These guys are the guys.

I don’t think I was ever really into the hip, cool, secret punk bands when I was growing up, but any street cred I once had in the punk world has totally evaporated.

You want to know what was popping off between the years of 2002 and 2007? I’m your man. You want to know what suburban kids were listening to at the mall in the mid-to-late 90s? I’ve got some mix CDs you might be interested in. You want to know what’s on and popping in the game now? I got nothing for you.

Every year I get a little older and every year I think to myself “This is the year that punk rock breaks for me. This is the year that I totally get out of the game.” Every year since I first thought that, something has pulled me out of the flames and cradled me in its arms, reminding me of its warmth and safety. These are the albums that convinced me to stick with punk, and the year in which they bailed me out:

2008: Titus Andronicus’s The Airing of Grievances, Hot Club de Paris’s Drop it Till it Pops, Lemuria’s Get Better

2009: Bomb the Music Industry’s Scrambles, Banner Pilot’sCollapser,

2010: Iron Chic’s Not Like This, Titus Andronicus’s The Monitor, the Menzinger’s Chamberlain Waits

2011: Good Luck’s Without Hesitation, The Holy Mess’s The Holy Mess, Fucked Up’s David Comes to Life

This year, the album that reaffirms my belief in punk rock is Victoria! by the Downtown Struts.

This is pop-punk. This is the new Banner Pilot, who was the new Lawrence Arms. This is the new mid-west flag bearer. This is the new reminder that when you listen to a punk album you are never really alone.

Get. Fucking. Into. It.