Frat rock is a genre of music that started close to the very beginnings of rock and role in the 1950s. It was a mix of big band and electric guitars meant to get a party moving faster and faster. The most famous example would be the party scene from Animal House where everything got a little bit softer and then a little bit louder. My experiences at the University of Rhode Island and as a member of a fraternity there taught me one important thing: If you put in the work and work hard, you all the more deserve to party hard.
These ten songs make up my personal list and take me back to eight years ago and even a little sooner to fond memories of living it up on the weekends at my old chapter house. Hopefully they will bring back the same memories too for people who went to school, "back in the day"; whether you were in a fraternity, sorority, or just a student please take a trip down memory lane, back to when party rock was nothing about LMFAO.
1. My Friends Over You - New Found Glory
If there is one band that epitomizes the new age of Frat rock it is this band of four from Florida. From the pristine Chucks on their feet up to the overly long belts and spiked hair; the group screams 2006. If you happen to see the college episode of Workaholics you'll get it even more. This song in particular was a break up song favorite at my chapter house, because at the end of a bad week, we all chose my friends over you. Now, I need a table to jump off of.
2. Here Your Bedroom - Gold Finger
This one is more of a personal favorite of mine. We used to blast this towards the end of the night, to encourage people to stay awake. It is a perfect mix of slow and fast. What makes this frat rock to me, is look at these guys, west coast all the way. Admit it, we all tried dressing like Gold Finger, some of us with some success. Also, what better song for weekends and one night stands than one that asks the question "here in your bedroom ... will I still feel the same?" Great song to just let loose to in a crowded room.
3. Dammit - Blink 182
"Well I guess this growing up." Need I say more?
4. Right Now - SR 71
It was not a party at my chapter until some one hijacked the speakers and played this song. Everyone knows the words, and everyone has dated that person. Many an attic party turned into an attic rager (I think that word means something else now?) when this was put on. We always had to wake up a little earlier the next day to clean when this one got put on repeat. Come on, everyone likes this song.
5. Calling All Skeletons - Alkaline Trio
We had a kid in our chapter, he was a pirate, legitimately, in dress and action. He was also a 4.0 math genius and he liked rum and Alkaline trio. If you wanted to drink at bar 10, you had better have liked these New Jersey punk rockers. The pace and anthem-like rhythm of this song are perfect for keeping the pace on a Friday night ... or a Monday. So turn to the boy or girl next you and ask "Your coffin or mine?"
6. This Party Sucks - The Wonder Years
This song is probably an anti-frat rock or at least anti frat culture song. However, by senior year, it was perfect. The party scene had changed and this song just gets it. The leaning guitar and pop punk roots reminded me of when kids talked to girls and listened to music that was fun, and more importantly had words. So, enjoy this last bastion of frat rock bliss if you are in fact 23 and avoiding the bar scene.
7. Fat Lip - Sum 41
I broke seven tables in my room sophomore year because of this song ... well, I broke 3, my brothers broke 2 and I blame the rest on failed experiments to see how many people could stand on one. Either way this song about aimless youth was exactly what we needed after cleaning the neighbors yards and acting like real people. Oh, come on, no one was a real person in college ... right? Right?
8. My Own Worst Enemy - Lit
We were all very sorry for what we said when we were drunk. As for sleeping with our clothes on? Not so much. And yes we will move the car off the front lawn.
9. Flag Pole Sitta - Harvey Danger
Although this one was from way back in 1997, a rule of thumb for Frat rock is that if it appeared in American Pie, it can be called Frat rock. Not all party rock anthems need to be about beer or break ups. This very intelligent song was a favorite in my chapter house.
10. Bouncing Off the Walls - Sugarcult
This final song is another party rock staple. I sneak it on nowadays too and it brings everyone back. College was for learning and advancing but we needed to bounce of the walls too. And well, we did. Lyrics aside, it hit the right spots after a long week.