I usually stay away from saying things like “my favorite band is…” or “the best band in the world is…” simply due to the fact that it would be impossible for me to decide. I listen to countless genres of music (from jazz and afro-beat to rock, hip hop and countless off shoots of such things) and this list is way too immense to even begin formulating a specific answer to those types of questions. What I can do is tell you is which band has been in constant rotation in my car and at work this winter. I play their albums over and over again and never seem to get sick of them. Their songs manage to make me smile and feel better about life in a way that shows I’m not the only other melancholy romantic out there who isn’t gothic or emo or (insert sad-face stereotype here). Yes, folks, it’s The Methadones I’m rambling on and on about. Their dark and full-bodied take on pop punk is fucking amazing. It’s not the thumb-up-your-butt pop punk of Blink-182. It’s not the whiny pop punk of New Found Glory. And it’s not as simple and stripped down as bands like The Ramones, either. Although Dan Schafer, the frontman for the Methadones, was in Screeching Weasel, this band also doesn’t take on a bratty tone nor the arrogant know-it-all stance of the aforementioned band or, let’s say, the Queers or MTX. The music is nothing short of amazing. Great guitars, perfect drums, and the best lead and backing vocals of any band out there right now—mainstream or not. The lyrics kill me; they are so beautiful and smart and sad and cynical and positive all at the same time. Each full-length takes you on a rockin’ emotional roller coaster while the catchy choruses and hooks stick in your brain like white on rice. The first album on A-F was good. But it wasn’t until Career Objective that the song writing took full shape and dropped my jaw to my chest. Not Economically Viable is wonderful, too, though. There are more songs on Career Objective that seem to steal your heart at first listen, but this album is just as good and it’s a themed album loosely based on one of my all-time favorite movies, Falling Down, which portrays Michael Douglas’ character as having a nervous breakdown in the post-modern world we live and work in—you can tell I dwell in cubicles by day, can’t you? A themed album is hard enough… imagine undertaking such topics! It’s beautiful, I tell you, just beautiful! I haven’t been this emotionally attached to nor impressed by every piece of music on a pop punk band’s discography since Washington’s Sicko (and quite possibly the Vindictives before that). Ah, my beloved Methadones. This is the real deal folks. Real emotions. Real topics. Real good music, and if you’re not a fan or have never heard them before, start off with Career Objective and see if I’m not spitting the truth.