Summer may look a little different this year, but some things will stay true: nice weather, fun times, and great music. You may spend more time socially distancing indoors, but you can still crank that volume up to 11 and sing along to your favorite pop-punk classics. We have another way to get you in the summer mood: Pop-Punk May Madness.
We’re ready to find out the truth: What is the best pop-punk song of all-time? To find out, we took 64 hits from the genre, divided them out into four different regions, and seeded them 1-16. It’s like an NCAA Tournament, but replace sports fandom with pure nostalgia. Plus, you get to be involved in deciding the champion. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and vote on any of the three platforms as we go match up-by-match up (each day, we’ll compile the votes and determine who’s moving on).
But before we get too ahead of ourselves, it’s time we release the bracket. Over the next four days, we’ll unveil each region of match ups, each titled as a cheeky nod to a pop-punk trope. Then, next week, voting begins, and the madness will be underway.
Today, we continue with the match ups in region two: Power Chord Paradise.
Region Reveal: Catchy Chorus Central
Unlike Power Chord Paradise, which features three major contenders, the strength in this region comes in numbers. The top six seeds all have what it takes to come out on top, and they all came out in the thick of the 2000s (anywhere from 2001 to 2007). Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” is an absolute classic, a hit synonymous with the decade itself, but the band behind the song doesn’t have the mainstream clout (or the traditional pop-punk appeal) as Green Day or Blink. Plus, it will have to overcome several tough competitors to emerge from this region alive.
Good Charlotte’s “The Anthem” and Sum 41’s “In Too Deep” are by far the most well-known songs of both bands’ careers. These two songs are Emo Nite must-plays that have made their mark on popular culture — mostly thanks to their monstrous hooks. Notably, “The Anthem” made its presence known in the Madden NFL 2003 soundtrack and the movie The Pacifier.
But to get to the regional final, both songs may have to go up against another song still stuck in the head of 20-somethings: “Sk8er Boi.” Avril Lavigne may have been more pop than punk, but she dipped her toes in the punk end of the pool on this fun bop (the only song that can get away with rhyming “boy” with “boy”). Two of the most well-known pop-punk songs from the 2010s fall into the bottom half of this bracket as well. “Quicksand” and “Elevated” helped kickstart successful careers for The Story So Far and State Champs in 2011 and 2013 respectively.
I feel sort of bad for SR-71, who saw a song they wrote become a huge pop-punk hit — by another band. They didn’t reach as high of a seed as Bowling for Soup’s chart-topping cover with “Right Now,” but that doesn’t mean the song doesn’t have firepower. It has two timeless summer sing-alongs in its way, but its chorus is just as much a blast to belt out as those of “The Anthem” and Fall Out Boy’s “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy.” This may just become a battle of who can sing the loudest.
Who We’re Putting Our Money On
- Business as Usual: #1 Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” and #3 Sum 41’s “In Too Deep”
- A Chance to Contend: #5 We the Kings’ “Check Yes Juliet” and #6 Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi”
- Ready to Play Cinderella: #10 SR-71’s “Right Now” and #13 Motion City Soundtrack’s “Everything Is Alright”
Check out the match ups in Power Chord Paradise over here, and make sure you’re ready to vote next week!