Best of 2016 Playlist

March 24, 2016

Top 10 Pop Punk Throwbacks

The genre itself is like one big throwback to our teen years. When guys wore wife-beaters and cargo shorts, everyone had too much hair gel, and Britney Spears was still relevant. It'd hard to pick just 10 songs, so if you don't see your favorite on this list let us know. 

Check our honorable mentions list on the Top 10 / Quick Picks page. Any song is far game provided it's at least 5 years old. 

10. "Complicated"/"Sk8er Boi" - Avril Lavigne 

Probably weren't expecting these two songs to make the list were you? Well, here they are. "Complicated" was Avril Lavigne's debut single, and one of the best songs of the 00s. You know at least one line, if not the entire chorus ("Why'd you have to go and make things so complicated?"). And "Sk8er Boi", with its gritty guitars and fun chorus, it's a must listen to. These two are arguably Lavigne's signature songs (aside from "Girlfriend"). Of course today she's not the tomboy (clad in Converse, wristbands and ties) we all fell in love with, but that's why this is a "THROWBACK" list. Besides, people change. What more can we say? (hopefully you'll get the reference, and if not you must have spent 2003 with your head in the dirt). 

9. "That's What You Get" - Paramore  

Could've picked "Misery Business" or even "Emergency". But "That's What You Get" is one of the band's few truly pop punk songs. From the upbeat chorus ("THAT'S WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU LET YOUR HEART WIN!!!"), to the more muted verses, it's got all the must haves for a hit. Throwing in some funk influences we'd again see in "Ain't It Fun", the song makes sure it's not just another generic power chord filled love song. Jeremy Davis' bass during the verses is definitely a highlight, as is Zac Farro's drumming throughout. Overall, this is one of the band's strongest songs. 

8. "Stacy's Mom" - Fountains of Wayne

The ultimate MILF song, and a true one hit wonder. Would you believe it was nominated for a 2004 Grammy? Ya, it was. As of 2016, the band have released 5 albums, and their 2007 and 2011 albums are actually better than you'd think. But this is always going to be the band's legacy. A song about some guy pining after his girl's mom. And let's not forget that music video. It takes the lyrics and translates them verbatim. So sit back, and enjoy Rachel Hunter in various stages of undress, and massage. 

7. "1985"/"High School Never Ends" - Bowling For Soup 

Alternatively we could have chosen "Girl All The Bad Guys Want" but we chose the band's more widely known songs from their 2004 and 2006 albums respectively. The first of the two songs is as straightforward as the title. It's all about, you guessed it, 1985. The latter pokes fun at all aspects of pop culture, and the media's obsession with celebrities. Simple hooks and almost painfully cheesy lyrics, it doesn't sound like the band would last that long. But they've been going strong for about 21 years. So they're clearly doing something right. 

"Ocean Avenue" - Yellowcard 

The band's signature, you instantly think of "Ocean Avenue" when you hear Yellowcard. That, and the early 00s. This song is the harbinger of summer. Aside from the title, which just screams summer, it's got one of the best choruses ever. How can you not start singing along? "If I could find you now things would get better. We could leave this town and run forever!" The violin melody that backs the chorus is just icing on the cake. Give the band a round of applause for that accomplishment alone. Not the most conventional pairing, but damn does it work to their advantage. 

"My Own Worst Enemy" - Lit 

The song's riff is one of the most recognizable. Unfortunately, the band wasn't. A good number of people thought the song was by blink-182, and assumed the title was "Please Tell My Why". So if you're still one of those dumb people, let us enlighten you. This was the lead single off Lit's sophomore album," A Place in the Sun". Another pop punk one hit wonder, the song hit #1 on the Billboard Alternative Chart, and peaked at #51 on the Hot 100 in the US. But unlike "Stacey's Mom", it's not as cheesy or annoying. It's just a nice catchy song with a killer riff. 

"I'm Just a Kid"/"I'd Do Anything" - Simple Plan 

Everyone knows the first song. Because we've all been there. The band's debut single, "I'm Just a Kid". It's the epitome of 00s pop punk, misunderstood youth. On the other side, "I'd Do Anything" is basically a desperate attempt to get the girl. It served as the second single off Simple Plan's debut record. This was 00s pop punk at its height, and Simple Plan quickly rose to prominence with this hit. Stellar by itself, "I'd Do Anything" certainly doesn't suffer from some guest vocals by Mark Hoppus himself. 

3. "My Friends Over You" - New Found Glory

Another toss up, this one between New Found Glory's signature, and the song for which All Time Low are named, "Head on Collision". In the end we went with the catchier of the two. Originally released as the lead single for NFG's 3rd album, "Sticks and Stones", this is the titular pop punk song. The chorus of "My Friends Over You" is perfect, as is the main riff. Bouncy, and simple, that's pop punk in a nutshell. But once you get into the chorus, "You are everything wanted. But I can't finish what I started." you're hooked. The song's almost breakdown-esc bridge gives the track a little edge. But not too much. 

2. "Fatlip/"In Too Deep" - Sum 41

They've just been announced for Warped Tour 2016, and have promised a few album following the return of original lead guitarist and backing vocalist Dave Baksh. But we're going to take a moment to remember the songs that brought Sum 41 to our attention. We've got the genre shattering song that remains their signature "Fatlip", and the powerhouse that is "In Too Deep". Need we say more? Alright, aside from the playability of both songs, "Fatlip" really breaks boundaries between genres. The verses are, more or less, rapped. And while you may think, "white guys rapping to pop punk riffs? ugh", don't lump the song into the same category as say Limp Bizkit, or even Issues. Sum 41 keep a light and energetic atmosphere going throughout the song. 

1. blink-182 

Anything and everything from this band is a throwback. The glory days of this band (99-03) will never be forgotten. And every song released is filled with memories of youth. So how on earth could we be expected to pick just one song? You've got their original hits, "Carousel" and "Peggy Sue", their breakthrough songs, "Josie" and "Dammit", their mainstream hits, "All the Small Things" and "What's My Age Again?", their new millennium work, "First Date" and "Rock Show", and their "emo" phase, "Feeling This" and "I Miss You"