5 Pop-Punk Songs And How They Defined My Teenage Years

5. Three Cheers for Five Years – Mayday Parade

“You know the words so sing along for me, baby “

When I was 17 years old I was messaged by the former guitarist of one of my favorite pop-punk bands at the time. I was smitten and he asked me to be his girlfriend. I spent the next few months either talking to him over the phone while he was on tour or at his mother’s house in Maryland. I thought I was cool and that’s embarassing. What’s more embarassing is how pathetic I probably looked bawling in the passenger’s seat of the van while he was breaking up with my on a long card ride back to my mother’s house in Pennsylvania, while this album was playing. The worst part is that I actually really still enjoy the dude’s band, it’s okay though since he is no longer a part of it.

4. You’re So Last Summer – Taking Back Sunday

“I’m a wishful thinker with the worst intentions “

My cousin  gave me a copy of Tell All Your Friends and suddenly my constant need to borrow my dad’s Green Day albums made sense! There was better music out there besides Top 40. I didn’t really know anyone else who was into bands like Taking Back Sunday or Northstar but I became a woman obsessed with this whole new genre of music I never knew existed. It’s just angst and catchy hooks and it’s wonderful. This gave me hope in new music again.

3. I’m Ready – Jack’s Mannequin

“My life has become a boring pop song and everyone’s singing along”

My mother fought and beat cancer, she is a tough lady. I remember getting this album (Everything in Transit) during the time she was fighting it, it was a really tough time for my family and I was terrified. My mother is the strongest woman and I am overjoyed that she beat cancer. The singer of Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin, Andrew McMahon fought and beat leukemia as well. There is a whole documentary chronicling the whole ideal called Dear Jack that is definitely worth checking out.

2. Make Out Kids – Motion City Soundtrack

“Make out kids never had a chance to be best friends”

I’m not sure how or when my obsession with Motion City Soundtrack started. I kind of saw it as some weird commentary on how stupid young “love” is, how we don’t have any real idea what we are really doing. We don’t have the slightest idea of what real love even closely resembles. Plus, I went to see Motion City Soundtrack play and talked to the singer of the band Justin Pierre before the show and after telling him how weird I thought his hair was, he dedicated this song to me for my birthday. Basically, we all grow older and learn that relationships aren’t about swoopy hair and liprings, they tend to be a lot more complicated and worthwile.

1. Mix Tape- Brand New

“But when I say let’s keep in touch, I really mean I wish that you’d grow up”

It would be a sin to not include Brand New in a list of songs that define my teenage years. I only saw Brand New twice, once when I was 16 at Bamboozle in East Rutherford, NJ and another time when I was 21 in Philadelphia, PA shortly after I had moved. Your Favorite Weapon is one of my top 5 albums of all time and it’s purely based on how angsty and catchy Brand New manages to be all at the same time. It’s just such a pop punk hallmark, and it was perfect AIM away message fodder, you know…back in the days when a Myspace Top 8 meant something and AIM was still relevant.

I guess I just never really grew out of enjoying this kind of music. There’s a monthly party in Philadelpha that is purely a DJ playing this kind of music while everyone dances around a weird bar in a sketchy area of the city screaming the lyrics to these songs. Now I go to school full-time and work a job I don’t like especially instead of going to shows every weekend.

I guess this is growing up. TC mark

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