Late ’90s Pop-Punk Distortion Sounded Heavier Than Today’s Metal


It’s “Distortion Week” over at our sister site Gear Gods. The site’s got all sorts of distortion-related goodness for your brain and your signal chain: famous metal producers talking about the first distortion pedal they ever owned, a video shoot-out comparing 68 (!!!) different distortion pedals, and this…

… an editorial by Max Frank (also of MetalSucks fame) claiming that late ’90s / early ’00s pop-punk bands like Sum 41 and Good Charlotte had better and heavier distortion tone than today’s metal bands.

Here’s Max:

Sum 41, for example, are a really interesting band: despite their tunefulness, their guitar tone is super attack-y and aggressive. “In Too Deep” has such a straight, articulated clean tone in the opening verses – while the chorus and later verses have a SUPER gritty distortion, almost black metal in tone. AND the climax’s guitar solo mixes Iron Maiden harmonies with Metallica songwriting sensibilities and pop-punk tone. There’s just so much going on!

Stangry yet?? For my money, he’s got a point: there’s something about the clarity and grittiness of the distortion from that era that hits harder than what “real metal” bands are doing today. And, at the very least, the article inspired me to go on a big Jimmy Eat World kick. Such a good band.

Head over to Gear Gods to read the rest.

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