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10 Essential Pop/Punk/Rock Albums To Help You Dominate Finals Week

For those who love music indiscriminately, put these albums on and let them play through your study sesh, paper writing odyssey or rock out on a break. May finals never stop you!

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American Idiot

Green Day is a timeless band that appears on this list twice, at different ends of their career. The band's 2004 epic American Idiot is the perfect album to get you into a mood to create. Play this when tackling your philosophy final or while smithing a creative writing piece.

Essential Finals Ass-Kicker: St.Jimmy

"I am the son-of-a-bitch and Edgar Allen Poe."

Take that English!

Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge

My Chemical Romance may be no more, but this album lives forever. Three Cheers is an anthemic dedication to the concept of Revenge. And who doesn't want to get revenge on a mediocre semester by wreaking havoc on their finals? To inspire you to get your vengeance on: whether it be on a math class you never should have failed or a paper that is getting on your nerves get the lead out with this MCR classic.

Essential Finals Ass-Kicker: Give 'Em Hell Kid

"This is how we like to do it in the Murder Scene/ Yeah, we settle up the score."

I'm looking at you, Statistics exam. Run.


Their self-titled effort is full of punk classics but nothing can get you out of your head and into the game like the Ramones. This band is punk royalty and shaped many of the acts on this list. This album is a rollicking good time and will get your energy up in the waning hours of the morning when your all-niter is faltering.

Essential Finals Ass-Kicker: Blitzkreig Bop

"Hey Ho! Let's Go!"

Get off of Tumblr and fight for those grades damn it!

Save Rock and Roll

Now Fall Out Boy is a polarizing band for many fans of Rock music but, come on! If I didn't know any better (I do, Trust me), I'd think this album was about saving your Academic Career! So many songs on this record are applicable to the struggle of Finals Week. Just check out, Just One Yesterday (an ode to your regrets of procrastination) or My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Not Your Homework). In all seriousness this album is a modern classic and will keep you live while you hammer through math problems.

Essential FInals Ass-Kicker: Death Valley

"I want the guts and glory baby!"

Because this Calculus final is not a game!


This lesser known New Found Glory album is an ode to being trapped inside your head, which is often the way we feel during finals. The title track rips open the album exposing the brain with humor and honesty. The album is a magnum opus to your anxiety and will help by saying, "hey we've been here too!". This is the record for your 3am trip to get coffee. Keep it on during your history memorization and look to the future with no regrets.

Essential Finals Ass-Kicker: Radiosurgery

"I'm broken down/ I'm a nervous wreck/ my heart is beating out of my chest/ nothing seems familiar at all to me."

Tell me about it!

Battle Born

The Killers' latest record is an ode to the American spirit, not just another shiny rock venture. The album's lyrical subtlties and soaring synth riffs can get even the most tired student out of their study-coma. Play this record when you're in the last hour of your study session. With songs like Deadlines and Commitments and the title track this record is perfect to guide you through the last leg of your semester.

Essential Finals Ass-Kicker: Battle Born

"Up against the wall/ There's something dying on the street/ and when they knock you down/ you gotta get back on your feet."

Perseverance is key in Finals week hell.

Hesitant Alien

Gerard Way, who is dearly departed from My Chemical Romance offers his solo effort to you for Finals Week encouragement. He's new, improved and ready to conquer the garage rock scene. With stand out tracks like No Shows and Millions, Maya the Psychic and Brother this record is much more than an the usual arrogant solo efforts of lead singers past. It is a true original just like the paper you're writing, well at least I hope its well Cited. Look past Finals and into the future.

Essential Finals Ass-Kicker: Action Cat

"We don't care we just pretend/ With our faces on the mend."

There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

London Calling

You can't go wrong with The Clash. This record, another classic will be there during your hardest thinking. Philosophy? Economics? Whatever your weakness, play this record during your session for the hardest subject and let Joe Strummer and the boys take you back to when England was pissed, reggae had a place in punk and guitar playing wasn't just for show, but for function. Put all of this into account and your studying will come easy.

Essential Finals Ass-Kicker: "Rudy Can't Fail"

"I went to the market/ To realize my soul/ What I need/ I just don't have."

Shit! I left my science textbook at the dorm.


Yes two Green Day albums made the cut. I'm a fan, what can I say.

Save this 1994 gem for when you're hitting rock bottom. If you're not understanding a concept or need a study break watch the Basket Case music video and put on Dookie for some down time. With a run time of less than an hour you can afford to chill. The epitome of angst and societal anger turned on its head with melodic riffs and punchy drums Dookie will get you out of your slump and catapult you back into the zone.

Essential Finals Ass-Kicker: Burnout

"I declare I don't care no more."

Amen. Senior year of College.

Nevermind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols

The short lived Anarchy of the Sex Pistols should be used sparingly during your study time. Like only at the very end when you've accomplished everything. Use this as a "screw it all" victory lap after your last exam. Blast it loud, fast and without regret. You did it! Nevermind the Finals, Here's the Report Card. You came, you studied and now you party! Pat yourself on the back and get crazy with this essential tribute anti-establishment Anarchy.

Essential Finals Ass-Kicker: God Save The Queen

"There is no future for me!"

Maybe that's bleak, but hey! You're done. Now on to next semester!

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