There was a time when record collecting was the true merit of the dedicated punk rocker. When someone was late discovering a band, some cooler-than-thou dude was always ready with the line, “I’ve got their first seven-inch.” You won’t find any of that cred-signalling nostalgia here. This APTV video of new pop-punk tracks from scene legends throws down the gauntlet. We think these songs are just as glorious as these bands’ classics.
What makes a classic punk track in 2020? Is it a sweet video? A special guest? A TikTok of someone hurting themselves Jackass-style to it? Maybe it’s all timing? If we had to define it, we’d probably say it’s all about the power of the riff, the meaningful lyrics and the adrenaline. All of the bands featured here have delivered those things. After so many years in, both stans and critics might think all the bottled lightning is gone. But these new pop-punk tracks from legends will prove them wrong.
Each band represented here have made their own contributions to the pop-punk continuum. There’s those Bay Area guys who continue to change the possibilities of punk with every succeeding record. A few dudes from Washington state who maintained their sound while writing songs that are impossible to get sick of hearing. Those fellows from up north who mix punk with any kind of music to create an Arnold Palmer for your ear canals to devour. They’ve all made new pop-punk tracks to raise your serotonin levels accordingly.
Here’s an experiment. Randomly slot these tracks into your favorite playlist and see if you don’t nod your head, drive faster or crack a wide smile. These bands have been coloring our lives and inspiring us for decades. This list proves there ain’t nothing stopping them from doing it in this one.