The 10 Best Pop-Punk Albums of the 2010s by Year: A Discussion
We asked manager and host of ‘Waldman's Words’ on idobi Radio, Scott Waldman, to take on the challenge of ranking the 10 Best Pop-Punk Albums of the 2010s by Year. He enlisted friend and fellow musician Tom Kunzman to help him out. See what albums topped their list below:
Tom Kunzman of 18th & Addison and I had a pizza party of a time last year ranking the Top Ten Pop-Punk Albums Year-By-Year that came out between 2000-2009. Now that the most recent decade is officially over, we decided to write a sequel and highlight the best (SUBJECTIVE) ones from 2010-2019.
With the exception of Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, sequels are usually far worse than their predecessors, but these ten albums truly rival the ones that we listed before. If you disagree, you’re wrong.
Again, the same rules that we utilized stringently in the last piece apply again, and we supplanted that firm and hard legal doctrine with another amendment: No band mentioned before gets shouted out here. Sorry, New Found Glory. You’re still the real MVP.
Anyway, don’t look back in anger:
1. The Wonder Years – The Upsides (2010)
SW: New year’s decade with Carl Weathers.
TK: This party sucks.
SW: Agreed but Philly pop-punk doesn’t. I saw the band play this album in full at Chain Reaction earlier this decade, and I cannot recollect a sweatier show.
TK: Sweater weather.
SW: Wrong album, Mr. K.
TK: I am scared and I’m sorry.
SW: Hey thanks.
2. The Story So Far – Under Soil and Dirt (2011)
TK: Gratitude gives me closure. This album is a hell of a debut.
SW: Indeed. It’s held in (wait for it, wait for it) high regard.
TK: Lots of states and minds back this record to this day. (pauses for four years; no laugh) Lots of sons AND DAUGHTERS back this record to this day. (pauses for four more years; still no laugh) Fuck you, Scott.
SW: I roamed the earth for eight years to avoid you.
TK: I guess that’s your story so far.
3. Set It Off – Cinematics (2012)
SW: Let’s set it off with the actual band puns. Wait. Fuck.
TK: Plastic promises, Mr. W.
SW: No control.
TK: I saw Set It Off on a recent Warped run at 11AM and I was blown away at Cody’s ability with crowd control and the actual size of the crowd itself.
TK: It was a grand beginning.
SW: Well done. I saw Set It Off open for Story of the Year on this album’s tour and I became a superfan that day.
4. State Champs – The Finer Things (2013)
TK: I’m often hard to please, just ask my wife and bandmate Kait (HEY YO), but I became a superfan of State Champs when this album came out.
SW: Well prepare to be noticed now: Your wife is going to stab you.
TK: My simple existence has stepped over the line.
TK: Nothing’s wrong, Scott. I swear. Nothing’s wrong.
SW: ANYWHO, this album elevated State Champs to godfather status in the pop punk scene.
TK: Easy enough.
5. Modern Baseball – You’re Gonna Miss It All (2014)
SW: That joke was great. I’m proud of you. It was better than fine.
TK: Awesome. I’m going to bed now.
SW: WAIT! We still have more notes to make. This record is lyrically quirky and musically hipster-y? YET, it’s still lumped in the pop-punk world and that’s two good things.
TK: Two is better than one.
SW: Wrong band and megastar, Mr. K.
TK: I’ve hit rock bottom. I love Modern Baseball.
6. Neck Deep – Life’s Not Out to Get You (2015)
SW: (in best Animal from The Muppets voice) Speaking of Rock Bottom, Neck Deep has a song on this album called “Rock Bottom” too.
TK: I hope this comes back to haunt you.
SW: I don’t.
TK: I do. ANYWAY, I think that this record’s opening track was heard worldwide in The Defend Pop Punk Group on Facebook.
SW: Can’t kick up the roots.
TK: No no no. Can’t.
SW: Neck Deep can’t not write a catchy song. That’s a double negative.
7. Descendents – Hypercaffium Spazzinate (2016)
TK: Speaking of catchy…
SW: Speaking of pop-punk…
TK: I was speaking, Scott.
TK: Scott Louis Waldman, you are a victim of me.
SW: Speaking of victims…
TK: Every band in this genre is a victim to Descendents.
SW: I was speaking, Tom.
TK: Feel this.
SW: I feel this album. I feel every Descendents album. Incredible songs. Incredible musicianship. Incredible production.
TK: Hell yeah. Unchanged.
8. Anti-Flag – American Fall (2017)
SW: My extreme love for Anti-Flag has not changed since I first heard Die for the Government over 20 years ago. (pauses) I’m old.
TK: I’m not as old, but “Rank-N-File” from The Terror State was my A-F gateway drug. (pauses) I came. I saw. I believed.
SW: (Not a) liar.
TK: Throw (the parentheses, and the parentheses are “it,” and it is a really long bad joke) away.
TK: Speaking of Ks, add two, and Anti-Flag will write a powerful song about you.
SW: A bigot with a checklist.
TK: I LOVE what Anti-Flag truly stands for: Inclusion.
SW: Agreed. And this MAY be the band’s catchiest record. I’d never (wait for it, wait for it) throw it away.
9. Tonight Alive – Underworld (2018)
TK: I would never throw away my book of love.
SW: Dude, you have one too? I guess I’m the other one.
TK: Just for now!
SW: Speaking of the word “for,” it appears in two more song titles on this album: 1) “Waiting for the End” 2) Looking for Heaven”
TK: Wow. WOW. Wow. WOW. Wow. I’m now looking FOR the exit.
SW: Well crack my heart!
TK: I will. By the way, this album fucking rocks and is possibly the most underrated one on this list.
10. Bayside – Interrobang (2019)
SW: And we’re almost done with this list!
TK: Look at us.
SW: I don’t have a mirror handy. By the way, Bayside ended the decade with a fucking interrobang. Easily the shreddiest album on this list.
TK: Yes yes yes. It’s my medication.
SW: Serious question: Do you need special medication because you’re so tall?
TK: No. I normally just walk it off.
SW: Your long legs are closer to heaven. This album is closer to my heart than most Bayside records, and I LOVE ALL BAYSIDE RECORDS!
TK: Prayers for my ears. You don’t need to shout.
SW: I’m in trouble now.
TK: White flag.
SW: White flag.
Pop-punk T-shirts often include weapons, but it’s all love here. Tom and I had a blast writing this piece and we can’t wait until 10 years from now to write its follow up. Until then, enjoy this playlist and smile.
The 25 Best Metalcore Albums