Punk and emo returned to the mainstream in a big way in 2013 thanks to a handful of heavy hitters. However, most of the year's best albums actually came from bands that few outside the scene have heard.
Don't get us wrong, Fall Out Boy's chart-topping Save Rock and Roll, the band's first album since 2008's Folie a Deux, was a bombastic and dramatic return to the spotlight. Look no further than anthemic lead single "My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light Em Up)," a new-era Jock Jams hit that found a second life in sports arenas around the world. Likewise, Tennessee standouts Paramore followed up a Grammy nomination (for "The Only Exception") with a self-titled genre-bending opus bolstered by the crossover smash "Still Into You"; Panic! At the Disco's electro-flecked Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! mashed up hip-hop and '80s New Wave for a delightfully diverse affair; and AFI's penchant for melancholic arena rock is as strong as ever on Burials.
Pop punk had a banner year, as acts like The Wonder Years (and their instant classic The Greatest Generation), The Swellers and The Story So Far kept pits going on both the annual Vans Warped Tour and in sweaty clubs around the nation. Elsewhere, iconic scene rockers Saves the Day released their self-titled (and eighth) studio album -- their best in nearly a decade -- while political punks letlive. unleashed the searing The Blackest Beautiful, one of the most masterful heavy albums of the year.
The buzzed-about emo revival also hit its high point this year with new efforts from groups like Into It. Over It. and The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, while genre mainstays Jimmy Eat World proved they can still do it better than most of the bands they've influenced throughout their long and accomplished career with Damage.
There's no telling what 2014 holds for the genre -- hopefully new releases from blink-182, Brand New and a solo debut from My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way -- but whatever comes our way, it'll be mighty tough to top 2013.
- Saves the Day, Saves the Day
- Touché Amoré, Is Survived By
- Balance and Composure, The Things We Think We're Missing
- Panic! At the Disco, Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!
- Fall Out Boy, Save Rock and Roll
- Paramore, Paramore
- Frank Turner, Tape Deck Heart
- The Wonder Years, The Greatest Generation
- Kevin Devine, Bulldozer
- The Story So Far, What You Don't See
- O'Brother, Disillusion
- letlive., The Blackest Beautiful
- The Swellers, The Light Under Closed Doors
- Divided By Friday, Modern Memoirs
- Into It. Over It., Intersections
- Bring Me the Horizon, Sempiternal
- AFI, Burials
- Lemuria, The Distance Is So Big
- Eisley, Currents
- Defeater, Letters Home
- Jimmy Eat World, Damage
- Tonight Alive, The Other Side
- Hellogoodbye, (Everything Is) Debatable
- Citizen, Youth
- The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, Whenever, If Ever