6: Top 5 pop punk bands of the 2000s

Musician and podcaster Brendan Hutchins joins Mark to discuss guitar music from the early 21st century.

Brendan loves pop punk for its energy and reasons of nostalgia, and has lots of names to bring to the table. He also helps Mark define what /isn’t/ pop punk.

Mark based his list on bands who had seminal or otherwise important albums during the early 2000s, and while Brendan’s picks are perhaps from slightly younger bands, none of them formed post-2005.

Mark shares stories about plectra, music he discovered through Kerrang! Radio, and stuff he used to play on his old radio show (like this from Of Kings and Captains ).

Brendan also sings the praises of Bowling for Soup’s guitarist, who performs tricks with his pick!

Hear the commentary track


Hear Brendan and his Nobody Asked for This co-host Arron Wong discuss the first part of this episode, director’s commentary style.

Get the Spotify playlist

To follow our Spotify playlist, full of all the bands we mention — apart from one that really doesn’t fit the bill! – sign up to Extra Envy, our free newsletter.

Honourable mentions

If you’re interested in the rivalry between Taking Back Sunday and Brand New, check out this episode of The Sound and the Story.

Brendan’s picks

In order of discussion:


Brendan picks this ska-peppered, high-energy four-piece from LA. Mark wonders if they’re too aggressive, but Brendan quickly counters. Mark once saw them support Reel Big Fish, and both of them love Superman. Also Brendan recommended Counting the Days.


Although Enema of the State came out in the previous century, Brendan would appear to have made a solid choice in this cheeky Californian trio. But will pedantry win the day?

Good Charlotte

Although they faded a little from Brendan’s heart after their self-titled album, these Maryland boys still rank highly for both.

New Found Glory

Viewed by some — at least Brendan’s friend Aaron — these Floridians definitely have that pop punk energy, but is Brendan picking them out of a sense of duty, and will that ding him come the final reckoning?


Mark had never heard of these Californians, but Mark was charmed by Bouncing off the Walls.

Mark’s picks

In order of discussion:

Sum 41

Mark argues that this Canadian four-or-five-piece — depending on the era — have the right energy and sound, but they don’t even make Brendan’s honourable mentions.

Green Day

This would appear to be a lock, but on /List Envy/, nothing is certain. This Californian trio jumped the shark in 2005 by going from talking about girls to talking about politics. Also Brendan saw them live, twice, and they were in his face.

Bowling for Soup

Brendan’s friend wanted these Texans bumped from the list, but Mark insists that Girls All the Bad Guys Want is definitive of the genre.

The All-American Rejects

This Oklahoman four-piece don’t make it anywhere near Brendan’s list, which does not bode well for the final. Perhaps it could be considered a /Swing, Swing/ and a miss.

Fountains of Wayne

Brendan’s never heard of this New York foursome, nor of their smash hit /Stacey’s Mom/. Mark’s case for adding them is not strong, as they fail on almost every test of the genre.

More of Brendan Hutchins

You can follow Brendan on Twitter, check out the Podcast Advocate Network and check out his new single, Fall Fast.


Special Guest: Brendan Hutchins.