So, what's emo?

Hi. In this blog, I will be somewhat detailing what is "emo". Enjoy!

Opener (80s)

So, emo 1st started out in around the mid 80s w/Rites of Spring & Embrace. Originally, the emo genre was a mix of post-hardcore & hardcore punk. These early emo bands feature real emotions in their music (I mean, the genre's an amalgamation of post-hardcore & hardcore punk after all)

Development (90s)

In the 90s, there were other awesome emo bands like Sunny Day Real Estate & Jawbreaker. A writer once said "Sunny Day Real Estate was emo's brain & Jawbreaker its liver", which is actually very true. During the mid-late 90s, more underground emo bands like The Promise Ring, The Get Up Kids, Jimmy Eat World, Lifetime, Thursday, etc. emerge & gain several underground popularity

Recognition & "mainstream" (2000s)

Now, here it is, the part I'm very hyped to write for. The 2000s was such an amazing decade for emo music. However, this is the same decade that got emo music lumped w/posers as well. What can I say? In the 2000s, we got Silverstein, Senses Fail, Taking Back Sunday, Alexisonfire, Underoath, Saves the Day, Hawthorne Heights, Funeral for a Friend, Chiodos, Finch, Brand New, From Autumn to Ashes, Story of the Year, Armor for Sleep, Matchbook Romance, The Used, AFI, A Day to Remember, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, etc. However, bands like My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Panic! at the Disco got lumped into the genre & are all considered emo. Imho, I wouldn't consider those "emo" bands (like MCR, FOB, Paramore, P!ATD, etc.) as emo. Why? Because their music sounds absolutely nothing like emo music, that's the main problem.

Here, compare these:

to these:

they sound absolutely nothing alike, right? I'll address more of this later, don't worry ; )

Has the emo genre died...?

Well, truth is, it's pretty much is but there are still underground bands making emo music & those emo bands I mentioned (like Silverstein, Senses Fail, Underoath, etc.) that are still making emo music. It's just that they aren't as mainstream as they did in the 2000s

What is "real emo"?

Now, this 1 is very tricky cause I think some ppl can consider "emo" music as something subjective. Well, let's take a look back at the genre's origins: it started out as a subgenre of hardcore punk & is a form of post-hardcore, so I think what we can consider "emo" music is those that has:

  • Clean vocals
  • Unclean vocals/screaming
  • Hardcore punk drumming
  • Complex guitars
  • Heavy bass levels
  • Unorthodox structures
  • Loudness & intensity of punk rock

Now, to categorise a certain band to the emo genre, I'll ask you something: does that band feature all these? If they do, then yeah, they're an emo band. The problem is that the emo genre got lumped in w/non-emo bands, like 21 Pilots for example. 21 Pilots are rap rock/alt hip-hop, they have absolutely nothing to do w/the emo genre. Do they fit in that criteria of emo music? Nope, not at all. This also applies to other bands like My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Panic! at the Disco, etc. All these bands lack what emo bands are supposed to have

Closing thoughts & conclusion

So, that's all! Now, imo, what I would consider "emo" is those who possess all those things that emo music supposed to have: clean vocals, unclean vocals/screaming, hardcore punk drumming, complex guitars, heavy bass levels, unorthodox structures & the loudness & intensity of punk rock. That's why I say my fav bands are all emo because they are perfect examples of the genre. Oh & yeah, I'm referring to Silverstein, Senses Fail, Taking Back Sunday, Alexisonfire, Underoath, Saves the Day, Hawthorne Heights, Funeral for a Friend, Chiodos, Finch, Brand New, Thursday, From Autumn to Ashes, Story of the Year, Armor for Sleep, Matchbook Romance, The Used, AFI, A Day to Remember, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, etc. All these bands I mention possess the things that an emo band should have while bands like My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, 21 Pilots, Panic! at the Disco, etc. lack all those attributes in their music

Also, pls note that I have absolutely nothing against My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, 21 Pilots, Panic! at the Disco, etc. I love some of their songs, in fact, it's just that I really hate their positions as "emo" bands

Thanks so much for reading! Have an amazing day!

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