Honestly as much as I love pop punk bands and old ataris as well as a whole slew of bands from my childhood are up there as my favorite bands I still really love darker records. Saves The Day, Bayside, Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, Jimmy Eat World, Dinosaur Jr, and more have been on heavy rotation recently. It could just be the weather getting colder but music is perceived based on the mood in which the album exists. A lot of people wrote off Invented by Jimmy Eat World when it came out but it fit within a specific mood that even I had to find and once I did I absolutely loved it.
I honestly did not like Welcome The Night that much when it came out cause it was just such a jarring change but once I found the mood it exists within and how it fits into binges of that style of music it really hit home. So Long, Astoria will always be my favorite as I have so many memories with that album that grow stronger every year (GF found the LP for 20 bucks for my birthday) and Blue Skies is a classic pop punk album. Despite that I think progression in a band should never be written off especially if the listener has not discovered its mood yet. Thats why I think Daybreak is up there as the best or 2nd best Saves The Day record. It branches out while drawing elements from multiple of their albums and lyrically is relatable.