The Evolution of Pop Punk in the ’90s

The 90s weren’t just all about grunge and girl power.  Pop punk and ska started to really take off and find their place in the world of music during the mid-to-late part of the decade as well.  Perhaps people were looking for an outlet in music that captured not only their feelings, but also had elements of fun and irony as well. Fast driving guitars, the occasional bass and drum solo, relatable lyrics of the glory of love and agony of losing it, all drove the heart and soul of the pop punk power engine. This genre of music would go on to influence the early 2000’s explosion of the pop punk (and later, the emo) music scene. But these bands owe it all to their founding fathers of this style of music that started a decade earlier: in the 90s.  Here are 15 Artists and Songs – in no particular order – that defined this sound, and a generation that grew up around it. So take a musical journey back to a time when lip rings, bleached hair and skater clothes ruled. Disclaimer: Some songs contain strong language.

Blink 182: Dammit, released on September 23, 1997

Weezer: Buddy Holly, released September 7, 1994

Green Day: Basket Case, released November 29, 1994

No Doubt: Just a Girl, released September 21, 1995

The Ataris: San Dimas High School Football Rules, released April 13, 1999

 Fenix TX: All My Fault, released July 13, 1999

The Get Up Kids: Ten Minutes, released September 21, 1999

Goldfinger: Here in Your Bedroom, released February 27, 1996

MxPx: Middlename, released November 19, 1996

New Found Glory: Hit or Miss, released October 19, 1999

Less Than Jake: Automatic, released November 12, 1996

Jimmy Eat World: Lucky Denver Mint, released February 23, 1999

Saves the Day: Holly Hox, Forget Me Not, released November 2, 1999

Alkaline Trio: Clavicle, released October 13, 1998

Lucky Boys Confusion: Fred Astaire, released in 1998

This genre has evolved and changed over time. It’s become less campy and has really matured. At it’s core, it’s music people had fun with, and related to. A lot of these bands are still making new music and touring today, proving punk rock ‘n roll is here to stay. Want to know more about music in the ’90s? Watch the premiere of The ’90s: The Last Great Decade? on July 6 at 9P.