4 Pop Punk Bands You Should Be Listening To

4 Pop Punk Bands You Should Be Listening To

Don't turn a blind eye on the growing genre of pop punk

Pop Punk a genre for the kids some say, well I'm here to tell you that anyone can relate to pop punk. There are so many great bands in this genre. Many will undermine them and those people are missing out on some truly great music. Warped Tour has become the pinnacle for pop punk music with bands like State Champs, Real Friends, Neck Deep, and Knuckle Puck in attendance. Many people will sit and say it is not heavy enough and just sounds like mainstream pop. Well those people have not been searching hard enough and I am here to stop the searching so stay tuned and be prepared to jam out.

1. State Champs

Hailing from Albany, New York the band State Champs is quickly gaining publicity and deservedly so. Every song this band comes up with could be a hit, these guys are unstoppable. Their debut album "The Finer Things" sparked the musical minds of many with songs like "Elevated", "Deadly Conversation", "Hard to Please", and "Simple Existence". The band has been all around the world touring and is on this years Vans Warped Tour. I was lucky enough to catch them and was even crowd surfing at their set! Let me tell you I have nothing but good things to say about this band and I can't wait for the next time I get to see them. In 2015 State Champs released their sophomore album "Around The World And Back" this album pushed this band past all others winning them breakthrough band at the 2016 Alternative Press Music Awards. The album features songs "All You Are is History", "Secrets", and "Perfect Score". I can highly recommend this album and I can promise you that State Champs cannot make a bad song. Give this band a chance and I can promise you that you will not be disappointed. I will admit that State Champs is not only my favorite band but is also my go to band when so called "shit hits the fan". So let's all get elevated, celebrate our simple existence and strive for that perfect score.

2. Neck Deep

Wrexham, Wales, UK home to one of the most inspirational pop punk bands ever created. The band has released some pure gold songs "December", "A Part of Me", "Can't Kick Up the Roots" and "Gold Steps". If you ever need something to get you through life and every struggle that comes along with it listen to Neck Deep. A song that will get you through almost everyday is "Smooth Seas Don't Make Good Sailors" even the song title gives away that this song is inspirational. Neck Deep released their debut album titled "Rain In July" in 2012 and it featured songs "Silver Lining", "A Part Of Me", and "What Did You Expect". Their sophomore album debuted in 2014 and was titled "Wishful Thinking" some of my favorite songs from the album included "Crushing Grief", "Growing Pains" and "Losing Teeth". Lastly my favorite album "Life's Not Out to Get You" with some of my favorite songs "Kali Ma", "December", "The Beach Is for Lovers (Not Lonely Losers)", and "Threat Level Midnight". Every single song on this new album will speak to you in a way you probably never thought possible. Neck Deep knows how to grab your attention and at times your feels. At the APMA's Neck Deep took home the award for best live band. I have yet to experience a live performance but you can bet I will in the future. This band has helped me through some rough patches in my life and believe me they can help you too.

3.Knuckle Puck

Have you ever heard a song that sticks and follows you even after listening to it? If you like that feeling listen to Knuckle Puck. This band hails from Chicago, Illinois and is nothing short of pure pop punk. Releasing "Don't Come Home" in 2012 was just the beginning of something truly special. Knuckle Puck released "The Weight That You Buried" with songs "No Good" and "Your Back Porch" in 2013. The band then released "Split Ep", "Oak Street", and "While I Stay Secluded" in 2014. In 2015 Knuckle Puck starting gaining some real stardom when they released the album "Copacetic" with some of my favorite songs "Disdain", "True Contrite", "Pretense", and still to this day one of the best songs I have ever heard "Untitled". "Untitled" is the sort of song to give you chills all throughout your body. Hearing this song live at Warped Tour this year made me feel those chills more than I could ever imagine. It is an extremely powerful song and I save it for those moments in life that you just cannot fathom. So if you breakup with your girlfriend/boyfriend or whatever the case may be listen to this song and you will feel something you've never felt before. This feeling is hard to explain but it puts your mind at ease and you'll feel as if weight is lifted off of your shoulders. Any band that can make you feel their music deserves to be listened to so give these guys a shot.

4. Real Friends

Life is life, bad things are going to happen to you no matter what. Real Friends stick by your side through it all though and that is exactly what this band will do for you. Whenever I listen to this band I feel as if they are talking directly to me; they are just that relatable. I have come to love this band in a very short time just from seeing them at Warped Tour this year. A quote from the song "Late Nights in My Car" has stuck with me and makes me feel better every time I hear it. "If you never break, you'll never know how to put yourself back together". This quote truly speaks volumes and has become my motivation it makes me feel as if nothing can break me besides my past. I cannot tell you how much this band has changed me and it has changed me for nothing but the best. Another band from Illinois the band Real Friends is one of pop punks best. In 2013 "Put Yourself Back Together" was released it featured emotional songs "Late Nights in My Car" and "I've Given Up on You". In 2014 "Maybe this Place is the Same and We're Just Changing" was released and featured "I Don't Love You Anymore", "Sixteen", and "Cover You Up". Real Friends released a new album recently titled "The Home Inside My Head" that featured songs "Mess" and "Colder Quicker". This band will get to you whether you like it or not. Everyone can relate to loss, devastation, and change. Believe me if you need to cope with those feelings listen to Real Friends. Real friends don't turn a blind eye, they feel what you feel and that is exactly what listening to Real Friends is like.

Cover Image Credit: www.adamelmakias.com

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved

To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Severus Snape Is The Worst, And Here's Why

Albus Severus, sweetie, I'm so sorry...


I grew up being absolutely obsessed with the Harry Potter franchise. I read the books for the first time in second and third grade, then again in middle school, and for the third time in my last year of high school. Recently, I had a somewhat heated argument with a fellow fan of the books about Severus Snape. As I've reread the Harry Potter books, I've noticed that, although J.K. Rowling tried to give him a redemption arc, he only got worse because of it. Here's why I still think Severus Snape is the absolute worst.

His love for Lily Potter was actually really creepy. When I was younger and reading the books, I always found the fact that he held fast in his love for Lily to be very endearing, even noble. However, rereading it after going through a couple of relationships myself, I've come to realize that the way he pined over her was super creepy. It was understandable during his time at Hogwarts; he was bullied, and she was the only one who "understood" him. However, she showed zero interest, and if that didn't clue him into realizing that he should back off, her involvement with James Potter should have. She was married. He was pining after a married, happy woman. If he truly loved her, he would have realized how happy she was and backed off. Instead, he took it out on her orphan son and wallowed in bitterness and self-pity, which is creepy and extremely uncool. When a girl is kind to a boy during high school (or in this case, wizard school), it's not an open invitation for him to pine for her for the literal rest of his life and romanticizes the absolute @#$% out of her. It's just her being a decent person. Move on, Severus.

He verbally abused teenagers. One of the most shocking examples of this is in The Prisoner of Azkaban when Snape literally told Neville Longbottom that he would kill his beloved toad, Trevor if he got his Shrinking Potion wrong, and then punished him when he managed to make the potion correctly. Furthermore, poor Neville's boggart was literally Snape. The amount of emotional torture Neville must have been enduring from Snape to create this type of debilitating fear must have been almost unbearable, and even if Snape was simply trying to be a "tough" professor, there is no excuse for creating an atmosphere of hostility and fear like he did in his potions class for vulnerable students like Neville. In addition, he ruthlessly tormented Harry (the last living piece of Lily Potter, his supposed "true love," btw), and made fun of Hermione Granger's appearance. Sure, he might have had a terrible life. However, it's simply a mark of poor character to take it out on others, especially when the people you take it out on are your vulnerable students who have no power to stand up to you. Grow up.

He willingly joined a terrorist group and helped them perform genocide and reign over the wizarding world with terror tactics for a couple of decades. No explanation needed as to why this is terrible.

Despite the constant romanticization of his character, I will always see the core of Severus Snape, and that core is a bitter, slimy, genocidal, manipulative trash being. J.K. Rowling's attempt to redeem him only threw obsessive and controlling traits into the mix. Snape is the absolute worst, and romanticizing him only removes criticism of an insane man who just so happened to be capable of love (just like the vast majority of the rest of us). Thank you, next.

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