This Ain’t a Scene, It’s a Playlist of 2007 Alternative Jams

2007 was a transitional year as I started ninth grade that September and began to forge my teenage identity in the fierce, uncensored hallways of high school. It was also a year that brought forth many bands and albums that eventually would become overplayed favorites in my growing iTunes library. I can’t believe these songs and albums have been around for a decade now. From radio hits like Metro Station’s “Shake It” and We The Kings’ “Check Yes Juliet,” to stand out tracks from bands like Cobra Starship and All Time Low, this playlist will have you aching to dress in neon graphic tees and run to your nearest Hot Topic.

“This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” by Fall Out Boy

Following FOB’s multi-platinum success of From Under the Cork Tree, Infinity On High brought us hits like “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” and “Thnks fr th Mmrs.” “This Ain’t a Scene…” can still be heard on occasion at Applebee’s in all of its edited radio version glory (you’ll have to supply your own goddamns). And check out William Beckett of The Academy Is… reprising his role as the leader of the Dandies from “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More ‘Touch Me.’”


“The City Is at War” by Cobra Starship

Former Midtown frontman Gabe Saporta and his iconic purple hoodie really brought it on Cobra Starships’s sophomore release, ¡Viva La Cobra!. With a full band and a good friend named Pete Wentz (who makes a cameo in the music video), Saporta’s desert vision rapidly gained a following within the scene and paved the way for this neon-clad, EDM-infused flavor of mid-2000s emo. Eventually, Cobra rose from the alternative scene and hit pop radio several years later with “Good Girls Go Bad.”


“We’ve Got a Big Mess on Our Hands” by The Academy Is…

The mid-2000s involved a lot of collaboration and camaraderie between bands, which is evidenced by all the aforementioned cameos in music videos, collabs like “Snakes on a Plane,” and bands touring extensively together. Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz mentored many bands, and even reached out to them during tough personal times have gone through his own mental health struggles. As parroted in the music video, Wentz helped frontman William Beckett out of his dark phase. And thus, Santi came to be TAI’s sophomore release, full of angst and uncertainty. Although the album wasn’t as beloved as Almost Here, fans remained ardent supporters of this album, bearing “Same Blood” tattoos and requesting for set lists to include B-sides “Ghost” and “40 Steps.”


“The Undertaker’s Thirst for Revenge Is Unquenchable. (The Final Battle)” by Chiodos

It’s hard to imagine this era of the scene without thinking of a teen wearing a neon Chiodos band tee. For many, Bone Palace Ballet remains a beloved post-hardcore album. Frontman Craig Owens, likewise, has contributed a lot to the scene through a myriad of bands (Cinematic Sunrise, Isles & Glaciers, D.R.U.G.S.).


“I Don’t Wanna Be In Love (Dance Floor Anthem)” by Good Charlotte

I’m pretty sure this was played at my eighth grade semi-formal dance, and remains a catchy song known both by Hot Topic patrons and pop radio fans.


“Misery Business” by Paramore

While frontwoman Hayley Williams has since expressed distaste in this song’s anti-feminist sentiments that sprung from her angsty high school years, this hit single quickly plowed the way for Paramore’s reign.


“Shake It” by Metro Station

These days, Metro Station is a bit of a punchline in the scene, but it’s hard to forget Trace Cyrus’ “let’s drop” at the start of the song that was played on radio stations, TV commercials, and stores everywhere in the mid-2000s.


“Baby Girl, I’m a Blur” by Say Anything

Say Anything were nothing new in 2007, but the pulsing beat of this track from their eclectic album, In Defense of the Genre, fit well within a scene that welcomed artists who played with and moved past the standard punk-rock ensemble.


“Must Have Done Something Right” by Relient K

Five Score and Seven Years Ago was not a hit in the same sense as Mmhmm and its popular single “Be My Escape,” but it was a beloved album to me (a fourteenth birthday present from a friend), and in the era of crushing on cute boys from the middle school soccer team, this soccer-themed music video was an instant favorite.


“Do You Feel” by The Rocket Summer

Another quintessential song well-played on my own iPod that brought out my inner emo. Best of all, the music video features cameos of Andrew McMahon of Jack’s Mannequin, Forrest Kline of Hellogoodbye, Matt Thiessen of Relient K, Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low, Josh Farro and Jeremy Davis of Paramore, and Mike Herrera of MxPx. This song’s message still rocks hard today.


“Check Yes Juliet” by We the Kings

We the Kings’ self-titled 2007 release took a little while to gain mainstream fame, but remains a classic to this day. It’s hard to believe that in a decade, this band has retained most of its original lineup, adding in Coley O’Toole on guitar, keys, and vocals, and replacing bassist Drew Thompsen with childhood friend Charles Trippy.


“Dear Maria, Count Me In” by All Time Low

Possibly All Time Low’s biggest fan-favorite, this anthem to a stripper in their hometown succinctly captured 2007’s essence in its music video featuring a chimp, ridiculous costumes, and bleached scene hair. In the decade since the band graduated high school with a record deal, they’ve toured with their idols Blink-182 and opened a music-themed bar in their hometown.


“Jamie All Over” by Mayday Parade

“I had a dream last night…” My friends and I agree that this song is the anthem for mid-2000s teens. It’s the go-to cover song for every local band of suburban white boys, and those lyrics will never not hit me in the feels (“when all I ever wanted was to dream another sunset with you”).


Featured Image: Paramore

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