Trust New Found Glory when they tell you that pop punk is still not dead. In fact, it’s in the rudest of health. So while the old guard are bickering away like an unhappy family – sort it out, Blink-182 – there’s an army of new bands snapping at their heels. Neck Deep blazed a trail last year. So who’s next? Let’s look, then, at the 10 figureheads of this burgeoning new wave of pop punk…
**AS IT IS **2015 looks set to be a massive year for this Brighton (via Minneapolis) quintet. They were the first UK band to sign to US label Fearless late last year and the hyper-catchy pop-punk of Dial Tones has earned the band over 285,000 views on YouTube. They’ve just finished a tour with the now-defunct Save Your Breath and are currently preparing to head out on a co-headline tour of Europe with Australia’s Trophy Eyes. Later this month, they’ll set off to the US for the Glamour Kills Spring Break dates, where they’ll share the stage with Set It Off, Against The Current and fellow Brits ROAM. If that wasn’t going to keep them busy enough, they’ve been added to this summer’s Warped Tour bill, and somewhere in between all that, they’ll release their debut album. Phew.
**BOSTON MANOR **Blackpool may not be an obvious hotbed for pop punk, but Boston Manor are about to change all that. Last year saw the release of their blinding mini-album Driftwood, which blended Brand New’s visceral anthems with the breakneck punk pace of NOFX. If the super-charged title track is a taste of what’s to come, then we can’t wait to hear their full-length debut.
**CHUMPED **Last year, Candy Hearts broke out of the East Coast scene and wowed audiences across the UK on New Found Glory’s Pop Punk’s Not Dead tour. This year, it’s the turn of Brooklyn’s Chumped to fly the flag for gritty pop-punk. Their grungy, happy-go-lucky anthems are perfectly fronted by vocalist Anika Pyle, who wrote a blog last December saying that there’d been a positive resurgence of women in punk rock – we can’t help but agree. Make sure to catch them on their upcoming UK dates with the frankly fantastic Caves supporting. You won’t be disappointed.
**CREEPER **Despite only forming last year, the hype around this Southampton lot has reached fever pitch following the release of their self-titled debut EP. Their marriage of sumptuous pop-punk and gothic influences mean that comparisons to Alkaline Trio and AFI won’t ever be far away. And while they seem like bold comparisons to make, they’re not too far-fetched; their choppy verses and giant choruses led by enigmatic frontman Will Gould means their fan base is bound to swell dramatically in the coming months.
**FOREVER CAME CALLING **This Californian quartet first began as a Senses Fail/Taking Back Sunday covers band. And after a handful of EPs and split singles, they’ve released two full-length albums: Contender (2012) and What Matters Most (2014). For a brief insight into their sound, just look at who they’ll be touring with in March: Four Year Strong, Hit The Lights and Light You Up. It’s big, in-your-face American pop-punk mixed with lighter, melodic moments that won’t leave your head for days. While they don’t take themselves seriously in videos (check out their Defenceless video), it’s their personal lyrics and huge hooks which deserve your full attention.
**KNUCKLE PUCK **Without even hearing a note, you already know you’re onto a winner when a band’s name is inspired by the 1992 film, The Mighty Ducks. Hailing from the suburbs of Chicago, their blasting, hook-driven pop punk hits harder than the film’s diminutive hero, Russ Tyler, and they’re set to blow up very soon, if their current tour with Wrexham heroes Neck Deep is anything to go by. Look out for the Illinois quintet’s debut album, which will be released later this year through Rise Records.
**MAJOR LEAGUE **2014 saw something of a shake-up for New Jersey natives Major League. Amicably parting ways with former vocalist Nick Trask, guitarist Brian Joyce stepped up to the mic for their No Sleep Records release, There’s Nothing Wrong With Me. Whilst the pop-punk elements are undoubtedly still there, their sophomore album has a darker, heavier mood and has drawn comparisons to Balance And Composure. The loss of a frontman can sometimes spell the end for a band, but for Major League it seems like the beginning of an exciting new chapter.
**MODERN BASEBALL **The third band to have an American sports-themed moniker in this list, Philadelphia’s Modern Baseball look set to have their biggest year yet. The cynical, self-deprecating lyrics found on their latest album, You’re Gonna Miss It All lend themselves to their scrappy emo sound and will make for some huge sing-alongs when they hit the UK in March with Into It. Over It. Don’t miss out.
**REAL FRIENDS **Self-dubbed ‘Illinois Sad Boys’, Real Friends’ raspy vocals, honest lyrics and heaps of melody have endeared them to pop-punk devotees of late. Now, with the release of their first full-length, Maybe This Place Is The Same And We’re Just Changing, they’re ready to scale new heights. Plus, there’s the small matter of appearing with You Me At Six and All Time Low at Wembley Arena next month. It’ll be interesting to see how their emotionally-charged, heart-on-sleeve anthems fare in a huge setting. Pull it off, though, and the UK is theirs for the taking. For those wanting to see them in cosier surroundings, they’re also playing smaller venues in Manchester, Birmingham and London.
**ROAM **Eastbourne’s Roam – who recently appeared in our New Blood section – are preparing for a busy year. 2015 started strongly enough with the recent release of their Viewpoint EP and their infectious, bouncy pop punk could see them following in Neck Deep’s footsteps at home and in North America. Far from original or revolutionary they may be, but if you’re after a blast of solid, hook-laden bangers to get you through the day, then Roam have got your back.