Best of 2016 Playlist

June 4, 2016

Quick Picks: Guilty Pleasure Artists

You'd never publicly admit you're into these artists. Whether it be because it's not "cool" to like them, or it's just completely out of your comfort zone, you have secretly been streaming these bands for years. Thank god for "incognito" right?

We're not saying these artists are bad in any way, nor are we saying it's bad to like them. But we totally get why people aren't jumping at the gun to reveal they're fans. 
To see more lists like this go to our Top 10 page, or our Quick Picks page. If you'd like to suggest a future list, please comment.

5. All Time Low

Their music is aimed at tweens and girls who don't understand that what they're listening to isn't so much pop punk as it is just pop. Alternatively we could have included 5 Seconds of Summer, but that's just too easy. So we'll pick their heroes ATL. The band's popularity is largely due to their 3rd album, "Nothing Personal" which has since become their most iconic release, and a must have for modern pop punk fans. But more recent albums (Dirty Work and last year's Future Hearts) showed the band moving further and further into mainstream pop territory. Wasting the talent they have on half speed love songs, and typical "break-up, make-up" riffs. They're not the most obvious choice for a guilty pleasure band, but we're willing to bet there are a bunch of twenty somethings out there who have been secretly humming along to "Damned If I Do Ya" since 2009, but just won't admit it. 

4.  Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!

This is one band who have been struggling to shed their "joke-band" image. During their formative years, Chunk! No Captain Chunk! delivered some cringeworthy tunes. Their over-produced combination of electronicore, heavy metal, and pop punk was, at the time, nothing too new. But they took the "genre" to a new low with that first album, "Something for Nothing", which relied on autotune, and "core" cliches to get by. And while they did craft some catchy tunes, the music lacked substance. Fast forward to 2015, when the band released their 3rd album, "Get Lost, Find Yourself". Now things are finally starting to look up for the band, as the album is a marked improvement over past releases. But that "joke-band" image still clings to them. So it's no surprise most people sneer at the mention of their name. Best to jam out to "Captain Blood" or "Born for Adversity" through headphones. 

3. Attack Attack! 

The group from Columbus, Ohio disbanded back in 2013, after a long history of lineup changes. And even today, they remain one of those bands who have written so horrible, yet catchy tunes we would never tell anyone we're in to. Caleb Shomo, Austin Carlile, and Nick Barham (brother of SWS drummer Gabe Barham) got their "sealegs" with this group. Performing very, very "scene" electronicore. And that should say it all. The genre always gets a bad rep due to its heavy use of effects, autotuning, and chugged guitar breakdowns. Other acts like Blood on the Dance Floor and Design the Skyline don't help the image. So yet, Attack Attack is one of the better electronicore acts to choose from. Still, their music isn't worth much. Mediocre and cliche at best, and don't even get us started on their debut album or their music video for "Stick Stickly". 

2. Sleeping with Sirens 

Another case of a band with some credibility trading it in for mainstream acceptance. Like All Time Low, Sleeping with Sirens once had the makings of a great band. They had an emo-pop punk sound that was underscored with hardcore breakdowns and unclean vocals. Not to mention the mass appeal of their "adorkable" frontman, Kellin Quinn. The band's sophomore album was the most promising, as it seemed they were moving away from their electronicore sound. But then "Feel" came out. And, well, the band became another joke. SWS gave into Risecore, and made it clear they were alienating long time fans to target teenage girls. So these days, expect a few sour expressions if you say you're a fan of SWS. Especially if you're with fans of bands who haven't made the bold decision to dive into mainstream music (though those bands are becoming increasingly rare).

1. Taylor Swift

Now while we don't normally include mainstream acts on lists like this, it seemed stupid not to include this Taylor Swift. Because, let's face it, unless you're a teenage girl, or a stay-at-home-Mom it's not cool to admit you like T. Swift. And you do. Go on, stand up and say it, "Hello my name is _ and I listen to Taylor Swift". Try as you may, you can't hate her music (or a large portion). Recent work (cough "1989" cough) has shown a dip in quality but her older albums, specifically "Fearless", showed real talent. And don't be ashamed to admit you bought the Platinum Edition of the album. It's probably the best collection of Swift's material to date. Long story short, it's okay to jam out to "Chelsea Smile" on minute and then "Forever and Always" the next. Guilty pleasures are only guilty pleasures if you feel guilty. Though we do feel guilty for singing "Shake It Off" when no one's looking. At least we hope no one's looking...