I’m sure you’ve heard the news: Blink-182 is back with their classic lineup, and most importantly, they’ve begun a world tour. Needless to say, this is a joyous development for countless millennials. Although it may seem like Blink has single-handedly brought pop punk back to the masses, the truth is that it never really went away. While groups like The Wonder Years, Real Friends, and Knuckle Puck carried the pop-punk banner well past its commercial heyday, in recent years plenty of young musical artists have incorporated elements of Blink-182 and their contemporaries into their sound. Often bridging the pop-punk of their childhoods with hip hop, many of the major players of emo rap in the 2010s have been outspoken in their love of pop punk, such as XXXTentacion and Juice WRLD. In 2020, Machine Gun Kelly’s Tickets to My Downfall, an album in which he mostly eschews hip hop for punk pop, went to number one on the Billboard 200, not only pushing the genre back into our mainstream consciousness, but also legitimizing it to countless young listeners. I mention this to say that, while you can’t be transported back to the magical years of your youth when this type of music was life-altering, there’s also no reason to despair. With selections from the proto-pop-punk bands of the ‘70s and ‘80s to modern masterpieces, this assortment of albums, singles, and EPs celebrates the breadth and history of a genre that’s long overdue for a cultural reassessment.
For more great music, make sure to check out the offerings of your local Library branch as well as Freegal.