Alternative Press writer Tyler Sharp wrote that by the late 2000s, pop punk had taken "on a new, synth-laden face." While this wasn't the first instance that "a band decided to put fuzzy keys over their chord progressions, but it was a time when that formula was perfected." Kika Chatterjee of Alternative Press added that the late 2000s "brought in glowing synths and poppy melodies that shifted the entire definition of [pop punk]", giving it the "neon" moniker. Sharp listed songs by Cobra Starship, the Secret Handshake,the Maine, and Forever the Sickest Kids, among others as songs "from pop punk's neon era." In addition, Chatterjee listed songs by the Cab, A Rocket to the Moon and Sing It Loud, among others. Sharp noted that Forever the Sickest Kids' debut album Underdog Alma Mater (2008) was "a big moment" for the genre.
Alternative Press writer Kika Chatterjee classed Cute Is What We Aim For's "The Curse of Curves", "Teasing to Please (Left Side, Strong Side)" and "There's a Class for This" as "instant classics of the mid-2000s neon-pop genre explosion."Babe Talk stated that the band the Maine formed "during the neon pop era of music in 2007".
While premiering a video for Kid Cadaver, Alternative Press mentioned that "If neon pop-punk had a new wave revival, this trio would likely lead the pack."