2013 was, in many ways, a banner year for pop-punk. New faces staked their claims amongst the masses, and somewhat familiar ones held their ground. The genre essentially dominated the Warped Tour crowds and executed various successful single tours. A certain group on Facebook more than tripled in size, and along with it the disdain of its onlookers and bystanders. Sure, the stereotypes grew, but that didn’t stop the crowds from eating more pizza with their best friends, defending their favorite music for no apparent reason, or driving around aimlessly in search for some fountain they heard about in a song. No, pop-punk is arguably the strongest it has been in a very long time – and it doesn’t look like it’ll be slowing down any time soon.
Now, while it’s amiable to say that every genre has its underdogs, it seems that those in pop-punk are far more overshadowed than most. Essentially, it’s if you don’t like the bands headlining tours and dominating the Tumblr feed, then you’re wrong. We here at MEB believe in giving credit where credit is due – both to the bands that have worked their way to the top and to those that are currently doing so. Below we have compiled a list of outfits that we think are going to make some noise in 2014 and are more than deserving of some coverage here on the site. You can listen to a little of each band’s catalogue below, and if you dig what you hear, make sure you show them some support by following them on their social networking sites.
5. Post Season
The future of pop-punk belongs to those who are able to expand its boundaries, while still staying true to its roots – and that is precisely what Altoona, PA natives Post Season are doing. The band’s debut full length Remember is chock full of distinguishable pop-punk gems that have enough attitude to set them far apart from their genre counterparts. From the tell-all tale of “I’m Still Kinda Bitter” to the anthemic “Pop Punk Destroyed My Life”, Remember is pristine example of proper progression in a scene full of stagnancy.
4. Knuckle Puck
If you have yet to hear of the boys in Knuckle Puck, we highly suggest you get familiar with them – 2014 is going to be immaculate for them. The band burst out of Chicago’s southern suburbs in 2012 first with an acoustic EP, and then with a full-band effort titled Don’t Come Home. After garnering a reputable following around the eastern section of the Midwest, the band released their eclectic The Weight That Buried You EP this past August and blew the pop-punk scene away. Featuring the infectious “Your Back Porch” and brutally honest “No Good”, the EP is a must listen for anyone even remotely interested in pop-punk. To add to their already impressive resume, the band just released a Split 7″ with fellow UK pop-punk outfit Neck Deep, which you can purchase via our friends over at Bad Timing Records here.
Long story short: listen to Kunckle Puck now so you can be that guy who tells all his friends he listened to them before they blew up.
3. Stickup Kid
In their short time together, the five members of San Jose, CA-based Stickup Kid have released an EP, a full length, shared the stage with pop-punk pioneers Green Day and toured the country. The band’s sound is a seamless conglomeration of classic pop-punk with a refreshing touch of a new wave sound that they have just barely scratched the surface of. If the boys in SK can keep up their zealous touring ethos, as well as continue to progress with their reinvigorating breed of pop-punk, the sky truly is the limit as to how far they can go.
2. Old Again
If you were to go listen to Old Again and watch them perform at a show, then have us tell you they formed at the very beginning of 2013, you’d probably spit your beer in our faces and tell us we’re the drunk ones. Either way, it’s true – Old Again is just over a year old and they’re blowing us away. They have released a full-band EP, an acoustic EP, a Split EP and a brand new single featuring Dan Lambton from Real Friends all within the matter of approximately ten months – all while constantly touring the states, playing in anything (one of our staffers caught them at a house show over the summer) and with anyone (they just played a show with metal outfits Norma Jean and My Heart to Fear) they can. Tell your friends you hear it from us: Old Again will be the next big thing in pop-punk.
1. Forever Came Calling
In No Room For Rockstars, a documentary chronicling the 2010 Vans Warped Tour, one of the focal points was a young band struggling to follow the tour and eventually achieving their dream of playing on a date. Throughout the documentary, the viewer witnesses the band’s tremendous heart and drive, so it should come as no surprise that they are now one of the most promising bands in the pop-punk scene. I am, of course, talking about California’s own Forever Came Calling. Their debut full length, 2012’s Contender, is a perfect snapshot of everything that the band has to offer. It’s fast, aggressive, and dripping with passion. Forever Came Calling pull no punches with their music, and their heart-on-sleeve lyrics – combined with the enthralling catchiness they possess – help them stand head and shoulders above the rest of the ever-growing sea of pop-punk. You can keep sleeping on them if you want, but I promise that just one listen through the 24 minutes of pure power that is Contender will have you hooked. – Nick Niedzielski