Punk Rock, from proto to pop

Punk today

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If the 1990s were anything to go by, the 21st century was going to further the decline of punk rock and it many ways, this is true. The gap between "real punks" and "pop punks" was widened by band 'Good Charlotte' and their second album "The Young and the Hopeless". The album was an international success, with it's catchy lyrics and poppy sounding music. Many punks immediatley disregarded it as simply being 'another pop punk fad' yet the band are still hugely popular in 2005 and they seem to be gaining speed. The band write music that is meant for teenagers who are angry or emotional over (what the punk community call) stupid issues. The band's fan base is regarded as being minaly comprised of teenage girls, having the negative conatation that they do. The same could be said about pop punkers Sum 41 and emo pop punk Simple Plan.
 
The term 'emo' (short for emotional) has been used to describe music since the mid 1980s, yet back then it was simple used to describe emotionaly driven hardcore or punk. Today, it is applied to bands who sing with a whine, complain in their lyrics about issues which aren't that bad (parents not letting them do something is a common theme, as is "life being unfair") and all fit the cliche emo image. Dyed black hair, makeup and black clothes (sometime with a literal heart drawn on the sleeve). The culture and music is, more often than not, hated by the punk community for 1) being whiney but not doing anything to fix the problem and 2) watering down punk rock and making the masses forget what real punk is. Bands 'The Used', 'Taking Back Sunday' and 'My Chemical Romance' are proud practitioners of the 'emo' genre. Thier fans are easily spotted by fitting the emo cliche, further making the punk community hate them, as they stand against conformity.
 
While it seems as if there is not chance for real punk bands to survive in the current day, this is hardly the case. Punk rock veterans NOFX, Bad Religion and The Exploited are still flying the punk flag high after more than 20 years of experience each. Newer bands such as YiDcore, Frenzal Rhomb, Against Me!, the HorrorPops and countless others also keep the punk flame burning in the own unique ways (YiDcore in particular, who perform punk covers of classic jewish anthems). Despite the seemingly endless sea of cliche emo, pop-punk and conformist bands out there, there will always be real punk and as the Exploited say; Punk's not dead an' I'm glad it's not!