50 Greatest Pop-Punk Albums

From Blink-182 to the Buzzcocks, we count down the best of punk's most lovable, lovelorn offshoot

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Tsunami Bomb, 'The Ultimate Escape' (2002)

31. Tsunami Bomb, 'The Ultimate Escape' (2002)

"Tsunami Bomb happened at a time when a lot of punk was happening," vocalist Emily "Agent M" Whitehurst, recalled in 2015, "but the number of female vocalists in that genre was pretty small. [We] just kind of stood apart." In retrospect, the Bay Area band's gender makeup remains an anomaly in the genre, but more exceptional were Tsunami Bomb's actual songs: melancholic ragers powered by Whitehurst's jazzy, candy-coated inflections. Following the release of their 2000 EP, The Invasion From Within!, Tsunami Bomb rapidly became a Warped Tour staple, and released their first full-length, The Ultimate Escape, on the Vandals' Kung Fu Records. Taking cues from the brutal Youth Crew sound and ethos of the Eighties, Tsunami Bomb's punchy debut speaks not to adolescent recklessness, but the cost of its comedowns: "Independence doesn't start when you leave home," Whitehurst sings matter-of-factly in "Take the Reins," and chides aging punks to "be what you're becoming, and not who you were" in "20 Going On." The Ultimate Escape is an uppercut to boys' clubs, drinking culture and victims of Peter Pan Syndrome everywhere. S.E.

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