Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Your Summer Pop-Punk Playlist 2011

Summer is here, which means warm weather. And warm weather means pop-punk. So we at Backstage Press have racked our iTunes accounts, old mix CDs and depths of the internet for the best in new, old and maybe even some forgotten about pop-punk tunes. Bump this playlist and you're bound to get your summer started off right. Enjoy.

(The Wonder Years know how to throw a summer BBQ)

Off the Pennsylvania outfit's first EP, "Harbor Water" sums up all that is pop-punk. It's quick, catchy and written about a girl. It's everything you need to get your summer going. With hooks and lyrics reminiscent of some early New Found Glory tunes, your friends will definitely be asking, "Who's this?" at the next BBQ. Also, max combo points to you for picking up on this up-and-coming group of dudes.

A pop-punk summer anthem. This two-minute and fifty-two-second track celebrates being young by wrapping together lyrics about summer love, friendship, the Warped Tour and a certain sense of recklessness that reminds us all that sometimes it's okay to blow off responsibility and have little fun. Paired with an upbeat tempo, "The Rock Show" will always be a popular summer favorite. Plus it's blink, and you've got to get ready for their summer tour somehow.

The song title says it all. Remember driving around town with your friends late at night with nothing to do? Maybe you still do that. Either way, it inevitably led to some sort of trouble that you got into. And this track by pop-punkers This Time Next Year pays homage to those fond memories you've made while you're busy doing nothing. So why not add it to the playlist and cause a little trouble this summer?

Ah, summer 2002. The humble beginnings of The Starting Line brought us some of their best and most loved pop-punk. "Up & Go", the opening track off the band's first full-length, is an honest look into young love and loss. It's catchy with no real frills or tricks - just a few guitars, a bass and drums. And with TSL announcing that their hiatus is coming to a close, it's time to get stoked on having these pop-punk forefathers back for good.

No pop-punk playlist would be complete without a New Found Glory hit. And by now you've probably had your fill of sappy love songs. Well, here's your redemption. "My Friends Over You" is about just that - choosing your friends over your significant other. So when summer love has got you bummed, keep this one on repeat and go hang with your friends. It's too hot to hold anyone's hand anyway.

You loved the show growing up, you're going to love the band, too. "Local Man", which finds itself on the Philadelphia outfit's upcoming release, is one of the most honest and straightforward pieces of pop-punk of the last decade. Lyrically, it's insanely relatable and comes packed with a great message. Even if your summer ends up sucking, remember, "It's not about forcing happiness. It's about not letting sadness win."

Stuck in your hometown for the summer? Hate it? No worries, throw on ADTR's "All Signs Point To Lauderdale" and grab a map. This track definitely comes in as the playlist's hardest song, but it's still packed with plenty of hooks that will remind you why it's pop-punk. It's your total cure-all for those geographical woes. So jump in your car, crank this and take that well deserved road trip.

Remember when Fall Out Boy actually played pop-punk (back when they were actually still a band, of course)? Well, if you do, you'll want this track on your playlist. Coming off the band's first two EPs, "Growing Up" recalls a time when you could find great pop-punk coming from any small club or basement around town. Forget arena shows, clothing companies and lewd photos leaked across the internet, this was Fall Out Boy at their finest. Oh, nostalgia.

A new breed of pop-punk is upon us, kids. And it comes decked out in band shirts and beards. Four Year Strong struck gold with "Wasting Time", which chronicles a summer full of freedoms and firsts. Balanced with quick, chugging guitars and gritty vocals, this track is anthemic in its pop-punk approach. Note, this song lends itself perfectly to steering wheel drumming and air guitar. So be sure to rock out with your buddies on the way to the beach.

Nothing wrong with adding a little quirky twist into the mix. Motion City Soundtrack have always been known for their offbeat antics and fun music. "The Future Freaks Me Out" is the perfect singalong song for you and your friends. Packed with a two-part vocal breakdown, a chorus just about everyone knows and that catchy keyboard, and this track almost seems like a no-brainer for your playlist.

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