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 conclude by announcing the match ups in region four: Hopeless Romantic Hub
Region Reveal: Hopeless Romantic Hub
The Hopeless Romantic Hub region pays tribute to the ‘90s with several inclusions from pop-punk’s origins to its mainstream ascent. It starts with the top seed, Green Day’s “Basket Case,” a hit unparalleled in the genre in the success it brought not only to the band, but to the furthering of pop-punk itself. Without this chart-topper, you have to wonder if the Hatch Shell riot or Woodstock 1994 ever happened. Green Day simply exploded as a result, and in its wake came the rise of an entire genre.
Another Green Day offering off their breakthrough album Dookie makes an appearance in this region: “Welcome to Paradise.” With its instantly recognizable opening riff, songs like this and “Basket Case” took Green Day to bigger and better places, selling more records and holding more chart-topping singles than even Blink-182 over the next several decades. Beyond Green Day, The Offspring brings the ‘90s some additional representation. You have to give credit where credit’s due, and “Self Esteem” — off the band’s commercial success Smash — is a smash hit.
In the early-to-mid-2000s, pop-punk gave listeners sing-alongs aplenty, and seeds two through six all bring out the big guns with big hooks. The one that stands out the most is Yellowcard’s “Ocean Avenue,” which came at the front end of a triumphant career and propelled the band into some mainstream success. It forever tied the actual Ocean Avenue to a teenage soundtrack. The Starting Line didn’t soar as high as Yellowcard (some if it was the progression away from pop-punk and into alternative rock), but “The Best of Me” did similar favors to a band made up of mere teenagers at the time.
My Chemical Romance is back, and that should help “Helena,” the song that turned the New Jersey emos into rock icons plastered across every mall in the country. It’s a fan favorite that can hold a candle to any Blink-182 or New Found Glory anthem, thanks to the band’s persisting popularity. But more tough competition stands in its way: New Found Glory’s biggest hit, “My Friends Over You,” and The All-American Rejects’ heavy-on-the-pop pop-punk tune “Dirty Little Secret.” Expect some close calls as we get deeper into the competition.
Paramore has a second big single in the bracket, after “Misery Business.” “That’s What You Get” is only an 11-seed, but armed with Hayley Williams’ chops, it could shock some lower seeds in a way that may not exactly be all that shocking. Bigger and better songs stand in the way of Saves the Day and Mayday Parade’s most popular cuts, but that won’t stop them from being competitive (nor will it stop us from singing along all day long).
Who We’re Putting Our Money On
- Business as Usual: #2 Yellowcard’s “Ocean Avenue” and #3 My Chemical Romance’s “Helena”
- A Chance to Contend: #5 The All-American Rejects’ “Dirty Little Secret” and #6 New Found Glory’s “My Friends Over You”
- Ready to Play Cinderella: #9 Fall Out Boy’s “Dance, Dance” and #11 Paramore’s “That’s What You Get”
All the match ups are up, and all that’s left is for you to vote. Be sure to brush up on the match ups in Power Chord Paradise, Catchy Chorus Central and Wishful Thinking Way so that you are ready to vote next week. You can cast your votes on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, so make sure you follow us there to keep up when the fun begins!