After the success of our best post rock bands article, we’ve took on another challenge… finding the best pop-punk /punk rock bands to have ever graced our ears with the fast paced sound chalked full of energy.
And while you’re reading why not listen to our playlist of the best pop-punk here on Youtube?
We’ve had to whittle the list down a bit, so if your favourite isn’t on the list just get involved in the comments below and we’ll add them.
With the release of their 34th single earlier this year called ‘Coming For You‘, The Offspring are still going strong after more than 30 years of recording and performing at the top level.
Whilst their sound has developed to a more mainstream crowd-pleasing one, their take-no-prisoners attitude remains. For truly great punk rock take a listen to their album Smash, which along with Ixnay is one of their best albums.
They’re still rocking out today, and their discography spans over 20 years.
Billie Joe Armstrong and co. lead the way with modern pop-punk rock in the 90’s and 00’s.
‘Basket Case‘ was their breakthrough track, constantly played on Kerrang, it was a song that everybody knew. The album from which the track came from was arguably their best – ‘Dookie‘. The tracklist includes ‘When I come Around’, ‘She’, and ‘Welcome to Paradise’.
Their next album Insomnia came and went without much hurrah and Green Day began to fade. That was until Nimrod arrived with possibly one of the most iconic songs of the 90’s – ‘Good Riddance‘.
Originally called Blink, a name shared by an Irish band at the time, the group added 182 on the end. But what does it stand for? Any clues? Well, apparently (because I haven’t personally counted) it was the number of times that the word ‘fuck’ was used in Scarface.
Blink 182 were definitely one of the trendsetters in the genre, calling to punk for their rebellious tongue in cheek attitude – you just have to take a look at their single: ‘All the small things‘ too see they oozed fun. They had it all: catchy guitar riffs, in-your-face vocals, and some amazing music videos. ‘Enema of the State‘ and ‘Take off your Pants and Jacket’ are probably two of the best pop-punk rock albums that you could ever listen to, and if you’re new to the genre I urge you to start there.
Sum 41 are a Canadian rock band from Ajax, Ontario in Canada, formed back in 1996.
Their breakout single ‘Fat Lip’ optimised 2001 and their album All Killer No Filler is up there with the best pop-punk albums of the 2000s. The big songs from the album alongside ‘Fat Lip’ were ‘In Too Deep’ and ‘Pain For Pleasure’.
A random fact for you – all the guys, including their manager Greig Nori, have a tattoo of the number “41” on their right arm just above their elbow. They’ve recently played their comeback show at the Alternate Press Awards in July 2015, which featured former lead guitarist Dave Baksh, joining them on stage, 9 years after leaving the band – watch this space, as Sum 41 aren’t done just yet.
The Ataris are a band with a big following, but perhaps never quite realised their potential in the long term. The Ataris released ‘So Long, Astoria‘ in 2003, which was perhaps their culmination of all of their work to this point. The album featured well known tracks including ‘The Boys of Summer’, ‘The Saddest Song’, and ‘Eight of Nine’. The album was well received and kicked them in to the main stream.
It is a shame that after arguably their best album, they decided to split in 2004. They made a comeback in 2007, with ‘Welcome the Night’, but the album lacked stand-out singles and compared to their previous album was a bit of a let down. So long, Ataris.
NOFX are one of those bands which you either love or hate. They have a massive cult following and delivered so many memorable albums and tracks. The band rose to popularity back in 1994 with their fifth studio album ‘Punk in Drublic’, and their last album ‘Self Entitled’ was released fairly recently in 2012 and is well worth a listen. The opening track entitled ’72 Hookers’ is a tongue in cheek look at how hookers can lead to peace, with lines such as ‘when everybody’s getting blowjobs, we’ll finally have world peace’. Hats off chaps.
Rancid are another punk rock band formed in Berkeley, California and were founded in 1991 by bypunk veterans Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman, previously of ska punk band Operation Ivy. Along with Green Day and The Offspring, they are often heralded as helping to revive punk rock in the US.
Their most recognisable album is probably ‘…And Out Come the Wolves’, which features tracks including ‘Time Bomb’, ‘Roots Radicals’ and ‘Ruby Soho’.
Fall Out Boy
Despite returning in 2013 with ‘Save Rock and Roll’, after a hiatus and fairly unsuccessful solo stints, Fall Out Boy are mainly known for their smash hits ‘Sugar, We’re Goin Down’, ‘Dance, Dance’ and ‘This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race’. Songs which are still heard today on every decent punk rock playlist!
Unfortunately Fall Out Boy, to me, are an almost band. They had some cracking singles and a good debut album in ‘Take This to Your Grave’, but they never seemed to gain enough momentum to hit the big time of the likes of Green Day, Offspring and Blink 182.
Rise Against was formed under the name Transistor Revolt back in 1999, releasing a self titled EP before changing their name to “Rise Against” in 2001 and released their first album ‘The Unraveling’.
Rise Against signed onto DreamWorks Records in December 2003 and recorded their third album, Siren Song of the Counter Culture, in 2004 which proved to be a big hit with punk rock fans, featuring ‘Give it all’ and ‘Swing Life Away’.
Known by many for their hit cover of ’99 Red Balloons’, and often appearing on the soundtrack of Tony Hawk and Gran Turismo games, the Californian ska punk band are currently formed of John Feldmann, Darrin Pfeiffer, Kelly LeMieux and Charlie Paulson.
The band have some top albums, including their debut album ‘Goldfinger’ (1996), ‘Stomping Ground’ (2000) and ‘Open Your Eyes’ (2002). The band are still going today, with their latest single ‘Am I Deaf’ being released in 2013, but their new album is apparently still in the works.
Jimmy Eat World
Punk rockers and non punk rockers will all remember one of the anthems of 2001/2002 ‘The Middle’, which was not only their breakout single, but is still the band’s biggest single to date.
Formed in 1993, 2001 saw them break in to the mainstream with ‘Bleed American’, featuring ‘The Middle’ as their lead single. The album has been listed as one of the best albums from the year and is often mentioned when discussing the best punk-pop albums of all time.
Bowling for Soup
Bowling for Soup are back! Originally formed in Texas in 1994, the charismatic foursome are returning to the UK in February 2016, so keep an eye out for tickets. They released their second album ‘Drunk Enough to Dance’ in 2002, which featured the hit single ‘Girl All The Bad Guys Want’. Their tongue in cheek attitude, mixed with punchy, memorable lyrics have earnt them cult status amongst fans.
‘A Hangover You Don’t Deserve’ was the most successful album for the band, earning a gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of America. Bowling for Soup have sold over 1 million albums since they begun over 20 years ago.
Often cited as the first band to define the punk rock sound, Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in Queens.
Despite not receiving all as much success during their career as they might have warranted, they influenced almost all of the bands on the list and are one of the reasons behind the punk rock movement in the ’80s and ’90s. Ramones played their final show on August 6, 1996, at the Palace in Hollywood and released their final album ‘¡Adios Amigos!’ in 1995. Take a listen to ‘We’re Outta Here’ to hear some of their best tracks.
Formed in 1980 in Los Angeles, the American punk rock band influenced many modern day bands with their religious and political lyrics. Also known for their 3 way vocal harmonies, one of their best known track is ‘American Jesus’.
In 2013 they released a Christmas album called ‘Christmas Songs’ – make sure to stick it on in your office this Christmas to bring a bit of punk-rock flavour in to the festive season.
The drummer has recently left, and with their last tour being September in 2014, are Bad Religion finally finished after 35 years?
As with other artists on this list Pennywise are known for their anti-authoritarian stance. ‘Fuck Authority’ is an obvious example and a damn good track.
If you fancy listening to an album, their ninth studio album is one of my favourites, titled ‘Reason to Believe’ and their classic ‘Full Circle’
And if you’ve got this far then thanks for sticking around and please feel free to let us know your favourite artists, albums and songs and keep the discussion going. Long live the best pop-punk / punk rock!
Coming soon to the list:
& Alkaline Trio