The best way I can describe pop-punk's appeal is that it's comfortably familiar. While it may not be the most innovative genre, there's an inherently endearing and easily relatable quality about a guy or girl singing about girls or guys. There's nothing overly complicated about it -- everyone's been there and everyone knows what it's like. Those who can't write and record songs about it are thankful for those who can. Dave Parasite of the Parasites has compiled this 30-track bohemoth to showcase both veterans and upstarts of the pop-punk scene.
Since reviewing each of the 30 tracks would be a bit tedious, here are some highlights:
- Teenage Bottlerocket - So Cool: Every compilation needs a strong opening track and Wyoming's Teenage Bottlerocket contribute just that. This song, from their full-length Total, is full of lead guitar and Ramones-style geekiness.
- The Manges - Another Day: This band from Italy delivers a nostalgic dose of Cheshire Cat-esque punk that harkens back to my middle school days.
- The Ergs! - Aja: Quirky lyrics and erratic playing channeling the Descendents's best moments are what the Ergs! are all about and this song does a nice job of putting both qualities at the forefront.
- Suckerbox - Wrong: Who knew the Cayman Islands had anything besides sandy beaches and offshore bank accounts? While lacking in the production department, this song has a great start-stop style in the verses and a catchy driving chorus.
- The Copyrights - Stuck in Springtime: One of the current buzz bands of the genre, this track taken from the fantastic Mutiny Pop has considerably impressive musicianship (relatively speaking) and a great chorus.
- Boris the Sprinkler - Buying Beer for Junior High School Students: BTS have always been ridiculously fun (emphasizing the ridiculous) and this 'community service anthem' is more of the same.
- The Steinways - I Wanna Kiss You (On the Lips): A simple message. Internet celebrity Mitch Clem's favorite band contribute a song loaded with sugary-sweet melodies.
- Travoltas - Can't Stop: One of my all-time favorites of the genre, the now broken-up Dutch band were great at taking what was great about both the Beach Boys and Ramones and molding it into their own fun sound.