, so we’re going with
it. Peripheral Vision, the band’s third album, is just fantastic. There’s no
other way to say it. What’s amazing is that it’s such a huge departure from
their previous work. It’s almost as if The Cure and Title Fight had a baby. Haunting lyrics
and swirling dream pop-esque guitars combine to make one of the most
interesting records of the year. Do yourself a big favor and give it a listen.