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If you're a metalhead who came of age between the early Nineties and now, then there's a strong chance that pop-punk has had a presence in your musical diet. The loosely defined but strongly felt genre (you typically either love it, hate it, or lie about having never liked it) has been one of the most prominent rock subgenres of the last 30 years, drifting in and out of mainstream focus but always remaining fiercely beloved by youngsters and old heads alike — whether it's the lifelong soft spot you have for the Green Day album you bought with your allowance money in middle school, or the unabashedly fun time you have crowd-surfing to the Story So Far the day after you saw Knocked Loose.
Real ones know that even though figures like Machine Gun Kelly are claiming to reinvigorate the genre, it's always been thriving in arenas, basements and everywhere in between, and when it's done right, the jubilant energy and yell-along hooks are a nice palette cleanser to break up a day's worth of jamming to killer riffs and savage breakdowns. We were curious to see what Revolver readers consider the top five pop-punk albums of all time, and the votes made for a nice spread of undeniable classics. See them all ranked below accordingly.
While the Descendents wouldn't have considered themselves a pop-punk band in 1982 (given the genre didn't quite exist then) and their early material is regarded as a foundational text of hardcore, Milo Goes to College — with its snotty adolescent attitude, nasally vocals and emphatically catchy melodies — is even more influential on the shape of melodic punk music. While some of the lyrics show their age and the sound is brittle by today's standards, there's no denying the jittery, youthful magic of Milo highlights like "Suburban Home" and "I'm Not a Loser."
Culturally, Smash will always be heralded for aiding punk's commercial domination in 1994, but the strength of the songs themselves are what made the Offspring an institution, not a chart footnote. Hits like "Self Esteem" — which echoes the jump-along infectiousness of "Smells Like Teen Spirit — and "Come Out and Play" have been jukebox staples for nearly three decades, but the aggro-punk catharsis of "Something to Believe In" and the road rage hysterics of "Bad Habit" sound just as good all these years later.
Sum 41 are a pop-punk band by and for metalheads. The Canadian crew's 2001 breakout is loaded with some of the sugariest, bounciest, most skate-able pop-punk tunes this side of the new millennium, but the gang of TRL-dominating miscreants are genuine heshers who were gleefully rapping about "heavy metal and mullets" and namedropping Iron Maiden and Judas Priest on All Killer No Filler's particularly murderous standout "Fat Lip." Not to mention these guys fucking shred in a way no other pop-punk band of their ilk does.
Simply put, Dookie completely changed the look, sound and commercial potential of pop-punk forever. Underground purists can pretend they've never caught themselves whistling the tune of "When I Come Around" or whisper-singing the words, "sometimes I give myself the creeps," when "Basket Case" pops on the radio, but these songs are undeniably great — both within the context of punk and rock music writ large. Beyond its timeless sound, Dookie has served as a crucial gateway into punk music for multiple generations of listeners, and a good chunk of those fans eventually end up in the metal mosh pits. Dookie is the one.