It’s safe to say that the short-lived, synth-driven neon pop-punk scene was equally loved and loathed. In a world where everybody needs to be the heaviest, coolest or (admit it) most famous, this was a scene that did not take itself seriously. That’s not to say writing a killer hook is a piece of cake. Thousands of pop songs are written, recorded and put out on the market yearly. Think about all the ones you didn’t hear. Pop music is tough, bro.
This APTV video collects 10 of the high-profile outfits in neon pop-punk from the late 2000s. As part of a subgenre in the greater scene, these bands took it upon themselves to provide soundtracks for a good time. At various junctures, these bands could light up a dance club and play to a small city on Warped Tour. There are plenty of songs in the neon pop-punk canon that you may have forgotten. But you inevitably smile when you hear them.
While this scene feels like a distant memory (the internet makes everything feel like that, though), there was some prescience. After these bands ran their course, some of these members took their pop smarts and ran with them. Consider the frequency of Warped Tour alumni showing up on competitive singing TV shows. Some of these band members went on to write tracks for today’s artists. One neon pop-punk personality started his own label. Another built a career in a completely different genre. Clearly, these people had bigger dreams than being the most hardcore guy on the loading dock.
We hope this video of neon pop-punk bands takes you back to a time where having fun took precedence over the securing of “cred.” Because let’s face it, it sure does feel like there’s not a whole lot of fun to be had right about now. Looking back over this list, there is one thing that is puzzling. For a genre tagged as “neon,” there were still a lot of dudes in black shirts. Then again, maybe “neon” only applied to the bands’ respective merch booths…