You could argue that blink-182 are one of the major reasons why pop punk exploded into the mainstream in the 2000s. Following Green Day’s release of Dookie in ‘94 and Weezer’s nerd-positive brand of rock, blink were the reason a lot of kids wanted to pick up guitars. It was through TRL hits such as “All The Small Things” back in the day that many became disciples of all things pop punk. It’s only so often that a band become huge stars and continue carrying the pop-punk torch for the next generation.

Machine Gun Kelly

We need look no further into recent music history to come across Machine Gun Kelly, a distinct successor to blink. Equally comfortable in hip-hop and rock, MGK has really carved out a niche. If his affection for old-school pop punk wasn’t clear, teaming up with Travis Barker behind the drum kit should complete the picture. Musically, a handful of songs from Tickets To My Downfall feel like they could sit right next to the B-sides on Take Off Your Pants And Jacket.

Neck Deep

Out of all the new-school pop-punk artists, Neck Deep feel like they have the most in common with the old school. From the way Ben Barlow sings to the more heavy topics that they cover on their recent material, it’s as if the kids we loved from San Diego were born 15 years too late on the other side of the pond. Compared to other pop-punk acts who try to copy and paste their favorite artists’ songs, Neck Deep are taking lessons from blink’s Untitled record and pushing the genre much further.

Simple Plan

One of the biggest strengths of blink’s charm was that you didn’t have to be a dangerous punk to be cool. And when you hit on the suburban teen side of the market, Simple Plan were right there with blink, and not just because Mark Hoppus sang a verse on one of their biggest hits, “I’d Do Anything.” While blink have gone through more than a few shake-ups over the years, Simple Plan show no sign of losing that delightfully snotty energy.

The Regrettes

The power of blink’s music doesn’t just extend to the boys in town. Just a few years into their career, the Regrettes definitely have a few seeds of original pop punk in their delivery, filtered through the lens of old-school riot grrrl and garage-rock energy. This is the equivalent of blink, Bikini Kill and the White Stripes teaming up on a track. The result: something equal parts witty, sarcastic and angry.

Courage My Love

If you’re familiar with Courage My Love’s recent releases, you might be surprised to see them on this list. Years before they started on their ‘80s throwback material, though, you would have sworn they were the answer to blink with Becoming. The early sounds may not have lasted, but those musical roots never really go away.

Boys Like Girls

The late ‘00s was a bit of a weird transition period for pop punk. Though the members of blink were moving in many different directions, the good stuff was still there if you knew where to look. Boys Like Girls filled the void, offering a slightly more bratty take on the usual pop formula. This does end up falling a bit more on the pop part of the spectrum, infused with a strong dose of punk. It’s the kind of music that you can jam out to at the mall, not unlike what we did with songs such as “First Date.” 

Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy could easily provide their own massive list of bands influenced by them. Fair point…but Fall Out Boy’s ascent helped complete the revolution that blink started. An album such as From Under The Cork Tree matches the earnest love songs that blink provided on their Untitled record. blink were onto something, but Fall Out Boy introduced their own little X-factor that made them unstoppable.

Avril Lavigne

After Enema Of The State, blink established themselves as a pop-punk powerhouse. Avril Lavigne similarly transformed the game with her career. While many people were dazzled by her sudden, meteoric ascent, Lavigne’s first few albums packed a message that matched it. Lavigne stands on her own two feet no matter how you slice it, but she also served as an inspiration for an entire generation.


When you have a legacy like blink, even some of the darker parts of your catalog tend to rub off every now and again. While it’s easy to look at Creeper as being inspired by bands such as AFI and the Cure, the kind of bombast that they put into their songs also doesn’t feel too far away than the more introspective blink stuff such as “Always.” Those emotional songs might live on, but Creeper are a darker shade of black.


Punk isn’t necessarily defined by how well you can play an instrument. Listening to a band like WSTR, though, you really start to forget just how tight of a band blink were in their early days, especially on their first album. While we’ve come a long way from the sounds of blink at this point, this is the kind of music that wouldn’t necessarily be out of place on the soundtrack of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2.

Bad Cop / Bad Cop

You can’t really talk about great pop-punk bands and not bring some riot grrrl acts sooner or later. And in terms of sheer intensity, Bad Cop / Bad Cop feel like they belong in a league of their own. Though the seeds of the golden age of blink’s catalog are definitely there, there’s also a certain X-factor in there as well. When going through their last few albums, it’s what a riot grrrl act would sound like if Fat Mike was behind the mic.


Based on their last few albums, Waterparks have certainly transcended the basics of pop punk. If you were to look at their first album Double Dare, though, you would have sworn that the old blink had been frozen after Take Off Your Pants and resurrected a decade later. Like blink themselves, though, Waterparks know pop punk is more than a rigid template. The beauty of being in a rock band is knowing how to expand.


Paramore definitely found a way to move beyond a rigid spectrum between pop and punk. Hayley Williams forged her own distinct vocal style, but the Farro brothers cut their teeth on blink-182 songs before Williams came into the mix. The instruments of pop punk might have been there, but not everyone has a vocalist like Williams in their corner. 

Boston Manor

Looking back on Boston Manor’s last few albums, it almost feels like a stretch to call them pop punk. Out of all the bands here, this is like taking the side of blink that we saw on Neighborhoods and going even darker. The band even go into metal territory in a few places. For as many dark tangents as it goes through, you can never take away a punk’s heart, no matter how hard you try.

Panic! At The Disco

And now we come to by far the biggest act to ever come out of the post-blink wave of rock ‘n’ roll. Even though Brendon Urie clearly started to come into his own after A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, the genesis of the Panic! enterprise began when Urie was working with Ryan Ross, playing blink-182 songs in their hometown. It started with a couple of kids going through songs such as “Dammit” in their bedroom, and it ended with Urie turning into one of the biggest stars in music. That, friends, is how you do a glow-up.