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!

Album Review: Neck Deep – The Peace And The Panic

Every band has a defining album; one that truly defines who they are as a band. For Nirvana, it was Nevermind, for Green Day it was American Idiot (or Dookie, I can’t decide between the two), and for the Red Hot Chili Peppers it was Californication. The album may not be the critical favourite or the fan favourite, but it is remembered by music fans for years. This feels like one of those albums.

Following up 2015’s incredibly highly rated Life’s Not Out To Get You is not an easy task. For example, Rock Sound called it ‘the best UK pop-punk album of all time’. I feel like there was a touch of hyperbole in that statement, but even so, that’s high praise from one of the UK’s most trusted music publications. Not only this, but they went on several successful tours on the back of it, becoming one of the most talked about bands not just in UK pop-punk, but pop-punk all around the world. From there, they could coast on the success of that album and release a similar-sounding record that would please all of their fans, or they could push themselves even further than they’ve gone before. Obviously, they went for the latter.

A great example of this further experimentation is the wonderful ‘In Bloom’, leaving behind the jagged guitar riffs of the previous album for atmospheric strummed guitars and a catchy chorus. If it’s those guitars you want though, you won’t be disappointed. Singles ‘Motion Sickness’ and ‘Happy Judgement Day’ are both classic Neck Deep at their best. But if it’s something new you want, ‘Don’t Wait’ won’t disappoint. Featuring Sam Carter from metalcore giants Architects, this is maybe the most intense song on the album, with Ben Barlow’s melodic vocals and Carter’s screams blending perfectly. A special mention should go out the songwriting to ‘Nineteen Seventy Sumthin”; the song literally brought a tear to my eye.

Will this album be a fan favourite? Maybe, maybe not. I’ve seen a range of fans voicing their displeasure in the new direction, particularly with ‘In Bloom’, but I feel like half the fans will love it, and half will warm to it over time. This seems like an album that people will look back on and think ‘Wow, that was good! I can’t believe I didn’t like it at the time!’. As for my opinion, I can’t pick a fault with the album. This is a modern pop-punk masterpiece that really shows Neck Deep at their best, in terms of lyrics, production, and of course, the music itself. I can’t wait to see what Neck Deep come up with next, but for the next few years, we have The Peace And The Panic, and I couldn’t be happier.

Best songs: Nineteen Seventy Sumthin’, In Bloom

Score: 10/10

Album Review: Ghostly Times – When All That’s Left Is Grey

We’ve had a lot of beautifully atmospheric rock music released this year. From Manchester Orchestra’s fifth album, to Bellevue Days’ third EP, people have been perfecting the art of creating an atmosphere through their music all around the rock world. One more band that aims to do this are Brooklyn-based Ghostly Times, who have created a fantastic sound on their debut full-length album.

The first two tracks typify this sound fantastically. ‘Ghostly Times’ and ‘Sleepless State’ create a great atmosphere that sets the tone for the rest of the album. The lead singer’s great voice is perfectly complimented by a plethora of guitar sounds, ranging from melodic swirls to low rhythmic accompaniment. This, alongside the fantastic drumming all comes together to make an atmosphere that is both beautiful and melancholy at the same time. Not all of the songs are the same though. ‘Book of Love’ takes much more of a typical rock format to great effect, and ‘Sit Back, Relapse and Go’ is a 6-minute-long odyssey. Not to mention the incredible ‘Murder of Crows’ – my favourite song on the album.

I have never been one for longer songs, and this album has quite a few of them. Having said that, the band has managed to make them in a way that has kept me engaged throughout the album. Everything on this album just feels right, from the start to the end, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for this band.

Best song: Murder of Crows

Score: 7/10

Classic Album Review: Bowling For Soup – Drunk Enough To Dance

Bowling For Soup have been creating the catchiest pop-punk for well over 25 years now. While some people may say that their music has lessened in quality recently, no one can deny that they still have a talent for writing some incredibly catchy hooks. And that ability catapulted them into fame in the early 2000’s, so much that their name is still mentioned amongst the greatest pop-punk bands of that era. There was one album that started all of this success though, and that was 2002’s Drunk Enough To Dance. This album would change their fortunes forever.

Without listening closely enough, this may sound like just your average 21st century pop-punk album. But what’s unique about it is vocalist Jaret Reddick’s ability to create a catchy hook. From the chorus of ‘Emily’ alone, I knew that this would be a memorable album. Every song has something catchy about it, from the first track to the last, and even on incredible bonus track ‘Punk Rock 101’. Are all of the songs perfect? Of course not, but all of them are good enough to stay in your head for the next week or so. And let’s be honest, what more can you ask for? The lyrical side of the album isn’t bad either. Most of the songs have that trademark Reddick humour that Bowling For Soup songs are known for. Occasionally this can come across as childish, but never enough to be a real problem.

Even if the name Drunk Enough To Dance might not be remembered much by pop-punk fans in ten years or so, the songs will definitely stick to people’s memories. The songs are catchy, energetic, and humorous, which is exactly what any pop punk album needs. This album has had a lot more influence, and is a lot better than people give it credit for. I hope it will be listened to for years to come.

Best song: Emily

Score: 8/10

Album Review: Goldfinger – The Knife

John Feldmann is a busy man. Not only fronting Goldfinger, he has produced some of the best rock albums of the last few years. Blink-182’s California, Panic! At The Disco’s Vices And Virtues, and Good Charlotte’s The Young And The Hopeless are just a few of the albums he has worked on in his illustrious career as a producer. If that doesn’t speak for itself, then I honestly don’t know what does. But in his time as a producer, he has had less time to spend working with his band; before this the last Goldfinger album came out in 2008 – nine years ago. But recently he has taken a short break from his busy producing schedule to work on his own band’s album.

Having said that, the band is barely recognisable from what it was back in 2008. In fact, Feldmann is the only member who has remained. Instead of the old members, Story Of The Year’s Philip Sneed, MxPx’s Mike Herrera, and Blink-182’s Travis Barker have joined Feldmann in creating this new album. Some famous names for sure – but is it all for show?

The answer to that is a resounding no. The album bursts into life with 90’s pop-punk styled ‘A Million Miles’, complete with incredible drumming by Travis Barker and a fantastically catchy hook; a Feldmann speciality. It’s clear that even though most of the band has changed, the music still has all the heart and quality you’d want and more. ‘Orthodontist Girl’ has not only the odd charm and humour of a Blink-182 song, but a sterling performance from guest star Josh Dun, whereas ‘Tijuana Sunrise’ takes on a slower but no less energetic ska sound.

In the nine years he’s been away from his band, John Feldmann has not lost the ability to make some great songs. I shouldn’t be surprised, given the albums he’s produced, but the quality of this album really shines through. I will definitely listen to this one again.

Best song: Put The Knife Away

Score: 7/10

EP Review: Fire In The Radio – New Air

Without doubt, 2017 has been a year of resurgence for both emo and punk music. Bands like Creeper and Miss Vincent have been gaining massive popularity over the past six months, among many other up-and-coming bands. One band that arguably fits into both of these categories is Fire In The Radio, a Philadelphia-based punk band that have created a refreshing new sound in this EP, New Air.

This sound is perfected in the first two tracks: ‘New Air’ and ‘I Don’t Know, I Remember’. The lead singer’s unique low voice is surrounded by bright, melodic guitars, sounding both energetic and melancholy at the same time. And that’s a pretty hard balance to keep. However the record would be pretty one-dimensional if all the tracks had a similar sound- songs like ‘Adeline’ and ‘Holy Shit’ help to switch things up with a slower tempo, but no less catchiness. Not to mention the incredible ‘Lionel Hampton Was Right’ – the best chorus on the EP by a long way.

From front to back, this EP never seems to drag on or overstay its welcome. No track feels out of place, and I’m actually thankful it lasts as long as it does. Work of this quality shows great promise, and I can’t wait for whatever this band come up with next.

Best song: Lionel Hampton Was Right

Score: 7/10