2013 was the year of the reunion, with everyone from Fall Out Boy to Knapsack teaming back up with their old bandmates, whether it was for a one-off anniversary tour or a full-blown comeback. Still, even with all of those reunions, there are still a handful of bands left who we wish would bless us with one last tour or some new music. Here are the top ten bands we wish we could see a reunion from – no matter how impossible our dreams may be.
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Perhaps one of the most tragically short lived bands to come from Seattle, Acceptance were only around for eight years, but the potential the quintet had could have helped them see another twenty. The band might not have invented alternative rock, but they arguably perfected it. The tracks found on any of their three releases are impeccable, timeless and irreplaceable – and this can all be said without even addressing Jason Vena’s near perfect vocals. All that talent led to a record deal with Columbia Records, the release of their debut full length Phantoms in 2005 to great acclaim, and opening slots for bands like Anberlin and Finch. None of that could keep the band together, though – they broke up just as everything started to fall together, due to Vena throwing in the mic.
The singer may have left to pursue the life of an everyday American, but we don’t think a reunion would be a complete shot in the dark. Guitarist Christian McAlhaney plays in Anberlin, who just announced their impending demise; Kaylan Cloyd’s band Search/Rescue hasn’t been active for years; the last time we heard from drummer Nick Radovanovic was in 2011; the latest news story on bassist Ryan Zwiefelhofer was about his departure from the band; and recently Jason Vena has shown some interest in getting back into the industry by providing guest vocals on a couple tracks, including “Outlines” by All Time Low. With the ten year anniversary of Phantoms being right around the corner – shortly after the record seeing its first vinyl pressing and coincidentally right around the same time Anberlin says they’ll call it quits – it seems like things might be falling in place again for Acceptance. The real question is what they’ll do with it. (Emillie Marvel)
90’s emo bands were notorious for releasing only a few pieces of music before breaking up and leaving us all alone to mourn their absence, probably while crying – which is pretty much in keeping with the theme of 90’s emo in general. American Football are arguably the most well-known band of the era to break our hearts in this particular fashion, releasing just one EP and one full-length – both self-titled – before calling it quits in 2000. Thankfully, they made the most of the work they created together while they were still around – each of their songs strikes a musical balance between simplicity and intricacy, with universally-relatable lyrics that fit in just as perfectly on Tumblr pages in 2014 as they did on LiveJournals in 1999. For those who still miss American Football as much as they miss their ex, frontman Mike Kinsella has one of the richest back catalogs of any musician in our scene; his latest project is Their / They’re / There with Evan Weiss of Into It. Over It., and he’s still making solo music under the name Owen, steadily adding to a discography that includes seminal emo bands like Joan of Arc and Cap’n Jazz. A reunion from the band seems unlikely, but hey, let’s just see what happens when the summer ends. (Eleanor Grace)
The year was 2001 when singer-songwriter Aaron Marsh formed the band we would come to know so well: Copeland. Originating in the city of Lakeland, Florida, Copeland’s unique sound helped shape the blooming alternative scene alongside counterparts like Anberlin and Mae. The band reigned during the social media breakthrough era that was MySpace, and it wasn’t uncommon to see their lyrics and songs posted on personal pages. During that time period, Copeland’s celestial, piano-based sound would have most likely been labeled “emo,” but, hey, that’s why we love them so much. Even more importantly, anyone who listened to Copeland could take something away – keep it and tuck it away like a secret. Their lyrics were deep and quizzical – always curious, searching and pondering life’s beauties and oddities. Copeland’s power to evoke feeling and pure, raw emotion could never be denied. While a Copeland reunion is a bit far-fetched, Marsh has been featured with other bands like The Morning Of…, Anberlin, Lydia and is currently involved with a project called The Lulls in Traffic. Ex-Copeland members Bryan and Steven Laurenson can be found in the band States with former Lydia vocalist Mindy White. (Alyson Stokes)
Envy On The Coast
It’s been a long three and a half years since Long Island’s Envy On The Coast split. In the six years they were around, they toured with about every post-hardcore heavyweight you could think of – opening for Thursday in Australia, two Taking Back Sunday stints, and even a pair of tours for the now-defunct The Receiving End of Sirens and Underoath. Their unique blend of pure rock and roll with post-hardcore mentalities was something they perfected on their last record, 2010’s Lowcountry, so it would be interesting to see what their sound would mature to in 2014. Vocalist Ryan Hunter and guitarist Brian Byrne continued working on music together though under the name NK with Billy Rymer and Michael Sadis of The Dillenger Escape Plan until Brian left the band in late 2012 – either closing the door on them working together again, or opening it for an Envy On The Coast reunion down the road. (Tarynn Law)
The Format – indie rock project of Nate Ruess and Sam Means – announced their hiatus back in 2008, but that hasn’t kept fans from crossing their fingers for a reunion. For those of us who keep wishing for a (very) late follow-up to Dog Problems and still put “The First Single” as the opening track to a friend’s mix CD, seeing this band reunite would be huge to say the least. The Format’s songs span from poppy to downright sad, and Ruess’ signature voice tackles each one with ease, nailing those unusually specific lyrics that somehow everyone can relate to. After the split, Ruess went on to form fun. – who have recently skyrocketed to mainstream success – and Means continues to work on his own music as well, but these projects can’t match the calm happiness that The Format so appropriately captured. Despite a recent repressing of Dog Problems on vinyl, the success of fun. makes it highly unlikely that The Format will be giving us the gift of a reunion anytime soon. It looks like the next best thing we can ask for is for Nate to grow his hair out again. (Alyssa Dempsey)
For the past few years, no band reunion in the pop punk scene has been speculated more than Midtown. Forming in 1998, the four dudes from New Jersey were quick to gain a following, landing them a coveted album deal with Drive Thru Records. After seeing success providing the opening theme to MTV’s Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle Of The Sexes, the band released their second album on Drive Thru/MCA and third through Columbia Records. The band toured relentlessly up until calling it quits in 2005. Each member went on to new ventures, most notably singer Gabe Saporta forming the infamous Cobra Starship. Fast forward to 2014 — Cobra Starship seems to have fizzled, demand for a Midtown reunion is still high, and Saporta was recently seen getting back to his pop punk ways singing in a Mexican restaurant with fellow New Jersy-ians Saves The Day at 3am. Marking ten years since the release of their last album, this seems like the perfect time for Midtown to reunite. Will John D., creator of Skate and Surf, finally make his promise a reality and get the band to reunite? We’re still waiting for the news. Hopefully the band manage to get it together, because “hey, it’s just Rock and Roll”, right? (Alexa Gallo)
My American Heart
My American Heart rocked the early 2000’s during the MySpace era and won the hearts of young listeners who craved a comfortable blend of emo-tinged rock and pop music. The band had a relatable and accessible sound, as well as an intimate artist-to-fan connection, which made them extremely likable. Building a name for themselves with 2005’s The Meaning In Makeup and 2007’s Hiding Inside The Horrible Weather, the band toured extensively with support from Warcon Records (co-owner by Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman). Unfortunately, inconsistent lineup changes and waning interests seemed to kill the band’s momentum and eventually they split in 2009. Other than two California reunion shows in February 2012, the band has been idle since and it seems doubtful they’ll ever reunite again. But who knows – there’s always the possibility that 2015 might bring us a tour to celebrate the ten year anniversary of The Meaning In Makeup. Until we know for sure, we’ll just have to reminisce and sing “Tired and Uninspired” for nostalgia as we visit our old MySpace profiles. (Ethan Rose)
My Favorite Highway
Despite being around for nearly six years, My Favorite Highway’s time seemed so short lived. The Virginia based four-piece proved its talent from the start with addictive piano pop melodies, anthemic hooks, and a penchant for quality, relatable lyrics. Combining strings, piano, and an upbeat rock style of guitar and drums produced an irresistible brand of pop that landed tours with the likes of The Cab, The Summer Set, and The Rocket Summer. Most of the band’s career was based around the independent release of EPs and a full length that garnered them a strong fan base and a taste of well-deserved success. Shortly after their debut album How To Call A Bluff dropped, the band signed with Virgin Records and even gained some radio play. Though fans could only be familiar with the infectious, upbeat sounds of My Favorite Highway for a short time, it was time well invested. The group disbanded in 2010, leaving a gap in a scene they easily could have dominated, as well as in the hearts of their fans. Still, a small amount of hope remains alive. Since the breakup was just three years ago and vocalist/pianist Dave Cook has continued releasing music as a solo artist, the idea is not impossible. The band’s only full-length will turn five this July, and although five-year anniversaries are not exactly common, it’s comforting to think that reuniting a timeless favorite like My Favorite Highway remains within the realm of the possibility. (Hannah Pierangelo)
It’s hard to believe that Name Taken, a pop punk band first formed in 1999, started back when the group were in their teenage years given the kind of potential they had. Known for their confident vocals, catchy riffs, and fast-paced beats, they released release a series of EP’s – including a split with scene veterans Bayside – before dropping their first and only full-length album Hold On in 2004. The album included the track “Panic”, with a lyric that Panic! At The Disco would later be named after. A year later, the band supported Relient K alongside Mae on a tour across the US before breaking up. However, as 2014 marks ten years since their debut was released, and considering the fact that a limited-edition vinyl pressing of the album was release in 2012, it’s not entirely unlikely that an anniversary tour could possibly be on the horizon for this year. (Emily Yee)
Once hailed as “the greatest band in the world” by none other than Taking Back Sunday, it’s a shame to know that emo pop punk heroes Northstar disappeared before they really got started. With their strong DIY ethic, not only would they survive in today’s scene, they would lead the way. The hopeful yet honest lyrics over a soundtrack of heavy pop punk riffs make Northstar the perfect band to listen to in the middle of the night sat on the roof of a friend’s house. Ten years on from its release, second and final album Pollyanna will awaken any feelings of teen angst – however deeply buried – and make you wish it was 2004 again. Dig out that hoodie, call your friends, and give in to the irresistible hooks you know so well. The songwriting genius of Nick Torres and Tyler Odom survives through Cassino, a folk rock band formed by the pair after Northstar’s split, but with the tenth anniversary of Pollyanna coming up this April, we can only hope for a reunion. Its members may have moved on since the band’s breakup in 2005, but the legacy that Northstar left behind in their short eight years together will continue to echo through the pop punk era. (Alexandra Bear)Tags: Acceptance, American Football, Copeland, Envy on the Coast, Midtown, My American Heart, My Favorite Highway, Name Taken, Northstar, The Format