Few record labels have championed pop-punk the way Drive-Thru Records did. In the way same labels like Run For Cover and No Sleep have built a distinct musical community today, Drive-Thru did it in the early 2000s—only bigger. An up-and-coming band signing to Drive-Thru was almost guaranteed to pick up Starting Line or Early November fans. No one was a fan of just one band on this label. No one.
After entering a distribution deal with major label MCA, which was dissolved into Geffen Records (who had a major sweet tooth for pop-punk at the time), a surge of Drive-Thru bands were up-streamed to ridiculous levels of mainstream exposure, including perks likes radio play, late-night television appearances, being played in clothing stores and even being featured on The O.C. (one of the most watched television shows at the time.)
The comedown from this high of success was quick, leading to bands breaking up and, eventually, the label itself shutting down. But today, we’re left with the Drive-Thru’s legendary catalog—a sonic shot of nostalgia that will certainly take you back to being a teen and/or living in this great era of music. Here are 29 songs that defined not only Drive-Thru Records, but the scene at large.