Pop punk was a vibrant movement long before Billie Joe, Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool transformed the suburban skateboarder into a stoner punk obsessed with food and lost love. Here's our tribute to five greats from the days before "Longview."
Lame Gig Contest
In the great 1989 Bay Area pop punk sweepstakes, Crimpshrine was a favorite of the 924 Gilman cognizanti. In the intervening years, the band have lost some of their buzz, but still remain a favorite of punks who graduated high school in the late '80s. Frontman Jeff Ott crafted pop punk anthems for the gutter, based on his life as a homeless punk in Berkeley. Drummer Aaron Cometbus documented the '80s Bay Area scene in his zine Cometbus as adeptly in print as Crimpshrine did in song. The band's lone studio album, Lame Gig Contest, gained a manic following, despite being rejected by tastemaker label Lookout! Records. Songs like "Trying Too Hard" and "Pretty Mess" display a Dylanesque lyrical sensibility along with a catchy intensity.