The Death of Pop-Punk: A Retrospective

Thursday, March 24th, 2016 at 8:06 AM
The Death of Pop-Punk: A Retrospective by Kimberly Firestine

On Dec. 31, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong tweeted, “My mission for 2016? To destroy the phrase ‘pop-punk’ forever.” And this statement seems more of a curse than a New Year’s resolution as we inch towards summer, with bands in the pop-punk and alternative scenes announcing hiatuses and break-ups on what feels like a weekly basis.

Man Overboard (2008; hiatus)

For Philadelphia natives Man Overboard, it’s more of a “see you later” than a full-on break up. Announced on Jan. 26, the band will embark on an eight day “Farewell For Now” tour of the east and west coasts and then take an indefinite hiatus. Since their formation in 2008, Man Overboard has released three EPs, six full-length albums and is credited for spearheading the “defend poppunk” movement.

Major League (2011; break up)

New Jersey’s Major League will call it quits following a US tour with San Francisco natives Forever Came Calling this spring beginning March 19. After five years, two EPs and three full-length albums, the band announced their “retirement” on Feb. 10.

Transit (2006; break up)

One of the more surprising breakups this year has been the loss of Transit. News of the breakup comes not too long after the departure of guitarist Tim Landers in 2014. Transit, known for their love of their hometown of Boston and improving sound over the years, called it quits on Feb. 29 after 10 years, four EPs and five full-length albums. They are set to play nine final shows beginning April 20 in New York City.

Motion City Soundtrack (1997; break up)

While Motion City Soundtrack doesn’t quite fit the pop-punk label, their break-up this year will be one that will be hard to cope with. Having been a staple in the alternative scene for almost 20 years, they will surely be missed when they hang it up for good following their final tour, dates yet to be announced. On the bright side, the tour will include former drummer Tony Thaxton, who was with MSC for a majority of their career. MCS released three EPs, six full-length albums and five split releases in the two decades of their career.

You, Me, And Everyone We Know (2006; break up)

In a quick, slightly erratic Tumblr post, lead singer Ben Liebsch announced that You, Me, And Everyone We Know will end this year after five EP releases and one full-length release on Doghouse Records. It appears there will be one final tour, but the details of the breakup have yet to completely unfold.

While there is definitely still a plethora of bands to listen to, some of us fans can’t help but get a little bit anxious from all that has already ended in 2016. With every “we’re making a big announcement tomorrow” post made on social media by one of our favorite bands now comes the anxiety of “is it a break-up, hiatus, new music or a tour?”

For now, we can only hope that it’s the latter. Here’s to hoping the next nine months of the year see less loss and more new bands popping up to fill the void some of our favorite bands are leaving behind.

Kimberly Firestine is a Senior Staff Writer for The Spectator.

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