The early 2000s was a simpler time. Social media was still in its infancy. Flip phones were considered cutting edge. YouTube was still a novelty and the nation was captivated by the hypnotic musings of William Hung.
During that time, there was one thing that united teenagers across the country: Blink-182. Every suburban kid seemed to love the pop-punk triumvirate. It didn’t matter that we let 30-year-old men be the voice of our teenage generation. They perfectly captured our giddy romantic feelings in songs like “First Date” and “Always,” angst and rebellion in songs like “Shut Up” and “Anthem: Part Two,” and the quest for good times and parties in songs like “Feeling This” and “The Rock Show.”
Blink-182 recently released California, their first album in five years. Despite being in their forties, the band is still singing about the glory days of being 17, going to parties, and chasing girls.
Thus far, their single “Bored to Death” has peaked at #6 on Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs and has amassed 20,000,000 plays on Spotify. It looks like we’ve officially welcomed Blink back into our lives.
This got me thinking. What other bands are primed for a comeback? We’ve already seen the return of Fall Out Boy and Good Charlotte. Surely, there must be some other early 2000s bands ready to come off the bench. In my search for answers, I scoured my old iTunes and went down a 2000s YouTube wormhole. Here are the contenders.
Sum 41 was essentially Canadian Blink-182. Their 2001 album All Killer, No Filler brought us the legendary “Fat Lip.” The song spoke directly to teenagers. I too wanted to stroll through the party like my name was El Niño. Raised on heavy metal and mullets, they were the non-conformists that Blink pretended to be (but they were also Canadian so they weren’t all that threatening.)
Sum 41 followed up “Fat Lip” with hits like “Still Waiting” and “In Too Deep.” For a brief period of time they were everywhere. They were featured on the American Pie 2 soundtrack, a quintessential 2000s album, and was the kind of crap your mom would tell you to turn down while you played Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Sadly, Avril Lavigne was their Canadian Yoko Ono. Also, lead singer Deryck Whibley fell on some hard times after their breakup.
It looks like they are on a bit of a resurgence. A quick Google search shows that they are playing Warped Tour this summer and their new album, 13 voices, is coming out in October.
Comeback Status: Still Waiting
Are there better songs than Ocean Avenue? Thousands. Are there better songs with a violin solo? Not one.
Yellowcard released the album Ocean Avenue in 2003. It featured hits like “Way Away” and “Only One.” Their real lasting impact was the “Ocean Avenue” single. It was a teenage anthem that made us all want to move to California, sleep all day then stay up all night. Also, they weren’t afraid to get deep.
“Let your waves crash down on me and take me away, yeahawwwyeahhhhh”
I figured they broke up quietly some time around 2006. Unbeknownst to me, they’ve been touring ever since. They’re also playing Warped Tour this summer but after their current tour, it looks like they’re finally calling it quits.
Comeback Status: Way Away
Unlike their contemporaries, Dashboard Confessional wasn’t afraid to get emotional. Sure, bands like Blink could go deep, but they also released songs like this. Dashboard Confessional was always there for you when you needed a good cry.
You see, teenage life wasn’t all innocent pop punk and chasing girls. Sometimes those girls could cut you down to your core and Dashboard Confessional was there to pick up the pieces.
In 2002, they had the breakup song of all breakup songs in Screaming Infidelities. Singer Chris Carrabba’s voice soothed his sad, virginal audience while they cried into their pillows. His chorus, “I wish I was anywhere, with anyone, making out” was the motto of mopey teenagers across the world.
They hit it big with 2003’s A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar. Their songs “Hands Down” and “Rapid Hope Loss” were hits as well as some of the most depressing songs of all time.
Then came Tobey Maguire. Horrible, horrible Tobey Maguire. In 2004, “Vindicated” became the official song of Spiderman-2. This was the beginning of the end, as most people now associate Dashboard Confessional with this face:
And this one:
Sadly for Dashboard Confessional, the emo phase quickly died out by the mid-2000s. I don’t foresee a huge comeback, but I’m sure if they need some company Tobey Maguire is only one call away.
Comeback Status: Rapid Hope Loss
Another Canadian import, Simple Plan cracked into the American cultural zeitgeist with 2002’s No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls. They had huge hits like “Perfect,” “Addicted,” “I’m Just a Kid,” and “I’d do Anything.” Plus, they totally owned the soundtrack to The New Guy which introduced us to Zooey Deschanel.
D.J. Qualls’ whereabouts remain unknown
Quick theory here: I don’t think Canada has moved on from the 2000s. Like Sum 41, Simple Plan is still touring. They even played The Winter Classic just this year! Unlike their American counterparts, pop punk bands are seemingly thriving in Canada.
Comeback Status: I’d Do Anything
Much like Death Cab for Cutie and Rooney, The Killers got a boost from having a cameo appearance on The O.C. Somehow, our easily influenced minds convinced us that Seth Cohen held the power to decide which bands were cool. Luckily for us, the Killers were actually pretty good.
Their debut album Hot Fuss had huge success in 2004 with the help of singles “Mr Brightside,” “Somebody Told Me,” and “All These Things That I’ve Done.” After the success of Hot Fuss, the Killers followed up with Sam’s Town which included hits like “Read My Mind” and ” When You Were Young.”
The Killers were more of an alternative rock band but emerged at the tail end of the pop punk phase. Still, they were one of the most popular bands of the 2000’s and pretty well owned the teenage audience from 2004-2007.
It looks like the band has overcome lead singer Brandon Flowers’ solo efforts (and mustache) and are in the midst of making a new album.
They also released a new song while playing in…Canada.
Comeback Status: Somebody Told Me
The All American Rejects
My dirty secret – I saw this band live in 2009 and loved it. Also this dude is in the House Bunny and his lack of acting ability make this scene cringeworthy.
This song still makes me want to play Rock Band.
Poor, poor Scotty. This could have been an all time great band but Matt Damon just had to go solo.
I hate this song more than sequels, Tobey Maguire, and the Sonic Guys combined. The reason I include this song is that is has 230,000,000 views on YouTube. There was no escaping this song in the summer of 2003. There are still nights that I wake in a cold sweat, fearing that this song will find me and hunt me down Liam Neeson style. I know that some day Hoobastank will make a comeback and I’ll be forced to ride out the storm in my apocalypse bunker.