Desperately clinging onto my teens (via dated pop-punk tuneage)

No matter how many summers pass the sound of Sum 41 will always make the sun shine that little bit brighter and despite not listening to them for the best part of a decade i can recite most (if not all) of the lyrics to their seminal album  ‘All Killer No Filler’ as if i was still 14.  It is for this reason that i will always associate the sound of pop-punk with my favourite of seasons.
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Ubiquitous teenage poster.

As I’m sure most of you are already acquainted with the aforementioned (sort it out if not..) I will introduce to you some more gems to adorn your soundtrack to the summer days that beckon.
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Osker are a  now sadly defunct band who play juvenile, snotty-nosed  melodic punk- exactly the way it should be. What sets it apart from their contemporaries is their lo-fi sound- recalling early Socal pop punk pioneers The Descendents and the influence of 90’s emo bands such as Sunny Day Real Estate and The Get Up Kids.
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Opener from their final album ‘Patience’ encapsulates most of what is to come in the album fairly succinctly (1 minute 17!!), though there is some deviance from this norm, for example the ballad ‘Disconnect Disconnect’ has a notably slower tempo than the rest of the album.
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So, in summary don’t expect any re-writing of the rule book do expect complaining about  how unfair ‘the rule book’ is and sulking about it in their room for hours after a good old fashioned game of door slamming.  This of course only adds to their appeal and is kind of the whole point! Enjoy your regression into teenagerdom  and one of the best pop-punk albums of the 2000’s.
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Screeching Weasel are another of my favourite pop-punk bands, formed in ’86 and inspired by Ramones and hardcore punk its not difficult  to imagine their sound- later proving influential to later bands such as Green Day (Mike Dirnt had a short stint playing bass on Weasel’s ever changing lineup) whose appeal i have never really understood.
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The lyrics in particular are what really make Screeching Weasel stand out- often critical the punk scene they felt alienated from though always in a comic, sarcastic tone.   ‘Tightrope’ attacks the fetishisation of the working class in the punk community underlining that most of the musicians presenting themselves as spokespeople for the working class are actually middle class and that this pretension is a patronising one
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‘I’ve never heard a member of the working class
singing punk rock songs to kids they’re too busy working
I don’t get all worked up by angry white man tunes
by professional musicians they’re just doing their jobs’
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Likewise’ I Wanna Be a Homosexual’ is an attack upon the homophobic attitudes all too present in the macho dominated punk scene.
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Choice lyric ‘ it’s the straight in straight edge  that makes me wanna drink a beer’
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My final band of this week are Hot Water Music, who strictly speaking are more post-hardcore than pop punk.  Regardless of my rampant genre-naziism (as evident in every post so far…) they bring me back to summers long past.  However unlike Sum 41, Hot Water Music are still easily one of my favourite bands.
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I first heard Hot Water Music on a Punk-o-Rama compilation way back in 2003, the song was ‘Trusty Chords’ and it goes something a little  like this.
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Again it is  the vocals which really give Hot Water Music an edge, who boast not one, but two lead vocalists each of which with very distinctive voices. Whereas their contemporaries were either screaming  or singing with enough sugar to induce type-2 diabetes (*cough*New Found Glory*cough*), Chuck Ragan and Chris Wollard were singing with gravel in their throats and passion in the hearts.
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The rhythm section also goes a long way in providing HWM with their signature sound, with the bass often straying far from the comfortable root-note playing of much of punk rock and actually really grooving with the drums.  unfortunately I am writing this on a netbook with no bass response (my regular laptop is off for repairs sob sob) so i am relying on my memory for an appropriate song to illustrate this point. So here’s a song with some (hopefully) excellent bass playing!
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I am particularly exited about this band at the moment as they have recently reformed and have a tour date in Leeds (22nd of June if any one fancies joining me)  with support from the also excellent Milloy, who incidentally were lent a drum pedal by yours truly a few years back!
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Anyway, hope you dig the tunes.
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Peace
Xx
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