Pop-punk hasn’t faded away.
Sure, standard-bearers like Blink-182 no longer dominate the airwaves as they did 20 years ago, but if you take your earbuds out long enough you’ll see Chicago and the suburbs still have a thriving scene.
Longtime suburban punk rockers Screeching Weasel, Smoking Popes and Alkaline Trio draw crowds. Local stalwarts Showoff recently returned after a lengthy hiatus. And rising stars Real Friends, Knuckle Pucks and more are blasting into national consciousness with this year’s Warped Tour.
The Linden Method, headlining a showcase evening at Chicago’s Cubby Bear Saturday, April 23, is further proof that the genre and its incarnations are not going away anytime soon.
Born in 2009, The Linden Method went through the paces seeking its sound. Starting out as a metalcore band, vocalist Alex Wight of Roselle said the foursome decided, “Eh, this isn’t really our style.”
The band — Wight, guitarist Cody Horner from Elk Grove Village, drummer Jake Fritzler of Schaumburg and bassist Robby DiDomenico from Elmwood Park — went through a few variations of what Wight calls “weird rock” before homing in on what The Linden Method was meant to be.
“We grew up on Tony Hawk,” Wight said. “We grew up on early AFI and Rancid and NOFX and all the skate punk bands.”
The name The Linden Method is a tongue-in-cheek reference to a treatment of anxiety disorders, developed by psychologist Charles Linden, that in part uses soothing music. “If anything, our music has more of an anxious sound,” Wight joked.
“We always wanted to keep the punk in the pop-punk,” he said. “We wanted to stay true to the name, to the older stuff we grew up on. We listen to a lot of hard-core, and a lot of different genres, so we wanted to incorporate the different things that we love into the style.”
Skewing more melodic seemed to be the way to maintain the raw, aggressive sound and driving rhythms that are staples of punk music while incorporating the clever lyrics of the pop-punk genre.
“You make the music for yourself, but at the same time you want the people who like you and follow you to enjoy what you’re doing as well,” Wight said.
That mindset drove the production of their soon-to-be-released album, “Good Enough,” the band’s first full-length.
According to Wight, the album went through about 30 edits. He says band members steered away from as much digital sound correction as possible to maintain a more organic tone.
“We try to do everything as old-school as we can,” Wight says. “We really work hard to do it all in the studio by ourselves, and that’s something that’s really important to us. I think it adds an authenticity to our music.”
“We are so hellbent on getting the exact tones. We want anything that we do in the studio to be able to be replicated live. We want our live sound to sound exactly like the album,” Wight said.
Wight said the self-funded album is ready for distribution, with two videos already produced and a third in the planning stages. The hope is that Saturday’s showcase — also featuring friends and fellow bands Knockout Kid, Tiny Kingdoms, The Former Me and Talk To You Never — will bring a little label attention to the hard work being done on the local scene.
Here’s a look at the other bands sharing the 21-and-older bill at the Cubby Bear:
Members: Karl Nickolov, Jake Fuerst, Nick Collis, John Jacobs and Wade Hunt
Genre: Hardcore pop-punk
Hometown: Chicago, DuPage County
Hear it: knockoutkid.bandcamp.com
Members: Jake Newling, Nico Miura, Nick Collis and Ryan Mitchell
Genre: Post-rock, alternative
Hometown: Villa Park
Hear it: tinykingdomsil.bandcamp.com
The Former Me
Members: Dylan Lahey, Adam Kopchak, Killian Deluca, Ryan Coyle and Matt Grimsley
Hometown: St. Louis area
Hear it: theformerme.bandcamp.com
Talk To You Never
Members: Mike Balzano, Kendal Castillo, Gonzo Ruiz-Lozano, R.J. Gonzini and Alex Porter
Hear it: talktoyounever.bandcamp.com