By Cole Parkinson
With the end of summer coming way too quickly, I figured we’d take a look at some music that I’ve been listening to this summer.
I am someone who listens to different things for different seasons and this summer I have discovered some new bands and gone back to some summertime classics.
10. Brand New
While it may be my least favourite Brand New record, this summer I’ve found myself gravitating towards their debut album, Your Favorite Weapon. Brand New’s debut is quite possibly the biggest departure from the rest of their discography and it is an era of its time.
Released in 2001, right as the pop-punk scene was exploding with blink-182, Sum-41 and Good Charlotte, Your Favorite Weapon is right up there as a pop-punk classic. It’s also a perfect summer album full of feel-good, pop-punk nostalgic songs that are perfect for summertime.
Favourite songs: Jude Law and a Semester Abroad, Logan to Government Center and Soco Amaretto Lime
Calgary based punk band, formerly known as Knucklehead, Territories is a slight shift in musical tone.
Releasing their debut album earlier this month, I’ve found myself going back to this album ever since the release date.
I hear a lot of late eighties and early nineties influence in their music much like the bands of Jawbreaker and the Bouncing Souls, to name a couple.
The guitar tone on the record is a lot cleaner than I thought it would be but I think it’s honestly for the better.
The songs are so well written too, which makes repeated listens more enjoyable.
Favourite songs: Nulla Victoria, Numb Somehow and Roman Walls
8. Smashing Pumpkins
The Smashing Pumpkins are a band that I’m constantly listening to but ever since I got tickets to their reunion tour with original members Jimmy Chamberlain and James Iha, I’ve been playing Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness a lot more. Now, this is one of my favourite records of all time so it’s no surprise that I can play it at any point during the year and find some kind of feeling towards it.
It really is a fantastic record and I honestly don’t think there’s a better summer nighttime driving song than “1979”, and it is easily on my top five list of songs all-time.
There’s slow songs, upbeat songs, sad songs, and angry songs on this record and if you haven’t listened to it yet, what are you doing? It’s been out since 1995, that’s given you plenty of time to catch up!
Favourite songs: 1979, Muzzle and Thru the Eyes of Ruby
7. Neck Deep
I hate the majority of modern pop-punk but I do love Neck Deep.
While they may not be a groundbreaking band, they write great songs and put on a great show.
They’ve also released arguably the best pop-punk album of this decade in “Life’s Not out to Get You” which always gets a few plays once the weather outside turns nice.
Released in 2015 and produced by A Day to Remember’s Jeremy McKinnon, this album is an absolute summer staple if you like pop-punk.
It’s hard not to roll down the windows and sing along to this album and I guarantee if you’ve driven by me at any point this summer, there’s a good chance this was playing.
Favourite songs: Serpents, The Beach is for Lovers (Not Lonely Losers) and Kali Ma
6. The Longshot
Another Green Day side project?
Yup, another Green Day side project.
Not nearly as strong as the Foxboro Hot Tubs but their album “Love is for Losers”, which was released earlier this year, has plenty of things to like.
I would also say that the title song may be the best song from Billie Joe Armstrong since Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown, yes I love it that much.
Featuring members from American rock band Prima Donna and touring Green Day member Jeff Matika, The Longshot is just a feel-good rock band.
The 11 song effort will surely get you in the summertime mood and I’d be curious to see if another record comes our way during the next Green Day brief hiatus, though it’s entirely possible a completely different band is born.
Favourite songs: Love is for Losers, Taxi Driver and Kill Your Friends
5. Good Charlotte
I know Good Charlotte always gets a bad rap from the punk crowd but I legitimately love their first three records. While growing up, their debut album was always my least favourite of the three, that has changed in the past several years.
Released in 2000, Good Charlotte’s self-titled record is definitely more pop than punk but man is it a fun record.
Out of the 13 tracks, I only skip the final track and that’s just because it feels out of place to me as it’s a shift in pace compared to the previous songs.
While Good Charlotte got their big break with their sophomore album, I feel like this one gets undeservedly overlooked.
It’s another one of those albums that gushes early 2000s but growing up in those times it truly feels like going back in a time machine listening to the album.
Favourite songs: East Coast Anthem, Seasons and I Heard You
blink-182 has been on summer rotation for me since 2002 or so.
While Dude Ranch is my favourite studio album, it’s hard not to plug in Enema of the State when summer rolls around.
And I know some people label Take Off Your Pants and Jacket as the prototypical blink summer album but I just prefer Enema overall.
Released in the summer of ’99, Enema of the State is the album that most pop-punk bands nowadays try to recreate (good luck, it’s never going to happen).
There’s really not much to say about Enema that hasn’t been said already but in these last few weeks of summer, I’d recommend putting it on when you get in the car and try not to sing along.
Favourite songs: Dumpweed, Going Away to College and Dysentery Gary
3. Joyce Manor
If you zoned out while listening to the first three releases from Joyce Manor, there’s a good chance that you missed the entirety of the record, they really are that short.
So with that in mind, what I like to do is put their first record (self-titled) and third (Never Hungover Again) together and hit shuffle.
While I do like their second and fourth albums, I think one and three are far superior while their forthcoming album has released a few really quality songs as well.
Joyce Manor is a punk, alternative, rock, pop rock, pop punk band… they aren’t an easy band to describe.They mix a ton of different genres and write super short, catchy songs that get stuck in your head.
If you haven’t heard of Joyce Manor and like that sort of thing, you’re welcome because I almost guarantee they will become a permanent fixture.
Favourite songs: Catalina Fight Song, Schley and Leather Jacket
Another band that I’ve gravitated towards ever since they announced their reunion.
Jawbreaker is one of those bands that are massive in some scenes and then non-existent in popular circles.
Formed in 1986, Jawbreaker only released four studio albums and eventually broke up in 1996 after their major label debut underperformed.
While that particular record (Dear You) is my favourite album, their prior release, 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, is the one I’ve been playing constantly throughout summer 2018.
24 Hour Revenge Therapy, in my opinion, is the most accessible album from Jawbreaker and features a plethora of great songs.
Musically and lyrically, I think it would be hard to find a band that tops Jawbreaker in the punk/alternative scene.Plus, most bands you hear today in those scenes are influenced by Jawbreaker in some respect.
It may take a few listens to get into it but it truly is one of the best releases in the 1990s.
Favourite songs: Do You Still Hate Me?, The Boat Dreams from the Hill and Boxcar
1. The Regrettes
When I look back at the summer of 2018, I’ll remember it as the summer of The Regrettes.
The female-led garage rock, punk, alternative outfit released their debut album “Feel Your Feelings Fool!” last year and it slipped completely past me until this spring.
Ever since then I haven’t gone a day without playing, if not the whole thing. It truly is one of those albums that is made for the summertime as every single song is a banger.
As I highly doubt many people have stumbled onto this gem, I would absolutely recommend it to anybody that likes punk rock/surf rock/garage rock, it’s one of the most fun albums I’ve heard in a long time.
Favourite songs: Ladylike/Whatta Bitch, Seashore, Pale Skin
And finally, a quick shout out to two singles that have been blasting on my speakers this summer.
First up is Alkaline Trio with Blackbird, their first single off their new album Is This Thing Cursed? which comes out next week.
This is peak Trio and I’m super happy to have Matt Skiba back with Alkaline Trio after his long stint with blink. It’s dark, it’s catchy and it’s everything that I want with their next album.
Lastly, it’s The Dirty Nil with their second single, Infinity of Pain, from their upcoming album Master Volume. Infinity of Pain is absolutely killer with fantastic production, awesome instrumentation and incredibly catchy lyrics.
People say rock is dead but I challenge you to listen to The Dirty Nil and say it with a straight face.
Infinity of Pain is an absolute jam from start till finish and if the rest of Master Volume sounds similar, I’ll be a happy man.