Originally posted on BuzzFeed
Though released a year before the 00s got officially underway, this album had arguably the biggest impact on pop-punk for the decade to come. It inspired a generations of poop joke-obsessed middle schoolers to buy their first guitar, learn how to play “All the Small Things,” and invent their own versions of guitarist’s Tom DeLonge’s trademark warble.
Choice Track: “What’s My Age Again”
2. Fenix TX – Fenix TX (1999)
Fenix TX got their break into the mainstream by getting their single “All My Fault” prominently featured on the soundtrack for the MTV movie Jailbreak. It probably helped that their biggest fan, Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus, went so far as to appear in the music video for the single to ensure the band got every ounce of his ringing endorsement. (Hoppus even managed them for a short time.)
Choice Track: “All My Fault”
Heavily influenced by fellow New Jersey band Lifetime, Saves the Day released an instant pop-punk classic at the end of 1999. 16 years later, Through Being Coolstands the test of time.
Choice Track: “Holly Hox, Forget Me Nots”
Self-proclaimed “easy-core” band New Found glory burst onto the pop-punk scene in a big way with their self-titled second full-length. The huge success of this album combined with Fenix TX’s momentum propelled the bands’ label, Drive-Thru Records, to the top of the pop-punk ladder for the better part of the 2000s. It also won NFG an opening spot on Blink-182’s massive 2001 tour supporting Take Off Your Pants and Jacket.
Choice Track: “Hit or Miss.”
The biggest commercial breakthrough for Washington-based pop-punk trio MxPx,The Ever Passing Moment showcased the band’s most radio-friendly songs to date. The album also featured production from Jerry Finn, who had previously produced or mixed albums from Blink-182, Green Day, and a host of other huge pop-punk bands.
Choice Track: “Responsibility”
Seemingly coming out of nowhere, SR-71 blew up when this album’s lead single “Right Now” was featured in the Dude, Where’s My Car? trailer. It’s weird to that that both that movie and this song are 15 years old.
Choice Track: “Right Now”
It was a little metal, a little hip-hop, but undeniably held together by trademark pop-punk snottiness. All Killer, No Filler launched Canadian band Sum 41 into heavy rotation on MTV, and the suddenly every knew the rap part to “Fat Lip” by heart.
Choice Track: “In Too Deep”
The Militia Group
Naming themselves after the hands-down best character in Hook, Rufio had a lot to live up to. On their 2001 debut, they did more than that, introducing a generation of pop-punk fans to Rufio’s trademark brand of what became known as “speed emo.”
Choice Track: “Still”
From Here to Infirmary was Alkaline Trio’s most poppy, mainstream album released at this point in their career. While it rubbed some longtime fans the wrong way, it introduced a generation of new fans to Alkaline Trio and singer-songwriter Matt Skiba’s knack for writing big, memorable hooks.
Choice Track: “Armageddon”
American Hi-Fi showed up during a period of time when every teen sex comedy required its soundtrack to be comprised of 70% pop-punk. It’s for this reason that almost every song from this album sounds strangely familiar.
Choice Track: “Flavor of the Weak”
11. Sugarcult – “Start Static” (2001)
Despite the fact that it’s like single “Bouncing Off the Walls” was basically just about doing a ton of cocaine, Start Static got a ton of radio play. Four of the songs on the album also appeared in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, because of course they did.
Choice Track: “Stuck in America”
First off, what is up with this band’s hair? Second, though the hip-hop styling of “Cadillac” seem pretty out of place, remember that Young MC helped produce this album. Super weird, right?
Choice Track: “Drawing Board”
Before integrating emo, prog, metal, and alt-rock into their later releases, Brand New was just a pop-punk band from Long Island. And even though they stopped doing it after Your Favorite Weapon, their full-length debut, the dudes could write a mean pop-punk song.
Choice Track: “Logan to Government Center”
14. Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American (2001)
Emo stalwarts Jimmy Eat World took a leap into the mainstream with this 2001 release. With tracks like “The Middle,” it’s no surprise that the mainstream pop-punk world welcomed them with open arms.
Choice Track: “Sweetness”
Simple Plan’s blend of catchy hooks and potty humor shot them near the top of the pop-punk game with their debut album, which included the word “balls” in it. They were yet another band who got the all-important Blink-182 seal of approval when Mark Hoppus sang two lines in their first single, “I’d Do Anything.”
Choice Track: “Addicted”
Kids these days would probably not believe you if you told them that for a few years, Good Charlotte was one of the biggest bands in the world somehow. They would definitely not believe you if you told them that high school kids used to write “SELF MADE” on their knuckles in tribute to this band. What a weird time it was.
Choice Track: “The Anthem”
17. Millencolin – Home From Home (2002)
I didn’t want to put a bunch of Epitaph bands on this list, because it causes a long and boring debate over where the divide is between pop-punk and straight punk. No one wants that conversation. In any case, Millencolin’s Home From Home has some great pop-punk songs on it.
Choice Track: “Fingers Crossed”
So pop it barely even qualifies as pop-punk, The Starting Line’s debut LP was chock-full of breakup anthems and songs about unrequited love. It was totally appropriate then that the music video for “Best of Me” paid homage to the Peter Gabriel part from Say Anything.
Choice Track: “Leaving”
Another all-star on Drive-Thru Records’ once peerless lineup, Allister accurately captured the joy and frustrations of being a teenager on their second album. Last Stop Suburbia could be simultaneously world-weary (“Overrated”) and nostalgic (“Somewhere On Fullerton”) at the same time.
Choice Track: “Stuck”
20. Motion City Soundtrack – I Am the Movie (2002)
Motion City taught a generation that a Moog synthesizer, when played just so, could be the perfect pop-punk instrument. MCS would later achieve even bigger success with their 2005 follow-up Commit This to Memory.
Choice Track: “My Favorite Accident”
Before singer Gabe Saporta became much better known for his project Cobra Starship, he fronted a pretty great pop-punk band. Living Well is the Best Revengewas Midtown’s peak, before a really intense falling out with Drive-Thru made the internet all like :-O.
Choice Track: “A Faulty Foundation”
It seemed like Drive-Thru couldn’t miss in 2002. Even Home Grown, a band that had been around since 1994 with middling success, got a relatively huge fan response to their third album, Kings of Pop. Those were the days…
Choice Track: “Give it Up”
Propelled by debut single “Swing, Swing,” The All-American Rejects quickly found themselves on MTV, playing Warped Tour and getting their songs prominently featured on The O.C.. They call that the Pop-Punk Trifecta.
Choice Song: Swing, Swing
2002 was one hell of a year for Drive-Thru. Something Corporate’s debut album was an instant classic, launching the band into the Warped Tour stratosphere and beyond. It also featured the beloved anti-bully anthem “If You C Jordan,” which solidified their high school fan base.
Choice Track: “Hurricane”
Is there anything more pop-punk than adding an electric violin to your band? Ocean Avenue spawned some massive hits for Yellowcard including the ballad “Only One,” which invaded school dances around the country for a while.
Choice Track: “Ocean Avenue”
Though they had been around since the mid-90s, The Ataris didn’t have their breakthrough into the mainstream until their 2003 major label release. Even more weird: The album’s biggest single was a cover of Don Henley’s 1984 single “Boys of Summer.”
Choice Track: “In This Diary”
Coheed’s third LP was also the third installment of The Armory Wars, a nerdy, complicated science-fiction story that the band’s music is apparently about. But you didn’t need to know anything about that to know that “A Favor House Atlantic” and “Blood Red Summer” were near-perfect pop jams.
Choice Track: “A Favor House Atlantic”
After spending more than a decade as a straight-up punk band, AFI released a pop album for their first major label debut. As you might expect, this pissed a bunch of longtime fans off, that’s the price you pay for frequent MTV exposure and a ton of new fans.
Choice Track: “The Leaving Song Pt. II”
29. Less Than Jake – Anthem (2003)
Ska punks Less Than Jake released a ridiculous catchy and sweet pop-punk album in 2003 with Anthem. On top of featuring a music video starring Alexis Bledel for “She’s Going to Break Soon,” the band reworked their older track “Look What Happened” to make it shorter and more explosive.
Choice Track “Look What Happened”
Before this album, The Movielife stylistically fit the pop-punk moniker easily. For this release, they added a tinge of hardcore to create a one of the angrier sounding records of this era.
Choice Track: “Face or Kneecaps”
No band had lyrics catchier, more instantly memorable, or more anthemic than Say Anything did on this album. Who else could make a song about escaping the Holocaust sound so sexy?
Choice Track: “Alive With the Glory of Love”
32. Head Automatica – Decadence (2004)
It was a legitimate shock when Glassjaw frontman Daryl Palumbo launched Head Automatic, a dance-punk band that sounded nothing like his old project. While hardcore purists never forgave him, Head Automatica stood on its own, launching Palumbo into pop stardom for a short period.
Choice Track: “Beating Heart Baby”
After Green Day’s lackluster (*cough* boring *cough*) 2000 album Warning, it seemed as though the once proud kings of pop-punk were doomed to slowly fade into obscurity. Then American Idiot came out of nowhere and vaulted them back on top of the game.
Choice Track: “Holiday”
Along with AFI, My Chemical Romance is credited with bringing a goth, Hot Topic-tinged aesthetic into the pop-punk realm of the mid-2000s. Unforgivable.
Choice Track: “Helena”
The follow-up to their respected and fairly popular 2003 debut Take This to Your Grave, From Under The Cork Tree unexpectedly pushed Fall Out Boy to the forefront of pop-punk and, surprisingly, pop-rock as a whole. 10 years later, they’re one of the only bands on this list still able to dominate the charts.
Choice Track: “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down”
Fueled by Ramen
As Blink-182 did before them, Fall Out Boy began strongly endorsing likeminded bands once they began their reign atop the pop-punk throne. Panic! at the Disco was the first, and in the wake of the decline of Drive-Thru Records, label Fueled By Ramen became THE place for pop-punk bands during the second half of the 2000s.
Choice Track: “Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off”
37. The Academy Is… – Almost Here (2005)
Fueled By Ramen
Another FBR band, Almost Here helped usher in a new era of pop-punk less focused on whiny, nasally vocals and more concerned with traditional musical chops. Frontman William Beckett could sing with the best of them.
Choice Track: “Slow Down”
38. Cartel – Chroma (2005)
The Militia Group
You know what’s weird? Cartel just went on a 10 year anniversary tour for this record. If that doesn’t remind you of your looming mortality, what will?
Choice Track: “Honestly”
One of Drive-Thru’s last releases, Hellogoodbye’s debut LP cracked the top 15 on the Billboard album charts and catapulted the band into major headlining tours.
Choice Track: “All of Your Love”
Basically every song on this album could have been its lead single. Every track on Hit the Lights’ first full-length is a lesson in how to make polished, shiny pop.
Choice Track: “The Call Out (You Are the Dishes)”
41. Paramore – Riot! (2007)
Fueled by Ramen
One of the last bands spawned from the 2000s pop-punk bubble, Paramore’s Riot!made them and singer Hayley Williams household names. Obviously, Paramore is one of the few bands on this list still going very strong (if not stronger) today.
Choice Track: “Misery Business”
Enjoy joy this pop-punk playlist while the cold hands of nostalgia choke you unmercifully.