Ever wonder what the folks who run Dying Scene have been listening to lately? We’re going to pretend you said “yes” to that question and feature a curated playlist from a different DS editor each week with the intent of exposing you to some new kickass punk bands.
This week’s installment comes courtesy of editor Bizarro Dustin, who happens to really like pop punk. Like, really likes it, with tons of sugary choruses and sweet lyrics. If also feel that way, you can check out 10 songs to give your figurative sweet tooth something to enjoy below.
1. Hospital Job – “Tell Me Four Things About Yourself”
Hey! Do you like The Copyrights? That’s a dumb question, of course you do. They just put out an album this year, Report, and it’s pretty great. But did you know that Luke McNeill, the drummer and primary lyricist of The Copyrights, has another band that also put out a great record this year? They’re called Hospital Job, and the record is titled The Believer. “Tell Me Four Things About Yourself” is the opening track on the album, and as you can hear, it’s got that signature Copyrights sound, but with McNeill handling vocal duty. What’s not to love?
2. The Bare Minimum – “Laptop Jockey”
“Laptop Jockey” showcases The Bare Minimum’s ability to work with a strong lead, a catchy hook, and some great lyrics. The band’s debut album, Hit After Hit, is full of this kind of in-your-face instrumentation and blunt lyricism, but “Laptop Jockey” just might be them at their best. And it finally provides a way for you to sing Pink Floyd lyrics without some of your more self-righteous punk friends judging you.
3. Chumped – “Novella Ella Ella Eh”
Look, we’re at the point where you’re either on board with this band or you’re not. If you don’t like pop punk, that’s fine and you’re allowed to feel that way. But if the only reason you’re holding out on Chumped is because they’ve been blowing up all over the place lately… well, let’s just say that I didn’t even know they made horses that high. You should get down from there before you fall and break an arm or something.
4. Antarctigo Vespucci – “I Drew You Once in Art Class”
It was sad when Bomb the Music Industry! broke up. It’s also sad that Fake Problems hasn’t put out a new album since 2010’s Real Ghosts Caught on Tape. It’s pretty awesome, however, that Jeff Rosenstock and Chris Farren decided to put their friendship on public display by not only starting a LOST-themed podcast, but also by forming an amazing band that is (musically) equal parts of what made everyone fall in love with them in the first place. “I Drew You Once in Art Class”, off their newest EP, I’m So Tethered, is only a small taste of what to expect from these guys. Everything they’ve released so far can be downloaded for free/donation via Rosenstock’s QuoteUnquote Records, so grab that shit up here and here.
5. Cayetana – “Scott Get the Van, I’m Moving”
The hype is real. Even if you just wind up putting this playlist on as background noise, if this song doesn’t get you to bob your head or tap your foot along to it, you might be dead inside. (No offense to those who actually are dead on the inside, of course.)
6. Mikey Erg – “Three Cheers for the Liberty Bell”
It’s hard to be sad about living six years into a world without The Ergs! when Mikey Erg is still pumping out new music through a million and one different projects. Upon first listen the exploding guitars that drive “Three Cheers for the Liberty Bell” (taken from Erg’s recent split with Warren Franklin and the Founding Fathers) might not sound like something the nearsighted three would have done, but then again, neither did an 18 minute art-rock noise collage at one point in time. This song is the kind of thing that would have almost definitely popped up on a post-Upstairs/Downstairs Ergs! record.
7. Hell & Back – “Negative Adjectives”
Germany has been spawning lots of great punk bands lately, and Hell & Back is one of those acts. “Negative Adjectives” (which serves as both a means to call out the overwhelming sense of jadedness in today’s scene and a reference to Nothing Nice 2 Say) is the finest moment on their debut album, Heartattack, and it’s no coincidence that it also happens to begin with a sound clip from Seinfeld.
8. No Weather Talks – “No Name”
Another up-and-coming German act. No Weather Talks has only released a few EPs as of this writing, but what promising EPs they are! Like all great melodic punk, “No Name” casts all the right hooks to get stuck in your head and singing along without feeling ashamed for liking something so catchy (For an Americanized comparison, think Samiam meets Tsunami Bomb). According to their Facebook page, No Weather Talks will be releasing their debut full length in early 2015 so now’s the perfect time to start listening.
9. Eli Whitney and the Sound Machine – “The Zebra Shirt of Depressive Twenty Nothings”
Less pop punk, and more ska-punk, Eli Whitney & the Sound Machine really know how to bring it. Their debut album had all sorts of cool things on it, but their new album, Reasons to Leave, tightens them up in every single way. “The Zebra Shirt of Depressive Twenty Nothings” isn’t very pop punk, but it does provide plenty of examples of Eli Whitney’s sense of melody and cathartic lyricism.
10. Hard Girls – “Eddie Vedder vs. Jack the Ripper”
Science fact: whenever a person argues about “the best band ever” what they really mean is “the best band ever, after Hard Girls”. No, seriously. There is hard evidence to support this*. “Eddie Vedder vs. Jack the Ripper” is the closing track on the band’s album A Thousand Surfaces, and not only does it make for a great final song, it also shows you everything that Hard Girls is about: some excellent vocal interplay between guitarist Mike Huguenor and bassist Morgan Herrell and fucking fantastic musicianship all around. The entire album is worth the listen though, and I’m torn that I couldn’t just go with it as a whole. (Although I still highly recommend that you go listen to it on Bandcamp anyway.)
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