When I was 16 years old, there was no doubt that I loved pop-punk, concerts, and music festivals. In 2012, I met a girl online who supposedly had the same music taste as me—which was nearly impossible to find at the time. She liked pop punk bands such as All Time Low, but was also quite a fan of heavier music. I remember the first song she sent me was “King For A Day” by Pierce The Veil. Considering I didn’t listen to music with screaming at the time, the song was an immediate turn-off for me. To tone it down a bit, she had me listen to “If You Can’t Hang” by Sleeping With Sirens (back when the band was actually post-hardcore). Because of this song and band, it made me more open-minded when it came to post-hardcore and even some metalcore. For those who are currently just like how I was, here are five songs to help you “warm up” to heavier genres.
“If You Can’t Hang” by Sleeping With Sirens
This song was truly the first to push me to explore the genre of post-hardcore. Overall, the song has many elements of a pop punk song. The lyrics focus on the genre’s typical theme of resentment from a break up and the vocals are clean throughout. However, about ¾ into the song, you hear the extended vocal technique in only two words: “imagine that”.
“Seduction” by Alesana
As ironic as it sounds, I discovered this song through the metalcore medley parody created by YouTube comedian, Jarrod Alonge. The song itself was only featured for a few seconds, but the singer’s voice resonated with me so much that I decided to look up the original song. While many of their other songs feature more death growls, the screaming in this particular track is mainly backing vocals, making it the perfect opportunity to get your ears used to some well-blended screams.
“King For A Day” by Pierce The Veil
As mentioned earlier, Pierce The Veil’s “King For A Day” featuring Sleeping With Sirens’ Kellin Quinn was my first not-so-great exposure to post-hardcore. However, after listening to various other songs with screaming, the revisit to this track couldn’t have been more pleasant.
“Toxic” by A Static Lullaby
While not an original, I would call this post-hardcore cover of Britney Spears’ pop hit “Toxic” one of my favorite Punk Goes Pop covers of all time. Rock instrumentals with the catchiness of a pop song, accompanied by the appealing mix of screaming and clean vocals, this is a track you’ll want to be playing over and over!
“Happy Song” by Bring Me The Horizon
For years, Bring Me The Horizon was purely known as a deathcore band. I didn’t even have any friends who could handle the excessive screaming and growling at the time. Then came their most recent release, That’s The Spirit, that left any person who recognized the name asking, “this is Bring Me The Horizon?” It has been revealed that Oli Sykes’ damaged his vocal cords throughout the band’s career and this change in sound would act as a transition to come. Far from their early sound, this album couldn’t be more listener-friendly to music fans of the scene.
If you need to take these songs with you, here’s a Spotify playlist with the above songs. Enjoy!