Exclaim!'s 2013 in Lists: 5 Albums Heralding the Return of Pop Punk

Exclaim!'s 2013 in Lists: 5 Albums Heralding the Return of Pop Punk
Pop punk's been a dirty word since Blink-182 dropped trou and went running around Los Angeles back in 1999. But while the version of the genre codified by bands like Sum 41 and New Found Glory fell out of favour by the end of the '00s, a new generation have taken up the mantle, delivering records that harken back to the past while pointing a new way forward.

Below, find our album picks. For more of our Year-End coverage, click over to our 2013 in Lists section.

5 Albums Heralding the Return of Pop Punk:

Aye Nako
Unleash Yourself
(Independent)



Brooklyn's Aye Nako are steeped in the politics of the queer-friendly DIY scene that birthed them. Hiding underneath the Dinosaur Jr. fuzz are the kind of bouncy hooks that propelled early Blink-182, although singer-guitarist Mars Ganito's lyrics do explore territory outside of the plight of the white suburban male.

Potty Mouth
Hell Bent
(Old Flame)



Massachusetts quartet Potty Mouth made quite a splash with their debut, Hell Bent. Mixing early '90s Bay Area punk with Blake Babies and some Pavement-esque slack, the band fashioned a sound steeped in '90s grit without coming across as a retro retread.

RVIVR
The Beauty Between
(Rumbletowne)



It flew under a lot of people's radars, but the sophomore album from Olympia, WA's RVIVR is a flawless slab of speedy pop punk. Singer Erica Freas and Matt Canino trade both vocals and guitar lines, creating a potent mix of gender and social politics overtop catchy-as-hell riffs that owe a debt to Jawbreaker and Samiam.

Swearin'
Surfing Strange
(Salinas)



While sister Katie stripped her music down, Allison Crutchfield turned the amps up to 11 with Swearin'. While their late 2012 debut borrowed heavily from Superchunk's early fuzz-punk blitzkrieg, the 2013 follow-up found the band expanding their sound, playing around with tempo and volume.

Waxahatchee
Cerulean Salt
(Don Giovanni)



Katie Crutchfield did time in bands with her sister Allison before finding success as a solo artist under the name Waxahatchee. Her sophomore record strips away millennial pop punk's overblown production with simple, stripped-down songwriting steeped in Crutchfield's DIY ethos.