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Pop Punk

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Primary Stylistic Influences:
Secondary Stylistic Influences:
Tertiary Stylistic Influences (on the late 2010s/2020s Pop Punk revival):

Pop punk is Punk Rock at its most accessible.

Perhaps the first ever pop punk band were the Ramones, who melded the simplicity of rock'n'roll with breakneck speed, but maintained enough pop sensibilities to achieve great acclaim and cult status.

Other bands, namely the Descendents, played a significant part in the influence of bands in Southern California who made up the '90s punk revival, such as Bad Religion, Pennywise, NOFX, The Offspring, and Rancid. Many of these bands were also part of a subgenre called skate punk, which combined pop punk melodies with the speed of Hardcore Punk (having started out as a straight up hardcore subgenre) and thrash/surf inspired riffs, and as the name suggests were associated with skateboarding subculture.

Bands like this played a large part in influencing Green Day, who premiered at 924 Gilman Street, Oakland, a renowned all ages venue, and went on to break the genre into the mainstream in 1994 with their seminal album Dookie. Later on, blink-182's push into modern rock superstars with Enema of the State would further cement the genre's mainstream success, with their ultra-glossy production style and sugary-sweet songwriting being widely imitated by the artists who came after. After the mainstream success of pop punk, certain parts of the punk subculture started applying a "Pop punk, not punk" mentality to the genre, claiming that putting the style of music for sale was an anti-punk action and therefore not "true" punk, a mentality that would become especially pronounced after the release of Enema of the State.

During the mid-2000s, pop punk largely supplanted the late '90s-to-early '00s Boy Band craze. Young female listeners flocked to pop punk bands for largely the same reasons why they were into boy bands. They weren't without detractors, but since they were formed organically, not by a label, and actually wrote their own songs and played their own instruments, they had much more artistic credibility than boy bands ever did, and were much more appealing to males.note 

In the 2010s, pop punk had passed its peak in terms of commercial success, though was still fairly active in the underground. Pop punk acts such as Man Overboard are insistent that the genre is required to be defended at all times, mainly from jerky hipsters and elitist hardcore punkers, as part of a larger scene termed Defend Pop Punk, incorporating elements of melodic hardcore and emo. "Easycore" is another development that fuses the genre with melodic hardcore and metalcore; the genre was largely created by A Day to Remember and Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!, and while the former has since grown into a major act, the easycore genre itself largely fizzled out by the mid-2010s, with only I Prevail finding anywhere close to the success of A Day to Remember. In The New '20s, however, a significant revival movement cropped up through social media platforms such as TikTok, and artists such as Machine Gun Kelly and Olivia Rodrigo started incorporating pop punk into their music.

In order to dodge the classification, many pop punk bands claim to be "Power Pop" instead. Don't believe them. There is also some overlap with the emo genre, which combines elements of this with Post-Hardcore and emotional, relationship-oriented lyrics, although many bands are resistant to the label due to the internet giving it negative connotations. Form your own opinions on whether a band is emo or not — it really doesn't matter in the long run.

The Sundae has divided pop-punk into seven ages: The Blueprint (0-1993 - melodic punk like the Ramones, Buzzcocks); The Big Bang (1994-1999 - formative music like Weezer, Green Day); Y2K (2000-2003 - TRL-bait commercial punk like blink-182, Sum 41); the Emo era (2004-2008 - post-American Idiot conceptual fare like Panic! at the Disco, My Chemical Romance); the New Administration/Retreat (2009-2012 - a last hurrah for the style, Paramore, The Wonder Years); "Pop Punk Is Over" (2013-2018 - existing bands diversify from the style) and the Pop-Punk Revival (2019-present - Millennial/Zoomer pastiche of the genre, Olivia Rodrigo, Machine Gun Kelly).

Bands and artists generally agreed to be pop-punk include:


Video Example(s):


Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy are a pop-punk band from Illinois, home of Screeching Weasel, Naked Raygun, Alkaline Trio, the Smoking Popes, and Cheap Trick. The band consists of Patrick Stump (vocals, rhythm guitar), Joe Trohman (lead guitar), Pete Wentz (bassist, lyricist), and Andy Hurley (drums). They have currently released seven albums and have had better than a dozen singles total.

The song used as an example is "Sugar, We're Goin Down."

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