‘Enema Of The State’: Blink-182’s mega-successful album turned 17 last month, and listening to it now is essentially a puerile nostalgia trip. But what other pop punk albums have you longing for your youth, too?
Green Day – ‘Dookie’ (1994). Predating ‘Enema…’ by a good half-a-decade, this was Green Day as snotty rebels rather than the political commentators of today.
New Found Glory – ‘Sticks And Stones’ (2002). Relationships? Happiness? Pah! Ignore these pointless baubles, for friends are forever and paramours are only temporary. That’s what New Found Glory’s ‘My Friends Over You’, an anthem for platonic pleasures rather than romance, claimed anyway.
The Offspring – ‘Americana’ (1998). The Offspring’s fifth studio album, and one that’s buoyed by the obnoxious sing-along singles ‘Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)’ and ‘Why Don’t You Get a Job?’. ‘Pretty Fly’ was a UK number one single.
Sum 41 – ‘All Killer, No Filler’ (2001). Pre-Avril Lavigne and pre-alcohol problems, Deryck Whibley was the fresh-faced frontman of pop punk braggarts Sum 41, who made it huge off the back of tracks like ‘Fat Lip’ and ‘In Too Deep’.
Simple Plan – ‘Still Not Getting Any’ (2004). “Do you ever feel out of place? Like somehow you don’t belong and no one understands you?” Worry not, traveller, because Simple Plan understand you. Or at least it seemed like they did back then, anyhow.
Saves The Day – ‘Through Being Cool’ (1999). More sugar, more fizz, more pop: the recipe for Saves The Day on their second album.
Pennywise – ‘Full Circle’ (1997). An album mired in sadness during its creation – founding member Jason Thirsk died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound a year before its release – but there was a rejection and pain to Pennywise’s fourth album that made it hit that much closer to home.
The Offspring – ‘Smash’ (1994). A grungier, rockier album than crossover hit ‘Americana’, but one that still had none-more-catchy tracks like ‘Come Out And Play’ and ‘Gotta Get Away’.
New Found Glory – ‘New Found Glory’ (2000). Standard tropes – heartbreak, failed crushes and the rest – turned into blitz-fast optimistic punk pop that never threatened to shake up the template or reinvent the wheel but felt truer-to-life than nearly all of their contemporaries.
Motion City Soundtrack – ‘Commit This To Memory’ (2005). The band’s 2005 breakthrough record called on a supporting cast of alternative rock luminaries – Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus produced; Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump provided backing vocals to single ‘Everything Is Alright’ – to hit the big time with odes to social anxiety and self-conscious fretting.
Millencolin – ‘Life On A Plate’ (1995). The Swedish troupe switched from skatepunk to pop punk on their second album, plumping for catchy-as-fuck melodies on the likes of ‘The Story Of My Life’. It came out four years before Blink’s ‘Enema…’ but it still sounded less jaded and faded than much of what followed.
Less Than Jake – ‘Hello Rockview’ (1998). A soundtrack to shoving your friends, listening to ‘All My Best Friends Are Metalheads’ and wondering how you ever liked pop punk which didn’t have a trombone.
Jimmy Eat World – ‘Bleed American’ (2001). A fierce and focused rock’n’roll record that ditched the ambitious, lengthy sprawls of predecessor ‘Clarity’ for a sharper, blitzier approach.
Green Day – ‘Nimrod’ (1997). Because who didn’t, at some point, leave school or college and wistfully hum ‘Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)’ to themselves?
Brand New – ‘Your Favourite Weapon’ (2001)’. One look at the tracklisting and you’d be forgiven for thinking that Brand New were taking the piss – ‘Jude Law And A Semester Abroad’, anyone? – but their debut length album had smarts as well as razor-sharp tunes, making references Alfred Hitchock’s ‘Psycho’ and Malcolm X.
Blink-182 – ‘Take Off Your Pants And Jacket’ (2001). An album which built on the mainstream success of ‘Enema…’ – with a wanking-related pun in the headline, naturally.
American Hi-Fi – ‘American Hi-Fi’ (2001). A smash-hit success that sold 750,000 copies in one year and also garnered the huge, pun-tastic hit single ‘Flavor Of The Weak’ about a girl being mistreated by her scumbag boyfriend.
Alkaline Trio – ‘From Here To Infirmary’ (2001). A harder, rougher sound for the Chicago trio on their 2001 album: a move which divided critics but was fierce and frenetic enough to come on like a sleazy, tasty treat.
Lit – ‘A Place In The Sun’ (1999). Lit’s second album may not have been as stellar as their debut ‘Tripping The Light Fantastic’, but it was still the LP which helped them bulldoze into the mainstream off the back of lead single ‘My Own Worst Enemy’.