For this post, I want to mainly talk about punk rock music and pop punk in particular. Before we can take a look at pop punk music of today, we first need to take a look at the roots of punk music. I won’t go too much into the history of punk rock, but I will give you a very quick overview.
Most believe the true origin of punk rock music is unknown, but they believe the genre did begin in the early 1970s. The first bands that did make punk music popular were groups like the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, and The Clash. These bands featured music that was fast, had short songs, used basic instruments like guitars, bass, and drums, and featured lyrics that were rebellious, political, and anti-establishment.
Over the last few decades, punk has evolved into many different styles and sub-genres. Many different genres came out of the punk revolution of the 70s including emo, hardcore, pop punk, Celtic punk, grunge rock, and the list goes on and on.
But for now, I want to stick with the sub-genre pop punk. About.com describes pop punk as, “being marked by a radio friendly sheen to their music, but it still retains much of the speed and attitude of classic punk rock.”
Pop punk did not gain commercial success until the 1990s with bands such as Blink 182 and Green Day. Since the 90s, pop punk has exploded with many secular bands finding mainstream success including bands like Simple Plan, New Found Glory, Fall Out Boy, Yellowcard, All American Rejects, and Good Charlotte.
When it comes to Christian pop punk, many secular musicians and artists disregard the thought of Christian punk. Christian punk features the musical qualities that made punk popular, but most Christian bands do not share the beliefs, or lyrical content of many of the early punk bands. Punk rock was founded on being rebellious and against established society, and since many Christian punk bands do not take this view, some musicians disregard this Christian genre. But, nonetheless, Christian punk is out there, and it is making waves in the Christian music scene.
Like many mainstream acts, Christian pop punk features upbeat and catchy rhythms but the one major difference is lyrical content. Most Christian pop punk bands choose to talk about issues of today and they also sing about Christian themes. Love songs also play a major part in Christian pop punk music. Most musicians do sing many songs about love and relationships. For this post, I want to share with you six bands that are making waves in the Christian pop punk scene.
The first band is Stellar Kart. They have released five albums since 2005, including a greatest hits album. Stellar Kart's sound has evolved over these past few years from being a straight pop punk band to releasing a pop worship album in 2010. This first song is off their debut album and it is called Life is Good. This song is a simple pop song talking about the beauty of heaven.
The next pop punk band is FM Static. This band is actually a side project of Trevor McNevan and Steve Augustine from the Christian hard rock band Thousand Foot Krutch. Over the past couple of years, FM Static has released three albums and they are planning to release their fourth in early 2011. The song I want to share with you is called Definitely Maybe off their debut album. This is probably their most recognized song to date. Like many other Christian pop punk songs, this is a love song.
The next group is Hawk Nelson. They are arguably one of the most popular groups in Christian music today. This Canadian band has released four albums on Tooth and Nail Records. This next music video is of the title track off their latest album Live Life Loud. At hearitfirst.com, bassist Daniel Biro described the song. “Live Life Loud is really about encouraging our fans to do just that. To live your life loud, to embrace all that life brings your way and experience every moment of it to the fullest extent.” The music video takes a comedic look at a competition between the members of Hawk Nelson and a group of older men.
The fourth group is Philmont. They are a relatively new band. They released their first EP and full length debut album last year in 2009. Both were released on Forefront Records, but the band is currently independent after their departure from the label. One thing this band is known for is their self-made music videos. They have made five videos for the songs: The Difference, Back Down, Another Name, I Can’t Stand to Fall, and My Hippocratic Oath. You can view the music video for the song The Difference on my blog post Top Ten Music Videos. The video I want to share with you is of the song Back Down. This song is about not giving up and not backing down. Once again, like all of their videos, this video is self-made by the members of the band.
This next group is an independent band called Eleventyseven. They have released three albums to date, including their last album, Adventures in Eville, which was released last year in 2009. Eleventyseven loves to talk about pop culture in their music. In some of their songs they sing about topics such as MySpace, Conan O’Brien, proms, and twelve step programs. This next song is called MySpace and it is about some of the pitfalls of social media.
The final group I want to share with you is by far the most popular group in the Christian pop punk genre. It is Relient K. Since their major label debut in 2000, Relient K has released six studio albums, two Christmas albums, a B-sides album, and four EPs. Relient K has three gold albums and they have currently sold over two million records. The song I want to share with you is off their fourth album, Mmhmm. The song is called Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been. The song is about a person who hates who they have been in the past and ultimately who they have become. In the song, Relient K is crying out for forgiveness and help to change their current and past lifestyles.
Once again, the main difference between secular punk bands and Christian punk bands is definitely the lyrical content. Musically, Christian pop punk bands are the same as secular bands, but lyrically Christian pop punk definitely has much more positive lyrics. These are not all the Christian pop punk bands out there. I just wanted to give you some of the most popular examples of this genre. If you would like to hear some music by other Christian pop punk bands you can check out these artists: Capital Lights, Amber Pacific, Last Tuesday, MXPX, Olivia the Band, Everyday Sunday, Run Kid Run, and Slick Shoes.