Monday, August 07, 2006

best mall-punk albums

I couldn't sleep last night so I decided to pop in the New Found Glory live DVD, "This Disaster," which I've held onto for the last year with barely a viewing. In fact, xChris Jacobsenx from Wait in Vain may have had it longer than I have. Anyway, it got me thinking of all the great pop-punk albums that I really liked at one point or another; and I don't mean pop-punk in Jawbreaker, Screeching Weasel or Mr. T Experience sense, I mean straight up mall-punk jawns. The kind of pop-punk that kids who shop at Hot Topic and watch Fuse all day are into. I know that I've taken some jabs at the subculture, but it doesn't mean that I can't like some of the bands that represent them. Besides, it's not like I'm 14 and going crazy because I saw the dude from Fall Out Boy on some crappy WB show. Yech.

Best Mall-Punk Albums (in no particular order):

1. MxPx "Life in General" (Tooth and Nail)
Before releasing a string of poor releases, MxPx capped off their official tenure at God-friendly label, Tooth and Nail, with a loud, poppy record that captures all the angst of high school while simultaneously retaining a respectful amount of virtue.

2. The Ataris "Blue Skies, Broken Hearts...Next 12 Exits" (Kung Fu)
When you visit The Ataris' website now, they list bands such as Swervedriver, Death Cab for Cutie, and Sigur Ros as their primary influences. Once upon a time, there was a version of the band that was influenced by Jawbreaker and Lagwagon, and thus was far more interesting.

3. Home Grown "Kings of Pop" (Drive Thru)
Like Blink 182, Home Grown's grade school humor is what made them likeable and "Kings of Pop" is the car crash of fart jokes and melodic pop songs.

4. Fall Out Boy "Take This To Your Grave" (Fueled By Ramen)
Even though they're arena-bound rock stars now, once upon a time Fall Out Boy was a band that played tiny venues to small crowds of kids who gave a shit. This album is a concise representation of what makes the band work -- heart-on-sleeve-but-blood-soaked lyrics with a touch of hardcore sensibility.

5. Saves the Day "Through Being Cool" (Equal Vision)
Before Fall Out boy, New Jersey's Saves the Day brought out the self-deprecating and all encompassing hateful lyrics with hardcore melody to the forefront. In fact, you may even consider "Take This To Your Grave" a rip-off of "Through Being Cool."

6. Knockout "Searching For Solid Ground" (Fearless)
Chicago's Knockout is cheesy, trite and so damn catchy you can't help but dance around to this disc in your underwear. Word to Tom Cruise.

7. New Found Glory "New Found Glory" (Drive Thru)
Jordan Pundik's high pitched vocals are part of the charm. The rest can be summed up as "energenic," "fun," and "not as annoying or shitty as Good Charlotte."

8. Blink 182 "Dude Ranch" (MCA)
Oh man, before you listen to any other album listed here, listen to this first. You'll have a decent reference point for the rest. "Dude Ranch" features a pre-platinum, pre-Travis Barker Blink 182, a raw band full of potential and dick and fart jokes.


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