My Top 100 Songs: 30-21

30. Royal – Waterparks

This is my favourite song off one of my new favourite albums, and from the moment I heard it I knew I’d love it. Waterparks are probably the best new band in pop-punk at the moment, and this just proves that.

Find it on: Double Dare (2016)

29. Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine – The Killers

I’ve recently talked about this song on the blog, so I’ll keep it short. This song is a pure masterpiece, and the fact that Brandon Flowers wrote it at so young an age is just a testament to what an incredible songwriter he is.

Find it on: Hot Fuss (2004)

28. Kitchen Sink – Twenty One Pilots

Just a bonus track on Vessel, I didn’t hear this song for a while. But when I did, it really hit me hard. In it, Tyler talks about trying to create things and leave a legacy behind. If you’re a creative or artistic person, this’ll hit you hard.

Find it on: Vessel (2013)/Regional At Best (2011)

27. Kids In The Dark – All Time Low

Future Hearts wasn’t everyone’s favourite stage of All Time Low’s career, but I think it was one of their best ever albums, and this is one of their best ever songs. Not only is it incredibly catchy, but it also has a bit of a message, which is rare for All Time Low.

Find it on: Future Hearts (2015)

26. Soap – As It Is

As It Is’ second album marked them branching out from their regular pop-punk and experimenting a little with some new sounds. This is almost (but not quite) the best thing that came out of that, a dark, Brand New-esque track that I absolutely love.

Find it on: okay. (2017)

25. Sorry You’re Not A Winner – Enter Shikari

Enter Shikari are one of the bands I’ve got into more recently, and this song stands out as by far one of their best. From the incredible riff, to the electronic elements, to Rou Reynolds’ versatile vocals, this song is a modern masterpiece.

Find it on: Take To The Skies (2007)

24. Goodbye Angels – Red Hot Chili Peppers

I feel like the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ latest album is massively underappreciated. They tried something new, and while it didn’t always come off, it worked well a lot of the time, including creating this masterpiece of a song.

Find it on: The Getaway (2016)

23. Just Like Heaven – The Cure

This is an absolute classic. I don’t really know what to say other than everything about this song is near perfect; the vocals, the rhythm, the bass, the guitar, and all the other little things tying them together.

Find it on: Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (1987)

22. Monkey Wrench – Foo Fighters

I remember first hearing this song on a Guitar Hero game when I was 12 and being blown away by Dave Grohl’s vocals. Now, at 20 years old, I feel exactly the same when listening to it

Find it on: The Colour And The Shape (1997)

21. Make It Stop (September’s Children)

Rise Against have written a lot of meaningful, powerful songs, but this must be the most powerful of all of them. Written after a long string of teenage suicides caused by homophobic bullying, this song was written as a message to everyone out there that things will get better. This is truly Rise Against at their best.

Find it on: Endgame (2011)

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My Top 100 Songs: 50-41

50. Self-Esteem – The Offspring

This, along with many other songs found on Guitar Hero is one of the major reasons I got into punk and pop-punk as a genre. I heard this, along with Sum 41’s ‘Motivation’ and Rise Against’s ‘Savior’, decided to find more bands that made that kind of music, and have never looked back since.

Find it on: Smash (1994)

49. Almost – Bowling For Soup

In this song, Bowling For Soup, who are known for making a lot of joke songs, and never taking themselves to seriously, create quite a hard hitting sad song. It combines the catchy pop-punk that they are known for, with well written lyrics, and a touch of Bowling For Soup’s trademark silliness to great effect.

Find it on: A Hangover You Don’t Deserve (2004)

48. Snuff – Slipknot

Generally, I appreciate Slipknot for what they’ve done in the music scene, but have never really got into their music, but this song is a masterpiece. It shows some of the most honest lyrics Corey Taylor has written to date, and if this doesn’t give you goosebumps, nothing will.

Find it on: All Hope Is Gone (2008)

47. Panic Station – Muse

From a sad, slow song, to a happy, fast one, this is by far the catchiest song Muse have ever written. What really shines for me about it is how much fun they seemed to be having while making it. It’s just a really fun song.

Find it on: The Second Law (2012)

46. The Middle – Jimmy Eat World

Does this song even need any introduction. Not only is it one of the catchiest songs ever written, it helped to define pop-punk in its early days. This song will go down in history.

Find it on: Bleed American (2001)

45. Ode To Sleep – Twenty One Pilots

This song isn’t just special to me because it sounds great, but also because the lyrics really resonate with me. It talks about that time at night when negative thoughts begin to creep into your head just before you go to sleep. And in my opinion, it’s a perfect portrayal of these thoughts.

Find it on: Vessel (2013)

44. Karate – Babymetal

This may come as a surprise, but I think Babymetal are far more than just a gimmick. They blend the backing music of a metal band with the vocals of a J-pop band, and do it really well. The melodies are catchy, and the instrumentals are intense, and I feel like that’s a really interesting balance that hasn’t been explored enough yet.

Find it on: Metal Resistance (2016)

43. Always – Panic! At That Disco

From an intense song, to a minimal, acoustic one, this is the beautiful highlight of the masterpiece that is Vices and Virtues. It combines beautiful acoustic guitar, beautiful singing and beautiful lyrics, and I couldn’t possibly love it any more.

Find it on: Vices and Virtues (2010)

42. Kids – MGMT

Oddly enough, I found this one on a FIFA video game soundtrack when I was younger, and it has stuck with me ever since. If you can listen to it without it getting it stuck in your head, congratulations.

Find it on: Oracular Spectacular (2007)

41. Lovely – Twenty One Pilots

From one catchy song to another, this is one of four amazing bonus tracks to Twenty One Pilots’ Vessel. While not the best of those bonus tracks, it is still a masterpiece in itself, and features some great lyrics from Tyler Joseph.

Find it on: Vessel (2013)

Come back in a couple of weeks for more of my favourite songs!

My Top 100 Songs: 60-51

60. Prayer Of The Refugee – Rise Against

One of the most catchy and easily recognisable tracks Rise Against have ever written in their career, this song is an absolute gem. It shows them at their furious, political best.

Find it on: The Sufferer And The Witness (2006)

59. Holding On To You – Twenty One Pilots

I love an intense song, and this is definitely one of those. It mixes all the best aspects of Twenty One Pilots’ work, mixing soaring melodies, intense rapping and great electronic influences to create a song that once you hear, you won’t get it out of your head.

Find it on: Vessel (2013)

58. Ocean Avenue – Yellowcard

This song is yet another example of early 2000’s pop-punk. Great vocals and guitar are combined with one of the most easily recognisable choruses of all time to make an incredible song.

Find it on: Ocean Avenue (2003)

57. Smile Like You Mean It – The Killers

This is one of the songs I’ve liked for the longest on this list. I always had it in my head when it first came out, but I only found out what it was called after discovering The Killers later on in my life. An amazing song.

Find it on: Hot Fuss (2004)

56. Team – Lorde

2013’s Pure Heroine was an incredible album, but I feel like this is the best song from it. Not only does it bear all of Lorde’s trademark incredible writing and production, its chorus can get in my head like no other song.

Find it on: Pure Heroine (2013)

55. Stacy’s Mom – Fountains Of Wayne

I may lose my credibility to a lot of people by saying this, but I love this song. It’s as catchy as anything I’ve heard, but not only that, it’s possibly one of the funniest songs ever written.

Find it on: Welcome Interstate Managers (2003)

54. I’m Made Of Wax Larry, What Are You Made Of? – A Day To Remember

I mentioned loving intense songs earlier, but this is something else. It feature incredible screamed vocals and an incredible chorus, the best of both worlds between hardcore and pop-punk.

Find it on: Homesick (2009)

53. Lost In Stereo – All Time Low

From one catchy chorus to another, this is one of the best songs in All Time Low’s discography. It contains one of the best vocal performances too!

Find it on: Nothing Personal (2009)

52. I Could Have Lied – Red Hot Chili Peppers

There is a beautiful acoustic track nestled in amongst all of the smash hits in Blood Sugar Sex Magik, and it’s this song. It’s serene, beautiful, and features some of John Frusciante’s best guitar work.

Find it on: Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)

51. This Is Letting Go – Rise Against

This part of the countdown is started and finished by Rise Against, but the songs couldn’t be any more different. While ‘Prayer Of The Refugee’ is filled with anger, this is much more reflective and thoughtful. The lyrics are some of Tim McIlrath’s best work as well.

Find it on: Endgame (2011)

Come back in a fortnight for more of my favourite songs!

Album Review: In This Moment – Ritual

In This Moment seem to have changed a lot as a band since their last album. Gone are the promiscuous lyrics, replaced with what seems like a whole new vocal style by vocalist Maria Brink. The metal riffs are still there, but not turned up nearly as much as in previous albums. Not just this, but electronic elements seem to be used a lot more liberally, and the  The band have completely shed their skin, and thrown themselves into this new album, but is that for the best?

The album is a bit longer than average at 50 minutes long, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the band have chosen quantity over quality. The biggest example of this is a creepy cover of Phil Collins’ ‘In The Air Tonight’. Sounds weird doesn’t it? Well I won’t disagree that it’s a strange song choice for a metal band, but it is pulled off incredibly. The creepy edge shows the song in a whole different light, and I, for one, love it. But can the rest of the album live up to this?

Well, not exactly. The problem with having such a great track early on is that it sets the bar a little too high for the rest of the album to follow up. Having said that, the album has a lot of good stuff to offer up. For example, ‘Oh Lord’ shows Maria Brink’s voice working absolute wonders, showing a gritty aspect to her voice that has always been there, but never as obviously as here. This belongs to the same style as ‘In The Air Tonight’, a creepy ballad led by Brink’s voice. To contrast this, songs like ‘River Of Fire’ show a lot more metal tendencies. These are not completely in the style of their older hits, showing a bit more of a ‘horror’ themed touch, but definitely hark back to them. Finally, ‘Black Wedding’ is another highlight, not only acting as a nod to a similarly named Billy Idol song, but utilising the talents of Judas Priest singer Rob Halford.

In conclusion, this album is a brave step for In This Moment. The decision to move on and try a different style of music was one that really worked. And while the album doesn’t completely work in some places, it deserves a lot more credit than if they had created a carbon copy of a previous album. It pays to experiment, and this experiment has worked.

Best song: In The Air Tonight

Score: 7/10

My Top 100 Songs: 80-71

80. 1985 – Bowling For Soup

Bowling For Soup have always been an insanely catchy band, but this catches them at their very best. It is important to note that this is not exactly their song, as it was originally written by a band called SR-71, but in this version, the loud guitars were toned down a little, and a great guitar riff was added. It’s an example of how to cover a song perfectly.

Find it on: A Hangover You Don’t Deserve (2004)

79. Pretty Little Distance – As It Is

From one piece of pop-punk perfection to another, this perfectly encapsulates what As It Is are all about. Excellent vocals and a catchy chorus mix together to make a song that I’ve been singing ever since I first heard it.

Find it on: okay. (2017)

78. Hoodwinker – Enter Shikari

Rou Reynolds’ voice is powerful, and this song is a perfect demonstration of it. He both screams and sings on this song, and sounds just as good while doing both. Coupled with the incredible guitar work, this song really packs a punch.

Find it on: N/A (This was released as a single on its own)

77. Reckless – You Me At Six

There is really nothing more to this than the fact that it’s a really fun, well made pop-punk song. The chorus is catchy, the guitar riff is great, and the song as a whole is pretty flawless. It’s just a lot of good fun.

Find it on: Sinners Never Sleep (2011)

76. State Of The Union – Rise Against

If ‘Hoodwinker’ turns things up to a ten, then this song turns then all the way up to an eleven. This is probably the most intense song Rise Against have ever written, and is a scathing critique of America under George Bush. I’d like to say that things have got better since then, but all you need to do is look at the news to realise it’s not.

Find it on: Siren Song Of The Counter Culture (2004)

75. Dosed – Red Hot Chili Peppers

This song is a true masterpiece; the Kiedis vocals and Frusciante’s guitar work blend together to create a truly beautiful song. But not only is it beautiful, it is truly heartfelt, with some of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ best ever vocals.

Find it on: By The Way (2002)

74. Diamond Eyes [Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom] – Shinedown

Shinedown have written some great hard rock songs in their time as a band, but for me this rises above all of them. The mix of soft guitar in the intro going into a great guitar riff and shouted vocals works perfectly, and the chorus sound as epic as anything they have ever written.

Find it on: The Sound Of Madness (2008)

73. All You Are Is History – State Champs

State Champs are yet another one of the fantastic up-and-coming pop-punk bands at the moment, and this song is great proof. Often overlooked because of other hit single, ‘Secrets’, I feel that this song is a gem. It has everything a pop-punk song needs and more.

Find it on: Around The World And Back (2015)

72. Witchcraft – Pendulum

This may seem like a bit of a strange choice considering all of the other music I’m into, but that doesn’t mean I love it any less. The mix of guitar, a catchy hook, and intense electronic elements makes this a perfect song for me.

Find it on: Immersion (2010)

71. In My Mind – The Amazons

I fell in love when I saw this song live. I’d already heard it, but never fully taken it in before then. The power of the guitar and the great vocals of the chorus really hit me then, and I’ve never stopped listening to it since.

Find it on: The Amazons (2017)

Tune in in a couple of weeks for songs 70 – 61!

Album Review: Stone Sour – Hydrograd

Stone Sour were originally formed in 1992, but five years later, after a few demo tapes were released, the band went on hiatus after current lead singer Corey Taylor and former guitarist Jim Root started work with notorious metal band Slipknot. However they reformed in 2000, released a stunning debut album and have been proving people wrong ever since. Their time as a band has not been without difficulties and setbacks though. Taylor’s work with his ‘main’ band, Slipknot, has often come first, leading to big breaks in between the bands album releases and touring schedules.

Things eventually came to a breaking point in 2013, with guitarist Jim Root leaving due to creative differences with the band, saying the band were preoccupied with making money and getting ‘radio play’. This is their first full album after that incident, and although it does initially sound a little more radio friendly at points, it rocks just as much. Taylor’s voice has definitely improved on this album too, as shown by the brilliant ‘Song #3’. But this song doesn’t only show how far he’s come as a vocalist, but also as a writer. The chorus on this song is one of the catchiest things I’ve heard in quite a while. His songwriting prowess is shown yet again in ‘Rose Red Violent Blue (This Song Is Dumb & So Am I)’, with a perfectly melodic verse that turns into a great chorus.

In fact, the whole album is a really great example of the whole band’s writing and playing skills. In a recent interview, Chad Kroeger recently claimed that the band was only ‘Nickelback-lite’, which begs the question, is he really listening? And if he is, does he even believe himself or is he trying to create controversy out of nothing, to draw attention to himself? Either way, this album is leagues ahead of anything I’ve heard from Nickelback, showing the creativity and intensity I’ve come to expect from a Corey Taylor-led band. That isn’t to discount any of the other band members’ work though, this album is definitely a group effort.

Despite all of the ‘radio rock’ accusations, there are still loads of moments of brutality, particularly in ‘Whiplash Pants’, four minutes of pure fury. Lead single ‘Fabuless’ also has several moments of anger, helping to throw these allegations out the window. On the other hand, ‘St. Marie’, a soft-sounding country song helps to show the bands versatility; there really are a fantastic range of songs on this album. Stone Sour have been a band for 25 years now, but this album sounds as fresh as ever.

Best Song: Song #3

Score: 8/10

My Top 100 Songs: 90-81

90. Nightmare – Avenged Sevenfold

Turn this song on, put your headphones in, and listen to the intro of this song. If that doesn’t leave you with goosebumps, then I have no idea what will. From the beautifully creepy opening right to the end, this song is a loud, but haunting masterpiece.

Find it on: Nightmare (2010)

89. Bleed American – Jimmy Eat World

This song is Jimmy Eat World at their loudest and angriest, and I love it. On an album with songs like ‘Sweetness’ and ‘The Middle’, this stands out as being one of the most aggressive songs the band have written.

Find it on: Bleed American (2001)

88. My Oceans Were Lakes – As It Is

As singer Patty Walters put, this is ‘the only happy song’ on Never Happy, Ever After, which makes it stand out even more as being one of the best songs on that album. The beginning is beautifully soft and slow, and the song slowly builds up all the way until the end, where it explodes into life in the final chorus. A great song from a wonderful band.

Find it on: Never Happy, Ever After (2015)

87. Too Shy To Scream – AFI

This song is often overlooked as it is from 2009’s slightly disappointing Crash Love, but it is amongst the best songs that they’ve ever written. The thundering guitars and drums are catchy enough on their own, but Davey Havok’s lyrics give this song life, driving the verses along, and adding beautiful melody to the chorus.

Find it on: Crash Love (2009)

86. Stupid For You – Waterparks

Waterparks are a clever pop-punk band, taking all of the great elements of classic pop-punk and adding modern electronic elements to create an incredibly catchy blend of music. Stupid For You is almost the best example of this, as one of the most catchy songs I’ve ever heard.

Find it on: Double Dare (2016)

85. Time Is Running Out – Muse

This song features some of Matt Bellamy’s vocal work of all time. His voice along with the driving bass during the verse showcases some of the best Muse have ever sounded. Not to mention that the chorus is incredible too.

Find it on: Absolution (2003)

84. Heavydirtysoul – Twenty One Pilots

I hated this song at first, judging it for it’s genre over the actual content of the song. But after I’d got used to singer Tyler Joseph’s voice, I began to love it. The lyrical content is excellent, not to mention the incredible rapping and drumming featured on the song.

Find it on: Blurryface (2015)

83. December – Neck Deep

This is such a sad song, but it is also packed full of meaning and incredible lyrics. The chorus will never get out of your head either. Definitely one to sing along to on a cold, miserable day.

Find it on: Life’s Not Out To Get You (2015)

82. Fire – PVRIS

This is the best song from one of my favourite albums ever. Lynn Gunn’s great vocals pull the listener in before they are treated to an incredibly intense chorus with electronic influences. Basically everything PVRIS are good at.

Find it on: White Noise (2014)

81. Jerk It Out – The Caesars

There is a lot of sentimental value I have associated with this song, as I have loved it ever since I heard it on a FIFA soundtrack when I was younger. But unlike the other songs, I have never stopped loving it. It is basically the perfect pop song.

Find it on: 39 Minutes of Bliss (In an Otherwise Meaningless World) (2003)

Come back in a couple of weeks for songs 80-71!