I've been hiding a dirty little secret for decades now.
Beneath the faded black Clash and Bad Religion t-shirts, lies a heart that beats just as hard for good pop music as it does for punk rock. I'm not talking about The Jonas Brothers or Pussycat Dolls - get your mind out of the gutter - I'm not a tasteless idiot. I mean pure, well-written pop songs. Strong melodies, sweet harmonies and classic girl-breaks-boy's-heart themes.
The PR folks at record companies try and take the sting out of it for me by labeling it pop-punk or more recently Power Pop (which it most definitely is not - please listen to anything by 20/20 or Material Issue if you're that unsure of what Power Pop really sounds like), but no one's fooled: it's pop music. Maybe, maybe pop-rock, but punk really should not be used in the same sentence. The Format's Dog Problems is absolutely flawless, from start to finish. I listen to it at least once a month. Despite write ups in AP and PunkNews.org, it is still a pop record - a brilliant pop record, but a pop record nonetheless.
The Bouncing Souls and Sex Pistols still make it into my car most mornings, but lately I've been sneaking in CDs by The Rocket Summer (a band of which I'm about 15-20 years past the demographic for) and Everybody Else (again, I'm probably a good 10 years older than even the bartenders at their shows).
Having heard a few songs off of his/their (?) MySpace page, I'm already adding NeverShoutNever to my list of bands I'm afraid the cool kids will find out I listen to. Still a teen, Christofer Drew's songs are deceptively simple. The production is clean, free of any weird effects (I'm looking at you All American Rejects) or vocal polishing. Straight up, Beatles-influenced pop songs that I'll likely be playing inside my head for the next year.
I'm not ashamed of it, I've learned to live with it.