Pop Punk Revival

It’s safe to say that when it comes to the hipster music scene, the relative pervasiveness that made it once so truly underground has proliferated into a widespread dissemination of fandom and buzz. It would be difficult for one to go a day without hearing Haim or Bastille, much less avoid a pissing match on who discovered Chance The Rapper’s EP first. (For the record, I discovered it first.)

Despite the unraveling of the so-called “indie” and hipster music scene into the musical vernacular, odd names have been popping up on the radar – whether on iTunes, marquees of infamous venues, or simply just on one’s news feed.

Who are these odd names you ask? That question can be answered with yet another query – how well do you remember Panic! At The Disco? (Furthermore where are you hiding the band’s discography?) Yes indeed, the likes of Panic!, Fall Out Boy, and Paramore are peering out from the rubble of 2005 and strangely enough, setting the gears in motion to make a comeback.

Having just announced a joint summer tour, Fall Out Boy – FOB as it we call the boys in this business – and Paramore are seemingly grasping at straws for attention. Both bands have recently released new material, and despite incredibly mixed reviews, refuse to believe that their fan base has been completely depleted. It doesn’t stop there either – Taking Back Sunday, Panic! and a handful of others from the same emo-rock genre have seen a resurgence of sorts, from new albums to gigs at The Troubadour to Rolling Stone blurbs. It sounds crazy, but your ‘05 self may be able to take a nostalgic tour of all the artists you tore up t-shirts to.

Many of the bands undoubtedly seemed most concerned with changing their image. No longer do the emo-core elites wish to be associated exclusively with Warped Tour and 14-year-old girls with rainbow splattered Amy Winehouse hairdos, but more sophisticated and streamlined acts whose careers are begging for critical and commercial respect. It would be safe to say no band will be so radical as to alienate their existing and remaining supporters, but rather a musical face lift that understandably goes hand in glove with maturity.

The real question lies within this – how viable will the so-called comeback be?

Fall Out Boy’s latest album, Save Rock and Roll had their ethos directly in the title. Though not necessarily an outstanding musical feat, it nonetheless showcased a step in a different direction, having lied dormant since 2008. Similarly, Panic! At The Disco has seen a massive rebranding of itself over the past few years, genre bending and lineup changes abound. None of the related acts have been entirely stagnant per se. In reality, they’ve been priming themselves for that 10-year comeback. However, one has to ask – how feasible is their resurgence?

The real question lies within this – how viable will the so-called comeback be? Certainly a fair amount of coverage has circulated around these acts, but it seems just for novelty’s sake more than anything. Without the burgeoning influence of Myspace today that was arguably the lifeblood for so many bands of Fall Out Boy’s era. Facebook and Instagram certainly aren’t conducive to that sort of pull, unless of course the members of Paramore plan to dress like Beck and take fill followers’ news feeds with cats.

Other than word of mouth, what do these bands have in their favor to help popularize them once again? It’s a sad truth – there’s most likely not much in their arsenal. Any press these acts receive doesn’t seem to praise their potential comeback, more or less news sources have expressed a basic level of surprise and the raising of eyebrows. There’s no compelling evidence that any of these bands will maintain anything more than a gimmicky rise in popularity, something no band should rely on solely.

It would take something monumental to sway the tide, such as a guest spot for Panic! on a Pharrell song or Rick Rubin’s immaculate production on a forthcoming album for Fall Out Boy.

The entire pop-punk resurfacing wave of late seems like yet another case of false resurgence despite hype following the Paramore and Fall Out Boy tour. Try as they might, the times they are a –changin’. There will always be a fan base for Pete Wentz and company, but nothing that another musical regime can’t overthrow.


Born and raised on classic rock and oldies, Jake Tully consumed music voraciously growing up in Central California. He has his wonderful grandparents to thank for his love of music, as well as the amazing luck to have seen hundreds of concerts in his lifetime. He considers himself an eclectic consumer of all media, and further reading can be found at his blog.

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