“Along The Shadow” by Saosin
With the third full-length album by Newport Beach post-hardcore band Saosin, we find original frontman Anthony Green back in charge and leading the band towards an incredible future. Every song hits hard and gets the blood pumping. Pounding drums and sweeping guitar melodies blend perfectly with Green’s immaculate vocals to produce a strong combination that drives the album all the way through. The perfect album to jam to in the car ride to work or while you’re working out in the gym.
“Bittersweet” by Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties
The second release from Dan “Soupy” Campbell’s side project, Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties, shows the fictional main character Aaron West as he struggles to find his way back home to Manhattan where he hopes to find his ex-lover. Over the course of just three short tracks, the band uses a unique and impressive combination of pop-punk and folk music to progress the harrowing story of Aaron West. It’s a short release, hardly an EP, but it’s packed with such emotion and character that it leaves the listener wanting to find out more of where our broken hero is heading next.
“Blank Face LP” by ScHoolboy Q
While everyone is jamming to “Coloring Book,” “The Life of Pablo” and “Views” this summer, one album you might have missed under all the hype was ScHoolboy Q’s fourth album, “Blank Face LP.” Far beyond impressive, ScHoolboy finds himself in a creative and catchy environment exploring the raw concepts of growing up in Southern California and being the best at being himself. It’s a catchy and entrancing release, and Q uses his unpredictability to craft tempo shifts, melodies that you never saw coming and outright bizarre bars that keep you coming back again and again.
“California” by blink-182
Fans were skeptical about the direction blink-182 was heading in when original frontman Tom Delonge departed from the band in early 2015 and was replaced by Alkaline Trio frontman Matt Skiba, but blink-182 exceeded expectations this time around. The trio’s seventh album is jam-packed with classic pop-punk riffs and melodies that bring back all the nostalgia of the early 2000s, while building on the band’s legacy with new and refreshing songs that excel just like early blink-182 releases.
“Goodness” by The Hotelier
Following the release of their incredible sophomore album, “Home, Like Noplace Is There,” all eyes were on The Hotelier as they prepared themselves for their third release. “Goodness” is everything fans wanted and more, and is my personal favorite album of the year so far. “Goodness” is the perfect blend of emo-rock and beautiful acoustic/piano ballads. The album’s core theme is love, and with the help of Christian Holden’s beautiful and visionary lyrics, The Hotelier crafted yet another masterpiece of music.
“Holy Ghost” by Modern Baseball
Modern Baseball are on the top of their game with the release of their third LP, “Holy Ghost.” The nerdy band of college-aged punk kids found success in 2014 with the release of their sophomore album, “You’re Gonna Miss It All,” and since then have become a household name in the pop-punk/emo scene. “Holy Ghost” is split into two halves, the first being Jake Ewald’s, and the second being Brendan Lukens’. Each frontman tells his own separate story, including some very tragic and personal moments. Nonetheless, the band keeps the same upbeat and inventive tempo that it’s known for, with more maturation than we’ve ever seen before.
“The Home Inside My Head” by Real Friends
Chicago is home to a wide range of pop-punk giants, and Real Friends does more than just uphold the reputation. The band, formed in 2010, has since become a Warped Tour legend, and the members have built their own brand of pop-punk that is incredibly compelling. On their sophomore album, “The Home Inside My Head,” we find Real Friends struggling to keep their heads up and fighting through their struggles, while still keeping everything upbeat and pop-punk as ever. This album is an instant summer classic and will keep your head banging all throughout the rest of the year.
“Versace Summer” by JANK
Self-proclaimed “weed DIY pop punk” band JANK from Philadelphia is back with a poptastic in-your-face release that is the most perfect summertime album you can find in 2016. From top to bottom, JANK is playing “Versace Summer” at full speed with catchy math-pop and emo hooks that keep the vibe going. The band stuck with the same playful and surfy upbeat tempo that they used to help get them to the top of Bandcamp’s most played list with their debut album “Awkward Pop Songs.” It’s a syncopated party of sorts, and after just one listen, you’ll start to consider JANK the best friends who helped get you through the summer.