Pop-punk: the genre we love to hate.

Posted: December 6, 2012 in Sounds
Tags: , , , , , , ,

It’s fun, catchy, upbeat and often annoying as hell. It’s nasally male voices that sound years younger than their actual age and female voices that are practically interchangeable. It dates as far back as the 1970s, maybe earlier, and is still going strong. It’s as easy to love as it is to hate and even the biggest fans – myself included – cannot deny the fact that apart from a few exceptions, it all sounds much the same. It’s New Found Glory, Blink 182, All Time Low and Green Day, among a plethora of others. Ladies and gentlemen – it’s pop-punk.

With all of the genres and sub-genres and pseudo-genres of music around these days, it can be hard to keep track of everything. I still don’t understand the difference between hardcore, post-hardcore and melodic hardcore, but that’s another discussion entirely. Lucky for pop-punk, it remains a fairly simple fusion of pop and punk rock music, with varying degrees of influence from each genre. Despite its apparent simplicity, though, there are still pop-punk bands around the world that some people love, while others absolutely loathe, for reasons that range from perfectly understandable to completely nonsensical. This, my dear readers, is why I so aptly describe pop-punk as the genre we love to hate.

I imagine that there are a rather large number of reasons why some people hate pop-punk so much, but one in particular stands out for me. Pop-punk, as I said earlier, is derived from two genres of music. Two genres that share more differences than similarities and on some levels may even be considered polar opposites. Punk has traditionally been known for its anti-authoritarian, stick it to the man, absolutely non-conformist tendencies, while pop music is all about conforming to exactly what the bulk of society wants to hear. With this in mind, it makes sense that the majority of your die-hard punk rock fans are going to be unimpressed by, and beyond uninterested in, pop-punk music. But that’s just one theory.

Personally, I love pop-punk, for the most part. I fell in love with it at 16, when a new friend inadvertently introduced me to bands other than Blink 182 and Green Day – two of the very few pop-punk bands who are regularly played on mainstream radio – for the first time. I’m not sure what appealed to me about it at the time and I suppose I’m even less sure now. At 16, I had never listened to punk music, so perhaps it was a way of bridging the gap between pop and punk, easing me into this new world of music I hadn’t even known existed. But somehow, I still love it. Just not all of it!

To finish up, I leave you with a music video from my absolute favourite pop-punkers, New Found Glory. Enjoy!


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