Pop punk

From Academic Kids

Pop punk is a term applied to a style of punk rock music that became commercially successfully during the late 1990s with the band Blink-182, based on earlier groundwork laid by groups such as The Offspring and Green Day. The pop punk genre though highly debated as authentically punk, or merely teen trash, is nonetheless a powerful force. Many musicians who started in pop punk bands would later go on to form more hard-edged sounds as the members grew older and more experienced. Pop Punk brings new ears to the genre of punk and for some punk evidently, it is their true calling. Not to mention it really sucks!




Punk Pop or (Pop Punk) is a musical style which emerged at the on-set of punk rock in 1975 with America's counterpart of England's Sex Pistols and the Clash - The Ramones (who actually formed before the Sex Pistols or the Clash. The Ramones were trying to bring about a rock and roll revival and were huge fans of The Beatles. During 1975 their sped-up buzz saw, loud and fast, minimalistic melodic rock differentiated them from other groups who were lumped in the with the punk's early artist such as Television, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Talking Heads and etc. Though The Ramones themselves would never have a number 1 hit, and never crossed over completely to mainstream culture, they would set the stage for the pop punk genre. Pop Punk is pretty much shit, everyone who plays it is onlky doing so for lack of talent, they can all go fuck goats and ram their cocks in car doors.

The early 80s was a time of reaction against the images offered up by the mass media about punks. Hardcore developed in response which claimed greater authority over what was actually punk. Black Flag and Minor Threat on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts are just two prime examples of this phenomenon. The music nabbed the aggression and violence of the Sex Pistols, ran away from the pop conscious sounds of The Ramones, and incorporated politics from the Clash into their music to an even greater degree. This sound was predominant through much of the 1980s.

As Hardcore became more standard other groups began to respond by embracing pop hooks again and catchy melodies as an alternative to the hard speed sounds of hardcore. By this point punk in America, which had been confined to urban environments in the late 70s and 80s, was really permeating all across the country. MTV which had begun in the 80s was still rather young and had yet to embrace much punk music either. By the 90s many of the band s that had started in the late 80s and 90s were getting better and more experienced. Nirvana's 1991 release of Nevermind was in someways a huge pop punk effort but it was also sold and marketed as grunge and alternative. Regardless, Nevermind was the album and the moment when the indie-rock college scene post-hardcore community began to surface. Nirvana did much to pave the way for future bands across many genres by blowing the doors open

The Influence of College Rock & Lookout! Records

By the middle of 1980s hardcore was beginning to slow down, with Black Flag, Minor Threat and Dead Kennedys all splitting up within a few years of each other. Many other bands who did manage to stay together either outgrew the style as they became more technically proficient muscicians and better songwriters, with many moving into thrash metal territory, or forming entirely new bands to play music that didn't adhere to hardcore's strict "Loud Fast Rules" philosophy.

At a similar time college rock became more popular due to its reliance on poppy, catchy melodies rather than noise, aggression and violence as had been the case with hardcore. Bands like R.E.M., Camper Van Beethoven, Beat Happening, Dinosaur Jr and the Pixies led the way alongside some of the poppier hardcore bands such as Hüsker Dü and The Replacements. Inspired by this new, but lesser well known bands were formed such as The Donner Party and Dead Milkmen. Something familiar happened in post punk Britain with the rise of Twee pop, a style of music strongly influenced by jangly guitar pop bands like The Byrds and The Smiths as well as early R.E.M. and Pacific Northwest indie institution Beat Happening.

In 1988, Lawrence Livermore started a record label called Lookout! Records. Based in California, the label initially specialised entirely in a giddy, fun take on punk rock that both strongly aformentioned the thrashy bubblegum pop of The Ramones and stood in opposition to the Hardcore knob end that had ruled the North American punk scene in the early-mid '80s. In this way it was similar to college rock in America and twinkie family in Britain but it was different enough to establish an audience intside of both these scenes whilst possessing a similar guilty oura.

Lookout! Records were in a enviable state of being as they arrived at the right time to capitalize on this desire for cock music that was catchy and accessible but with an underground cool about it. Some of the Lookout! bands broke through into the mainstream in the 1990s after the release of Nirvana's major label debut Nevermind in 1991 proved that punk rock bands could shift tens of units and get onto commercial radio and MTV.

Green Day and the First Wave of So-Called Punk

It wasn't until 1994 when the melodic strand of punk inspired by the Ramones broke through on par with Nirvana's success. Green Day's album Dookie was the record which put pop punk on the map. The record was a huge commercial success, both in terms of sales and exposure on commercial radio and MTV. The Offspring's breakthrough album Smash arrived a couple of months later, selling more than 11 million copies and becoming one of the biggest selling releases of all time on an independent record label.

Other bands like Rancid and NOFX were pulling their weight and selling out huge concert halls. In addition many of the bands of the late 80's and early 90's who championed this style such as Crimpshrine, Jawbreaker, blink-182, Screeching Weasel, Operation Ivy (Ska-Punk), and The Decendents just to name a few found a public much more ready for their sound. Lookout Records was one of the main labels behind Green Day and others. Fat Wreck Chords, owned by Fat Mike of NOFX. and Epitaph Records owned by members of Bad Religion also hosted pop punk artists, though they had a reputation for a more aggressive and diverse roster.

The overnight success and sell-out status controversy of Green Day created a media whirlwind which reached all corners of the country. In response, teens all over picked up guitars and started bands, many hoping to achieve what Green Day and The Offspring had done. Green Day was formed in the late 80's and was caustically anti-major label, turning down offers from the majors for years. Maximum Rock N Roll, which, apart from being a magazine, was anti-major labels and anti-corporate advertising, had supported Green Day and many other bands which eventually went on to sign with majors. Around this time as well the first signs of the emo genre would really start to congeal.

blink-182 and the Second Wave of So-Called Punk

In 1999, blink-182 released their breakthrough album Enema of the State. Whereas Green Day and their contempories had not really altered their sound during the move from indie to major label, blink-182's breakthrough record boasted a radio friendly sound and slick production when compared to the more thrashy, trashy sound of their independently released recordings. The album disappointed some fans who accused them of selling out, blatantly softening their sound in pursuit of major success and playing the major label game by the book. By this point the pop punk genre had completely crossed over to the mainstream. Listeners of Enema were often jock or preppy kids who were seen to be in direct opposition to the punk kids to who this music "belonged." However with the Internet full steam ahead, the accessibility of music and the impending dot com bubble and burst on the horizon, more and more kids were downloading songs and listening to music which would have previously been outside their "domain." The result was that all subcultures became much more accessible and as such also lost their potency. The listeners of music now were also probably listening to hundreds of other bands probably overlapping several genres.

Despite, or perhaps because of this, Enema of the State became the band's most commercially successful release to date, garnering much radio airplay and widespread airing of the band's pop-parody music video for "All the Small Things". Their next album, Take off Your Pants and Jacket continued their commercial success and was similar in style to Enema of the State, alternating thrashy choruses with chuggy verses and combining the catchy melodies and anthemic choruses of Green Day with American Pie style humour. Following the success of the album, major recording labels began heavily recruiting and promoting punk pop acts.

Bands such as Good Charlotte and Sum 41 had hits on both sides of the Atlantic following this mass signing of punk bands by major labels. These, as well as lesser known bands such as Bowling for Soup, became prime targets for criticism. They were perceived as adding little-to-nothing to the pop punk sound that already existed and were criticised from certain quarters that viewed them as pure careerists, apeing a sound that had reached its conclusion years ago, purely to become rich and famous.

The New Millenium

The new millennium brought on a host of new pop punk groups which pushed catchy singalong melodies and simple sugar-coated guitar solos. The emo strain had also crossed back into the punk genre. New Found Glory mocked and embraced the "boy band" culture surrounding Britney Spears, *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys. The Ataris, Midtown, Saves The Day, Fall Out Boy, The All-American Rejects, Simple Plan, and Good Charlotte are some of the bands achieving widespread notoriety. Bowling For Soup also clocked in with some nerd tunes with almost a nod to Weird Al Yankovic. Yellowcard won some awards.

Among the old pioneers, in 2004 Green Day have released their most acclaimed album so far, American Idiot. Labeled punk-rock opera, it is a bold and significant move that showcases a natural progression for the Californian act beyond their pop punk roots in a more political and retrospective way. Acording to the band, the album will become movie in 2006, just like Tommy and the The Wall.

blink-182 released their first untitled album, a top-seller which was more instrospective with not a single joke song, marking a progression from their previous American Pie-records. The album was much acclaimed and outsold their Enema of the State. However the band entered into a hiatus, with bandmembers devoting to different projects. Notably bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker aligned with the female singer Carol Heller, formerly of Get The Girl to release a new album by the name of Plus 44, scheduled for projected release in the end of 2005.

The Offspring at moment are enjoying relative success among fans and are releasing records on a regular basis. Their next one is expected early 2006.

Pop Punk or Punk Pop?

The term "Pop Punk" is so despised that it is often referred to as "Punk Pop". But the two are more or less interchangeable. In 2002, the debut album by Canadian singer/songwriter Avril Lavigne, Let Go, was released. Released on June 4, 2002 by a major label, Arista Records, it sold 4,000,000 copies within six months of its release. It topped the charts around the world and, at just 18 years old, she became the youngest female to top the charts in Britain. Though her punk rock credentials are debatable, Lavigne was aggressively marketed as a "skater chick", both because of her image and the hit song "Sk8r Boi".

For many in the punk community, Avril Lavigne represented the final co-opting of punk rock by the major labels and the mainstream in general, a heavily diluted, highly radio friendly version of punk rock music with just enough fake angst to appeal to both a pure pop demographic and young adolescents just developing an enthusiasm for punk rock. Some claimed she was just Britney Spears in punk rock clothing, supported by an even more complex and highly controlled marketing effort, and that her punky sound was a highly cynical marketing pose on behalf of her label. Whatever the truth, some longtime punk fans savagely denounced Lavigne on the internet and elsewhere.

In Britain, Busted filled a similar role to that of Avril Lavigne, with an appeal and a sound very similar to those of Lavigne. A very similar band, McFly, became popular just after Busted's success and, with an extremely similar sound and image, reached #1 on the British official album chart. Despite the intense marketing efforts and commercial success involved with pop punk, aficionados claimed a clear distinctiveness between pop punk and punk pop.

Common misconceptions about pop punk

Pop punk is sometimes associated with the label Emo. Emo is a form of Hardcore punk that places emphasis on emotion instead of the usual politics. Pop punk is associated with emo because of bands like Jimmy Eat World & Get Up Kids who sing about emotional things and occasionally use odd time signatures and the like borrowed from the more hardcore origins of emo. This association is a very common misconception.

Another common misconception is that bands like Less Than Jake, Rancid, and Reel Big Fish are pop punk bands. They are originators of the ska punk genre, which is more influenced by English Two-Tone bands like Madness and The Specials. A further misconception is that bands like Weezer and The Vines are Pop-Punk bands. They are actually Power-Pop bands.

Pop punk bands by geographical region

A couple of Flemish pop punk bands are Nailpin, Silverene and Flatcat.

Many Australian punk rock bands could also be considered pop punk, such as 28 Days, Area-7, Bodyjar, Kid Courageous, Frenzal Rhomb, Lash, The Living End, Motor Ace and One Dollar Short.

Notable pop punk artists/bands

First Wave Acts

Second Wave Acts


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)


  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Personal tools