Looking back at Punk Goes Pop

Cast your mind back to the late 00s and early 10s, big scene hair, lots of wristbands, pining for that one Basement hoodie that appeared on everyone’s Tumblr feed, ‘Defend Pop Punk’ in your Twitter bio, and the fantastic Punk Goes Pop series. For me and many others, ‘Punk Goes Pop’ defined their early to mid-teens; providing an excuse to enjoy pop music that we were all too cool to actually listen to. 

The ‘Punk Goes…’ series (released by Fearless Records) has a long history, starting in 2000 with ‘Punk Goes Metal’ and the first ‘Punk Goes Pop’ compilation in 2002. This series of compilation albums was something absolutely nobody asked for, but I for one am happy existed. Did the world need Chunk! No Captain Chunk! covering Kesha? or Mayday Parade’s absolutely great cover of When I Grow Up by Pussycat Dolls? Honestly, probably not. However, this series did provide an entry point for a lot of people to discover new artists and found a way to show a fun side of these artists. 

“What if a group of nerds covers a rap song?”, “What if a metalcore band covers Taylor Swift?”, “What if Knuckle Puck makes an (arguably better) cover of Chocolate by The 1975?”. ‘Punk Goes Pop’ provided a platform for bands to let loose, have fun and reach a wider audience. My first introduction to We Came As Romans was their cover of The Wanted. Punk Goes Pop provided so many highs and so many lows for the bands of my teens, it was always fun. 

In 2021, between all this doom and gloom, we need a new Punk Goes Pop album. It’s been almost four years and frankly, I want to hear Architects cover The Weeknd, Pup cover Dua Lipa, The Story So Far cover Future, you name it – we need it. It’s time we reintroduce the pop cover into a band’s arsenal. Make bands corny again. 

Please Fearless Records, bring it back. 

Below, I’m going to drop a few of the best Pop Goes Punk songs as a reminder. 



Calum Vernon

January 27, 2021

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