Personally, my favorite love songs are punk rock love songs. You know the girl in the story is probably not a knockout, but she probably wears cute pink converse and has red hair and is much closer to anyone you'll meet than any of the girls in a backstreet boys song. There's a lot of earnesty to it too, punk rock has always had a tough guy image, deserved or not, and to hear these bands belt out lyrics about love and loss seems more earnest than some guy with a flowing white shirt. So here's a couple of my favorite punk rock love songs.
"Pretty Mess" by Crimpshrine This song captures a lot of different facets of young love really well. "In love with no place to go,", "my friends would never understand,", it's all there. One of my favorite parts of the song is that he calls this girl a "pretty mess", that idea that to the average passerby this girl might seem like a trainwreck, but you think she's beautiful. This is the first of two songs on my short little list sung by Jeff Ott, although this first one was written by Crimpshrine's drummer Aaron Cometbus. Goddamn incestous East Bay Scene. "Kiss The Bottle" by Jawbreaker Blake Schwarzenbach's mean rasp is the perfect vehicle for this song about love turned to alcoholism. When Schwarzenbach croons, "I know I painted you a prettier picture, baby," you can't help but feel sorry for this guy. It's like he's tried his best, but things just turned out differently than he planned. Come on, who can't relate to that?
"The End of The Summer" by Fifteen It's not like the inevitable end of the summer fling is a unique theme in music. I mean, this song is basically the punk rock version of "Summer Lovin'" from Grease. Even though I've never seen Grease (seriously, just once, in a play my cousin was in when I was 4). That's the beauty of art though, you don't neccesarily need a whole new idea, because everyone has the ability to interpret things differently. Fifteen's Jeff Ott isn't neccessarily mourning the end of the summer here, he's looking towards the future and the possibility that they can have another summer just as great as the one that's passed. Also, the cowbell here is so crucial. "Hope" by the Descendents So back in my heck of young times, one of the first albums I ever bought for myself was Sublime's 40 oz. to Freedom. I still credit this album with really getting me into music, since Sublime put so many cover songs on that album. Since I loved the album so much, I would go out and buy the albums by the original artists. That's how I first laid my hands on Milo Goes to College by the Descendents in 7th grade. I fell in love with that album as a whole, but the one Sublime covered stuck out in particular. Hope is a love song in that quintessential punk rock vein of "i hate your boyfriend". It's been done a million times, but rarely this well. If you can find it, there's a live version of this song from the album Liveage. Milo croons a little more live than he does on the album and it works really well on this song.