Punk music has always had a warning label on it and it was always handed to you from someone in a haz-mat suit. It has been the only genre of mass music that really hasn’t been fully accepted by the world population. The word “Sex” and “Pistols” have synonymous with the birth of punk music to the mainstream. When they screamed for anarchy all music fans ran to the hills. It was a revolt against conformity and the ideal. Any youth of spirit took the revolt and punk music slowly started to steamroll in the United Kingdom. The Punk movement took a long time to travel to the United States and like any movement before it took the underground. It started with Jazz in the 1920’s and white kids would sneak and go to black clubs to hear the best upbeat jazz. The underground swing movement started in the 40s and 50s and later with rock n’ roll in the early 60s.
But punk music didn’t take its full identity for a long time especially to today’s music fans. In early 1992, a band formed, left the underground punk scene in California and smeared America with its’ Dookie. Green Day’s first LP set the stage with hit songs like “Basket Case” and “Longview” that later became anthems. With ill witted themes of masturbation, boredom and never-ending adolescence anyone felt a part of a new generation. Even though they still put on some the best shows of all time against some of the best bands today, they are today’s godfathers to the punk scene. There is only one clause to their madness. The word “punk” still scared the American public. So the record industry was up with their mischievous ways and called the genre punk rock. This allowed kids to listen to punk music because it was apart of rock genre and it dealt the punk scene a royal flush to hit the big time. This is the Pop Punk Revolution.
Well how did music become pop? We really cannot track down the Pop Punk Revolution to one single moment of cosmic boom. But we can highlight the extraordinary factors that led to this revolution and its sudden end. Like many events in this world of social media, one juggernaut held the distinct power to many bands. The MySpace Generation. Not could music fans could connect to their fiends, they could connect to the music and bands that they love. Fans from around the country discovered bands from other states and through the America. An instant phenomenon was created and small record labels were sprung up all over the new pop punk nation. By the end of 1998, another band from Southern California met and broke through the radio airwaves with a bad word, “Dammit”.
Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge and later Travis Barker of Blink -182 commenced the start of the new revolution to mainstream media. Radio, television and everyone’s once favorite show Total Request Live all held red carpets to the princes of pop punk and band that were held to small regard and touring the small punk rock clubs were hitting stadiums and the summer’s Warped Tour. Punk rock music moved into a new phase of pop punk with its love woes and teenage restitution. Jeans with holes turned into long baggy shorts and regular shirts to turned into your favorite pop punk band’s tour shirt from that year. By the release of Enema of the State, Blink-182 captivated the world with “All the Small Things” and the rest was history.
Now all pop punk fans could find their own bands from Southern California to Coral Springs, Florida. If there was a small enough record label or a former band, a new pop punk was being signed. The Pop Punk Revolution allowed for any fan to find the music they wanted and ultimately become their favorite band. This led to fans trying to find themselves in the music. In 2000, the flux of pop punk was hitting the norm. That same year the greatest pop punk record was created. That band from Coral Springs, Florida, was New Found Glory and their rebellion of an album was their self-titled LP. It included the big hit “Hit or Miss”, the anthem “Ballad for the Last Romantics” and other hits like “Sucker” and “Dressed to Kill”. The album was a glass case of emotion ready to be broken by the ears of the new pop punk revolution.
After the initial uprising of pop punk to the mainstream of music, sub genres were being created like Emo and its counterpart Screamo. Emo was a soft punk style which laid heavily and just rhythmic guitar and witty lyrics than upon the music itself. This style of music was headed by band like Good Charlotte. It became a story of cries and hardships and never depending on the good in anything. Screamo was the “trying” of bands to sound hardcore with yells for choruses and short verses over pop punk melodies. This caused hundreds of bands to become one hit wonders on the charts and never lasted long on record labels. Bands without ever proving themselves were being signed to catch the buzz of Emo music. This caused the initial fall of a lot of record labels because all the funding was up front and the bands couldn’t last. By 2007, the phases would seize to exist.
In 2004, Blink-182 would release their last studio album, “….”. It showed a grown up sense of the band that we all grew up listening to. With songs like “I Miss You” and “Always” we knew it was a sad ending until their resurgence in 2009. But it was not an end of a genre. Green Day came back on to the mainstream with “American Idiot”. A political satire of the world that we all lived in today was unleashed on the charts and radio.. Punk rock was back. Bill Joe, Tre and Mike still are rocking today and have no sight of ending soon since they are still racking up album sales and awards every year.
Fans, especially writers like to classify bands like, New Found Glory as Pop or Emo but if you ask them you will get one answer only. Hell No. They like Blink did create their sound and stuck to it. They are now torch bearing Punk Rock for many bands to follow. On their 2009 release, Not Without a Fight proves the record industry that punk rock is not dead. They are probably one of the only bands to release eight albums and never stop touring the world in the past decade. So what started as Punk revolt has now triumphed as revolution a Punk Rock revolution.